Watch Movements 101: Pros and Cons to Know

The movement of any watch, which is often referred to as the “caliber,” is actually the heart or the engine of the watch. There are several different types of movement, each one has specific advantages and disadvantages.

Here, you can learn more about the different types of watch movements in use today, why they have grown in popularity and even some complaints that users have had in the past. By being informed and understanding the options, you can choose the one that best suits your needs and budget.

Mechanical Watch Movements

Do you have a watch that features mechanical movement? If so, then you likely have a higher-end, luxury watch on your wrist. This type of movement is reserved for the higher-end due to their sophisticated design, which is something that requires a very high level of skill and craftsmanship.

The mechanical movements work by harnessing energy that’s stored in a spring that is wound on a periodic basis. There are two basic types of mechanical movements used today – automatic and manual. Each one is made up of mechanical parts, which include gears and springs.

Learn more about the two types of mechanical movements here.

Handing Winding Movement

Also called manual wound, the hand-wound watches are actually the oldest style of watch movement in existence today. Their popularity has grown due to this being the first watch caliber, but also due to the sophisticated structure they feature, and the transparent back. All you have to do is turn the crown several times, winds the mainspring, storing energy to keep the watch running.

The mainspring will continue to unwind slowly. It transmits the energy through the springs and gears, which move the hands, giving you access to the correct time.

Self-Winding Movement

There are some people who enjoy having to wind their watch to keep it going. However, there are others who don’t like this and find it annoying. If the latter is how you feel, then a self-winding watch may be a better option.

Rather than having to manually wind a watch, this type of watch uses a metal weight, which is referred to as the rotor. This rotor is connected to the watch’s caliber, allowing it to oscillate freely by the motion of the wrist. As the rotor spins, it transfers the energy and winds up the watch’s mainspring.

Quartz Watch Movements

A watch that features a quartz movement is not as costly as those with mechanical movements. However, due to the lack of craftsmanship, they are not as desirable, either.

The biggest advantage of watches with quartz movement is the fact that they are much more accurate and that they don’t require as much maintenance than the more conventional mechanical options. Watches that feature quartz movements receive their power from batteries. As a result, you don’t have to wind them to keep them going.

The battery will send the energy to the quartz crystal in the watch, which then vibrates and creates the pulses with a very precise frequency. The pulses are then sent through an integrated circuit to the integrated stepping motor, which moves the hands on the watch.

The watches that feature quartz movement are extremely popular because they don’t require much maintenance and they are affordable. Many also claim they are lighter to wear than mechanical watches and don’t have to be worn in order to continue running.

Kinetic Watch Movements

This type of movement is a hybrid of the quartz and mechanical technology. It works in a similar way to the quartz watches described above. Watches with this type of movement also use the quartz crystal, but instead of relying on batteries, the watch is able to generate power by using the metal weight, like the one found in mechanical watches.

Kinetic watch movements are considered extremely advanced for the watch industry. Not only is a watch that features this type of movement accurate, but it’s also extremely convenient, as it is never going to die – even if it isn’t used for a long time. In fact, the kinetic movements are able to store plenty of energy so that it can continue operating even a whole week after it has been fully charged.

Another reason that this watch is so popular is the fact that it is an environmentally friendly option. It uses natural energy – the wearer’s movement – for power.

If you are in the market for a new watch, then finding out more about watch movements is a great way to start your search. After all, the one you choose is going to impact the watch’s quality, price, and longevity. Be sure to keep the information here in mind to find the watch movement that best suits your needs, your specific desires, and your budget.

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