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Thread: Smiths techy question 1: Vibrax shock-resistance

  1. #1

    Default Smiths techy question 1: Vibrax shock-resistance

    My understanding of the 'Vibrax' balance shock-absorber systems is that it relied on a long flexible spring-steel balance staff which flexed and naturally returned (rather than the spring loaded displaced jewels in the Incabloc/Kif pattern later adopted by Smiths).

    It is also my understanding that the 'Vibrax' system is identified by the large alloy ring with the 2 diametrically opposed retaining screws as seen on most early Smiths... and yet Vibrax is hardly ever mentioned by Smiths... or anyone else!

    Can anyone confirm and expand on this... and how effective was the Vibrax?

    Barry

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    Super Moderator dave's Avatar
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    That's an 'Incabloc-type' sprung end-stone pattern, Dave. The 'Vibrax' pattern I'm thinking of has no central clover leaf spring, but screws at 3 and 9 o'clock.

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    Super Moderator dave's Avatar
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    you mean this -


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    No, I think that ^ is just a typical non-shockproof jewel setting.

    I've heard of, but never seen these Vibrax balances.

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    This is about all I could find online:





  7. #7

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    Thanks Dave and Roddy,

    Yes, that's the two-screw pattern I mean. In Smiths early post-war GS project, they say they preferred to offer their Vibrax pattern over the Ministry's preferred (presumably) Incabloc pattern. I guess as this Vibrax pattern flexible shaft doesn't employ sliding end-stones, then it wasn't regarded as being to a 'shock-proof/resistant' specification, though it clearly absorbed shock?

    Out of curiosity I wonder how many Vibrax staffs in Smith watches have broken in normal use?

    Barry

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