A watch differs from a clock In its having a vibrating wheel instead of a vibrating pendulum ; and, as in a clock, gravity is always pulling the pendulum down to the bottom of its arc, which is its natural place of rest, but does not fix it there, because the momentum acquired during its approach to the middle position from either side carries it just as far past on the other side, and the spring has to begin its work again. The balance wheel at each vibration allows one tooth of the adjoining wheel to pass, as the pendulum docs in a clock ; and the record of the beats is preserved by the wheel which follows. A main spring is used to keep up the motion of the watch, instead of the weight used in a clock; and as the spring acts equally well whatever be its position, a watch keeps time although carried in the pocket, or in a moving ship. In winding up a watch, one turn of the axle on which the key is fixed is rendered equivalent, by the train of wheels, to about four hundred turns or beats of the balance wheel; and thus the exertion, during a few seconds, of the hand which winds up, gives motion for twenty-four or thirty hours.Dr. Arnott
This article was originally published with the title "Difference between a Watch and a Clock"