While a watch is running, its wheels are rotating. At the ends of the pinion, the four types of wheels rotate on their pivots. The friction that is created by the constant rotation results to mechanical wear. This is where the jewels take into action. When pivots rotate in the synthetic sapphire jewels, the friction is reduced thus lessening mechanical wear. After diamond, sapphire is the hardest which is ideal for timepiece creation.
Jewels are pierced on its flat sides. They are cylindrical. It has a concave oil sink so that the pivots can move smoothly. There is a jewel stuffed in the mainplate and there is also another pressure-fitted to the bridge.
The size of the jewels used in a watch varies. Its size depends upon the different pivot sizes where the jewel needs to be placed. This means that different jewel sizes are needed in a single timepiece. The pivot diameter for the center wheel is commonly large because it is subjected to high torque schemes since it rotates once per hour. In contrast, the fourth wheel only rotates once per minute therefore have low torque levels. This means that a smaller diameter is more suitable.
The balance wheels need a shock protecting jewel formation since they consists thin pivot due to the speed of its oscillation. Usually they are heavy to balance pivots in the event of shock. Increased stress on the pivots resists shock impact because there is a cap jewel placed on the small spring that creates a buffer for the shock’s aftermath. There are already shock-protecting jewels available that are more practical in watch making because they create a medium for the balance wheel to be in its utmost condition. Before the rise of shock protecting jewels in horology, damaged balance is not a rare issue.
Long before the idea of jewels where founded, the bridge and the mainplate are connected directly. Although this is acceptable, mechanical wear can easily affect the performance and the quality of the watch. Without jewels, watchmakers used bushing to lessen the effect of mechanical wear.
There are already different types of jewels in the watch making industry today. Originally, jewels are natural sapphire. Due to constant research, synthetic sapphire is proved to be of superior quality. They are less likely to crack plus they are also more cost efficient.