from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A fine coiled spring that regulates the movement of the balance wheel in a watch or clock.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A spring, made of a coil of fine wire, that is used to regulate the movement of a balance wheel in a watch.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The slender recoil spring which regulates the motion of the balance in a timepiece.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In watch-making, the fine hair-like spring coiled up within the balance-wheel and imparting motion to it.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a fine spiral spring that regulates the movement of the balance wheel in a timepiece


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

hair +‎ spring


  • In general order of accuracy, these methods include a piezoelectric accelerometer, a coiled spring mechanism, and a hairspring mechanism.

    The Small Change Diet

  • A Henry Grendon yellow gold and enamel pre-hairspring verge watch, circa 1640.

    Big Time: The British Pocket Watch

  • When he thought about it, however, he decided that, of course, the criminalist had indeed ordered it taken apart, down to the last hairspring and jewel, for the forensics team but then had it reassembled perfectly.

    The Burning Wire

  • Watches with hairspring wheels work in a similar way.


  • Man-made clocks work on timescales that are very short by evolutionary standards – hours, minutes, seconds – and the time-dependent processes they use are fast: the swinging of a pendulum, the swivelling of a hairspring, the oscillation of a crystal, the burning of a candle, the draining of a water vessel or an hourglass, the rotation of the earth registered by a sundial.


  • Pendleton asked Hamilton if he wanted the hairspring set a hairspring is a mechanism that would give the trigger a much lighter touch.

    Alexander Hamilton, American

  • Students learn advanced hairspring manipulation, friction jeweling, disassembly, cleaning, and repair, electrical theory as it applies to watches and timepieces, and repairing tuning fork electronic movements.

    You’re Certifiable

  • I stopped the truck and got out and stood on the running board and kicked the snow off the bonnet and if they'd wanted to squeeze the hairspring at this precise moment they could have blown my head off.


  • One might as sensibly urge that the delicate hairspring of a watch, being of featherweight and almost invisible, must be worth less than a lump of crude iron-ore.

    Problems of Immanence: studies critical and constructive

  • To commence, a hairspring, when there is no power applied to balance from the jewel pin, should be, when pinned, just as free from any twist or cramping as it would be if lying flat and free on a smooth piece of glass, before it has been pinned at either end, and when it is pinned in the watch (at stud and collet) it should be thus free.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 664, September 22,1888


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