How Does the Mechanical Watch Work?

August 3rd, 2018

Owning a mechanical watch is great.

But learning how the mechanical watch works is better. By winding the crown linked to the mechanical movement, you’ll get your mechanical watch to work.

So, if you’ve never used an automatic watch before, you should get one after reading this post.


This post will provide a detailed response to the question, “How do mechanical watches work?” Please read on.

How Does the Mechanical Watch Work

What is a Mechanical Mechanism?

Do you remember the pendulum clock? Great!


The mechanical watch shares something in common with it. Winding the crown of your watch causes the balance wheel in the watch movement to oscillate forth and back.

Unlike the quartz watch which uses a quartz crystal as its oscillator, the mechanical watch uses a balance “weighted” wheel.

Components of the Mechanical Mechanism

One of the most important parts of the mechanical watch is the watch crown. Winding the mechanical watch is especially a function of the crown.

Aside from the watch crown, the mechanical movement in the watch comprises the mainspring, also called spring. This spring receives force or energy from your winding which it then transmits to other gears.

As soon as the gears receive power, they activate the balance wheel and time ticking begins. As the balance wheel swings, an escapement moves and causes the watch wheels to move as well. This movement of different parts ultimately influences the watch hands.

How Does the Mechanical Watch Work

How Do You Wind the Mechanical Watch?

Mechanical watches are either manual or automatic. And the proper winding of your watch depends on the type of mechanical watch it is.

Here’s the difference:

If you own a manual mechanical watch, you should turn the crown on the right side of the watch. This procedure involves turning your thumb and index finger round the crown in a clockwise motion until you feel some resistance.

Why the resistance?

When the watch has reached its peak as far as winding is concerned, you’ll need to stop the turning. Otherwise, your persistence may ruin the tiny components that form the watch movement.

Another way of winding the mechanical watch is through hand movement. Moving your arm when you wear your automatic watch gets the rotor in the watch in action.

A lot of watch lovers prefer the automatic watch movement to the basic mechanical watch movement.

You might be wondering:


Here’s the thing:

Since you no longer have to wind the watch with your fingers while the watch is off your wrist, you can leave the watch to wind itself.

Isn’t the self-winding process more natural and less time-consuming?

What is a Mechanical Watch

The Accuracy of the Mechanical Watch

Many people prefer the quartz watch to the mechanical watch because of the accuracy of the quartz crystal.

Nonetheless, it’s interesting to note that luxury watches today still use the mechanical mechanism. Not only are the gears and wheels in the watch tiny, but also they’ve been built together with so much finesse and precision.

In a word, most mechanical watch brands use a mechanical mechanism. And this mechanism entails a mechanical movement and a consistent hand-winding routine.

Did you find this post informative? Leave your comments below.

August 3rd, 2018|Tags: , , |