The balance works in combination with the balance-spring to regulate the rate of a mechanical watch. The balance usually comes in the form of a three-spoke wheel whereby oscillations are translated into the movement of the pallets via a small ruby pin (the impulse pin). In classical watch movements, the balance oscillates at a rate of 5 beats per second (bph), the equivalent to 18,000bph. To improve the precision, modern wristwatches have an increased rate of 19,800, 21,600, 28,800 or sometimes 36,000bph. In quality wristwatches, the balance is made of an alloy called Glucydur, a mixture of copper and beryllium and iron which has a hardness of 380 Vickers, allowing it to be carefully regulated and riveted in position. Temperature also has very little effect on this alloy.
A spiral of ribbon-shaped metal, coiled 12 to 15 times, that ensures that the balance oscillates at a regular rate. The balance spring is securely fastened to the balance’s axis of rotation and delivers the braking and acceleration energies required to keep the balance rotating. Nivarox is the special alloy used for quality springs. Nivarox is an alloy that doesn’t rust, and is immune to magnetism and temperature.
All Bremont watches are treated for hardness with B-EBE2000 technology. This special stage in the case production, in which the metal is bombarded with electrons, gives the stainless steel a dramatically increased hardness and scratch resistance. On the Vickers scale of hardness, B-EBE2000 produces a watch case with a value of 2000, which is approximately seven times that of the normal stainless steel used for watch cases.