Watch Guide To Movement: Mechanical, Automatic, and Quartz

If you are planning on buying a watch online, or have already done so, you have probably noticed a few different labels commonly used. Since shopping for something like a luxury Swiss Watch can be a very complex process, let’s discuss one aspect, “movement”. There are actually 3 types movement available on the market today.

  • Mechanical Movement– This movement is driven by a series of gears which run off of a wound spring. The energy of the spring is slowly released as the gears turn. This was the first kind of watch movement, and entails a great amount of craftsmanship and skill to create. The watch must be rewound about every 36 hours or so, as well as having the time reset. Many wearers of mechanical watches get in the habit of rewinding them every day, to avoid having to reset the time.
  • Automatic Movement– Automatic Movement is the same as mechanical movement in that it harnesses the power of a wound spring, however the swing is wound automatically. There is a rotor mechanism in the watch, which uses the natural movement of the watch wearer to move the rotor, and winds the spring. These watches offer all of the skilled craftsmanship of those with mechanical movement, without having to manually wind them. It should be noted that these watches can gain, or lose a few minutes a month, so you should adjust the time periodically.
  • Quartz Movement– The most reliable and accurate kind of movement is quartz movement. This kind of movement utilizes a battery, which sends an electric charge through a quartz crystal. The crystal oscillates at 32,000 vibrations per second, powering a motor, which accurately moves the hands (within 0.5-2 seconds per day). With these watches, the battery needs to be changed about once every eighteen months. Swiss quartz movement combines some of the gears of mechanical movement, with the power of quartz movement. They require no winding and little to no lubricating of the gears, as mechanical movements do. Quartz movements in general, are also very cost effective for the watchmaker and consumer.

As far as the term “Swiss movement”, this just refers to where the watch movement was made. In order to be labeled Swiss movement, 50% of the movement parts must be Swiss, and the movement must be assembled and inspected in Switzerland. If you are buying a watch online, I hope this guide was useful and informative. As a fellow watch enthusiast, I loving being able to discuss, and share information on watches.

Source by David Tracy

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