The traditional clockmaker usually frowns at the suggestion that ball bearings may be used in clocks, but even the famous English clockmaker, John Harrison, attempted to make a caged ball bearing and did make anti-friction wheels. However, in his quest to miniaturize the chronometer, he replaced this early use of anti-friction wheels with tiny jewelled journal bearings.
I am sure that if miniature bearings of the quality and price of today had been available in Harrison’s time, he would have jumped at them with glee!
Many amateur clockmakers of today do use ball bearings for the great wheel arbor, or if month going, also the intermediate arbor, since these are all heavily loaded. But what about the higher order arbors right up to the escape wheel arbor, or even the pallet arbor? Learn More »