OUR GUIDE TO WRISTWATCHES PART 2 THE AUTOMATIC MOVEMENT

Let’s get down to business and learn some great things about watches.

Rodania will guide you through what it takes to make a watch tick in this article on watch movements.

When you start familiarizing yourself with watches, one word that’s going to come up a lot is “movement.” Movement encompasses not only the sweep of a watch’s hands around its face, but the way its inner mechanisms produce that effect. A watch’s movement is fundamental in how it works and keeps time — consider it the “heart” of the watch.

Watch movements come in three types: mechanical, automatic, and quartz. So, ready for part 2? All right! Let’s talk automatic movements.

The Automatic Movement
Automatic watches are pretty much just like mechanical — they’re powered by a mainspring and use intricate gears to move the watch hands — but they don’t require the user to hand-wind the watch to keep it ticking. Instead, your movement throughout the day winds up the mainspring while you wear the watch. Hence, the name “automatic movement.” They’re also known as “self-winding” watches.

How does an automatic movement watch self-wind? Well, there’s a small weight inside the watch called a “rotor” that moves as your wrist moves throughout the day. It’s connected to the mainspring and winds the mainspring as it moves. Automatic watches also have a slipping clutch device to prevent the watch from getting over-wound while you’re wearing it.

Pros of Automatic Watches:

  • No battery needed.
  • Don’t have to wind it by hand. If having to hand-wind a mechanical watch bothers you, but you still want the sophistication of a mechanical watch, an automatic watch is a nice compromise.
  • Smooth movement. Just like manually-wound mechanical watches, automatic watches have a nice, smooth hand movement.
  • Character. The same amount of engineering and craftsmanship goes into an automatic watch as a mechanical watch.

Cons of Automatic Watches:

  • Sensitive to the environment. The same environmental factors that can foil a mechanical watch can gum up an automatic watch.
  • Less accurate. A well-crafted automatic watch can be as accurate as a well-crafted mechanical watch, but it will lose some accuracy over time and need tune-ups.
  • Expensive. Same issue as mechanical watches. Craftsmanship and engineering ain’t cheap!

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