A brief flashback!
A watch is something of an engineering marvel. Watches have hundreds of minuscule parts, meticulously assembled by artisans who can trace their craft back to the watchmakers under Elizabeth, Peter, and Napoleon. Before the Great War, these artisans were focused on making pocket watches, a true gentleman’s accessory. But during the First World War, soldiers found that the small, easy to maintain wristwatches were an asset in the wet trenches. When the war ended, young well-dressed men wanted to emulate the gallant heroes of the war, and wristwatches became a must-have.
A good timepiece can be judged on the following factors.
- The Movement
- The Accuracy
- The Weight
- Swiss Branding
- Name & Tradition of the manufacturer
Movements of the watch can be classified as:
- Quartz Movement
- Mechanical Movement
- Automatic Movement
- Manual Movement
Quartz movements are very accurate and require minimal maintenance aside from battery replacements. A quartz movement utilizes a battery as its primary power source and is typically the type of movement that you will find in your standard, no frills watch.
Mechanical movements are often chosen over quartz movements for luxury watches because of the level of quality and craftsmanship of mechanical movements. Skilfully created by expert watchmakers, these movements contain an intricate series of tiny components working together to power the timepiece. Unlike quartz movements, a mechanical movement uses energy from a wound spring, rather than a battery, to power the watch. This spring stores energy and transfers it through a series of gears and springs, regulating the release of energy to power the watch.
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.
Mechanical Movement-Sweeping motion Quartz Movement-Individual ticks
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.Winding intervals for manual-wind watches will depend on the power reserve capacity of the movement, which could be 24 hours to five days or more.
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.Watches featuring an automatic movement will still require winding, but dramatically less than a manual watch. If the watch is worn every day, it will maintain timekeeping functions without winding; but if the watch hasn’t been worn for an extended period of time, it will need a quick wind to garner initial power.