In the world of watches, choosing between a dress watch, pilot's watch, diver's watch, fashion watch, or the many other kinds of styles available can be tricky at the best of times. When you have found the right look style watch for yourself, there is another important factor to take into consideration, one less known to those who do not know watches, I would argue perhaps the most important detail. The type of movement.
Watches are usually lumped into one of two open-ended categories, mechanical or quartz. There are a lot of different movement types within mechanical and even some hybrids between the two, let's first look at how to tell the difference between the two and why you may want either of them.
- Quartz - The newest of the overarching movement styles. A quartz watch runs on a small battery which sends power to a quartz crystal, causing the crystal to vibrate at exactly 32,768 BPM. An electric circuit counts the vibrations to generate a regular pulse of one per second. This results in a watch with an impressive accuracy, averaging at 0.5 second per day deviation, and one of the easiest to maintain watch movement on the market.
- Mechanical - Mechanical watches on a general are powered by a mechanical movement in the form of a spring which retains energy, how the spring gets its energy is what makes the biggest difference in mechanical movements. Mechanical watches are usually the apple of an enthusiast eye, but the range of mechanical watches is truly vast. From the sub $70 Russian made Vostok Komandirskie to the extremely expensive but oh so stunning Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon, there will be a watch to fit every person's budget and need.
A bit of a deeper dive into the mechanical movements available and what, if anything, sets them apart from other movements.
- Hand wound movement - A lot of people may consider hand wound watches dead, although they are very much alive and thriving in the enthusiast market. A hand wound watch is powered by a spring which needs to be wound, usually approaching every day. This may seem like an extra effort for some, but it does give you some of the most stunning movements short of a Tourbillon. The reliability and heritage of hand wound movements allows us to still see them being used on some of the best watch brands like Grand Seiko, while still being available in cheaper watches that are more attainable to the average person.
- Automatic - automatic or self-winding watch movements are similar to that of hand wound movements in having a spring to store the power, only the spring is wound by a small flywheel or rotating mass in the watch which is spun while wearing. Automatic watches offer some of the best of all worlds. A stunning movement with the addition of a live rotating mass, excellent reliability depending on the particular movement and self-winding to avoid having to remember to wind your watch every day. Automatic movements are some of the most common found in mechanical watches and are also arguably the best type of movements for normal use.
- Tourbillon - tourbillon is the pinnacle of watchmaking craftsmanship, like a Canada casino online is the pinnacle of state of the art real money gaming. An incredibly complicated movement to make, tourbillon is only found in the most expensive of mechanical movements. Mechanical watches beat rate can be affected by gravity, meaning a watch may have a different error rate depending on how the watch is held, a tourbillon was initially made to try and mitigate these factors.
Which Is Best?
At the end of the day, which ever watch you like most will be the best for how you want to wear it, and when. For people who don't care to admire the mechanics in a watch, quartz will always be the most efficient at the task of accurately displaying the time.
For people who enjoy the mechanics but aren't interested in having to wind a watch every day, an automatic or a self-winding watch is hard to beat.