Despite the current digital revolution, it is interesting to note that classic timepieces designed with automatic movement are making a comeback in today’s market. Still, there are those new breed of aficionados who are so much used to electronic quartz watches that they often find it difficult to understand the mechanism of a self-winding timepiece. In order to avoid confusion and mistakes in handling, it is necessary that you know its difference from the battery-operated rivals.
Automatic vs. Quartz Watches
When it comes to convenience, people think that automatic watches are nothing compared to the more modern quartz timepieces. While this provides a good point for a debate, it is somehow worth noting that self-winding watches uses a technology which dates back to centuries ago. It is that old-time charm which serves as the best selling point for automatic watches.
Self-winding wristwatches typically have some 200-300 gears and parts, all moving without battery juice. The winding mechanism supplied by the natural movement of the wrist is delivered to the hands in the dial through a series of mechanical rotations. This is made possible by a winding rotor, which swings back and forth like a pendulum in order to make the mainspring rotate.
On the other hand, a quartz watch has less moving parts. The crystal provides a constant signal in an oscillating electric circuit, thereby keeping the movement accurate. Still, no matter how practical it is for daily use, the quartz timepiece just doesn’t sit well on discerning fans of horology. They prefer the “clean energy” in automatic watches—that is, no battery needed for its operation. Furthermore, they appreciate the craftsmanship behind the complex clockwork in self-winding watches. In fact, many of today’s prestige timepieces are designed to be automatic; with the back case revealing a “skeleton” of the inner workings.
Tips for Finding the Ideal Automatic Watch
Today’s market offers a wide variety of automatic watches to fit most timekeeping requirements. Here are some useful tips when shopping for your self-winding timepiece:
- High Power Reserve – A fully wound automatic watch typically runs for 48 hours in continuous rotation. Consider buying a model that has a decent power reserve to maintain accurate timekeeping.
- Convenient Winding – An automatic watch still needs to be manually wound, especially if it is not regularly worn. Choose a timepiece that has a perfectly ridged crown (preferably bigger than usual) for easier winding.
- Luminous Dial – This will make it easier for you to wind and set the automatic movement of your watch even in the dark.