Author Topic: Does the Omega Speedmaster Professional really work in zero-g/on the moon?  (Read 707 times)

Offline Bismuth

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How do the little parts work in low gravity?  Wouldn't you think to use quartz by now?

Offline Michel Van

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So far i know on Apollo 13 the Speedmaster worked well
as crew hat to time manually the Mid Course Correction with LM engine on way back to Earth.

illustrated in this cool movie:

Online HVM

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First marine chronometer accurate enough for navigation was John Harrison's H4. Accuracy was achieved by making clock so small that ship movement was not affecting its mechanism, practically removing effect of out side inertia and gravity. Speedmaster parts would work better in microgravity.

Edit/Lar: Assume good faith.
« Last Edit: 01/14/2019 08:18 pm by Lar »

Offline Hobbes-22

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The first quartz watch was introduced in 1967, so those were rather experimental to be using for critical applications.

A mechanical watch can't rely on gravity to work. The same work that goes into ensuring the watch keeps working when worn upside-down also makes it work in low gravity.

Offline Moskit

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Little parts in watch will work better.

Gravity is working against the mechanism, compensation is required to obtain better accuracy. Typically a mechanical watch is adjusted for normal positions, which is how you keep your hand + how you lay watch overnight on a table. Complex and expensive mechanisms, such as tourbillons, have been developed to rotate the watch mechanism to automatically compensate for any position.

Both Russians (first in space and in open space) and Americans (first on Moon) used mechanical watches.

Quartz watches were developed much later. Seiko Astron from 1969 is considered the first usable wristwatch available commercially. "Beta" mechanism from Swiss CEH consortium was still electro-mechanical (like Bulova's). At the time of the first spaceflights they were not mature enough to be considered, I expect.

Offline Jester

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FYI, the Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 is in use by ESA astro's on-board ISS after being tested and qualified for use on-board at ESTEC
« Last Edit: 01/14/2019 12:02 pm by Jester »