Automatic Watches Versus Mechanical Watches - What Is The Difference?


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Watches were first invented in Switzerland many centuries ago. Mechanical watches came first. Then automatic watches were invented. Both types of watches are still in use today. It is a matter of personal preference as to which type of watch you decide to use.

How does the mechanical watch work?

Mechanical watches utilize energy from a wound spring. They keep time through a regulated release of energy through the wheel train, which is a set of gears, and an escapement. The components of the watch are all mechanical. One winding can make the watch run for forty hours. There are some designs that will last for eight to ten days on one winding. In order to keep a mechanical watch working for a long time, it needs to be serviced periodically.

What is the history of mechanical watches?

Mechanical watches go back to Peter Henlein (1480-1542). The number of parts varies, but usually it has about one hundred and thirty parts or more. Some mechanical watches record phases of the moon, keep a record of the date and record time on a daily basis.

What do they do when they service a mechanical watch and how often should you have one serviced?

They make sure that the components are well lubricated. They also make sure that it is free of any dust, dirt or moisture. The rule of thumb to go by for servicing a mechanical watch is to have the water resistance checked every year and have the watch serviced about every three to five years.

Why do people get mechanical watches?

Mechanical watches are made with fine craftsmanship, aesthetics, and tradition. This type of watch is made with wonderful precision by the craftsman who assembles the watch.

How does the automatic watch work?

In automatic watches, the movement of the wrist and body makes the rotor pivot freely. The action of the wrist, even slight action, causes the rotor to rotate back and forth in a circular motion. The mainspring is wound via the movement of the rotor. The mainspring is the coiled spring that powers the watch. This type of watch also needs to be serviced.

What is the history of the automatic watch?

The original rotor goes back to Abraham Louis-Perrelet (1729-1826). The modern rotor used in the automatic watches was developed by Rolex. Emily Borer, the chief of Rolex at the time of its invention, is the one who is given credit for it.

What do they do when they service an automatic watch and how often should you have one serviced?

They will re-lubricate the watch and check the seals on it. The seals should be checked every year. The automatic watch should be serviced every three to five years.

Why do people get automatic watches?

Just as people get mechanical watches for the tradition and craftsmanship people also get automatic watches for the same reasons.

Mechanical watches and automatic watches faded out when quartz watches came about. However, about ten years ago, both types of watches began to gain popularity especially among collectors.

Zai Zhu is a watch collector and a watch dealer. Visit to learn more about wristwatches. You can also shop over 1000 fine watches including 100's of Citizen watches , Seiko watches , and Invicta watches as well as other brand name watches such as Luminox, Mido, Orient, Croton, and Wenger.


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