Mühle-Glashütte; Innovating by Regulating

Especially with mechanical watches, it are the little things that count. Like the regulating mechanism of a watch. Mühle-Glashütte has significant experience with watches that are not afraid to get in harm’s way. The best examples of this are the Mühle-Glashütte S.A.R. Flieger-Chronograph for navy rescue pilots, as well as the S.A.R. Rescue-Timer, which is on active duty with the rescue workers of the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service. Watches that have to navigate rough seas, and get knocked around plenty by doing so.

Muhle SAR

To maintain superior accuracy during all this Mühle-Glashütte developed the patented woodpecker neck regulation. Of course you guessed it correctly, its name comes from a part of the regulating organ that indeed looks a lot like the neck and head of a woodpecker. This so-called « Woodpecker spring » is shaped in such a way that it fits perfectly into a small cutout in the regulator arm that was made especially for this. Combined with the pressure of the regulation screw on the other side, the regulator arm is extra secured.

Muhle woodpecker regulatorThis is also the main difference with the more traditional swan neck regulator. The woodpecker regulator not only secures the regulator arm horizontally, but also pushes it down on the balance cock. This greatly increases the ability of the movement to handle severe shocks and still continue to work accurately. Fine-tuning the movement can still be done as with a swan neck regulator, simply by turning the fine regulation screw.

This is also what sets Mühle-Glashütte apart from the majority of the watch brands; they take a great movement, that they not necessary make themselves, but replace certain components with improved parts that they have developed and made themselves. This allows this family owned brand to focus on creating better performing watches, while keeping the prices for consumers friendly. And that is actually also innovating by regulating!


2 thoughts on “Mühle-Glashütte; Innovating by Regulating

  • DPB

    My decision to purchase a Mühle 29er Big (ETA 2824-2 top grade) was based primarily on the company’s stated emphasis on accuracy with its marketing pitch that, if anything, the watch would run fast thereby ensuring never being late for a meeting etc. What a crock! This timepiece has run consistently slow since day one. Furthermore, with authorized dealers no longer operating in Canada, owners are now left in a lurch for regular servicing of their watches. Stay away!

    • Andy Varga

      I also bought a Muehle based on this string assertion in their marketing. My watch is also running slow, albeit only -1 second per day. This is actually an excellent accuracy for a mechanical watch, however I won’t accept a watch that loses time – so it will go back to Muehle for regulation – a real nuisance but let’s see if they fix it.

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