Home Continuing Series Historical Horology Historical Horology: The Micro Rotor

Historical Horology: The Micro Rotor




I’m a big fan of mechanical watches (because it’s a miniature machine on your wrist – how is that not cool?), but when you get into automatics, you invariably see case thickness increase (as compared to a hand-wound), due to the space needed for the rotor.  Well, all the way back in the 1950s, a company many of you have likely never heard of, Buren.


What you have heard of, however, is the company that acquired Buren in the 1960’s – Hamilton.  This lead to the inclusion of the micro-rotor into their Thin-O-Matic line, even while they still kept the Buren name alive as a sort of budget alternative in their lineup (ala the Rolex – Tudor relationship).


Aside from being a historical curiousity, I think these are interesting for the fact that it enables a much thinner watch (which is much appreciated by this writer).  Even past that, it allows you to see more of the movement, should you have a display caseback (or open the back of the watch) – which, while you may not know what all the parts do (if you want to learn, check this post), it is fun to see them in motion.

How did I come across this?  All courtesy of this article on Timezone by John Davis – definitely an interesting read as it gives you some sense of the development timeline of this style of movement, as well as walking you through an actual tear down.

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