Glucydur Facts: An Important Alloy In Mechanical Watches

Oluwatosin Michael
Nov 03, 2023 By Oluwatosin Michael
Originally Published on Apr 13, 2022
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Interesting glucydur facts reveal that this alloy is used by Rolex and several high-quality brands.

Glucydur is a low-thermal-expansion metal alloy used in the manufacture of balance wheels as well as other components of mechanical watches.

Glucydur metal is a beryllium bronze. This material is made up of three components namely copper, beryllium, and iron.

The three components allow resistance to shape change from temperature change. Along with its hardness of 400 Brinell, non-magnetizability, damage, resistance to deformation, corrosion, magnetic fields as well as low coefficient of thermal expansion, it's suitable for precision elements that need a lot of dimensional stability.

It shows corrosion resistance and is chemically inert. This metal is ideal for a balance wheel in watch movements. Glucydur, a non-magnetic substance, was created around the same period as Nivarox.

History And Discovery

Rolex watches are distinguished from several other companies by the features they utilize to maintain COSC accuracy. Two Rolex features are the balance wheel and the mechanism whereby the balance acts and is regulated.

Bimetallic balance wheels are used by less costly brands, and some older balance wheels contain thermal expansion/contraction slices. Lower-grade watches have a similar form, but instead of alloy, they utilize a less expensive material.

The mainspring is often compared to the rate of the heartbeat, while the balance is compared to the brain. Such comparison is made since watching a Rolex balance wheel in motion reveals a back and forward movement exactly like the rate of heartbeat.

The effectiveness of the watch is determined by its accuracy and speed, much as it is for a human heart. Rolex goes to great efforts to assure the integrity and speed of the balancing wheel.

The balance wheel's speed and range of movement can be regulated in two ways. Rolex watches employ a 'Free Spring' balance wheel that allows the hairspring to breathe naturally.

Hairsprings are principally produced by Nivarox, a division of the ETA and the Swatch Group, in the Swiss watch industry. The motion of standard pin that surrounds the hairspring either lengthens or shortens the hairspring.

Checking for a + / – near the balance wheel is the quickest way to tell if the balance wheel is controlled. When a watchmaker has to modify the balance wheel's travel, they simply reposition the adjustment pin in the desired direction.

Until 2000, Rolex employed Nivorox hairsprings when Rolex's proprietary Parachrom Blu hairsprings were installed in Rolex Daytonas and some other Rolex watches.

All of the technology is proven and true, guaranteeing that the balance wheel retains its ideal shape and motion, resulting in more accurate timekeeping.

Characteristics

Glucydur is a non-magnetic alloy that is identifiable because of its gold color. The balance wheel in most high-end current wristwatches has a smooth (no rim screws) glucydur two or three-arm balance.

The structure is screwless because modern balance spring alloy enables temperature compensation, eliminating the need for screws on the balance. The screwless design is also more aerodynamically efficient and less likely to catch debris that could cause timing errors.

The shock method is vital, as it is necessary for the balancing wheel's reliability. Concave and convex diamonds are held in place in the shock methods by springs carrying the balancing axle or rod in place. The shock is minimized by the motion of the springs or jewels that hold the diamonds in alignment.

Rolex's shock mechanism, termed Paraschock, is incorporated in the DateJust President wristwatches and the Explorer and is introduced with every new or improved Rolex model, identical to the Parachrom Blu hairspring.

Before Parashock, Rolex watches used the KIF shock process, as compared to the Incablock used by other companies. The shock mechanism's principles are similar, but Rolex distinguishes itself by using KIF as well as its proprietary para shock mechanism.

Glucydur facts reveal that it is composed of three components copper, beryllium, and iron.

Applications

If you're looking for a durable, magnetic material that can handle precision applications, Glucydur is a perfect choice. This material is known for its stability, hardness, aerospace, medical, and precision applications.

Glucydur is a non-oxidizing, non-magnetic, very elastic alloy used to create balance spring,  monometallic balances, and assortments. 

This material is made of beryllium copper and has a very low coefficient of thermal expansion. It also has a high deformation tolerance, making it perfect for use in difficult conditions.

To keep the equilibrium in position, Rolex watches use a whole balance bridge. Rolex is also one of those models that depend on the entire bridge to keep the watch balanced, just like in the case of Panerai.

Many other models utilize a two-screw balance cock. For stability, Rolex watches have a complete bridge and two adjustment wheels beneath the bridge.

The balance wheel is computer balanced (timed to the exact balancing spring) and an appropriate laser cut is created on the underside of the rim to achieve practically flawless poise.

Rolex utilizes a free spring balance and regulatory changes are accomplished via Microstella adjustment screws. Making changes on a free spring balance is more difficult than on a regulated balance, although Microstella screws provide good accuracy.

Use In Chemistry

Anti-magnetic watches are available in the market. When subjected to magnetic fields, an anti-magnetic watch is able to function with minimum fluctuation in timekeeping.

ISO 764 Horology – Magnetic is a standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization for the watches that are resistant to magnetism.To be magnetically resistant, a watch should have an accuracy of +/- 30 seconds each day.

Anti-magnetic watch is made in a variety of ways, including employing magnetism-insensitive materials in movement components. Glucydur is one of these alloys. Rolex's mainsprings and hairsprings are likewise made of this material.

FAQs

What is glucydur?

Glucydur is a beryllium bronze metal alloy. Copper, beryllium, and iron are the three main components of this material.

What color is glucydur?

Glucydur metal is gold in color.

Where is glucydur found?

Glucydur is found in many different industries including the aerospace and medical industries. It is also used in precision applications such as measuring instruments and control systems. Glucydur is an essential material for many different industries because it is durable, magnetic, and can handle precision applications.

What is glucydur used for?

It's appropriate for precision elements that require a lot of dimensional stability because of its hardness, non-magnetizability, damage, corrosion, magnetic fields, and low coefficient of thermal expansion.

Does corrosion affect glucydur?

Glucydur is resistant to corrosion and can withstand harsh environments. This makes it ideal for use in the aerospace and medical industries, among others.

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Sources

https://www.reisnichols.com/blog/2017/07/03/magnetism-affects-mechanical-watch-accuracy/

https://www.timezonewatchschool.com/WatchSchool/Glossary/Glossary - Balance Assembly/Glossary - Balance Assembly - /Glossary - Balance - Gyromax/Glossary - Balance - Glucydur/glossary - balance - glucydur.shtml

https://beckertime.com/blog/rolex-balance-and-why-its-different/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glucydur

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Written by Oluwatosin Michael

Bachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

Oluwatosin Michael picture

Oluwatosin MichaelBachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

With a Bachelor's in Microbiology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oluwatosin has honed his skills as an SEO content writer, editor, and growth manager. He has written articles, conducted extensive research, and optimized content for search engines. His expertise extends to leading link-building efforts and revising onboarding strategies. 

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