In the history of horology, detent escapement is one of the most important kinds of escapement. Together with the lever escapement, this type of escapement work altogether to achieve superior quality timepieces. A detent escapement has an attached blade spring added up with a jewel to keep the escape wheel in place. The balance is where the jewel is located to keep the spring in its pace as the jewel passes resulting the escape wheel to release. The escape wheel will create a vibration that will have an impact to the balance so that the blade spring will return to its original place. The balance will restore to its locked state for the clock to keep moving.
The detent escapement has an edge over the lever escapement because this type releases the impulse directly to the balance through an escape wheel. This means that it is done in an efficient manner because no oil is needed. Its downfall is that it is very sensitive to shock that sometimes the escape wheel can be triggered. When the escape wheel is tripped, it can unlock at times it is not intended to. Another advantage of the detent escapement is that it starts on its own. This is another factor why it is the common pick for marine chronometers. It doesn’t need oil to function. This is more fitted in a navigation timekeeping for high precision and accuracy. This is the goal of its creator, John Arnold.
Featured Image Credit: Forum – Watchuseek: Ernie Romers