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Types of Watch Movements

Posted on August 17 2017

Watch Gears - Vintage Watch Outlet

A watch movement (also known as a “calibre”) is the engine of a watch that acts as the powerhouse to make the watch and its functions work. This internal mechanism inside the timepiece moves the hands and powers any complications such as a chronograph, annual calendar or a dual time zone. Driving all of the timekeeping functions, the movement is the essential component in a watch and keeping accurate time; a watch would not function without it.

There are countless different movements that are created by watch manufactures utilizing proprietary innovations, but each of these movements will fall into one of two categories—quartz or mechanical.

MECHANICAL MOVEMENT
Sweeping motion

QUARTZ MOVEMENT
Individual ticks

An easy way to differentiate a quartz from a mechanical movement is by looking at the second hand. On a quartz watch, the second hand has the tick-tick motion that moves once per second while mechanical watches have a smooth, sweeping seconds motion.

Differences Between Mechanical Movements

There are two types of mechanical movements found in luxury timepieces today, manual and automatic, each with unique characteristics. Although mechanical movements are the preferred movement, the type of mechanical movement comes down to personal preference.

Manual Movement

Considered to be the most traditional movement, manual movements are the oldest type of watch movement. Manual-wind watches that we carry are often loved for their beautiful display of the watch movement, which can usually be seen through the case-back. These movements are often referred to as “hand-wound movements” because they have to be manually wound by hand to create energy in the watch’s mainspring.

Automatic Movement

The second form of mechanical movements are automatic. Often referred to as “self-winding”, automatic movements harness energy through the natural motion of the wearer’s wrist. Watches with automatic movements are very popular because the wearer doesn’t have to worry about winding the watch daily to ensure constant operation. As long as the watch is worn regularly, it will maintain power without requiring. winding.