As technology has developed over the last 200 years, the mechanisms which power our timekeeping instruments have also evolved. However, mechanical movements are far from obsolete. In fact, these mechanisms have been overwhelmingly utilised – with some efficiency changes – by luxury brands since the 1800s.
These watch brands continue to hold an extremely passionate and dedicated customer base. However, many people are put off by the timekeeping capabilities of traditional mechanical watches. After all, telling the time is the primary function of a watch.
Timekeeping Abilities of Different Mechanisms
No matter what kind of watch you are in the market for, you want to know that it will be precise. But some people may not realise that the question of precision is relative to the type of watch you want.
For example, watches which use mechanical movements, like Rolex watches, cangain or lose up to 10 seconds per day despite a 99.9% precision rate. Similar figures are common across all watches which are run by a manual or automatic mechanism. These types of watches require regular winding and checking, and so are not considered to be as efficient or convenient as an electrically powered model. So, why do people continue to buy them?That’s easy – for their craftmanship.
For the majority of watch owners, the added artistry of a manual watch is worth the inconvenience of a lowered precision. However, for those who value precision above all else, watch brands which used battery-powered movements – quartz or kinetic – hold more appeal. These types of watches also have the added benefit of often being overwhelmingly cheaper.
An Overview of Watch Movements
Manual and Automatic Mechanisms are the two types of mechanical movements used in watchmaking. These movements use a wound spring to power the many parts of the watch. A manual mechanism requires the wearer to manually wind the watch regularly in order to charge the spring.
An automatic mechanism, however, automatically converts the kinetic energy supplied through movement, into the spring. The wound spring releases energy slowly, causing the cogs and hands of the watch to move.
In contract, quartz mechanisms are powered by a battery. A quartz watch operates through a course of vibrations sent from the battery, through a quartz crystal inside the mechanism. The number of vibrations is then regulated and converted into one pulse per second, resulting in an extremely accurate watch