Guide To Watch Movements
Have you ever looked at your watch and wondered how it works? Watches have been around for quite a few centuries and over this time they have come a long way in terms of how they function and their design. These days, most watches are chosen purely for their looks, however, true connoisseurs still look at the mechanics and movements of a watch as a symbol of wisdom because only a true gentleman appreciates the complicated way a watch works.
When it comes to answering the question of “How a watch works?” it comes down to watch movements. These movements are what maneuvers the hands with such precision that you can faithfully tell the correct time whenever you look at your watch.
There are three basic types of watch movements and we’ll take a closer look at them so you can choose your next watch with a little more distinction.
Almost everyone has heard of a Quartz watch. That doesn’t actually mean the watch is made from quartz crystals. Quartz watches are powered by a battery and the easiest way to tell if you have a quartz watch is by looking at the second hand. In a quartz watch, the second-hand moves in those classic single ticks to denote the passing of a second.
The first Quartz watches entered to the world of watches in 1969. Back then, this technology had a certain WOW factor because these watches were the first to be powered by a battery. Japanese watchmakers used a piece of quartz so that the energy from the battery could power the mechanics of the watch. The quartz actually vibrates and this is what gets the watch moving in precise movements at a rate of 32768 times per second.
The benefits of a quartz watch are that the battery has made using the match so much simpler. You no longer need to manually wind your watch and set the time on a daily basis. There are not many moving parts which makes them easy to maintain and these watches are generally less expensive and come in an endless variety of colors, styles, and designs, including many chronographs. They are generally very durable and can last for several decades with a minimum amount of care.
Your first encounter with a mechanical movement watch may have been your father’s or your grandfather’s. You probably looked at the watch every morning as it was wound by hand. A mechanical watch is powered by the energy from a woundsiping which needs to be wound at least once a day. On the face of the watch, the timekeeping looks almost the same as a quartz movement watch, except if you pay attention to the second hand it moves around the face in a smooth movement as opposed to an individual ticking motion.
Upon closer inspection, particularly when you remove the back plate of the watch is where you’ll notice the biggest differences. The inner workings of a mechanical movement watch is a complex collection of tiny gears, springs and other moving parts. You will never need a battery with a mechanical movement watch, and if you take proper care of you watch, it can last you a lifetime.
The only drawback of a mechanical movement watch is that you do need to remember to wind it every day. However, for one that truly appreciates the pure magic that goes into making such an elegant timepiece, you can also add a watch winder to your watch collection and keep all your watches wound and ready to wear.
Automatic movement watches are a thing of scientific beauty that don’t need to be wound or have a battery inserted. These watches are self-winding and use the kinetic energy from the wearer’s wrist movements. The internal workings of automatic movement watches are very similar to mechanical movement watches but have a rotor, or metal weight, that is added to the mechanics of the watch. This rotor spins each time the wrist is moved and the energy produced from this movement powers the watch.
One of the other main differences you will notice in an automatic movement watch is that they tend to be thicker and relatively heavier than mechanical or quartz watches. This is largely due to the inclusion of the rotors.
If you really can’t be bothered with the various analog styles watches you can always opt for the simplicity of a digital watch. The first digital wristwatch made its debut in 1970 and the cost was over $2000. It was definitely something only for the very wealthy. Less than a decade later, you could own a digital watch for around $10 and it was often the watch of choice for school kids in the 1980s. These watches could be used to tell the time and the date which was really cool back then.
Fast forward a few more decades and digital watches have been replaced by smartwatches. These are literally computer on your wrist. With the use of an app, you can use your watch as an extension of your smartphone and check your emails and messages. You can also use it as a fitness tracker, calendar, stopwatch, and many other features. These are often slim in design and some are solar powered so no need to wind or have batteries.
These days, many people don’t even bother wearing watches because they can check the time with their smartphones. Having to put on a wristwatch of any description may seem tedious and pointless but it’s not without benefits. Checking your phone every few minutes doesn’t look very professional and it can be very distracting. Wearing an elegant timepiece on your wrist, however, is the hallmark of the successful gentleman. It gives you the look of being serious and it is the one fashion accessory that will look good on any man and understanding the value and expertise that goes into watch movements will definitely give you an air of sophistication and class.