Watch movements the ticking heart.

Nov 01 , 2018

Finding the right watch.Follow our advice on movements to reach the decision that is right for you

When you start familiarising with watches one word you will come across a lot is “MOVEMENT”.Movement is the term for what makes the hands of the watch move around its face and relates directly to the mechanism that makes it happen in effect it’s the heart of the watch.

Movements come in three types:Mechanical,Automatic and Quartz.Here I will explain the differences between them and their pros and cons.

MECHANICAL a mechanical watch has a movement that’s powered by a mainspring basically a coiled wire of metal that is wound by hand,once wound it slowly and evenly unwinds causing the second hand to move.Most mainsprings are 8-14 inches long,the longer the mainspring,the longer your watches power reserve,therefore the longer you can go between winding up again.For the watch collector,mechanical movement watches are the movement of choice owning a mechanical watch isn’t just about knowing the time but becoming part of the watch because without the input of the owner the watch is purely for show.


No battery needed,you’ll never need to go to the jewellers to replace the battery.When it stops wind it up and its alive again.

Authenticity to some people watche s have to be mechanical from the smooth sweep of the second hand,to placing your ear and listening for the fine “tick tick tick” to the engineering if you get to see a mechanical movement it is a thing of beauty with jewels on display and gears entwined in an amazing dance.


Require winding some mechanical movements can last several days however most recommend winding every day and never over wind.

Fragile whilst modern mechanical movements are designed to withstand most things they are still sensitive and can be susceptible to shocks etc.For this reason I wouldn’t recommend wearing whilst playing squash or chopping logs.

Accuracy these watches are accurate to approximately +-1 second a day,however over time this accuracy can reduce and I would recommend a service about every 5 years to keep in top condition.

Expensive as explained a visit to the Jewelers every 5 years and the amount of extremely skilled work in manufacturing the movements comes at a cost and this is reflected in the watch price.

AUTOMATIC watches are very similar to mechanical movements they have a mainspring and use fine gears to move the hands but they don’t require the user to hand wind.Whilst wearing your watch through the day a small weight inside the watch called a “rotor” moves with the movement of your wrist,this rotor is connected to the mainspring and winds the mainspring as it moves.Automatic watches have a slipper clutch device to prevent the mainspring becoming overwound while your wearing it.If your not wearing your automatic watch you will need to put it in a watch winder to keep it wound this is important if you have complications such as day/date.


No battery needed,

Don’t have to wind it by hand.

Smooth movement and authenticity as a manual watch with the same or more craftsmanship as a mechanical movement.


Fragile similar as mechanical movements and with the same recommendations.

Watch winder ,you don’t have to have a watch winder but it does make sense to achieve the true benefits of owning an automatic watch,therefore an added expense.

Expensive the same issues apply to automatic movements as mechanical,engineering of fine timepieces is expensive as well as trips to the Jewelers for servicing.

QUARTZ this is the most popular movement as it is incredibly accurate and affordable.A quartz movement uses a small battery which sends electricity through a small quartz crystal,causing the crystal to vibrate 32,768 times a second,the vibrations go through a circuit which converts the vibration into a pulse in turn that pulse moves the second hand.As quartz movements rely on electricity and have fewer moving parts,they are more accurate and can withstand more user abuse their not susceptible so much to outside factors.


Accurate time,by far the most accurate of all movements.

Low maintenance change the battery approximately every 1-2 years.

User friendly no need to wind up,very robust easy to own and affordable.


Very few in reality,they don’t have the same romance of the other movements and lack heritage and offer little interaction with the user.

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