TESTING THE WEISHI No. 1900 MULTIFUNCTION TIMEGRAPHER (REVIEW)
Updated: Feb 15
Why You Should Use A Timegrapher (and how to use it)
My latest purchase of tools for horology is a Multifunction Timegrapher. I purchased the Weishi No. 1900, and I tested it on one of my watches today. In this blog post, I will tell you why I choose this model, how to use a timegrapher and the benefits of owning one.
I put one of my watches on my new timegrapher for the first time, and it was interesting to see how the data varied. If you watch the YouTube video, you will see in the beginning, it has a rough start and does not put up good numbers. But I quickly realized I did not wind the watch before placing it on the timegrapher. After I did this, the numbers drastically improved. It is a watch I do not often wear, so I am sure it maybe only have a quarter wind on it.
So far I feel this unit is very easy to use and simple to set up. I love how quick it gets right to the data and topically settles in within 20-30 seconds. I had a little knowledge of how this unit worked but had no formal training on it and was able to get it up and running and understand the basics without even reading the manual.
The Microphone seems very sturdy and simple to plug in. I love the fact that you can swivel the microphone in many different orientations while testing to simulate arm movement. The microphone stand is pretty heavy and perfect to keep it steady while testing.
This model has a color screen and can be read easily. The Weishi No. 1000 does not have the color screen. The resolution is 480 x 272 pixels. This is perfect because each beat is represented by a pixel, so the maximum number of beats on a single screen is 480. If the watch we are testing is a high beat then the screen will be filled sooner that if we test a low beat watch. A watch beating at 28.000 bps will show a 60 seconds trace before starting again to fill the screen.
The menu is very simple to navigate and read. This is great when setting up the unit for the first time. Adjusting the brightness or changing the color scheme was a breeze. But it important to know you can reset all settings to default.
Beat Ratio: Default is auto sense, but it is possible to select some of near 60 predefined beats.
Lift Angle: Default is 52º. Can be changed tenth by tenth.
Period: Default is 4 seconds. This is the period the results for the testing are refreshed in the running screen. It can be for 2 up to 60 seconds.
Color: Default is colour. The alternative is B&W
Rate Range: It has two options.. After some researching and testing this option is to select between showing in the running screen Instant lecture every refresh period or show an Average lecture (for long running tests).
Language: English is the only option in the device I have.
Brightness: % Screen bright
Auto Off: The number of minutes the device will go to off.
As I dive into this hobby, it is fun learning all the tools at my disposal to help me improve my odds of knowing what to do when I have a watch that is not working. Below I detail a little bit about what I have learned from other sources. Please enjoy my YouTube video and read on for more details about how to read a Timegrapher.
Want to purchase anything you saw in my videos? Here is an Amazon Affiliate link that helps support the channel. Thanks for using them.
WEISHI TIMEGRAPHERS AVAILABLE ON AMAZON:
WEISHI No. 1900 - https://amzn.to/3HMqikd
WEISHI No. 1000 - https://amzn.to/3RH5O0R
REEF TIGER Automatic Sport Watch RGA3503 - https://amzn.to/3RYgqZi
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Bergeon 7767-F - Stainless Steel Spring Bar Tool - https://amzn.to/3lahXz2
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What Is A Timegrapher? (It's Your Friend)
A timegrapher is a piece of horological equipment that can measure the vital statistics of a watch's movement by listening to the sounds made by the movement as it runs.
A timegrapher is a very sensitive microphone that listens to your wristwatch and, with some logic, measures and analyzes the faint ticking and tocking from the watch. The results are then measured and analyzed, displayed as numbers, and a visual graph on the screen. Given these few parameters, it can, with great accuracy, calculate the swing of your balance wheel and also know if the escapement lever is correctly placed.
There are a few significant benefits to owning a Timegrapher. If you are a consumer of pre-owned or, more importantly, vintage watches, it's a fantastic way to get a readout of the movement you want to purchase so you know if you need to service right away (or not buy it). Let's say you have a watch struggling or having problems; you can ascertain what is wrong in a few minutes so you can decide what needs to be done to get it working better.
Another benefit of owning a timegrapher is that if you include the Beats Per Hour (BPH) statistics on your post, it shows you know what a watch collector will want to know, and it might even help you sell the watch.
Beats Per Hour (BPH)
The BPH is the most crucial statistic when describing a mechanical watch's movement. It is the number of times a balance wheel swings half a rotation in 60 minutes.
Watches with a high BPH, like the Zenith El Premiero at 36,000 BPH, will likely be more accurate. They usually have a smoother movement of the second hand but often require a shorter service period. This is because of the higher amount of wear this higher BPM generates.
Wristwatches with a lower BPH, like Rolex 1675, which has a 19,800 BPH, have a less smooth seconds hand, can also be less accurate but ultimately require less maintenance as time goes on.
Note: Make sure your watch is wound chiefly before testing.
Standard BPH ratings
14,400 BPH = 4 beats per second
18,000 BPH = 5 beats per second
21,600 BPH = 6 beats per second
28,800 BPH = 8 beats per second
36,600 BPH = 10 beats per second
A great middle ground these days is 28,800 BPH: a fantastic mix of accuracy and durability.
Amplitude is the measurement of degrees of rotation of the beat. Amplitude is usually higher, typically in the range of 270 to 315 degrees, if a watch is lying flat or in the "dial-up" or "dial-down" position. Amplitude usually drops when the watch is in a vertical position, and this is due to increased friction.
The measure of the amount of rotation in the swing of the balance wheel, in either direction, is usually expressed in degrees. The balance wheel swings or rotates clockwise and counterclockwise in a running watch. Each swing in either direction is called a "beat." Amplitude is the number of degrees of rotation of the beat. Amplitude is higher, typically in the range of about 270 to 315 degrees, when a watch is lying flat or in the "dial-up" or "dial-down" position. Amplitude usually falls when the watch is vertical, primarily due to increased friction. Amplitude can also fall as the watch winds down, and the mainspring delivers less power. The amplitude that is too high or too low or changes too much in different positions can indicate a problem with the movement.
Time measurement between a "tick" and a "tock" is called beat error. In a perfect world, the durations are equal, so the beat error is zero.
You are probably already aware that the balance wheel swings clockwise and counterclockwise. Each of those swings, in either direction, is called a "beat." If the watch is operating correctly, the clockwise swing will be the same as the counterclockwise swing, and both swings will take the same amount of time.
The real world, however, doesn't have perfect conditions.
For example, the clockwise swing will take slightly longer than the counterclockwise swing. A slight "beat" error has been detected on the watch.
This example shows that the beat error could be 1.2 milliseconds. In other words, the counterclockwise swing takes 1.2 ms longer than the clockwise swing.
Watches that don't tick on their own sometimes need some assistance. A high-beat error might be responsible for that.
It would help if you determined your watch's lift angle first. This is the angle the balance passes through while interacting with the pallet fork. The reason you need to input this into the Timegrapher is so that you can calculate the amplitude, which I'll touch on soon. A handy site for finding out the lift angle of your movement can be found here.
Most modern watches have a lift angle of 52 degrees. Generally, lift angles range from 44 to 58 degrees. Some other settings are present; for example, the newly introduced Omega Co-axial movement angle is 30 degrees.
The Weishi No. 1900 Multifunction Timegrapher
4" x 1½ inch large LCD screen
Line display length: 480 dots
Will calculate the rate deviation, amplitude, and beat error and display them in real-time
For professional service centers and individual workshops
See the operation manual PDF (BELOW)
1-year manufacturer's warranty
Made in China
Rate: -999 s/d - +999 s/d (Accuracy +/-1s/day)
Amplitude: 100°- 360° (Accuracy : +/-1°)
Beat error: 0 - 9.9ms (Accuracy : +/-0.1ms)
Pre-programmed beats (Trains): 12000, 14400, 18000, 19800, 21600, 25200, 28800, 36000, 43200
The manual selection available for other beats
Sampling periods selectable: 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, 20, 30 & 60 seconds
The microphone has six testing positions
Dimensions: 240 x 190 x 210mm
PDF operators manual
220 to 240 Volt (230 to 110-volt converter, please see our code A52044)
DOWNLOAD MANUAL PDF
Overall I am very excited to have this new tool and look forward to using it on many watches in the future. I appreciate you reading this blog post and would love to hear your opinions below.
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