How to Distinguish Between Watch Movements?

June 5th, 2018

If you’ve read our article about watch movements, you’ll understand the basics involved in choosing a wristwatch. Since different watches are powered by different engines, it’s essential to know how to distinguish between watch movements. And despite the fact that these engines are never in view, they remain the most important part of your watch. This post will guide you on how to tell a mechanical movement from a quartz movement.

How to Distinguish Between Watch Movements

Without the watch movement, a watch cannot tick, and other functions such as calendar, dual time zone and alarm cannot serve their purpose. This inner part of a watch has always been more essential than the watch exterior because it defines the watch and makes it appealing to watch enthusiasts around the world.

Key Features of the Mechanical Movement

Mechanical watches are generally known to demand winding based on the presence of a balance wheel and spring. The balance wheel is dependent on the winding of the spring which must be done occasionally.

In the manual-wind mechanical watch, the crown is used to wind the spring even though little winding effort now keeps the movement in its best. The automatic mechanical watch, in its own case, requires even less frequent winding and doesn’t affect the craftsmanship of the watch over time. When you wear your watch, the rotor naturally moves the spring into action and retains power as often as you wear it.

Whether you own a manual movement or automatic movement, the mechanical watch is often preferred for the design of luxury watches. And this is because manufacturers of mechanical watches pay more attention to every part of the watch. In essence, you can identify a mechanical watch by looking for the following parts:

  • Gear train
  • Mainspring
  • Crown
  • Balance wheel
  • Automatic rotor

How to Distinguish Between Watch Movements

Key Features of the Quartz Movement

The quartz watch depends on a quartz movement which requires a battery and many stationary parts. Unlike the mechanical movement which depends on winding (manual or self-winding), the quartz movement uses a battery which passes electricity through a tiny quartz crystal, causing it to vibrate at 32,768 times per second. With the vibrations, the watch movements oscillate and the watch hands move.

Quartz watches are believed to be more accurate than the mechanical watches because the quartz movement is easy-to-use, accurate, durable, and inexpensive. You can easily identify a quartz movement by opening the watch case back to find out if there’s a battery inside it. Several types of battery are available for quartz watches, and in a situation where battery replacement is required, it’s advisable that you confirm the type of battery in your watch before you make any changes.

Another interesting thing (and the most obvious) that can help you distinguish between watch movements is the movement of the second hand. In the mechanical watch, the winding produces a sweeping motion in the second hand of a watch with many movements within a single second. However, with the quartz movement, the vibrations become pulses which produce individual ticks per second.

Have you learned how to distinguish between watch movements? Has it always been easy to spot the difference? Let’s hear from you!

June 5th, 2018|Tags: , , |