Protecting Movements: Shock Resistant Watches

Hey there! Today we’re going to talk about shock resistant watches and how they protect your movements. In a special collaboration video by WatchBox Studios, Wei Koh, the founder of Revolution Magazine and The Rake, joins Tim Mosso to discuss the innovations that have changed the film and watch industries forever. Filmed on the iconic Rocky Steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, they explore the invention of the steadicam in the film industry and the introduction of shock protection in watches. They not only talk about the origins of these innovations but also delve into their functionality and the specific watches that incorporate them. So, if you’re interested in learning more about the fascinating world of shock resistant watches, buckle up and enjoy the ride!

Innovation in the Film and Watch Industry

Introduction to the Rocky Steps

The Rocky Steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art have become an iconic symbol in the film industry, thanks to the famous scene of Rocky running up the steps. This scene required the use of a specific piece of film equipment called the steadicam, which allowed for dynamic movement with the camera while isolating it from the movements of the person holding it.

The Invention of the Steadicam

The invention of the steadicam revolutionized the film industry by enabling smooth and steady shots while on the move. It was specifically designed for the Rocky tracking shot, where the camera could run alongside Rocky without any interruption or shake. This innovation changed the way films were made and opened up new possibilities for camera movement.

Introduction of Shock Protection in Watches

In the watch industry, shock protection was introduced to mitigate potential damage to the essential components of a watch movement. The oscillator, which includes the balance wheel that regulates the speed and force of the watch’s tick, needed protection from shocks that could damage the fine pivots of the balance staff.

Origins and Functionality of Shock Protection

Abraham-Louis Breguet and the Parachute System

In 1790, Abraham-Louis Breguet, a renowned watchmaker, developed a shock protection system known as the parachute system for pocket watches. This system featured a small spring on top of the balance staff pivot, which could move and relieve enough stretch to prevent damage or distortion of the balance staff. While different from modern shock protection systems, the concept of using a spring to absorb shocks remained the same.

The Kif System

Another significant development in shock protection came with the introduction of the Kif system. This system, also known as the Inca Block, utilized a spring-loaded jewel to absorb shocks that a watch might experience. The spring-loaded jewel allowed for slight movements and returned to its original position, effectively protecting the balance staff from damage or distortion.

Triple Parachute System

Some watch brands took shock protection even further by implementing a triple parachute system. This system featured three spring-loaded jewels on the balance bridge, sandwiching the balance between them. By isolating the balance wheel from shocks, this system provided enhanced protection and improved durability in watches.

Additional Ways to Create Shock Resistance

Mounting the Entire Movement on Elastomers

In recent years, watchmakers have developed innovative methods to create shock resistance in watches. One such method is mounting the entire movement on elastomers. Elastomers are flexible materials that can absorb shocks and vibrations, providing added protection to all the components of the movement. This approach makes watches not only shock-resistant but also suitable for active lifestyles and sports activities.

Cases with Shock Resistant Elements

Watch cases themselves can also incorporate shock-resistant elements. Some watch brands have designed cases that isolate the movement from external shocks by using springs and other technologies. By separating the movement from the impacts that occur during daily wear, these cases offer an extra layer of protection and ensure the longevity of the watch.

Protecting Movements: Shock Resistant Watches

Examples of Shock Resistant Watches

Breguet Love Tradition

The Breguet Love Tradition watch is an example of a timepiece that features shock protection. Its shock protection system, visible on top of the balance, utilizes a spring to absorb and lessen the impact of shocks. This system preserves both the function and precision of the watch, ensuring its durability even in challenging conditions.

Bremont Martel Baker

The Bremont Martel Baker watch is known for its use of elastomer shock protection. With the entire movement mounted on elastomers, this watch can withstand shocks and vibrations, making it a reliable choice for active individuals who want a durable timepiece.

Cheryl Local Master Compressor Extreme World Alarm

The Cheryl Local Master Compressor Extreme World Alarm watch incorporates shock-resistance through a combination of shock protection for the balance staff and a case design that isolates the movement from external shocks. This watch is designed to withstand rigorous activities and is suitable for those with an active lifestyle.

Benefits of Shock Resistant Watches

Increased Durability

The primary benefit of shock-resistant watches is their increased durability. By protecting the delicate components of the movement from shocks, these watches can withstand everyday wear and tear, ensuring their longevity.

Suitability for Sports and Active Lifestyles

Shock-resistant watches are highly suitable for sports and active lifestyles. Whether you’re playing sports, engaging in outdoor activities, or simply leading an active life, a shock-resistant watch can withstand the impacts and vibrations associated with these activities.

Preservation of Watch Accuracy

Shocks can disrupt the accuracy of a watch, but with shock-resistant features, the precision of the timepiece is preserved. By protecting the balance and other essential components, shock-resistant watches maintain accurate timekeeping even in challenging conditions.

Popular Watch Brands with Shock Resistant Watches


Breguet is a renowned watch brand that has been at the forefront of shock resistance innovation. They incorporate various shock protection systems in their timepieces, such as the Parachute and other modern technologies, ensuring the durability and reliability of their watches.

De Bethune

De Bethune is another watch brand known for its shock-resistant watches. They utilize advanced shock protection systems and innovative case designs to create timepieces that can withstand shocks and vibrations.


Bremont is a brand that has made a name for itself with its shock-resistant watches. Their use of elastomer shock protection and shock-resistant case designs makes their watches suitable for both casual wear and demanding activities.


JLC, short for Jaeger-LeCoultre, is a prestigious watch brand that offers a range of shock-resistant watches. Their timepieces feature advanced shock protection systems and are known for their precision and reliability.

Technological Advancements in Shock Resistance

New Materials for Shock Absorption

Continuous advancements in materials science have led to the development of new materials that excel in shock absorption. These materials, such as elastomers and specific alloys, can efficiently absorb and disperse shocks, ensuring the protection of the watch movement.

Innovations in Watch Case Designs

Watch case designs have also evolved to incorporate shock-resistant elements. By implementing features such as springs, shock absorbers, and isolating mechanisms, watchmakers can enhance the shock resistance of their timepieces.

Advancements in Balance Wheel Systems

The balance wheel is a crucial component in watch movements, responsible for regulating timekeeping accuracy. Continuous advancements in balance wheel systems have led to the development of more precise and shock-resistant designs, ensuring the reliability of watches even in challenging conditions.

Testing and Certification for Shock Resistance

Industry Standards for Shock Resistance

The watch industry has established specific standards for shock resistance to ensure that watches can withstand shocks and vibrations. These standards define the testing protocols and criteria that watches need to meet to be considered shock-resistant.

Certification Processes for Shock Resistant Watches

Watches that meet the required criteria for shock resistance can undergo certification processes. Certification ensures that the watch has been tested and proven to meet the industry standards for shock resistance, providing customers with confidence in the durability and reliability of their timepiece.

How to Choose a Shock Resistant Watch

Consider your Lifestyle and Activities

When choosing a shock-resistant watch, consider your lifestyle and the activities you engage in. If you lead an active lifestyle or participate in sports, opt for a watch with robust shock-resistant features that can withstand the impacts associated with your activities.

Research Popular Brands and Models

Do thorough research on popular watch brands and models known for their shock resistance. Look for brands that have a history of innovation in shock protection and positive customer reviews regarding the durability of their watches.

Read Reviews and Seek Expert Advice

Read customer reviews and seek expert advice to gather insights into the performance and shock resistance of specific watch models. These resources can provide valuable information and help you make an informed decision.


The Importance of Shock Resistant Watches

Shock-resistant watches play a vital role in ensuring the durability, functionality, and accuracy of timepieces. By protecting essential components from shocks, these watches can withstand daily wear and tear, making them reliable companions in various activities.

Choosing the Right Watch for Your Needs

When selecting a watch, consider the shock resistance features that align with your lifestyle and activities. Opt for brands known for their innovations in shock protection and choose models that have undergone testing and certification processes.

Taking Proper Care of Your Watch

While shock-resistant watches offer enhanced durability, it’s still essential to take proper care of your timepiece. Regular maintenance, servicing, and avoiding unnecessary impacts will help preserve the longevity and accuracy of your watch.