It is a weighted wheel that rotates back and forth, being returned toward its center position by a spiral torsion spring which is also called the balance spring or hairspring.
It is driven by the escapement, which transforms the rotating motion of the watch gear train into impulses delivered to the balance wheel. Each swing of the wheel allows the gear train to advance a set amount, moving the hands forward.
The balance wheel and hairspring together form a harmonic oscillator, and from resonance oscillates preferentially at a certain rate, its resonant frequency or ‘beat’, and resists oscillating at other rates.
The combination of the mass of the balance wheel and the elasticity of the spring keep the time between each oscillation or ‘tick’ very constant, accounting for its near universal use as the timekeeper in mechanical watches.
If you need help with fixing your watch, trust a professional.
Times Ticking has been in operation for more than 30 years, since 1982. We have performed watch repair for customers both locally and internationally. If it Ticks! We KNOW it! Our team of watch repair technicians have a combined experience in watchmaking of over 120 years.