Watch frequency can be considered as the heart rate of a watch. Depending on the type of watch and especially its size it will be different. There are also different units to measure it.

Let’s take the most traditional one, that of a pocket watch, which is usually 18’000 vibrations per hour. This means that its seconds hand will make 5 jumps per second or precisely 18’000 jumps per hour.

Another unit used is the hertz which corresponds to oscillations per second. It is important to know that an oscillation is the result of two vibrations. Thus 18’000 v/h will correspond to 2.5 Hz. Below are some frequencies regularly found in watchmaking.

Marine chronometer 14’400 v/h or 2 Hz – pocket watch 18’000 v/h or 2,5 Hz – wrist watch 28’800 v/h or 4 Hz – high frequency chronograph 36’000 v/h or 10 Hz

Namely, the higher the frequency, the lower the power reserve. Also for a stationary object a strong inertia will be preferred for a good precision, therefore a low frequency will be preferred. For a wristwatch that will be on a person’s wrist, a higher frequency will be preferred for precision.

From a certain frequency level, which can already start at 36’000 v/h, it is the lubrication, in particular that between the pallets and the escape-wheel, which can start to become problematic. This is why silicon is preferred at this level for even higher frequencies.