It is often used in a variety of applications including mechanical watchmaking.
Sitting at the very heart of every watch, pinions are smaller gears that mesh together with other larger gear wheels to perform significant tasks such as the motion of the visible watch hands.
The cannon pinion sits at the heart of a Unitas 6498 hand wound movement.
The cannon pinion is fitted to the centre wheel shaft of the movement. The hour wheel fits over this and the shaft of the cannon pinion is visible. The hour hand is fitted to the hour wheel and the second hand to the shaft of the cannon pinion.
The cannon pinion works by translating the motion of the wheels from the reverse of the movement to the hands on the front of the watch.