The Complete Automatic Watch Guide: All You Need To Know About It


Automatic watch has become more popular over the years, despite it being a higher priced type of watch out there. I was introduced to it few years ago and was hooked. From then on, I tried to learn everything that I can about automatic watch, which I will write about in this post.

So what is an automatic watch? Automatic watch is a type of watch that doesn’t need a battery to function and is instead powered by wrist motions of the wearer (so called self-winding) that is stored as potential energy inside it.

In this post, I’m going to share all the important information about automatic watch that you should know before getting one yourselves.

Table of Content:

  1. Automatic Watch: The Self-Winding Watch Movement
  2. How Does Automatic Watch Works?
  3. Automatic Watch vs Mechanical Watch: A Look Into History
  4. How Is Automatic Watch Different From Normal Watch?
  5. How Can You Tell If A Watch Is Automatic?
  6. Is Automatic Watch Accurate?
  7. Automatic Watch Durability
  8. Servicing Your Automatic Watch
  9. Is Automatic Watch Water Resistant?
  10. Can You Wear It For Sports?
  11. The Very Important Power Reserve
  12. Automatic Watch Will Be Heavier From Normal Watch
  13. Automatic Watch Price: Why Is It So Expensive?
  14. Where To Buy Automatic Watch?
  15. Some Common Automatic Watch Brands
  16. Taking Care Of Your Automatic Watch So That It Will Last Long
  17. Is Automatic Watch Worth It?

Automatic Watch: The Self-Winding Watch Movement

Automatic watch is defined as a watch that uses mechanical movement for its timekeeping. If you’re not aware, “movement” in horology refers to the device responsible to keep track of time inside a watch. Hence, an automatic/mechanical movement relies solely on the mechanical parts to do its job and is different from quartz movement which relies on the electric/electronic parts (which we will see later).

One thing that make automatic watch stands out is its ability to recharge itself just by being used by its owner. Inside the watch, there is a weighted rotor which will rotates following the motion of the wrist as the watch is being used. This rotor will recharge the watch hence why automatic watch movement is also referred to as the self-winding movement.

How Does Automatic Watch Works?

The inner workings of an automatic watch can be broken down into 5 major systems which are:

  1. Energy source and storage
  2. Gear train or wheels
  3. Escapement
  4. Balance wheel
  5. Time indicator

automatic watch movement

1) Energy source and storage

The energy source of the watch comes from the weighted rotor. This half-circular rotor, that you can see on a watch with transparent caseback, will move freely with any movement of the watch. It’s part of the self-winding mechanism which will tighten the mainspring. The mainspring is a very long spring with the purpose of storing the energy for the watch.

Wearing the watch will cause this rotor to move and spin, hence effectively tightening the mainspring in the process. Thus, we can say that the energy generation for any automatic watch is from kinetic energy (weighted rotor moving) to be stored as potential energy in its mainspring.

Depending on the watchmaker, the feel of the self-winding mechanism will differ. Some watches have a very pronounced self-winding characteristics that you can easily feel the rotor winding as you move your watch. Some are quite subtle so much so you don’t the rotor moving (even though it is!). As this is very much a personal preference, I’d suggest to try wearing the watch to see if you like the feedback from the self-winding rotor or not.

By the way, some automatic watch is also equipped with manual winding capability which you can use to directly recharge the mainspring’s potential energy by rotating the crown and winding it (just like on a toy car). This is very useful if you don’t have time to wear your watch sufficiently so that it will have ample power reserve to last to the next day.

2) Gear train or wheels

The mainspring is directly attached to a set of gear train or wheels which main purpose is to transfer the potential energy throughout the watch movement. As the mainspring seeks to elongate and retract, the gears will be forced to rotate. Gears are used so that just a small elongation of the mainspring will cause a huge movement of the gears. This is very important so that the watch has sufficient power reserve – there’s only so much mainspring that can be fitted into the tiny movement after all!

3) Escapement

Escapement consists of an escape wheel (a wheel with odd looking teeth) and a forked lever, which have the purpose of regulating the movement of the watch’s timekeeping, based on the input from balance wheel. Without escapement assembly, the watch will freely move and its power reserve will deplete in no time!

The escapement and balance wheel works in tandem to keep the movement of the watch in check.

4) Balance wheel

The balance wheel is responsible for the timekeeping of the watch i.e to determine how fast is one second – which is the whole basis of timekeeping. It might seem easy in this current world of digital watches but centuries ago, determination of one second is very hard to do for the lack of advanced equipment.

The balance wheel consists of a thin hairspring in a round enclosure. As energy was supplied to it, it will bounce back and forth in a regular interval. This interval (usually 6 or 8 times per second), form the basis of timekeeping in an automatic watch. Due to its importance, the balance wheel can be said to be the heart of an automatic watch (both literally and figuratively).

5) Time indicator

The last component is the time indicator i.e the needles that you see on a watch face/dial. The seconds hand is directly connected to the balance wheel/escapement. From there, the minute and hour hands are connected via gears. It is these gears with its fine teeth that will do the conversion from one second to one minute and one hour respectively.

(If you want to learn more about how automatic watch works, then you can read this post where I’ve delved deeper into this topic)

All of these systems must work in unison to make the watch work. If any of it is faulty (either due to damage or wear & tear), then the watch will not work as smoothly and that’s when you will notice issues with the watch such as bad timekeeping (lack of accuracy), watch keep on stopping etc.

Automatic Watch vs Mechanical Watch: A Look Into History

The ONLY difference between automatic and mechanical movement is the self-winding mechanism. An automatic movement is the same as mechanical movement but with the additional self-winding mechanism to “automatically” wind its mainspring with each watch-wrist movement. That is its main difference while the other timekeeping components (gears, escapement, balance wheel, etc.) remain the same.

As of now, mechanical watches are not as easily found in the market due to it being a less popular choice: you need to manual wind it daily or else it won’t work. This is a huge inconvenience with mechanical watch and it seems not many watchmakers are willing to design and market one, at least not for the lower end market (I do know that Hamilton has one affordable mechanical watch in their line up though).

But the lack of self-winding mechanism means that mechanical watch uses less parts so it is less expensive that an automatic watch. It’s also lighter, has thinner profile and will be easier to service which corresponds to lower service fee down the line.

Because of these advantages, mechanical movement is often incorporated by higher end watchmakers for their more adventurous movements with many complications in it (case in point, the Vacheron Constantin Ref. 57260). At that price point, usability is less of a concern – artistic, engineering and craftsmanship are the main driving factor.

It’s incomplete to talk about automatic and mechanical watches without looking at their history. Below are a few major milestones in the development of these watches:

  1. Peter Henlein, a Germany watchmaker, was credited with creating the first watch that can be carried by people (a pocket watch) in 1510.
  2. Swiss watchmaker, Abraham-Louis Perrelet, invented the first self-winding watch (also a pocket watch) in 1776.
  3. An automatic wrist watch was only created in 1922 by John Harwood, a British watchmaker.
  4. Electric watch was invented in the 1950s.
  5. Seiko invented the quartz watch in 1969, which revolutionized the watch industry thanks to its accuracy and ability to be mass-produced.

How Is Automatic Watch Different From Normal Watch?

Although an automatic watch looks the same with other watches (see the next section on how to spot them), there is a huge difference in its movement or the driving mechanism for the watch.

Currently, quartz watch is the most common watch around, which can be said to be the “normal watch” nowadays. Quartz watch is based on electronics and that’s why you will notice that it requires battery to work. Inside it, there is a quartz crystal that acts as the oscillator for timekeeping (basically the job of balance wheel in an automatic watch).

A microchip is used to control everything in the watch, based on the input from the quartz crystal. There is also a motor to move the hands to display its time (in analog watch). Thanks to these elements, quartz watch can be mass-produced, hence lowering its price to very affordable levels. (Read more about how quartz watch works in my previous article here).

This is where the difference with automatic watch lies. Instead of relying on electronics like the common watch, automatic watch is fully mechanical powered. It uses the concept of energy conservation to top up its power reserve, drive the timekeeping and show the time on its dial.

And since the movement is quite complex, a full mass-production for automatic watch is not feasible. Some, especially the higher-end brands, will utilize manual labor to assemble and finish the watch. Without a doubt, this increases its cost of production. In fact, most automatic watches starts from $150 (with $500 mark is the starting point for most Swiss brands). You can get one cheaper than this but it’s usually from less established brands.

For that price, an automatic watch has something that a quartz watch don’t, that is character. The automatic movement requires some attention from the user to wind the watch (either through manual or self-winding), set the time and keep it in good condition.

Although the same need to be done with a quartz watch, its very different on an automatic because the whole thing revolves on mechanical parts. You need to be gentler and cannot force things or else it will break. I also love the faint grinding sound of the watch whenever I manual wind or change its time – its like the watch is alive!

Another advantage of automatic watch is it does not need a battery to operate, unlike quartz watch. This is an advantage especially for those that don’t want to have surprises such as a quartz watch drop dead due to having no battery. I personally like this because there is no concern on the battery leeches when I least expect it.

How Can You Tell If A Watch Is Automatic?

The easiest giveaway to tell if a watch is automatic is by looking at its dial/watch face. Generally, there is the word “Automatic” inscribed on the dial of most automatic watches. This is done so that people will easily know that the watch is an automatic watch, hence the reason for it being priced higher that other watches. Likewise, if you see the word “Quartz”, then that watch is a quartz watch.

But sometimes, the watch might not have the “Automatic” word inscribed on it. So in order to verify if its automatic or not, we can do these:

  1. See if its seconds hand is sweeping or not. Automatic and mechanical watches have sweeping seconds hand which looks to be gliding instead of jumping every second like a normal/quartz watch. The sweeping seconds hand is actually jumping very fast (6 to 8 times per second) due to the characteristic of the movement.
  2. If it has a transparent caseback, check if you can spot a half-circular rotor on it that will moves even with a small motion of the watch. The rotor is the best way to spot an automatic watch but not all automatic watches have a transparent caseback.
  3. When you’re holding a watch that is completely stopped, try to give it a few shakes and see if this will bring the watch to life. Automatic watch will only need some motion to move the rotor and convert it into potential energy inside the watch to start it. While doing this, try to sense if you can feel the rotor moving (especially if the watch doesn’t have a transparent caseback).
  4. Additionally, you can also try to manual wind it just to see if the watch is manual windable. This is done by rotating the crown upwards (on most common movements. Other watches might need to be rotated downwards to wind it). If you feel a faint gear noise and the watch springs back to life, it is an indication that the watch is manual windable. (I personally prefer my automatic watch to has this feature. Read my article here to find out why this is a good thing to have).

Is Automatic Watch Accurate?

So is automatic watch accurate? Accuracy of automatic watch varies depending on the movement maker, design and grade. In general, we can expect, at most, a +/-30 seconds per day variation for most automatic watches. What this entails is the watch will lose or gain time of up to 3.5 minutes every week – not really a big issue right?

But as I’ve mentioned above, the actual accuracy of an automatic watch will depend on the movement itself and can be referred to in their published specification. For example, I notice that Japanese movements (from Seiko, Orient) have a bigger limit up to +45/-35 seconds per day while Swiss movements (such as ETA) has a tighter accuracy range of +/-12 seconds per day.

And based on my personal record of my watches, the actual accuracy will usually fall within the published specification. So if a good accuracy is what you need (say, +/-10 seconds per day is a good number), then paying premium for a Swiss movement is definitely a good idea.

In addition, to this, there is also a type of automatic watch with the distinction of being “chronometer”, which is only conferred to the most accurate automatic watches out there. For an automatic watch to be labeled as a chronometer, it has to pass a stringent test from the certification body COSC which limits its gain/lose time to just +/-6 seconds per day.

To top it off, this accuracy needs to be adhered to in all possible positions the watch might be and various temperatures. Most chronometers can be found upwards of $1,000 but Tissot did design one of the cheapest Swiss chronometers in the market right now, the Tissot Powermatic 80 Chronometer for less that $1,000 (check out my review of the watch here).

(If you want to know more about accuracy of automatic watches click on the link to read my previous post on the topic)

Automatic Watch Durability

Durability of automatic watches is usually good, as long as you are keeping a good care of the watch. One good thing that I’ve noticed is most automatic watches on the marker nowadays are encased in a stainless steel case which can last for a very long time, as compared to cheap quartz watches that are mainly made of plastic.

Stainless steel is frequently used because the automatic watch movement is heavier that normal because (surprised!) the movement parts are also mainly made of steel or metal. With a steel part and case, we can be assured that our automatic watches will stand the test of time.

There are some good reasons for this. Firstly, steel is tough and does not break as easily as plastic, another common watch material. I mean, if its good enough to be used to build buildings and ships, I’m pretty sure it will be a good material for a watch.

Another thing to note is that stainless steel can be easily cleaned with chemicals or some scrubbing if there’s a lot of dirt on it. It also can be polished or refinished again if there’s any dent or scratches on it. These are the usual things to be done on vintage watches, some have been around for decades.

While the exterior of an automatic watch is durable without much effort on the owner’s part, the internal movement is quite tricky and needs regular service for it to last long. I’ll go into detail about servicing an automatic watch in the below section.

Servicing Your Automatic Watch

Most automatic watches need to be serviced every 3 to 5 years, depending on its manufacturer’s recommendation. Some, such as newer Rolexes, can even go up 10 years interval. So its best to check with the brand on your automatic watch’s service interval to know for certain (you can also read up on the user manual supplied with the watch as this info is usually stated inside it).

But why do we need to service our automatic watches? It’s just a watch right?

The reason is automatic watch is not like normal quartz watch. It has hundreds of small parts that are constantly moving. Like changing the engine oil for your motor vehicle, the same need to be done for the lubricants in the watch movement (lubricants are used to reduce the friction inside the various moving parts). In addition, some parts do experience wear and tear even along the years and might need to be changed.

All of this can only be done by servicing the watch, whereby a watchmaker will open up the watch, take it apart, clean it, change the parts, re-oil it and then put it all back together. In addition, the watchmaker will regulate the watch so that it will achieve a good accuracy.

And yes, all of this will involve some cost, often times about 10 to 30% of the watch price. And this is one of the things that most people often overlook with their automatic watch purchase and (gasp!) collections!

Often times I see my friends buying their higher-end “grail” watches after saving for months, without knowing that watch will need outrageous amount of money to be maintained every 3-5 years. To make matters worse, some of them even buy new watches to add up to their collection – while still oblivious that these watches will need to be maintained in the future!

Although its not wrong to chase after your dream watch, I’m a proponent of sustainability in owning a watch. I personally calculate in advance the total cost of ownership of the watch, i.e initial buy cost plus maintenance costs in the future, before deciding on purchasing one. That way, I will always be able to service my watch in time and increase its lifespan.

Another thing to think about is the cost of service will increase depending on your location vs the brand’s service center. For example, if the country you’re living in does not have the service center for that particular brand, you might have to post it to another country and this will increase the maintenance cost.

Is Automatic Watch Water Resistant?

Almost all of the automatic watches that I’ve seen nowadays have water resistance to some degree. You can easily check on this by looking on its dial or caseback for water resistance indication such as “30 m water resistance” or “3 ATM” which means the watch can be dropped into 30 m water depth, in theory.

In real life, I don’t dare to use any of these watches to go into water unless it has a high water resistance rating (200 m or more) and is designed to be used for dive watch and tested based on ISO 6425. The reason is not all of these water resistance rating is tested and some small issue during manufacturing can render its water resistance rating not valid.

That’s why I’ve always used a dedicated dive watch for outdoor and swimming because its been designed for that. It will be tested for it with better material used. In addition, I always like the screw-down crown used in dive watches as it gives a higher degree of protection from water ingress into the watch.

A good practice to ensure your watch is well protected from water ingress is in keeping it always dry. That means don’t put it near to water source and always wipe it off if some accidental water splashes on it. In addition, always keep the crown pushed down tight to avoid water seeping through the small clearances around the crown stem. Lastly, don’t operate the chronograph function when you’re inside or near water. With all of these best practices, you will be able to keep your watch away from water problems.

Can You Wear It For Sports?

Can we wear automatic watch for sports? Yes we can. I, myself, have worn my automatic watches to gym, swimming, jogging and other outdoor sports/activities – but I only wear my dive watches for these.

The reason is automatic watch is a more delicate device that your normal quartz watch and its more prone to breaking. While the exterior case will be fine, some damage might be picked up by the internal movement during all the fast swinging of the watch following your hand.

And that’s why a dive watch is a good choice for sports because its designed for swimming and diving. Inside most dive watches, there are usually some shock resistant bearings/jewels that will act as shock absorbers to soak all the impacts.

But with that being said, its usually better to leave your automatic watch when it comes to sports and pick up a fitness tracker instead. Firstly, even on the best dive watches, there will be some impacts on it, so much so the watch do have a possibility to be damaged internally. And even if its not damaged, there could be some effect on its accuracy (read about my experience with my Seiko Sumo dive watch on this issue here).

Another thing that I want to add is an automatic watch is heavier that normal watch and might go in the way of your sporting activities. For instance, while you can golf while wearing an automatic watch, it will feel a bit weird and can disrupt your swing due to the added weight. In addition, it usually has a high profile/thickness and this can dig into your hands when doing activities.

So although you can wear an automatic watch for sports, I’d advised to wear a dedicated fitness tracker instead to protect the watch and also improve your sports performance (as well as giving the peace of mind that you won’t break your expensive watch during the activity LOL!).

The Very Important Power Reserve

One very important thing that you need to know about automatic watch is power reserve that will define how you can use your watch.

What is automatic watch power reserve? Power reserve is the remaining power or energy that an automatic watch has before it will stop completely, and this depends on its mainspring design. To be precise, a quartz watch also has power reserve but it will depend on its battery capacity.

what is automatic watch

The main thing that we need to understand is that usually a quartz watch will have much higher power reserve that an automatic watch. A 1-3 years of power reserve per battery is normal for quartz watch while an automatic watch will have a much lower power reserve – at just 38 to 80 hours!

This is because of the mainspring inside an automatic watch is only finite in length, due to the limited space that it has in it. A 38-40 hours power reserve can be expected from most of the entry level automatic watches nowadays. Some watches also has higher power reserve such as Seiko 6R15 movement (50 hours) and ETA/Tissot Powermatic movement (a good 80 hours).

So why is power reserve so important? It’s because that’s the duration that the watch will continue running after you’ve put it down. Do remember that automatic watch’s self-winding mechanism will directly increase its power just by using it on your wrist, so you’re basically topping its power reserve up when wearing it. So once you’ve put the watch down, its power reserve will deplete.

So basically, if you put your watch with 40 hours power reserve down at 9 pm on Friday, then it should last until 1 pm on Sunday. And that’s one issue with automatic watch – most of them will not be able to last an entire weekend on the drawer until the next Monday/work week. (well, its not an issue to me because I usually just pick up another watch in the coming week Lol! Read more about how I use my watches for efficiency here)

A common issue or actually misunderstanding that most people have with their automatic watches is it seems to lack power reserve that what was published. With the same example as above, you noticed that the watch drops dead even before the morning of Sunday, which is less that 40 hours stated. What gives?

The reason for this lack of power reserve lies in how many percentages of power reserve were available when you take off your watch. The 40 hours (or whatever number of power reserve) will be there if your watch has 100% power reserve when you put it down. The problem is most automatic watches don’t usually have that 100% power reserve because the self-winding mechanism needs many rotations for it to work.

In addition, sedentary lifestyle such as working on a desk without much wrist movement means the watch is not winding as much. So if your power reserve is less that 100% when you take it off, the watch will stop working faster that the published power reserve capacity.

If you’re worried that your watch might stop working or you just want it to be always running, you can consider getting a watch winder. Watch winder is a simple motor device that rotates the watch, mimicking wrist movement so that its self-winding mechanism will kicks in. Or another way is to just manual wind the watch. Read my article here to know more about the difference between these 2 techniques.

Automatic Watch Will Be Heavier From Normal Watch

Being made almost entirely out of steel is good for its durability, but there’s one small problem: automatic watch is heavier that normal quartz watch.

It’s a given. When you have hundreds of metal parts packed into the watch, its bound to have some weight, that is heavier that the simplistic quartz movement which consists of only few equipment.

But that’s not necessarily a bad thing though. I, for one, loves the fact that my automatic watch has quite a bit of heft. It just makes wearing it feels different and cooler. And this perception is also shared by some of the watch fans that I know.

A downside with this is the watch can be bothersome to wear with when you’re working as the extra weight will disrupt your hand movement. Often times, I found myself taking out my bulkier dive watches when I need to work or use my laptop as it will be a hindrance when I type. But luckily I don’t have this issue with my smaller (38 mm to 40 mm diameter) automatic watches. But again, that’s just me and this will vary depending on your body and preference.

There’s also titanium watches out there that will be much lighter that a typical stainless steel automatic watch. So if lightweight is your preference, then you can get one of these (for a bit of premium of course).

Thus, my advice is to test out the watches and feel for yourselves if its something that you can wear or not. Do remember that watch diameter will heavily influence its weight, so if you want a light watch, then most often that not, a small diameter is what you need. And as I’ve touched above, watches with a titanium case can also be a good choice for lightweight watch.

Automatic Watch Price: Why Is It So Expensive?

Automatic watch usually can be had for upwards of $150 (for Japanese and non-Western brands) and upwards of $500 for Swiss/Europe/US brands – with very high upper limits, going into hundred of thousands of dollars and some even millions!

So why is this very expensive price for a piece of watch?

Firstly, we need to understand that the automatic watch movement consists of over one hundred of minuscule parts, hence the manufacturing cost of these parts will be much more that what a normal quartz watch has. In addition, the movement will usually need some human intervention in its assembly, thus increasing labor costs associated with its production.

Since that is the case, automatic watchmakers know that they have to give more value to their watch to separate it from the run-of-the-mill quartz watches. Hence, the use of better materials (stainless steel, titanium, even gold) and delicate finishing on it. This will proposition their watch to a higher price bracket to rack in more profit per watch.

And that’s why automatic watches are usually marketed towards the well-to-do people as an exclusive device, something of a higher value that normal quartz watch. After all, nor everyone can pay hundreds of dollars for a watch right?

Where To Buy Automatic Watch?

The easiest way to buy an automatic watch is by walking into a watch store. You can see, feel and try the watches for yourselves and assess if this is the watch that you prefer. Often times I’ve fallen in love with some watches that I saw on internet, only to realize that its not really something that I prefer once I’ve seen it in person. So do have a look at it in store and see the watch for yourselves.

automatic watch guide what is

So yeah, a brick and mortar store is still the easiest way to buy a watch as you can try it out first. These stores are usually the authorized dealers (AD) for that particular watch brand which means you will be buying something that is 100% real with full manufacturer warranty.

But if you want to save some money, especially for buying an automatic watch less that $1,000 mark, buying online is the cheapest way to buy it.

You can easily get 20% to 30% discount off your automatic watch prices if you buy it online. Online stores (either through their own website of through Amazon, EBay, Jomashop, LongIslandWatches etc.) can give cheaper prices because they don’t have to pay for the rental of the physical stores.

But its not the easiest since you do have to compare and choose a good vendor before you purchase it. This is the most important step because there are counterfeits out there but a good & reputable online store will be selling gray market watches – 100% original but since its not sold by an AD, it won’t be getting the manufacturer’s warranty.

That is another important point to understand. With a gray market watch, you will only have the vendor’s warranty (e.g Amazon, etc.) and not the manufacturer’s warranty. So if something goes wrong, you will need to send the watch back to the vendor and that will incur some costs for you and it will be a bit more complicated compared to the official manufacturer warranty.

But from my own experience, I never have any issue with my online purchases and never need to claim any warranty whatsoever. The key here is to select a good and reputable vendor with lots of positive reviews/comments from buyers. With this, you can reduce the likelihood that you’re getting a lemon unit and save time and money from the hassle of claiming warranty.

What I usually did is to scout the watch that I like on physical stores – see it, try it on and check out its prices. Then I do a comparison with online stores and see which one has the best offer. Do note that with online store, you have to add in postal price as well as any insurance or excise duty as an automatic watch purchase is expensive and you might need to pay for it (depending on your country).

Some Common Automatic Watch Brands

Below are some of the common automatic watch brands currently in the market, in order of increasing luxury, price and affordability. Do note that this is just a general guideline and not to be taken as a definite rule. By the way, some brands do produce wide range of watches encompassing many pricing levels (such as Seiko).

  1. Entry Level: Seiko, Citizen, Orient, Invicta, Stuhrling, Fossil, Tissot, Hamilton
  2. Mid Level: Oris, Longines, Sinn, Rado, Laco, Christopher Ward, Raymond Weil
  3. Entry Level Luxury: Tag Heuer, Tudor, Nomos, Bell&Ross;, Grand Seiko
  4. Mid Level Luxury: Rolex, Omega, Breitling, Blancpain, Hublot, Cartier, Panerai
  5. High-End/Ultra Luxury: Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, A. Lange & Sohne

Taking Care Of Your Automatic Watch So That It Will Last Long

With such a delicate (not to mention expensive) item, you do need to take good care of your automatic watch. Below are some of the top tips on how you should take care of it so that it will last long:

  1. Avoid sudden shock/impact: As the movement consists of lots of small parts, a sudden impact might screw up these parts, causing damage to the movement.
  2. Keep it clean: You need to keep it always clean from dirt or water to ensure it can last long.
  3. Away from magnets and electronics: The various metal parts inside it might get magnetized when being in close proximity with magnets or electronic items. Getting magnetized is bad as it will cause inaccuracy to the watch.
  4. Get it serviced when its time: Without a proper service from time to time, the watch will not run as good as its first day. The same rules with automobiles or any mechanical devices applies to automatic watches.
  5. Store it in a proper place: It’s highly recommended to get a proper watch storage box if you intend to store your watch for long period of time.

If you want to learn more about how to take care of your automatic watches, read my previous post here.

Final Question: Is Automatic Watch Worth It?

So get to the last part of this article: is automatic watch worth it? Should you get one?

And the answer is it depends and varies from person to person.

For me, I personally enjoy having automatic watches because of its unique character. It’s run entirely by mechanical energy without any usage of electric/electronic parts like everything else around us nowadays. For me, that’s very refreshing and I always enjoy my mechanical-based automatic watch compared to my quartz based watch. I also love the fact that it contains a cool piece of engineering and workmanship, all on my wrist.

True enough, its also more expensive but you’re getting a finer watch in that package. My automatic watches all have more refinement and greater finishing that an ordinary watch costing less that $100. So yes, for that premium price, you’re getting a better overall watch in terms of material, fit and finish.

But just be warned, its still an expensive purchase so I always advice those new with automatic watch to buy an affordable one first and see if you like it or not. Automatic watch does has its own flaws and you need to know whether you can live with it. By buying a cheaper automatic watch first, you won’t lose out too much money if you decided that its not suitable to you.

For some of the cheaper automatic watches out there, check out my list of the affordable watches under $200, under $500 and under $1,000 that you can grab today.

I hope with this information, you will be know more about automatic watch, how it works, its advantage and, most importantly, its disadvantage. Without a doubt, an automatic watch is an expensive purchase and that’s the reason why you should know everything about it before you make the decision to buy one.

If you have any doubts, don’t hesitate to contact me by commenting below. Till next time.


The Complete Guide About Chronograph Watch


One of the things that often confuse me in the past is chronograph watch. It has a cool utilitarian look but what exactly does it do? I’ve decided to find out about more about chronograph watch and here is what I found.

So what is a chronograph watch? Chronograph watch is a watch with stopwatch functionality (able to track/record time) added to it. So in essence, a chronograph is a two-in-one device whereby you’re getting a normal watch AND a stopwatch in a single device.

In this article, I’m going to share with you all I know about chronograph watch: how to read it, how do you use it, its history, the different types of chronograph watches, and lastly, how to choose a suitable chronograph watch for you. So if you’re interested, keep on reading!

Table of Content:

  1. How Do You Read Chronograph Watch?
  2. How To Use Chronograph Watch?
  3. What Are The Uses Or Functions Of Chronograph Watch?
  4. Bezel Scales Used On Chronographs
  5. History Of Chronograph Watch. Who Invented It First?
  6. The Different Types Of Chronograph Watch
  7. How Does A Chronograph Work? The Different Movements Used In The Chronograph
  8. What Is The Difference Between Chronograph And Chronometer?
  9. How To Choose The Suitable Chronograph Watch For You

How Do You Read Chronograph Watch?

how to read chronograph watch
An analog chronograph

Chronograph watch can be quite confusing (especially the analog type), but trust me, once you’ve got the hang of it, it will be easy to read. Let’s get into the analog type first as it’s the harder one to read.

First of all, there are many subdials (or the small circles on the dial) that will be used to tell time. I’m sure you’re well aware about the normal 3-hands analog watch (1 hand or needle each to show the hour, minute and second). The subdials are placed on the dial to show/record the time for the chronograph.

There will be a dedicated subdial to show the seconds (placed at the below part of the watch pictured here), a subdial for minutes (left side) and a subdial for hours (right side). If you look closely, you will notice that the seconds and minutes subdials have 60 parts while the hour subdial only has 24 parts (denoted by its markers).

This shows that this particular chronograph can only track time up to 24 hours since that’s the maximum hours that it can display on its chronograph subdial. This is important to know about because some chronographs can only show lower amount of hours while others can go on for longer.

This brings me to another point: there are many chronograph designs out there. For example, the subdials can be positioned elsewhere, there might not be a seconds subdial and instead it will use the main seconds hand for chronograph, there might not even be a subdial for hours, etc.

It’s good to know that many chronograph design exist and you just have to figure it out by yourselves by remembering the basic anatomy of it.

For a digital chronograph, things are much simpler as the tracked time is displayed right there on the screen. There’s not much guess work needed here.

how to read chronograph
A digital chronograph

How To Use Chronograph Watch?

Using a chronograph watch is easy and is similar whether you’re using an analog or digital types. There are 2 different buttons (or pushers, as it’s called in horology) that are normally positioned on the right side of the watch, at 2 and 4 o’clock positions.

Normally, the top pusher is used to control the chronograph. A single push will start the chronograph and you can see the seconds hand starting to move to record time. Pushing this pusher again will pause it, and you can resume the time by pushing it again.

The bottom pusher is used to reset the chronograph. So say you’ve started the time and pause it, you can reset it all back to zero by pushing the bottom pusher.

Now, this is the basic and most common way on how to use a chronograph watch. Certain higher end chronographs will have more functions (more on that later on), and hence it will be more complicated to use it. If in doubt, I highly recommend reading the user manual for your particular chronograph watch so that you will fully understand how to operate it and get the best out of it.

What Are The Uses Or Functions Of Chronograph Watch?

Basically, you can use a chronograph watch as a timer to record the time of anything, such as a racing event, examination time, for cooking (the time for something to finished cooking based on the recipe), swimming – basically anything that requires some timing can be done using a chronograph.

Without a doubt, you can always do these timing mentally by using a normal watch (subtracting the current time with the time you started the activity/event). But of course, it’s not an easy task, especially as you’ve grown older. In addition, some events can last only few seconds making it harder to track using normal watch.

That’s where a chronograph comes in. As a stopwatch, it’s really easy to use and will make tracking the duration of any event much easier, not to mention more accurate. In fact, one of its first wide use is to help officials time horse racing events.

Bezel Scales Used On Chronographs

how to use chronograph

Chronographs have been widely popular among flight pilots due to its ability to help in speeding up calculations for speed and precise timing, and this is thanks to the bezel scales.

In addition to being able to track time, chronographs were also equipped with bezel scales that can be used to help aviators or anyone easily.

So what are the bezel scales used on chronographs? There are about 4 different types of bezel scales mainly used in chronographs nowadays: tachymeter, telemeter, pulsometer and slide bezel rule.

The first is tachymeter, the more popular of the bezel scales (I’m pretty sure you can spot this word on the bezel of many chronographs). Tachymeter scale is used with the stopwatch to do rapid calculations on the speed of an object, provided the event lasts more than 7.2 seconds.

To use the tachymeter, you will need to know the distance of what the object will travel. Start the chronograph once it’s at the starting point and stop it after 1 mile or 1 km (the scale is unit less). The seconds hand will show the elapsed time the object traveled/flew in the 1 mile or km, as well as pointing to a number on the tachymeter scale. This number is the speed of the object in miles per hour or km per hour (depending on the length chosen to do the measurement).

Although tachymeter bezel scale is not really that easy to use (you still need a rough estimate of the travel length of the object), it’s a great little device that can be used easily with ample training. It’s also a real fun device to be used when visiting the race track as you can easily use it to know how fast your favorite racer is going.

The second bezel scale is telemeter and is the less frequently used scale of the two. If the tachymeter helps to find speed, the telemeter helps to find distance between the position of the person holding the watch and somewhere the event takes place.

The scale uses the concept of the speed of sound, whereby you start the chronograph when an event started (artillery fire, lightning bolt, explosion etc.) and stop it once you’ve heard it. The chronograph seconds hand will show the elapsed time and also the duration on the telemeter scale (either in km or mile).

Although its a great scale, it’s use is not fairly useful for most of us. I’d say only those working with artillery and the likes (e.g military men) will find it useful.

The next scale is pulsometer, that can be used to check the number of pulses per minute and is very useful for doctors. So instead of having to do their own calculations mentally on how many pulses/heart beats per minute, the pulsometer scale helps them to do it easily.

The doctor will need to start the chronograph and count the number of pulses to 15 or 30 (depending on the scale) and stop it once the count is done. The number shown on the pulsometer is the pulses per minute.

There’s also another type of bezel scale called the slide bezel rule that is very nifty in making fast calculations. Although you don’t need a chronograph to be able to use the slide rule bezel, it’s usually placed on top of a chronograph alongside the tachymeter scale. (If you want to know more about the slide rule bezel, read my previous post about it).

Another advantage of having these scales on the chronograph is the extra coolness radiating from the very busy dial. Without a doubt, that’s one of the major attraction of the chronograph – it just looks so cool. Yes, it’s very nifty to have around but I bet most of us that like it were attracted due to the very cool, stylish and busy dial in the first place LOL!

History Of Chronograph Watch. Who Invented It First?

It’s hard to talk about chronograph without looking into its history. One cool fact is the term “chronograph” is a combination of the Greek words “chronos” meaning time and “graph” meaning writing. So chronograph literally means writing time in English.

Chronograph Louis Moinet 1816 Compteur de Tierces
Louis Moinet Chronograph “Compteur de Tierces”

The chronograph or stopwatch with the form as we know it now was first invented by the French horologist, Louis Moinet in 1816. Louis Moinet was a genius in watchmaking and he created the chronograph (named as “Compteur de Tierces”) to assist with astronomical equipment.

The first marketable chronograph was invented by Nicolas Mathieu Rieussec in 1821. Nicolas was the Watchmaker to the King of French and invented his chronograph so that the King can timed his horse racing. He was also a businessman and saw the opportunity to market his device to the racing community, and thus spread the use of chronographs.

Chronograph Nicolas Rieussec 1821
Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph

An interesting story is Nicolas’ chronograph was hailed as the first chronograph invented for decades until Louis Moinet’s chronograph was discovered in 2013!

What’s exciting is how Louis’ creation was so ahead of time. First of all, it looks much more like a modern stopwatch (you can just compare the two pictures and tell me which one looks like a stopwatch). It is able to measure up to 60th of a second, thanks to its technologically impressive 216,000 vibrations per hour. This was a big deal as the usual vibrations per hour is around 28,800 times, even to this day!

Louis also incorporated a start, stop and reset function – something that the horology industry only invented in the 1930s. Truthfully, the Compteur de Tierces was groundbreaking and had it been discovered earlier (or had Louis applied for a patent on this), the watchmaking industry will be moving at a greater pace than what it was.

An automatic chronograph (self-winding instead of manual winding) was only conceived in the 1969 by 3 parties: a Heuer-Breitling-Buren/Hamilton partnership with their Chronomatic movement, Zenith with their El Primero and Seiko with Ref. 6139.

The Different Types Of Chronograph Watch

What are the different types of chronograph? There are about 5 types of chronograph currently most known, which are normal chronograph, flyback, rattrapante/split-second, foudroyante and regatta. Each of these have their own functionalities and advantages which I’ll explain below.

1) Normal chronograph:

The normal chronograph is the typical stopwatch with normal functionality. It has the most basic functions which are start, stop and reset functions.

2) Flyback chronograph:

Flyback chronograph (also known as retour-en-vol in french) saves time to restart a timing just by pushing the reset button. So instead of having to push 3 times/buttons to stop, reset and start the timing, a flyback chronograph can simplify these actions into one push of a button to reset the time to zero and immediately start the timing.

This functionality is very useful for those that need quick successions of timing with just a single push of a button.

3) Split second chronograph:

A split-second chronograph (also called as rattrapante in french) has 2 seconds hand/needle that can be used to easily track the time of racing laps. The chronograph will start as usual but as you finished a lap, you can push a dedicated split-second pusher to stop one seconds hand whilst the other hand will continue the timing. You can then use this opportunity to record the time on paper. Once done, pushing the same pusher will bring the stopped hand to align with the continuous hand.

4) Foudroyante chronograph:

Foudroyante chronograph is basically a chronograph with the ability to show time measurements up to fraction of a second. There is usually a dedicated subdial for this, with the markings in various fractions of seconds (6, 8 or 10). While this is very easy to do with a quartz-based chronograph to show the 1/10 second fractions, it can be hard to achieve in automatic movement chronograph as the balance wheel usually only has 6 or 8 beats per second, and hence the 6/8 fractions display.

5) Regatta chronograph:

The last, and arguably the rarest and most complex chronograph is the regatta chronograph, which is invented specifically for yachting race events. In the simplest term, regatta chronograph is basically a timer, in which you can input the specified time and then upon activating it, the watch will count down to zero. This is very important for yachting as the signal to start is usually in the successions of 10/5/1 minutes. Hence, a timer is necessary so that all competitors can prepare for the start.

How Does A Chronograph Work? The Different Movements Used In The Chronograph

There are 2 main movements used for chronographs: automatic and quartz based movements. As you might have known, the quartz based movement is also electronically based, hence there is no real technical challenges in making a chronograph as it can be programmed into it. There will be additional motors and bigger battery required for it to work, but these are not really difficult (I mean if mankind can create a watch to take phone calls, its not a big problem to create a watch that can be a stopwatch right?)

what is chronograph watch

The real technical challenge is in automatic or mechanical movement chronographs. As the movement is mechanical based without any electric/electronic parts, the timekeeping mechanism for a chronograph is much more complex than a normal automatic watch (hence why chronograph is also one of the “complications” in horology).

There are 2 separate systems with an automatic chronograph: the main timekeeping system and the chronograph system. The main timekeeping system will run all the time while the chronograph is only engaged when it’s needed.

To enable the chronograph to start, the connection between the two system/gear trains needed to be done via a coupling. Like any motorized vehicle, this coupling is achieved by a clutch and there are 2 main clutch systems used nowadays which are the horizontal clutch and vertical clutch. Pressing the start button will engage the clutch, couples the chronograph gears to the main gears and starts the stopwatch.

In terms of construction, chronograph movements can be divided into 2 main groups: integrated and modular. The difference between the 2 is the basic design. The integrated design is the best in terms of footprint and volume as the whole watch movement (main timekeeping and chronograph) are designed as one unit.

The other modular design, in comparison, is like Lego in which the chronograph module is added on top of the base timekeeping module. Although it’s not as efficient as the integrated design, modular designs has the ability to make the watchmaking less expensive as different modules or complications can be created and used in conjunction with the base module (which can also be used as a normal vanilla automatic watch in itself!).

What Is The Difference Between Chronograph And Chronometer?

rolex chronometerVery often, people would confuse between chronograph and chronometer – I know about this all too well because I was also one of them.

So what is the difference between chronograph and chronometer? Basically, a chronograph is a function (watch with stopwatch) and a chronometer is refers to a watch that is very accurate and precise.

And yes, a watch can also be a chronograph AND a chronometer.

Confused? Let me explain.

A chronograph is a watch that has a stopwatch function, just like what was explained in the early part of this article. The easiest way to spot a chronograph is by looking at the watch: if it has additional subdials showing second, minutes and hours, it’s most likely a chronograph. In addition, having additional pushers/buttons at the side of the watch is a tell-tale sign of a chronograph watch.

A chronometer, however, is a term affixed to a watch that has outstanding accuracy and precision. A watch can only be called a chronometer once it has been tested by the COSC institute and clears all the requirement for a very accurate watch (you can read about this requirement in my previous post here).

A watch can be a chronograph AND a chronometer if it has the stopwatch function and also has outstanding accuracy, cleared by the COSC institute. I’d have to say this is as good as a chronograph can be with the precision of a chronometer.

How To Choose The Suitable Chronograph Watch For You

Choosing a suitable chronograph can be quite challenging, notwithstanding the many choices around us nowadays. For me, I recommend these 4 criteria (price, movement type, maintenance and style) that you need to assess for yourselves to choose the best chronograph your you.

1) Price

The first factor is price, which is also the main factor whenever you’re choosing a watch. The price of chronographs can vary greatly depending on its movement (automatic is much more expensive than quartz), and material and finishing of the watch (a rose gold chronograph is without a doubt more expensive than a stainless steel one).

But, the biggest factor in watch pricing is the brand. For example, a chronograph from Swiss top brands e.g Patek Philippe is more expensive than normal brands e.g Tissot, Seiko. The reason is simple: a top Swiss brand will utilize the best movement, material, finishing as well as being exclusive – hence the reason why it’s price can shoot up to the roof.

In comparison, normal brands uses cheaper materials and movement, as well as being mass-produced so that their products is more affordable to the normal people.

To this, I’d suggest getting a rough estimate on what is your budget will be for your chronograph. With this budget, you can then focus on certain brands that has watches inside your budget range, thus making it easier for you to make a decision. I’d also want to highlight that you should also have a budget on the maintenance needed to keep your watch in good condition (more on that later).

2) Movement Type

You can choose between automatic or quartz chronographs. Although automatic chronograph is a great device with the highest form of watchmaking, it’s also much more expensive and will be bulky. Not to mention its maintenance will cost a bomb due to the many parts inside it.

In comparison, a quartz chronograph can be very slim thanks to the use of electronics and motors inside it. It’s also much more accurate than an automatic chronograph, at a much lower price point. For an average person, I’d have to say a quartz chronograph is your best bet, because of its technical advantage and the high price tag of what the same automatic chronograph can be.

True enough, you can get a vintage automatic chronograph for an affordable price but how long can you keep maintaining it (which will also cost more money down the road).

Another reason why I prefer quartz chronograph is because you can get a solar powered version, and hence make your life more convenient with the solar recharging feature. With it, you can use your chronographs all day long without having to worry about the battery depleting sooner – a solar chronograph is basically the best watch combo there is!

You should also think of any extra functionality that you would require such as flyback, split-second, foudroyante or regatta. If you’re into motor racing, then the flyback or split-second would be a good choice to accompany you to the track. The regatta is also useful not only to those into yachting but also because of its timer function.

Again, these functions will be very expensive with an automatic chronograph but will only cost a fraction on a quartz chronograph.

3) Maintenance

Maintenance is also another factor that you need to consider when buying a chronograph. Bear in mind that a chronograph is more complicated than a normal watch and there is a higher probability that something will go wrong with a chronograph than a normal watch. In addition, the chronograph will also need to be periodically maintained or serviced later on (more applicable to analog chronographs).

While we cannot control whether a watch will develop some issues down the road, the only thing that we can do is to assess how much it will cost and the efforts associated to maintain or repair the watch. To this, the automatic chronograph will cost much more to service as it has more components inside it. Not to mention you might need to send the watch to a regional service center, or worse, to its headquarters if your watch is exclusive.

Quartz chronographs also need to be maintained but this usually only involves the periodic battery change. Something could also go wrong with a quartz chronograph but the cost of repair is usually not that significant and it might even cheaper to just buy a new one rather than getting it repaired.

4) Style

The last factor in deciding the chronograph for you is the style. There are various styles that you can choose for your chronograph ranging from dressy, sporty, dive and casual. For me, I’d prefer a more sporty chronographs because you can then wear it to outdoor or racing events. Dressy watches looks great and all, but it’s usage is limited and will look out-of-place if used for outdoor activities.

I hope this article about chronographs is beneficial to you. If you have any questions or anything to add, do let me know by commenting below.

Till next time then. Cheers!

Which Wrist Should You Wear Your Watch On?


I still remember when I got my watch as a kid, I’m not entirely sure how to wear it. I know how to strap it on my wrist but then which wrist should I wear it on? It was only after few years (and some more watches) that I can say how best to wear a watch is.

So what wrist should you wear a watch on? Generally, most people will wear their watch on the left wrist because that’s their non-dominant hand (i.e most people are right-handed). If you’re left-handed, then you can wear your watch on your right hand (your non-dominant hand).

There are a lot of benefits in wearing your watch on your non-dominant hand as it’s basically the best way to achieve greater comfort-ability and operability in your daily lives. The watch industry knows this and this is the reason why watches are traditionally designed to be worn on the left. Of course, there’s nothing wrong if anyone wants to wear their watches on the right.

4 Benefits Of Wearing A Watch On Left (or Non-Dominant) Hand

The reason why most watches are worn on the left hand is because mankind’s most common dominant hand is right hand, so the watch is traditionally worn on the non-dominant hand (i.e left wrist).

But what are the benefits of wearing a watch on your left hand? There are 4 major benefits to wear a watch on your left wrist or non-dominant hand:

1) Easy to tell time without disrupting work.

It’s a fact that we will use our dominant hand the most for complex and stuffs that require precision such as writing, painting, woodwork etc. Our dominant hand is the one that we have most control about and is usually the one we used the most.

Because of this, wearing watch on the non-dominant hand is most beneficial as you can easily tell time without stopping what you’re doing with your right/dominant hand. But if you wear your watch on your dominant hand, you will need to stop whatever you’re doing just to tell time – which is not really effective.

Thus, wearing your watch on your non-dominant hand is the best for those wanting efficiency in their lives. All that’s needed then is a flick on your left wrist and you can still tell time without stopping your work

2) Less weight on dominant hand

Wearing a watch will put on some weight on our hand and this is one of the reason why most people chose to wear it on their non-dominant hand. Your right hand is already occupied with tons of things to do and the last thing that you want is another few hundred grams of weight on it. Although a watch does not weight much but it will definitely affect your wrist movement.

One thing that I wants to highlight is the weight of a watch heavily dependent on what material is used to make it. For example, a watch made from stainless steel can add a substantial weight to your wrist (automatic watches, for instance, is almost always heavier than other types of watches due to this).

This is not the case with plastic based watches (such as most quartz-sports watches, fitness trackers, smartwatches) where it can be very light thanks to lightweight materials used such as plastic, silicon, rubber etc.

3) Easier to do work with dominant hand

For me, I personally feel more liberated if my dominant hand is free of anything i.e watches, bracelet, etc. I’m a right-handed guy and use my right hand by default for almost everything in my life. Because of this, I don’t feel comfortable having anything strapped on my right hand as it will obstruct its movement.

This is particularly the case with doing things such as writing, taking notes, using computer mouse, drawing and other things that require my right hand to be placed near a surface/table. Wearing a watch on my right hand will obstruct its movement so much so my productivity will be reduced. In this case, it’s much better to wear my watch on my left hand instead.

4) Avoid damaging on the watch

what wrist do you wear watchIn addition to the functionality of wearing a watch on the non-dominant hand, this practice can also help to avoid damage on the watch. For example, the dominant hand will usually be used for doing heavy stuffs such as lifting things, chopping wood, repairing machines etc.

Such activities pose more danger of damaging the watch should it is worn on the dominant hand.

Now, I’m not saying that your watch won’t get damaged if you wear it on your non-dominant hand (I’ve personally scratched my watches even though I’m wearing it on my left wrist LOL!) but at least, you will be able to avoid or reduce the risk of it being damaged by doing so.

Another thing to remember is that sometimes a damage to the watch is not just it being crushed to the point it cannot be used. You can always pick up some damages like scratches on the watch surface and crystal mostly from brushing the watch with hard things like steel, concrete or a rock.

While these type of exterior damages are not that severe, it is going to make your watch looks not as beautiful as it originally is, not to mention the heartache associated – for example, I’m always in agony when I look at my $500 Seiko Sumo covered in scratches because I didn’t take good care of it!

Most Watches Are Designed To Be Worn On The Left Wrist

As most people wear their watches on their left hands, this fact was picked up by the watch industry and the design of watches were corresponding to this. For instance, we can find that almost all watches have crowns located on their right side of the watch. Without a doubt, this was designed so that right-handed people (which consists of the majority of people) can operate the crown easily to change its time/day/date.

In addition to this, the pushers are also traditionally put on the right side. As these pushers are used to operate the chronographs or set the watch, it’s important to place it where it will be easily accessible i.e the right side of the watch (at least for most of us right-handed guys!).

We can see even current smartwatch designs seem to follow this concept as most of their interact able physical buttons are on the right side of the watch. Granted, you can use the touchscreen on the smartwatch to operate it but it will not have the same operability as the physical buttons.

While many of these smartwatches use buttons, Apple’s watch use of rotating crown is by far the most right-handed centric as it’s very hard for a left-handed guy to use it. Fortunately, you can set it to be a left-handed device (I just love when they seem to think about everything through). But still, in my opinion, the rotating bezel on the Samsung watch is by far, the easiest way for a left-handed guy to use the watch easily.

Can You Wear Your Watch On The Right Wrist? Definitely!

wear watch on right handSo can you wear your watch on your right wrist? It’s totally okay to wear your watch on your right wrist – it’s your watch after all and you can wear in whatever way you prefer. If the right wrist is better for you, then go on with it.

This is definitely the case with left-handed people as they will not prefer to wear their watches on their dominant hand. In this instance, it’s actually better for them to wear it on their right hand as it will make them easier to do things with their dominant left hands.

But as I’ve mentioned above, most watches are designed to be worn on the left wrist so there’s little choice for those wanting a right-handed watch AND is operatable easily. There are some watch companies that produce left-handed centric watches but it’s too far in between.

If you will only use your watch to tell time and don’t usually need to operate it (i.e a chronograph, etc.), then wearing a typical watch on your right wrist is going to be just fine. But if you wants to use your chronographs often, then it’s better to wear it on your left hand or get a left-handed centric watch should you wants to wear it on your right wrist.

Man vs Woman: Any Difference On Which Hand To Wear The Watch?

While there’s common saying that man and woman should wear their watches on different hands, I don’t find this true. In my observation, I can say that most people (man and woman) wear their watches on their left hands because of the reasons above (non-dominant hand, preference).

There are also some man and woman who wear their watches on their right hand, but these are mostly left-handed people so such a thing is better for them.

But in terms of this gender-specific rule of using a watch, it’s basically a misconception and you should not think too much about it. Just wear the watch on your non-dominant hand and you will be okay (see the 4 benefits of doing so) or you can just follow your preference. Either way, I believe that you should always wear your watch in a way that’s most comfortable and preferable to you.

Hope this article will help you to decide what wrist you should wear your watch on. Although wearing the watch on the non-dominant hand (the left wrist for most of us) is the best, you can always wear it on your dominant hand depending on your preference. After all, you paid for it and you should enjoy your watches as you like it.

Do share your thoughts in this matter by commenting below.


10 Most Common Materials Used To Make A Watch


A watch is a fascinating device that’s have been around for centuries. Throughout this very long time, the materials used to make a watch have changed with the passage of time.

So what are the materials used to make a watch now? There are 10 common materials used in most watches now as listed below:

  1. Plastic
  2. Stainless Steel
  3. Glass
  4. Titanium
  5. Sapphire
  6. Quartz
  7. Gold
  8. Leather
  9. Elastomers
  10. Carbon Fiber

1. Plastic

The first material that is very common in watchmaking is plastic. Well, it’s no surprises there as plastic is one of the most common material for almost everything in our lives spanning almost all industries.

The reason why plastic is ubiquitous is because it’s a synthetic material hence can be produced with at a cheap price. This is advantageous because it will not be wildly affected by the swings in natural resource prices such as wood, steel etc.

In addition, as it’s a man-made material from hydrocarbon, plastic can be formed and configured based on any specific needs simply by adding additives during its manufacturing process. Due to this, the quality of plastics can vary greatly from a weak and flimsy material to a great shock absorbing material.

The use of plastics in watchmaking is vast, though it will depend on the watch category itself. For a cheap low-end watch, plastic is used extensively from its casing, to its movement housing, to its internal components. The advantage of this is the watch will be lightweight and can be made in many colors.

Plastic is also used to make the watch crystal, specifically the acrylic crystal type. The advantage of this type of watch crystal is its lightweight and ability to resist shatter/impact unlike normal glass (mineral crystal).

For more expensive watches, plastic is not used as extensively as it’s usually associated with cheap products. Instead, the material of choice will be a metal with stainless steel the de-facto material, followed by more expensive ones such as titanium and gold (which I’ll touch shortly). This is important because plastic is not a long-lasting material and will lose its luster over the years.

2. Stainless Steel

materials used to make watchThe next material is stainless steel, which I’m pretty sure you must be aware of as it’s one of the popular material around our home. Thanks to its great corrosion resistance, it’s usually used for stuffs that will be normally exposed to water such as cutlery, cooking utensils, knives, door knobs, faucets and others.

For those that don’t know, stainless steel is not a naturally occurring material but is an alloy from combining iron (the element ferum) with carbon, chromium, nickel and other elements.

The result is a strong material but with the added ability to resist corrosion thanks to its chromium content. It’s also known as inox steel, from the French word inoxydable (inoxidizable).

If plastic is mainly used for cheaper watches, stainless steel is the most common material in middle to high range of watches. It’s used for watch case, bracelet, and internal parts in an automatic movement.

As it’s a steel, there is no question about its strength and durability to resist any knocking or impact throughout its lifetime.

Not to mention it will be able to last very long as it will not be corroded, as long as you keep it away from moisture and any acids. This characteristic makes it the best choice for a dive watch as sea water won’t be able to do anything to it.

In addition, its beautiful silver appearance also makes it a popular choice for watch materials to give it a great metallic aesthetic. But be warned, a watch made from steel is going to weigh quite a bit, though some guys do like this extra heft when wearing the watch as they interpret it as a sign of a well-constructed and tough watch (which it is, it’s steel after all!).

My personal advice in selecting a stainless steel watch is to try it out first and see if you’re okay with its weight or not. Its weight will depend on the watch design and dimension (a larger diameter and thicker watch will weigh more) so do try out different watch sizes to find out the best size for you.

3. Glass

Glass is one of the most used material in our daily lives that have been in used for centuries. It was made from melting sand, soda ash and limestone at high temperature, and then forming it into the shape that we intended. As it’s cooled down, the resulting solid becomes glass as we know it.

It’s very popular as household products, even though it’s more fragile and expensive than the synthetic plastic. The reason? It’s not full of chemical and hence, there is lower risk of chemicals seeping through the foods as opposed to plastic. In addition, it looks much better and is the number one choice for high class dining setup.

For watches, glass is mainly used as the watch crystal – or the transparent protective cover on top of the watch. In horology, these types of glasses are called mineral crystal. It’s not an ordinary glass for tableware though as it has been hardened specifically to ensure it can resist any impacts when its being used as a watch.

4. Titanium

The next material used in watchmaking is titanium. It’s one of earth’s metallic elements and is prized due to its high strength to density ratio. Pound per pound, titanium is about 30% stronger than steel. In addition, it also has good corrosion resistant.

Due to this characteristic, titanium is a great material for instances where lightweight is important such as outer space industry and racing cars. In these industries, titanium is preferred over steel as it provided the required strength but with a lighter weight.

Don’t be surprised that titanium is also used for many sporting goods such as rackets, golf clubs, hockey, and bicycle components due to this great characteristics (at a higher price than normal steel parts, of course).

In watchmaking, titanium is mainly used to replace steel to capitalize on its lightweight property. By using titanium, a bulky dive watch will still look great and cool but at a more manageable weight. (such as the case with this Seiko Shogun). But as titanium is more expensive, the watch’s price will also be higher as a result.

Another advantage of titanium is it can be used by those with steel allergies (yes, there are some unfortunate people that have allergies to steel!). With titanium watch, these people will be able to wear a watch like others.

5. Sapphire

Sapphire is something that I’m pretty sure you’ve heard about. It’s one of the gemstones and a rarity, but in watchmaking, sapphire is not exactly what you would think it is.

Sapphire is a hard material, having a score of 9 in mohr hardness scale (with diamond at 10) so it’s very scratch resistance.

Now, although sapphire is a gemstone, mankind have been able to synthesize it, although the process is slow and expensive (but at least we will have an abundant source of the material).

It is these synthetic sapphire that was used in watchmaking. Most of the sapphire is used to make watch crystal to capitalize on its scratch resistance properties. This ensures the watch crystal is scratch free even if it’s been used for years. In comparison, the other watch crystals (glass based mineral crystal and plastic based acrylic crystal) scratches fairly easily even in normal everyday use.

Another advantage of using sapphire for watch crystal is how it’s able to keep its appearance in the long run. It will not fade or become dull over the years, not unlike the other types of watch crystals. Because of this, sapphire is currently the default watch crystal material for Swiss watches, especially the more expensive ones that use automatic movement.

For Japanese watches, sapphire is only used for mid-high range of watches as the cheaper watches usually used the cheaper mineral crystal. In addition to watch crystal, sapphire is also used as jewels in automatic watches.

6. Quartz

The next material used in watches is quartz. Quartz is something that is inscribed on many watches but do you know what it actually is?

Basically, quartz is silicon dioxide and the second most abundant mineral on earth. It’s naturally found among sands and rocks, so much so it’s name was derived from the German word “Quarz”, which means “hard”. Now what does sand have to do with watches?

Quartz, or rather a minuscule grain of it, is used in watches as an oscillator for timekeeping. This is due to its piezoelectric properties – it will vibrate when an electric current pass through it. The vibration from quartz is used to keep time i.e it will be a signal so that the watch will know what is 1 second.

This is the basic premise of the “quartz movement. Right now, most of the watches on the planet uses this type of movement inside it, though only some of them will display the word “Quartz” on it. This is because quartz movement is the cheapest and very accurate type of movement. Generally, if a watch uses a battery, it will be using a quartz movement.

(If you want to know more about how quartz movement works, read my previous post here where I explain in detail about this topic)

7. Gold

Next we have gold, the symbol of riches. Traditionally, gold have been used for expensive watches for centuries – a watch was always a form of jewelry to the upper class back then so its not surprising that gold is used right now in watches.

Gold, or aurum in Latin, is highly prized due to its rarity and shimmer beauty. Its beautiful “golden” shine can captivate people so much so it’s one of the sought after jewelry material.

Scientifically, gold is also special because it can exist in free elemental form as nuggets or grains. It’s also the most nonreactive metal in the world and will remain uncorroded for years.

In addition to being a jewelry item, gold is also used in electronic circuit boards due to its conductivity and high corrosion resistance.

Now, for a watch, gold is often used as the casing, replacing stainless steel. It’s also being used in the internal parts (automatic movement only) whereby a clear case back will be employed so that its golden interior can be seen. Yellow and white gold colors are also often used for watches too (the gold in this case is alloyed with another element such as copper or steel to get the colors).

Without a doubt, a gold watch is one of the pinnacle of exclusivity and sign of richness. For men who don’t really care about jewelry, a gold watch is the best way to display your wealth while loving real stylish at the same time. But one thing to be cautious about is that a gold watch can have a substantial weight as gold has almost double the density of steel. So while it’s really good-looking, its wear ability (at least for long term) might be in question.

8. Leather

The 8th material used for watches is leather, mostly used for the straps. Leather straps are the best type of strap for a watch if you’re looking for a sleek and elegant kind of look. Its very beautiful to look at and greatly complement your tux or jacket. In addition, the comfortable and soft surface of it makes wearing a leather strapped watch a real pleasure.

For those that don’t know, leather is the skin of an animal that was killed mainly for its meat. The skin was then tanned to create the final leather products (clothes, bags, shoes, etc.) as we know it. The practice of using animal skin for leather products was started in the stone ages by our ancestors as it’s one of the easiest ways to get a cloth.

Leather can be divided based on its source, with cow is the main one that you will see on the market. This is not surprising as it’s the cheapest option for a leather/hide. There are other sources such as goat, buffalo, sheep and pig.

There are also the more expensive leathers, so called exotic leathers from snake, alligator and crocodile. These leathers are sought after due to its unique pattern, as compared to the more bland surfaces of cowhide and other cheaper leather sources. Since these exotic leathers are also scarce, its prices are also more expensive.

Although exotic leathers look really great, there is a concern on the ethics of getting one as the snake/alligator/crocodile was killed just to get the leathers. In comparison, the common leather from cow/sheep was from the byproduct of the meat and dairy industry. In other words, getting an exotic leather mean we’re killing the animal just for its skin.

Luckily, there exist a way to get the nice exotic leather pattern on a normal cowhide using a technique called embossing. Embossed cow leather straps are stamped with a pattern almost like exotic leathers for that nice look. It’s a cheaper and not as ethically concerning way to get a great looking leather strap.

Although leather is a good strap material, it’s not a good choice for when you know you will get wet (the moisture will break down the leather faster). Because of this, this next material, elastomers, is a good choice for straps to be used outdoor.

9. Elastomers

Elastomers comprises all kind of polymer with viscous and elastic properties such as rubber, silicon and polyurethane. It’s very popular for sports watch bands and also for casings for watches designed to be used outdoor (think about Casio G-Shocks watches).

It is elastic and will provide great fit and comfortable wear on the wrist, though this will depend on the types of the elastomer used.

For instance, rubber is the most natural form of it and was processed from latex of topical plants such as rubber trees. It’s usually the most expensive and gives the best comfort. Silicone is the cheapest but also less durable. Polyurethane (or PU) is basically a step up from silicone with greater durability.

But although it’s a cheap and comfortable option for a watch strap, elastomers generally don’t last very long and will fail after some time. This is made worse if you’re using your watch for outdoor activities and the strap is exposed to all kind of environment.

Due to this, I will always treat an elastomer band as a consumable and can be replaced if it fails in the future. It’s quite cheap after all and you can even buy these in bulk off online stores too.

10. Carbon Fiber

Last but not least, carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is a lightweight man-made material but with a strength greater than steel and even titanium. In fact, pound for pound, it’s about 5 times stronger than steel!. It is made by interweaving minuscule strands of carbon graphite over another, creating a very strong material. You can think of its manufacturing process just like a cloth, but replace the cotton strands with carbon graphite.

Due to its high strength to weight ratio, carbon fiber is widely used wherever there is a need for lightweight, yet strong application. It has been used in industries such as aerospace, motor racing, sports and even musical equipment.

In watchmaking, carbon fiber is generally used for watch casing to replace stainless steel. This causes the watch to be very light and still looks distinct thanks to the carbon fiber pattern on it. The only downside is the hefty price for such a watch….

I hope this article will answer your questions about what materials are used in watches. If you think there are other materials that I’ve missed here, do let me know by commenting below.

Till next time. Cheers!

Top 20 Features And Benefits Of Smartwatch in 2019


Smartwatch has been gaining popularity within these past few years. With surging sales and all, more and more people are getting one and using it daily even though they already have a smartphone.

But then, what are the benefits of using a smartwatch? These are the 20 best features and benefits of a smartwatch:

  1. Show time
  2. Notifications for messages and emails
  3. Picking up calls using the watch
  4. Control music playback on phone
  5. Has water resistance rating
  6. As a fitness tracker
  7. Health monitoring
  8. Sleep tracking
  9. Always connected to your virtual assistant
  10. Check your daily calendar and appointments
  11. Payment via NFC
  12. Voice dictation to send messages
  13. Can be used as a torchlight
  14. Remote shutter for your phone’s camera
  15. Control your smart home devices
  16. Handy to find your misplaced phone
  17. Alarm clock
  18. Can be used for navigation
  19. Can customize dial or skins
  20. A very cool high-tech device

1. Show Time

The first and foremost feature is of course, to tell time – in a very cool way. As smartwatch is basically a small smartphone, there are tons of customization that you can do (more on that later) which makes the smartwatch a very different device than any other types of normal watches out there.

It’s basically a digital watch but the use of LED panels make the watch pop up and looks great with various colors and icons (no boring 7-segment number blocks here!). And yes, it can do all the things that normal watches can, plus lots more features thanks to the advance processor and connectivity to our phones.

2. Notifications for messages and emails

The major selling point for smartwatches is its connectivity to smartphones, and by extension, its ability to be notified of all incoming messages, emails and even social media notifications. This feature has made smartwatches a very useful tool especially for those busy individuals.

With this, you will be able to get connected even if your phone is not on your hands (or you just don’t want to take it out from your pocket). No more missing out on those important emails and messages as everything is delivered right to your wrist.

3. Picking Up Calls Using The Watch

And yes, since smartwatches are connected to our phone, it’s natural for it to be able to pick up calls right? This is the next benefit of smartwatches as you can easily pick up calls without the need to fumble around and get your phone out.

In my opinion, this feature is most beneficial when you’re doing something dirty or some activities in which you can’t immediately reach out and take your phone as your hand is occupied or dirty. Or another scenario is when you’re doing some home chores and your phone is in the other room.

With the smartwatch, you won’t miss any calls anymore as the calls will be notified to your watch and you can pick it up using it. Some smartwatches also have LTE connectivity so that it can be its own standalone phone (though there is a concern on battery life with this feature).

4. Control Music Playback On Phone

Controlling music playback on the phone becomes easier with the smartwatch. Although our phones are quite easy to control music to begin with, there are instances when you can’t really use your phone or its inconvenient to do so such as during workouts, in a crowded subway train etc.

In these instances, using your watch is much easier as you don’t need to take out a bulky smartphone out just to change the music or the volume.

5. Has Water Resistance Rating

Smartwatches have grown by leaps and bounds over the years. It has even gotten water resistance rating, with most of the watches having 5 ATM or 50 m rating. There’s always a risk that water will get into a watch that can be very detrimental even for normal watches so it’s very good that current smartwatches have this feature.

I mean, if a normal watch can get fogged up (a sign of moisture ingress), I honestly would be very scared that water will get into my expensive smartwatch which will make more damage on the internal electronics.

With the water resistance, the risk of water ingress into the watch is reduced and you can even use it underwater. This makes the watch a true all-in-one device that you can wear and use for all purposes. In addition, the water resistance enables the fitness tracker feature on the watch usable even for swimming activity.

Although swimming is OK, I’d be wary to bring the smartwatch for diving, even if it has a 50 m water resistance rating. Diving is different than swimming as it has more hydro static force imposed on the watch depending on the dive depth. I’d recommend leaving your smartwatch and use a dedicated dive watch instead for any diving activities.

6. As A Fitness Tracker

With the rising obesity problem, step count is one way to measure how active you are for the purpose of being healthy and fitness tracker can achieve that. With the current shift in fitness tracking device, currently, almost all smartwatches has a form of fitness tracking.

A basic fitness tracker can only measure steps – which our smartphones can do too. But smartwatches can go a step further by offering tracking for other activities too such as jogging, swimming and cycling. This data is useful for the next feature that smartwatch offers: health monitoring.

7. Health Monitoring

The next good benefit of smartwatch is health monitoring. The watch uses the activity data from its fitness tracker and calculates nifty information about your personal health such as calories burn and others.

In addition, it can also track heart rate and correlates that with your activity level to pinpoint any underlying issue with your health. A cool feature is the ability to alert you if your heart rate is too fast or too low so that you can take corrective actions immediately.

8. Sleep Tracking

Another great feature of smartwatch is sleep tracking. Via its actigrapher or acclerometer, a smartwatch can detect the body’s movement to know if you’re asleep or awake. And with its heart rate sensor, it will be able to tell how is your sleep, either restful or restless. This data can be shown by a graph showing how long you’ve slept and the length of the 4 sleep stages that you were in.

But that’s not all. Through dedicated sleep tracking apps, you can use this data to get a wholesome outlook of your daily lives such as how do you sleep when you did a strenuous activity in the evening? Does it give you the best sleep or not? This analysis of your life and sleep pattern is very powerful to get the best activity that you should do in order to maximize the efficiency of your sleep time.

Although it looks great on paper, there’s always the concern of wearing the watch during our sleep. Some people are okay with this while some are not – personally, I’m not comfortable wearing a watch to sleep. Some people might also prefer to take off the watch to charge it overnight. So although sleep tracking is a great feature, its actual uses will depend on the individual’s preference.

9. Always Connected To Your Virtual Assistant

Love using Google Assistant, Siri or (gasp!) Bixby? Then you can still use them even though your phone is not with you via your smartwatch. As it’s connected to your phone, your virtual assistant is always connected and you can use them anywhere.

10. Check Your Daily Calendar And Appointments

This next feature is a great one especially for those with busy schedule. The ability to sync your calendar and appointments make smartwatches a very convenient and powerful tool. As smartphones have been increasing in size and weight over this past years (even IPhone are becoming bigger!), it becomes unwieldy and not easy to be used anymore.

Here comes the smartwatch. If you’re having a very busy day, the watch will be able to notify you with all of your appointments. And since it’s always on your wrist, you won’t miss any appointment notifications at all.

11. Payment via NFC

Near Field Communication (NFC) is a technology that is used in contactless payment and have been around sometime in many smartphones. Now, the same technology was implemented in smartwatches so that you can easily pay for stuffs without the need to bring out your credit card. It’s it convenient?

12. Voice Dictation To Send Messages

The next cool feature with smartwatches is the ability to dictate and send messages. Dictation has been around with smartphones and having this feature on smartwatches is great as it makes the watch more usable. Although you can still send messages with the watch, the small screen real estate makes typing on it not a feasible option.

Then enter dictation. With this, you can just say the words to the watch and it will dictate it into a message. This is especially powerful if you’re in a situation where you can’t stop and pick up a phone to reply, such as driving.

13. Can Be Used As A Torchlight

Another handy feature with smartwatch is the ability to use it as a torchlight. Now, not all smartwatches have a dedicated torchlight function but some (such as the Samsung Galaxy Watch) can light up its screen to the max and use it as a sort of torchlight. Yes, it’s not a real torchlight and it has serious range limit but when you’re in a pinch, this feature is something that you’d wish you’d have.

14. Remote Shutter For Your Phone’s Camera

The next feature is my personal favorite: making your smartwatch a remote shutter for your phone’s camera WITH the ability to show what’s it’s taking. Without a doubt, this is a great feature that can easily justify the purchase of smartwatch, if you’re taking lots of pictures of course.

Taking pictures for groups and wanting to be part of it is an age-old problem. You can ask a passer-by to take your picture for you but what if there is no one else besides you and the gang? You can use a timer for it but then you’ll have to run to your position once you’ve pressed the shutter – can you still give a great pose then?

You can also get a Bluetooth shutter for this (the Samsung Note 9 last year introduced its Bluetooth-enabled stylus that has this purpose) but you can’t see how your picture looks like.

Now enter your smartwatch. With it, you can sync your phone’s camera to see in real-time what your camera will capture. You can then use it as a remote shutter and even change some of your camera’s settings. Now that’s one real convenient feature for a classic problem =)

15. Control Your Smart Home Devices

Controlling your smart home devices is also possible with the smartwatch. Since it’s connected to your phone, you can get the same control over your IoT devices just from the wrist of your hand. From there, controlling your lighting fixtures, TV, robot vacuum cleaner, air conditioner and other devices are easy.

16. Handy To Find Your Misplaced Phone

The next benefit of having a smartwatch is the function to trigger where your misplaced phone is at. As both devices are connected, you can trigger your phone to give an alarm sound even though it’s on silent mode. No misplaced phone anymore!

17. Alarm Clock

And yes, you can use your smartwatch for alarm clock too. In fact, I’d think using the watch as alarm will work even better as you can strap it on your wrist and when the alarm goes off, the vibration from the watch with the noise it makes will wake you up more effectively.

18. Can Be Used For Navigation

The next feature that a smartwatch has is the ability to be used for navigation. As most smartwatches have an in-built GPS (Global Positioning System), the watch can be used as a handheld navigation device simply by loading up the apps on it.

Although I don’t think this is useful for those driving since we can easily arrange our phones in front of us while driving which is easier to look at, I can see that this feature will often be used by tourists or those walking and using public transport.

As these people need to be wary of their surrounding, it’s better for them to be using their smartwatch as a navigation device instead of taking out their bulky smartphone. Smartwatch is always strapped to our wrist and simply flicking it will be enough to let us see the navigation commands. In comparison, smartphones is heavy and there is a risk that it could be dropped on the floor while you’re busy trying to find your way around foreign place.

19. Can Customize Dial Or Skins

One of the most fun features in a smartwatch is the ability to customize its dial using skins. Just like a wallpaper on your computer or phone, smartwatch also has its own wallpaper that can be changed on the fly. If you’re bored with the stock dial out of box, just change it with some other dial. In fact, you can also download other dials and use it as you wish.

With a smartwatch, you’re essentially getting hundreds of dials for the price of one!

20. A Very Cool High-Tech Device!

Last but not least, a smartwatch is a very cool high-tech device. With all the features above, we can say that smartwatch nowadays are just a bit below smartphones in terms of raw capability. Of course, it’s lack of screen real estate is a big disadvantage but when you look at what it can do, you just can’t stop being in awe with it.

Having one of the latest smartwatches will definitely increase your status among your colleagues or friends as someone that knows the direction of technology nowadays.

I would have to highlight that not all the smartwatches in the market right now supports these features. So you should always double check the product specification of the watch you’re interested in first before purchasing it.

The Future Of Smartwatches

features benefits of smartwatchI definitely am in awe with what smartwatches can do currently. In fact, the industry is continuously innovating it so much so there’s so much innovation now compared to the past few years. True enough, until a way to make the screen bigger than it is now, smartwatch’s adoption will still be limited as not many people will find it really useful, as most already have a smartphone at their disposal.

Another factor that could reduce acceptance to smartwatches is battery life. As of now, the maximum battery life is around 10 days, though it can be increased if you opt to only use the watch as a watch without the various apps and connectivity (which is quite illogical to be honest as there’s no point to buy it then). But most smartwatches on the market have an average battery life of around 3-4 days which is still okay but not great.

There’s also the concern that the connectivity to LTE or smartphone on a device that’s located next to our body can bring some form of harm to us, considering it’s continuously strapped on our wrist. Whether this claim is unfounded or not remains to be seen as no definitive research was published on this matter to my knowledge (if you guys have any info about this, do let me know in the comments below).

I hope this article about the benefits of smartwatches is useful to you. Do let me know if there’s anymore that I missed, by commenting below.


How Do Digital Watches Work? The Complete Guide To Digital Watches

how do digital watches work

Digital watch is a type of watch with digital display and is popular due to its convenience and accurate way to tell time. But how does it actually works?

So how do digital watches work? Digital watches work similar to quartz watches using electronic-quartz oscillation timekeeping with digital displays to show the time.

The inner workings of a digital watch can be broken down into these 3 main components:

  1. Source of power
  2. Timekeeping mechanism
  3. Digital time display

1. Source of Power

The source of power for a digital watch is electric and can either be from a battery cell or an AC power. This depend on the watch itself and each have its own advantages and disadvantages.

For an AC powered digital watch, it’s mainly used for wall or permanent clocks which is not designed to be moved around.

This type of watch has the advantage of not having to change out its battery periodically as the power is directly supplied from the home’s power supply. It’s also usually used for bigger sized watch/clocks that will need a lot of electricity to run (more than what a normal battery cell can give).

In comparison, the battery powered watch will need periodic battery cell replacement. Due to its limited electric charge, it’s also limited to only smaller sized watches and not for big giant clocks. It’s best advantage is the ability to be mobile (which is the case with digital wristwatches and small alarm clocks). Since the power supply is also independent, any power outage to your home will not affect the watch.

The choice of battery or AC power operated watch will depend on what you want the watch to have. For example, if it’s a simple wristwatch or wall clock, then a battery powered one is sufficient to power the watch. But if the watch you need has more functions such as an integrated radio for instance, then an AC power will be more suitable in this case.

2. Timekeeping Mechanism

All digital watches uses an electronic timekeeping mechanism by utilizing an integrated circuit/microchip inside it. But there are 2 different oscillators that digital watches usually use: a quartz crystal oscillator or using the AC power frequency.

The oscillators are the heart of any watch because it’s the timekeeping mechanism that will tell the watch what is the definition of “1 second”. From there, the watch can do its job by stepping up its counter to count minutes, hours, days etc. In short, the oscillators is the one thing that keeps time in a watch.

The first type is using the AC power own frequency which is 50 or 60 Hz. The watch (usually one that requires a plugged in power) will then use this signal and divides it a few times until it has 1 signal per second (or 1 Hz). From then on, the watch can use this signal for its timekeeping.

The second type is using quartz crystal oscillator, much like how a quartz watch works. Inside the watch is a very small quartz crystal (or just a grain of sand/silica) that is shaped into a tuning fork. Now, quartz is a piezoelectric material in which it will vibrate when electricity passes through it (and vice versa).

The watch will pass electricity to the quartz and it will vibrate, to the tune of 32,768 Hz. This vibration will be detected as a signal and it will be divided until it equals 1 signal per second. The final signal from the timekeeping mechanism will be transferred to the time display.

3. Digital Time Display

how do digital watches workThere are 3 main types of digital display: mechanical-digital display, 7-segment digital display and modern digital display. Let’s look at each of them.

The first type of digital watch is the mechanical-digital display. It’s a display with numbers but the numbers are changing mechanically (kinda like how the date changes in a normal watch). It’s one of the first types of digital watches produced and is quite rare today because the other 2 types of displays are more efficient and cheaper to produce.

The second type is the 7-segment digital display. I’m sure you will recognize the older type of digital displays with a fixed black bars. This can change depending on the numbers to be displayed simply by blackening out the bars as needed. It’s one of the most widely used digital display for watches nowadays.

The last type is the modern digital displays using LCD (liquid crystal display) or LED (light-emitting diodes). This display can be seen on many smartwatches where the watch uses a more advanced and nicer looking display. The numbers on this type of display is also easier to be understood as it’s not as “blocky” as the 7-segment digital display. In addition, these displays typically has colors which make it more attractive to look at.

The main advantage of digital display on watches is how easy it is to tell time. Our brain can register time faster by looking at numbers (on a digital display) compared to the classic analog 3-hands watch. This one advantage is a great one especially for those that needs to be able to tell time as fast as they can.

What Is Digital Watch Made Of?

Most of the digital watches nowadays uses plastic as its main components, especially for the outer case. Plastic is a great material as it’s cheap and can be formed into various shapes. It’s also sturdy and is very light. There are also more expensive digital watches that use stainless steel or aluminum as its case material (case in point, the Apple watches).

The internal components of the watch is the typical electronic stuffs: microchips, battery, wires and so on. The microchip is usually made of silicon while the LED display can be made of gallium phosphide or other materials.

The material for the strap is more conventional with the use of rubber, steel or leather bands (all the kind of stuffs already available on most watches).

Related Questions

How do you program a digital watch? Programming a digital watch can be done by going to the time setting mode and change its time. As this will largely depend on the type of watch used and settings available, it’s recommended to read the user manual or watch a YouTube video on how to set the time for your specific digital watch.

What was the first digital watch with LED display? The Pulsar was the first digital wristwatch with LED display and was introduced in 1970. It’s one of the watches from Hamilton and was also featured in Stanley Kubrick movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.

I hope this article about how digital watches work is beneficial to you. Do let me know if you have questions or comments on it by commenting below.


13 Reasons Why You Should Wear A Wristwatch


Wristwatch is becoming an important item for most people nowadays. If you look on the street, you’ll see a lot of people wearing a wristwatch despite the prominent use of smartphones.

So why should anyone wear a wristwatch? These are the 13 reasons why everyone should wear a wristwatch:

  1. Convenient to tell time
  2. A great fashion accessory
  3. Helps to be punctual and aware of time
  4. Give credibility and professionalism
  5. Stops from being too dependent on smartphone
  6. A functional tool
  7. To appreciate the craftsmanship on a watch
  8. Can be a conversation starter with fellow watch fans
  9. To casually show wealth
  10. Can be a handy personal compass
  11. Collecting wristwatch is a fun hobby
  12. A good investment
  13. Sign that you’ve reached adulthood

1. Convenient To Tell Time

The first and foremost reason why anyone should wear a wristwatch (at least according to me) is to tell time conveniently. True enough, smartphones are more useful than a watch because it has various other uses such as a communication device, connected to internet, apps, taking pictures and can also show us time.

So with all of these functions, why should anyone with smartphone wear a wristwatch?

The reason is that it’s much more convenient to tell time with a wristwatch compared to a smartphone. With a wristwatch worn on your wrist, you only need a simple flick to peek at the watch to tell time. This is a much easier compared to a smartphone, where you will need to unlock it first to see the watch.

And since smartphones are not always with us (usually on the desk or inside our pocket), the act of reaching out to it is another additional step. In terms of efficiency and convenience, a wristwatch is definitely a better choice to tell time.

Another thing that I want to highlight is that you can wear your wristwatch everywhere even to outdoor or water activities – with the right watch of course. Some watches are designed for outdoor activities with water resistance rating which means you can wear it and able to tell time even in the outdoors, which is quite impossible for a smartphone.

2. A Great Fashion Accessory

If you’ve seen a captivating poster ad about a watch featuring handsome/beautiful models, you’ll surely understand how stylish a watch can be. And this is definitely true because a wristwatch is a great fashion accessory that can easily elevate your style.

This is especially true for guys that don’t have much accessory choices in the first place. While there are many accessories that they can use (rings, ear rings, bracelet, etc.), an average guy might not have the inclination to wear it which is why a wristwatch is the perfect accessory for them.

With that being said, I must highlight that you still need to choose the correct wristwatch depending on the occasion or else you will be seen out of place. For instance, a dress watch (such as the Seiko Presage Cocktail Time) is perfect for occasions such as a wedding where you will want to dress up with your most good-looking watch. In comparison, simple yet stylish Seiko SARB033 can be the best companion for a corporate event where you will want to look dapper without attracting much attention to your wrist.

And personally, even though G-Shocks is a great value for money watch, I don’t think it’s a good wristwatch to be worn to an office work (though many people might disagree with me lol! Comment below if you think this is not true).

3. Helps To Be Punctual And Aware Of Time

I’ve started wearing a watch a few years after I’ve had a steady job and I can definitely say that it had helped me to become punctual and always aware of time (and apparently some study have shown that this is indeed the case with other people). Before I started wearing a watch, I mainly used my phone or wall clocks or my laptop to know what time it is. While this method is OK, I still found myself to be tardy for some of my meetings.

When I started wearing a watch, I realized that I’ve become more punctual and my tardiness reduced significantly. I’d say the reason for this is that wearing a wristwatch is a way more convenient method of telling time. It had helped me to always be wary about time and as a result, become more punctual in my daily lives.

4. Give Credibility And Professionalism

“Never trust a man who doesn’t wear a watch”

I’m sure you must have heard this saying before. While I don’t exactly agree with it (as people that don’t wear a watch can also be trustworthy, and there are many fraud cases involving people wearing watches), it is without a doubt a fact that wearing a wristwatch will help to give a sense of professionalism and credibility to you.

I’d like to believe that this is that that most of the professionals and high ranking people (either in private or public entities) all wears a watch and not wearing one will show that you’re not one of them and don’t have the necessary skills that they need. After all, birds of a feather flock together and wearing a watch will definitely help you in getting that prized promotion.

In addition, a work suit without a wristwatch on either hands is sorely lacking and seems incomplete. So guys, if you want to look more professional, consider getting a wristwatch. And no, you don’t need to buy an expensive Omega or Rolex. Just get one that is good enough to be used while still looks stylish and dapper (check out my list of the best affordable automatic watches for some inspiration).

5. Stops From Being Too Dependent On Smartphone

The next reason why you should get a wristwatch is to reduce dependency on smartphones. Phone addiction is a real thing and is negatively affecting the lives of millions of people in the world. This addiction stems from the prolonged usage of smartphones for whatever reason (social media, games, browsing internet, watching videos etc.) and is one of the things that I’m actively trying to avoid.

And here is where a wristwatch can help with phone addiction. When you wear a watch, you will have one less reason to look at your phone as you can easily tell time by looking at your wristwatch. If not, you will be looking at your phone all day long.

For me, I personally love the fact that I don’t have to check out my phone to tell time when doing work. Prior to wearing a watch, I used my phone as a watch and when I unlock it to see what time it is, I will be looking at all the notifications from various apps on my phone. This reduced my productivity as I found myself checking my phone all day long.

By the way, wearing a wristwatch also have the added advantage that you’re not at the mercy of your phone, specifically your phone’s battery. Most phones don’t have a good battery and if it turns off at the end of the day, there goes your watch with it. Thus, wearing a wristwatch will ensure that you can still tell what time it is even when your phone is not working.

6. A Functional Tool

Besides being a timekeeping tool, there are other types of watches that can do more than that. For instance, the dive watch is a classic watch that has water resistance and built more robust than normal watches to withstand forces impacted on it. These makes dive watches a good candidate if you want to wear your watch for diving or outdoor activities.

There’s also the chronograph which is a stopwatch. It’s a very useful watch whereby you can keep track of anything that you want to such as the time for a F1 sports car to finish a lap, how many minutes have elapsed since you started baking and others. The modern wristwatch with quartz based movement is more functional in which it has sophisticated functions such as alarm clock, timer, back light, time zones and others.

While most of the watches in the market only tells time, there are other watches out there with a wealth of functions that will make your life easier.

7. To Appreciate The Craftsmanship On A Watch

Although you can’t really appreciate anything from a cheap China-made watch, more expensive watches with stainless steel casing is usually a sight to behold, and to wear. A good watch is like a jewelry, in which it’s exquisitely built and looks majestic on your hand.

But in my opinion, nothing can beat automatic watch in terms of craftsmanship and this is the reason why I’m so hooked on it. As a watch that don’t have a battery but run entirely by using mechanical parts, automatic watch is most often that not always being accompanied with higher level of craftsmanship.

From the automatic movement, to the dial, to the metal casing and lastly the bracelet or strap, an automatic watch is the watch that you should get if you want the finer things in watches. And if you notice, most of the expensive watch brands usually have a large section of its models with automatic watches.

I’ve yet to own a higher end watch from the likes of Rolex etc., but as far as I can say, even the low to middle range of watches from the brands such as Seiko & Tissot is enough to have great craftsmanship on it and I thoroughly recommend these for those wanting to get into the world of watches.

8. Can Be A Conversation Starter With Fellow Watch Fans

why wear a wristwatchAnother reason to wear a wristwatch is it can be a conversation starter with fellow watch fans. I’ve started conversation with strangers over their watches and others have called up to me due to my watches- which is kinda like how guys complimenting their cars or bikes.

The advantage of this is you will be able to fit in into a new place faster than if you don’t have any similarity with them. People will usually spend some time to look at various watches before buying them which means they will be somewhat knowledgeable about watches. Wearing a watch yourself will open up this opportunity to connect with them and can lead to a greater social circle.

Besides, it’s definitely much better than just talking about the weather right?

Another advantage is you will be able to build some networking with high ranking people in your organization. Chances are, these high ranking officers will be wearing an expensive watch (most likely automatic) and by wearing one yourself (again, not necessarily the same expensive watch. There are good affordable automatic watch below $500 out there) you will be able to connect with them and built your own social network.

9. To Casually Show Wealth

The next reason is one of the reasons why many rich people wear wristwatches – that is to casually show their wealth. Although most watches are affordable, there are very expensive watches out there with eye-watering price tags of more than $100,000 each!

These watches are often times exclusive and small in number with gorgeous designs using precious metals on it. Rich people can wear these watches as a mean to show their watch without flaunting it openly. It’s a discreet way to show their wealth that only the equally rich or knowledgeable might be able to spot it.

10. Can Be A Handy Personal Compass

Wristwatch can also be used as a personal compass by using the hour and minutes hands. These makes it a good alternative when you don’t have an actual compass with you and desperately need to figure out the surrounding directions.

How you do it is by pointing the hour hand to the sun (yes, this method will only work during daytime). Then, draw an imaginary line that divides the angle between the hour hand and 12 o’clock marker equally. This line is the North-South line that you can use for your navigation.

There are a few things that you need to be aware of with this method such as your location (northern hemisphere or southern hemisphere) and time of the day (morning or afternoon) for it to work correctly. Check out this useful wikihow page to learn more about it.

11. Collecting Wristwatch Is A Fun Hobby

If you ask me a few years ago if I would like collect wristwatches, I’d say you’re crazy. But now, I’d say that collecting wristwatches is a fun hobby that I’ve enjoyed tremendously.

I thought that one wristwatch is all that I’ll need but boy, how wrong can I be! From my experience, there is never a one watch that can fit all. True enough, a silver stainless steel dive watch (such as the Rolex Submariner and other watches like it) is the closest to the one watch for every occasion but I beg to disagree. Dive watches are typically big and bulky, hence is not really a good option for an everyday watch for work.

From this, watch collection grew from my insistence of having different types of watches for specific purposes – dressy, work, swimming, etc – so that I’ll be able to wear the correct watch for the correct occasion. Bear in mind that I don’t buy all of my watches at the same time but I timed my purchases depending on the needs, availability and any discounts over the years. Sometimes it will take a few months before I purchase a watch just because I want to research everything about it.

While I admit that this is quite an expensive hobby, but if you’re a watch fan then this can be an entertaining and fun hobby. The effort put into researching a particular timepiece and checking it out physically at the boutique is enjoyable and helped to release stresses from work. And of course, the feeling of buying & wearing your well-researched watch is one of the best moments in this hobby =)

12. A Good Investment

Do you know that a wristwatch can be a good investment? If you look on eBay, there are many watches out there for sale that is being sold more than what it used to worth. In short, you can buy a wristwatch and not have it to lose value over the years!

But there are many caveats to this. For instance, buying a watch as investment will only work if you’re ensuring the watches will be been taken care of. Just like house, a bad watch will be valued far less than a watch in a good condition – even though both are from the same brand, same model and same year of production.

In this regard, watches made out of metal is a good choice as it’s durable. Plastic made watches are not as durable and won’t last as long as their metallic counterpart. Stainless steel watch is the best because it can be stored for years without any rust forming on it. Not to mention its ability to be re-polished in future which will increases its value.

13. Sign That You’ve Reached Adulthood

The last reason to wear a wristwatch is to signal that you’ve reached adulthood. Kids don’t wear a watch, only adults do that. Wearing a wristwatch will signify that you’re an adult and matured enough now. It will tell that you value your time and others time.

Are Watches Obsolete?

No, watches are not obsolete even in this world of smartphones. Although smartphone is a great invention that I personally love, wristwatch is undeniably have a part to play in our lives. The fact that there is a new type of watches called smartwatches lends credence to this – people really love having a watch strapped on their wrist because it’s convenient to be used. With this reason, I don’t see wristwatches going anywhere.

Related Questions

What wrist do you wear a watch on? Most people will wear watches on their non-dominant hand e.g if I’m right handed, I will wear my wristwatch on my left wrist. The reason for this is to ensure the wristwatch won’t restrict the movement of the dominant hand. In addition, you have the ability to reset the time of the watch by using your dominant hand.

I hope this article will be beneficial in telling you why you should wear a wristwatch. Do let me know if you have any comments or questions about this article by commenting below.


10 Reasons Why You Should Buy A Quartz Watch


Quartz watch is the most common watch type right now in the whole world. If you see someone wearing a watch, there’s a high chance that he/she might be wearing a quartz watch. But then again, should you get one for yourself?

So why should you buy a quartz watch? There are 10 good reasons why you should buy a quartz watch:

  1. It’s very accurate
  2. The most affordable watch type
  3. Easy to use
  4. Low maintenance needs
  5. Lightweight and thin
  6. Can be equipped with various functions
  7. Many movement innovations to choose from
  8. Used inside most fashion watches
  9. Generally more durable than automatic watch
  10. The best grab and go type of watch

1. High Accuracy

One of the main selling points of quartz watch a few decades ago when it was first invented was how accurate it is. Modern quartz watch has an accuracy of +/-10 seconds per month, which is much much more accurate than an automatic watch that can only attain +/-6 seconds per day at most.

The reason for this technical achievement lies with the electronic timekeeping consists of integrated circuit and an oscillating quartz crystal.

These components are not only accurate, but also can be manufactured with a good consistency so that each quartz watch will have almost exact accuracy like the other.

Without a doubt, not everyone do actually need such accuracy. I’ve been using automatic watches and its lower accuracy are not really that big of a deal to me as my watch will only lose or gain a few minutes every 1-2 weeks.

But if you’re someone that needs a perfect timekeeping for your work, then quartz watch is definitely the best option. And if +/-10 seconds per month are not good enough, there are plenty of other quartz watch options such as the Bulova Precisionist that delivers excellent accuracy. There’s also atomic clock synced watch that will reset the time to atomic clock every night – so that you can rest assured your watch is always correct (such as the Citizen Eco-Drive here).

2. Affordability

I don’t think I need to say much about quartz watch’s affordability. Considering as you can get a Timex for $20 off Amazon (some other Chinese brands can be had for even $10), there’s no question about how affordable a quartz watch is.

In comparison, automatic watch usually starts around $100, though you can get one for less than that by sacrificing build quality and material. The affordability of quartz watch is the major factor why many people can wear a watch nowadays. In the past, only the well-to-do can wear a watch (of automatic movement).

So how does quartz watch become so affordable? It’s all thanks to cheap materials and mass production.

If you notice, most of the cheaper watches are all made from plastics, which are very cheap. And this relates back to the use of quartz movement: as it’s a lightweight movement, even plastics can be used as the case for the watch (in comparison an automatic watch needs a steel case to house its heavy movement). The huge amount of plastics used in the watch drives the cost down.

In addition, these watches are often mass-produced using robots with less human intervention. This greatly speed up production and lowers costs. Not to mention they usually produced it in China or some other third-world country where labor cost is much cheaper than in the US.

But of course, you get what you paid for. A $20 Timex would not be something that can last for a lifetime. But it’s definitely a good choice if you’re looking for a cheap, disposable watch that you will change with something else few years later.

3. Easy To Use

Another reason why you should get a quartz watch is how easy it is to use. Quartz watch is basically a very basic watch – just pop in a battery, set the time and you’re good to go.

This makes the watch a much easier one to be use compared to other types of watches that can be quite hard to be used. Automatic watch are not as easy as it involves some knowledge about the watch movement and there are some manual winding and power reserve that need to be considered. But with quartz watch, everything is so simple even kids can use it.

Of course, there are some quartz watches with extra functions that can be quite hard to be used (the G-Shock comes to mind) with its various display indicators, pushers and all.

But in general, the 3-hands analog type of quartz watch is fairly easy to be used and if you’re someone that just wants to know what time it is without all the technicalities, this is the perfect choice for you.

4. Low Maintenance Needs

The next reason why a quartz watch is a good buy is the low maintenance needs. Although some people say that quartz watch don’t need any maintenance, in truth it also needs some maintenance especially if you have a more expensive watch that you want to be able to last your lifetime.

But the service interval of a quartz watch is significantly lesser than an automatic watch. If an automatic watch requires a service every 3 to 5 years (depending on the manufacturer), a quartz watch will need one every 10 years or so.

The reason for this is that there are many moving parts in an automatic watch so much so it will degrade over time through the wear and tear of running the watch.

But for a quartz watch, the number of moving parts is small since it depends on electronic timekeeping and a motor to move the watch. This low number of moving parts also makes the watch easier to be serviced resulting in low service costs.

(read more about servicing a quartz watch in my previous post here)

5. Lightweight And Thin

why buy a quartz watch

Another great characteristics of quartz watch is how lightweight it is. Since the quartz movement only requires minimal parts, it has a much lower weight and thinner profile compared to automatic movement.

What entails is the watch using quartz movement can be made lightweight, especially if the manufacturer opts to use plastics for the case. This causes the watch to be very comfortable to be used and is suitable for all age and gender.

The same cannot be said of automatic watch as it’s usually much heavier and not everyone can wear it. I’m actually bemoaning the trend of bigger sized watches nowadays as it causes automatic watches to be heavier than ever. My Seiko Sumo for instance, has a 44 mm diameter case and a substantial weight. Sure enough, the heft makes wearing it feels real good but I found that it can be fatiguing to be worn for long time.

If you’re in the market for a watch that’s light, comfortable on the wrist and has thin stylish design, your best bet is a quartz watch.

6. Can Be Equipped With Various Functions

Thanks to its electronic circuit, quartz watch is a good choice if you want a watch with more functions in addition to the normal time-keeping.

There’s so many functions that can be added onto a quartz watch such as:

  • Chronograph (or stopwatch)
  • Alarm clock
  • LED back light
  • Timer
  • Other timezones
  • Barometer
  • and many others

Some watch manufacturers even went as far as incorporating calculator, radio, TV even computer into their watches! All of these culminates into the advent of smartwatches that’s popular currently. Frankly, the combination is endless and there’s so many options that you can choose from.

7. Many Movement Innovations To Choose From

One of the great things that quartz watch invention had brought us is the many innovations that stem from it. From it, there are many types of watch movements that was invented by using ideas from quartz watch.

For instance, there are solar and automatic-quartz watches that seek to add a self-generating power unit into the watch, so that the battery don’t need to be changed frequently. With solar watch, there are photo voltaic cells on its dial that will convert light into electricity and stored inside the watch.

With automatic-quartz watch, there is a self-winding rotor mechanism connected to a small dynamo that generates electricity as the watch moves following wrist motions. These are exciting innovations that seeks to improve upon the basic quartz watch.

In addition, there’s also the smartwatch, the very popular type of watch currently thanks to the likes of Apple watch, Samsung Gear and others. Do you know that smartwatch was also born out of the innovations done on quartz watch?

Initially, watchmakers started adding many functions into the watch. These functions are related to time and wrist watch usage such as chronograph, alarm clock, back light, etc.

Thanks to the vast improvement in semi-conductor, there’s more powerful chips being released with the same footprint that was utilized by watchmakers to add more functions into the watch such as calculator, TV and computer.

And with the boom of smartphones, smartwatches (or wearable) were shoved into the spotlight. Although it was initially designed as an extension of smartphones, there are smartwatches that can now be used independently much like a phone. This kind of innovation is only made possible from the invention of quartz watch 50 years ago.

8. Used Inside Most Fashion Watches

Thanks to its affordability and lightweight characteristics, quartz watch is the main type of watch movements to be used by designer houses for their fashion watch line up.

Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Hugo Boss and others are some fashion brands that have ventured into watchmaking. I personally prefer true watchmakers (such as Seiko, Tissot, Hamilton, etc.) as I like to buy into their wealth of histories and quality but these fashion brands do produce some nice designs that looks really good. Well, they are fashion brands after all so no surprises there.

One of the common thing with these fashion watches is it’s most likely using a quartz watch because its cheaper and has small footprint. The fashion watch can then be made into various dimensions based on the designers. With these fashion watches, there’s much more options of quartz watches to choose from in the market.

9. More Durable Than Automatic Watch

The next reason why you should buy a quartz watch is that of its durability. To be precise, I’m talking about the ability of the watch to be used daily and subjected to some impact or shocks due to sports activity for instance.

In a direct comparison, a quartz watch is more durable than automatic watch due to the lower number of parts inside it. Because of this, there’s less chance that something will screw up when the watch is being impacted.

But for an automatic watch, there is a higher probability there will be something wrong with the movement if the impact is high. There’s a lot of small moving parts that’s quite sensitive to sudden shock – so that’s a quartz watch is more suitable for sports.

But one common thing with these 2 watches is the quality of the watch (which also corresponds to its price) will dictate how durable it is. Although a quartz watch is generally durable and robust, don’t expect the same with a cheap $10 watch. The cheap watch will always use lesser quality material and I don’t think it will last as long as a $50 watch.

The same is also true with automatic watch – there are diver watches that can be used to dive up to hundreds of feet below sea level and these are much more durable than a cheap $50 watch. You will get what you paid for.

But for dollar to dollar comparison, there no question that a quartz watch will be able to last longer than the same priced automatic watch. So if durability is at the top of your list, then you should seriously consider quartz watch.

10. The Best Grab And Go Type Of Watch

Although I’m an automatic watch kind of guy, I still feel that no automatic watch can never beat quartz watch in terms of being easy to use – so called the grab and go type of watch.

With my automatics, I always have to check whether it’s moving or not (sign of depleted power reserve) or if the time is correct or not by comparing it with my smartphone. Even though some of my watches have extended power reserve, I still do this just to be sure. This is the habit that I’ve gotten after having my watches die on me only to have me realized it later on.

But with a quartz watch, there’s no need to do such things. As long as the watch is ticking, its time is always as accurate as you’d like it to be (it will only gain or lose 2 minutes every year after all). I can see that if my life is much more hectic than now, I’d wear quartz watches more often instead.

But within the realms of quartz watch, there is also the type of watch that I can say is the best grab & go type of watch and that is the solar watch. As solar watch converts light into electric, it’s basically self-sufficient without the need to change its battery frequently (you only need to change its capacitor every 10-years or so).

Just bask the watch under light and you’re good to go. In fact, modern solar watch can even work with indoor lights as long as it’s bright enough which makes it very easy charge it simply by wearing it and go on doing your normal lives. And since you’re basically recharging it daily, you can use any functions that the watch has (chronograph, back light, etc.) and don’t have to worry about depleting the battery.

With such a great technical and real-life advantages, I’d say that solar quartz watch is the best grab & go type of watch.

Related Questions

Do quartz watches need batteries? Quartz watches need batteries to run; the battery will supply electricity which will be used by the timekeeping mechanism of the watch. (if you want to learn more about how quartz watch works, read my previous post here).

Why are some quartz watches so expensive? Some quartz watches can be expensive due it having better materials used (precious metals such as gold for instance), gems, better craftsmanship and better movement.

Do quartz watches need servicing? Quartz watch also needs servicing to maintain its movement in perfect condition. (read my previous post here about servicing a quartz watch).

Do quartz watches need jewels? In general, quartz watches don’t require jewels as its moving parts is subjected to less stress than an automatic watch. But there are some quartz watches that utilize jewels in its movement and these watches are often of higher quality.

I hope this article about why buy a quartz watch is beneficial to you. Do let me know if there’re any questions or you have anything to add by commenting below.


13 Tips On How To Take Care An Automatic Watch So That It Can Last Long

how to take care of automatic watch

Like any devices, automatic watch also needs to be taken care and maintained to ensure it’s running perfectly without any issue.

So how to take care of an automatic watch? Below are the 13 tips on how you should take care of your automatic watch:

  1. Take a good care of it from being dropped or taking any external shock
  2. Keep the watch away from moisture
  3. Don’t place it near electronics or strong magnets
  4. Do remember to service the watch
  5. Don’t leave the watch unused for a long time
  6. Keep it clean
  7. Be careful when changing the strap
  8. Avoid using the watch in extreme temperatures
  9. Don’t wind the watch when wearing it on wrist
  10. Change the gaskets and seals when servicing
  11. Don’t use the crown or pushers while in water
  12. Keep unused watch in a proper box
  13. Be minimal with the manual winding

These are the best practices that I’ve personally used to maintain my own watches. With these tips, I’ve been able to avoid any costly repairs and issues with my watches and I really hope that this information will help you to avoid that too.

1. Take A Good Care Of It From Being Dropped Or Taking Any External Shock

The very first and most important thing that you have to do to take care of your watch is to be very careful not to drop or subject it to any external shock.

Dropping the automatic watch on the floor, bumping it onto the wall, or dropping hard objects on the watch are some of the accidents that can easily happen when you’re not aware and being careful with your watch.

The impact from these accidents can range from nothing to really major, especially regarding the delicate internal workings of the watch. As the automatic movement is made up of more than one hundred parts, any big shock can cause damage on the assembly or even damaging the parts itself. The effect of this is a damaged movement that can be costly to repair or change out totally.

In addition to this, there could be damage on the exterior of the watch. Unless you drop the watch from a very high place or subjected to high impact forces, the damage could be in the form of scratches on the case and crystal as the watch is actually quite sturdy.

It might seem small, but trust me, a scratched case/crystal will be devastating to the aesthetic of the watch. You certainly don’t want to have a highly polished watch that have some deep grooved scratch on its side which is very unsightly!

2. Keep The Watch Away From Moisture

The next tips in maintaining your automatic watch is to keep it away from moisture as water is a great enemy for mechanical devices.

One thing I want to highlight is this does not mean the watch cannot be in contact with water. Most of the watches in the market right now has some water resistance rating that enables it to even be submerged inside water for a specified depth. There are also dive watches with screw down crowns that is much more robust against water.

The main issue is with constant exposure to water, especially on where you’re storing the watch when not in used. As the watch is usually made out of steel, constant exposure to water can make rusting happen even for stainless steel. It’s recommended to wipe the watch and store it in a dry place after it came into contact with water.

In particular is the steel bracelet of the watch that has many small spaces and crevices that can be places where water might accumulate. You need to ensure these places are always dry to prevent from any rusting.

With leather or cloth based straps, moisture is a great concern as it can significantly reduce the strength of the material and cause it to be susceptible to tear. I’d be very particular about this and will try to dry out the straps as soon as possible before storing it.

Thus, keeping these straps dry from being near to wet areas is definitely a good idea. You certainly don’t want to wear a damp strap on your wrist right?

3. Don’t Place It Near Electronics Or Strong Magnets

The next tip to take care of automatic watch is not place it near electronics or strong magnets. This is a very important thing to remember as automatic watch will be severely disrupted if its magnetized, all because it’s run entirely by moving metal parts.

The various moving parts will be disrupted from magnetization and this will cause the watch to lose accuracy.

While this is not really a concern before, it has become a big issue as electronics are everywhere nowadays. Electronics can be the cause of magnetization if you place the watch near to it. Hence, it’s important to know where you’re storing the watch so that it’s not near to any electronics.

4. Do Remember To Service The Watch

Next tip is about servicing the watch. Just like other mechanical items (car engine, etc.), automatic watch also needs to be serviced to clean and re-oil the various parts. Typically, an automatic watch will need to be serviced every 3 to 5 years, though this will ultimately depend on the manufacturer’s recommendation (one good example is Rolex where it has a new 10-year service recommendation which is very good in my opinion) and whether you believe something is wrong with your watch.

I do believe that this is the tip that most people are not wary about when they buy an automatic watch. Although automatic watch is a great watch with many benefits, its mechanical nature with many moving parts means that servicing it is inevitable to keep it running without any issue in the long run.

Not servicing the watch can cause a lot of other issues with the movement so much so you might be having a trouble with it later on. I do note that some Seiko dive watches have been running fine even without any service but I can bet those watches have horrendous accuracy, more than 10++ seconds deviation per day.

Coming to accuracy, that’s also another benefit of sending the watch to service as you can ask the watchmaker to adjust the watch to your use pattern with higher accuracy. In short, servicing an automatic watch will ensure that your expensive automatic watch will be well protected and can be used for years to come. In addition, the better accuracy will help you make the most of your automatic watch as well.

(read my previous post to know more details about servicing automatic watch)

5. Don’t Leave The Watch Unused For A Long Time

Having many watches is fun as you can have a nice collection with myriad of watches. But then a big problem will crop up – you suddenly realized that you only can wear one watch at a time so much so only few watches will be worn frequently.

The thing is you will never be able to give ALL your watches the same wrist time. I noticed that once my collection grew, there are some watches that I like or prefer over some other watches. This can be due to many factors i.e look, weight, how it wears, etc. which are not something that you can know before you buy the watch.

Due to this reason, there are only 2 or 3 watches that I’ve worn regularly and there are other watches that don’t see any wrist time for weeks which is not ideal for an automatic watches. The main issue with this is the watch’s lubricants will be left idle for long time and might be coagulating when the watch is not in use. This will reduce its accuracy or might even cause the watch to not work properly.

Thus, it’s important to ensure your watch is ticking once in a while although you might not have enough time to wear them. Simply wind it manually or give it a good shake to jump start it and have it running.

6. Keep It Clean

The next tip on how to take care of your automatic watch is to keep it clean. Often times, the watch might get dirty from normal use (sweat is one of the biggest contributor to this) and it’s important to keep it clean so that it will be able to be kept for a long time.

Luckily, most automatic watches are made of stainless steel so cleaning them is a breeze. A piece of cloth or tissue will do to wipe out any dirt or sweat in contact with the watch. Depending on the dirt, you might have to use some water to assist with the cleaning. Unless absolutely necessary, the use of soap is not needed most of the times.

Now, while the main watch case is quite easy to clean, the strap or bracelet is a different issue. There are 4 main strap material types for automatic watch (metal bracelet, leather strap, cloth strap, rubber strap) and caring for them requires different method.

I personally love metal bracelets because it’s very easy to wear without the hassle of unbuckling it like other straps. But the way the bracelet is constructed using many small links resulted in many small openings and crevices which can be the location where dirt might accumulate. And since these openings are very small, cleaning these dirt and gunks can be quite a challenge.

You can use toothbrush to get to the hard to reach crevices but it might be too hard to do. One good way is to use ultrasonic cleaning whereby the bracelet can be dipped into a water bath with lots of water bubbles that can help to clean out the gunk.

For the other types of straps, a wet tissue or towel will do to clean it as there is no small openings or crevices with it. But do be careful with leather and cloth straps as getting it too wet will reduce its strength and you might cause some damage on it. You should also quickly dry these straps after cleaning it. For rubber strap, it’s one of the more durable straps and can be easily cleaned.

7. Be Careful When Changing The Strap

Another tips about straps is to be extra careful when changing them. I love to buy new straps and put it on my watches. It will immediately change the look and feel of the watch instantaneously. It’s like getting a different watch by only paying a fraction of its cost.

But do be very careful when changing the straps yourselves (also applies if you get the store to change it) as you can easily get some scratches on the watch.

Changing the straps involve getting out the spring bar from the lugs and you should do this very carefully or else you can end up with deep scratches on the lugs (this is me speaking from experience LOL!). Do get the correct tools to change the straps as it will make your life much easier. This also applies to adjusting bracelets.

Trying to cheap out and use the tools that you have lying around your house such as screwdrivers, needle etc. is a recipe for disaster. Watch strap removal and bracelet adjustment tools are available online for less than $10 bucks a piece and there is no reason why you should not get one!

(if you want to learn how I adjust my bracelet, read my previous post here)

8. Avoid Using The Watch In Extreme Temperatures

Steel is susceptible to temperature change (contract with cold, expand with heat) and automatic watch uses a lot of steel for its movement. Due to this, any extreme temperature will cause issue with the movement.

There are many issues related to temperature. One, the accuracy will suffer as the steel parts are expanding/contracting which is not the same as it was designed for. Then, the oil could have some changes in its properties with the temperature (gunk at cold, thinning at hot). There could also be an issue with condensation around inside the watch due to temperature difference.

As such, I’d recommend to not use automatic watch when going into extreme temperature environments such as a jacuzzi, sauna, or winter area. There are sports watches that have been designed for these extreme temperatures (mostly quartz based) that you can use instead.

9. Don’t Wind The Watch When Wearing It On Wrist

One of the mistakes that I used to make is winding my watch when I’m wearing it on my wrist. This is definitely not a good practice as you can break the crown stem from doing this.

The crown is typically connected to the winding mechanism through a small stem that can be broken easily. Hence, winding it while wearing it will apply a tangential force on the stem, thus making it much more likely to accidentally break the stem.

Due to this, I strongly advise that you only wind the watch by properly holding it on your hands and applying direct force when rotating the crown.

10. Change The Gaskets And Seals When Servicing

Water resistance is a very important feature in any watch as you just don’t know what could happen. Even for dress watches, I’d prefer to have some water resistance rating on it (a minimum of 30-50 m rating) since that will ensure the watch can handle some accidental splashes of water without breaking a sweat.

Grand Seiko Diver Watch

This is particularly helpful as you just don’t know what could happen. Also, this feature makes it easier as you don’t have to take off your watch whenever you want to wash your hands or doing the dishes – activities that can splash some water on your watch.

Dive watches, on the other hand, have higher water resistance rating (from 100 to 300 m) as it will need to resist the water from going inside the watch whenever its owner is diving.

One thing that most people don’t know is the water resistance rating depend on the condition of the seals and gasket of the watch. These seals are located at all possible water ingress points (crown, back plate, crystal, etc.) and is the one holding out the water from going into the watch.

As it’s made of rubber, the seals will degrade naturally and you should always have it changed periodically to keep the watch’s water resistance. Some people recommend for it to be changed every 2 to 3 years but I found this to be only valid for divers. For most of us that don’t really use our automatic watches for diving, this recommendation will be overkill.

Because of this, my personal practice is to change the seals and gaskets every time I service the watch, which is 3-5 years. This will save some money and time as you don’t need to bring the watch for service more frequently.

11. Don’t Use The Crown Or Pushers While In Water

This next tip also involves with water: don’t ever use the crown or pushers while in water. That is unless you want water to get inside the watch, wreaking havoc with the movement!

Water resistance works by keeping a tight vacuum-like seal over the entire watch and anything that protrudes out from the movement for the watch to function (such as crown and pushers for chronograph) is a possible water ingress point. The workaround with this is by using seals and gaskets to keep the small openings filled up so that water can’t pass through.

But using the crown (for manual winding or setting time/date) and pushers (for chronograph or other functions) inside water will open up the openings so much so water will easily pass through inside the watch.

12. Keep Unused Watch In A Proper Box

how to take care of automatic watchThe next tip is to keep your watch collection inside a proper watch box. It’s only logical that we should store our expensive automatic watches inside a proper box to keep it away from dust and any damage that could happen to it.

For instance, keeping the watch inside a drawer which you also used to keep your keys and other items is not recommended as these items can scratch the watch. Keeping it inside a box will also prevent from accidental magnetization of the watch from being in close proximity to electronic items.

In addition, you will be able to organize your watches and retrieve it easier rather than having to search all over the place for a watch that you want to wear.

(if you want to know more about how best to store your automatic watches, you can read my previous post here)

13. Be Minimal With The Manual Winding

Although manual winding is a good way to easily fill up the power reserve of your watch, it’s not recommended doing it frequently. The fact is, automatic watches are designed with self-winding capability and it’s not meant to be manual wind often (unlike mechanical watch).

Because of this, most brands will usually design a less robust manual winding mechanism on an automatic watch, so much so it can be broken if it’s winded often. As such, do be very careful when manual winding the watch and be minimal with it.

Personally, I only manual wind my watch for 5 to 10 revolutions, just to give the watch some extra juice when I first pick it up from the box. Then, I would rely on the self-winding mechanism from my wrist motion to increase it’s power reserve for the next days.

Related Questions

Do you have to wear your automatic watch every day? No, you don’t need to wear your automatic watch every day. Automatic watch that is not being worn will stop by itself when its power reserve runs out. You can then pick up the watch and use it normally after that.

How long will an automatic watch last? Automatic watch can last for a very long time, provided it’s being maintained well by periodically servicing it and keeping it clean.

How to keep automatic watch when not wearing? The best way to keep automatic watches that are not being worn is by storing it inside a dedicated watch box. You can also read my previous post to know the other options of storing the watch.

How to wind an automatic watch? To wind an automatic watch, simply rotate the crown upwards. You should be able to hear a faint gear-like grinding noise when doing so. Some watches also have screw-down crowns so you will need to unscrew the crown first before you can wind it.

I hope these 13 tips on how to take care of an automatic watch will be beneficial to you. Do let me know if you have any questions or if you have any other tips that you’ve been using yourselves.

Till next time then. Cheers!

Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Buy An Automatic Watch


Automatic watch is beginning to become more popular nowadays thanks to its novelty. But is that the only reason to own one?

So why should anyone buy an automatic watch? There are 10 reasons why you should buy an automatic watch:

  1. It is a unique type of watch and has character
  2. Does not require a battery to be used
  3. Has sweeping seconds hand that is cool to look at
  4. It has some of the best looking watch designs and craftsmanship
  5. To appreciate the great effort and engineering behind it
  6. The experience of wearing it is different from normal quartz watch
  7. It can last for a long time to be passed on to your descendants as heirloom
  8. Can be an investment vehicle as it retains its value well
  9. As a statement of your exquisite taste
  10. Will make for a good conversation starter with fellow watch fans

1. It is Unique And Has Character

One of primary reasons why you should buy an automatic watch is its uniqueness and character, because of its mechanical timekeeping that’s free of any electric or electronics.

Thanks to its affordability, quartz watch is the norm nowadays. And that’s the start of how electronics conquer our world. After that, phones, and then smartphones, are widespread and almost everyone have them. Coupled with TVs, laptops and other electronic devices, our lives seem to revolve around electronics.

Now while I do enjoy electronics (I did write this article using a computer), I do yearn for something different. I can’t run away from smartphones, laptops, TVs, cars, etc but I can make the decision to buy an automatic watch that does not use any electric/electronic device inside it.

And that’s why automatic watch is much more unique nowadays in the era of modern civilization where everything requires electricity to be used. Automatic watch uses a novel mechanism that’s run entirely based on moving gears and parts to keep time. This characteristic is found to be very cool and is one of the main reasons why its popular among watch fans.

2. Does Not Require A Battery

The second reason why anyone should own an automatic watch is it does not need a battery to operate. Automatic watch relies on the natural wrist motion that stores potential energy inside the watch for it to operate. There is no need for a battery inside it because everything is done mechanically.

This is quite useful as it means there is no need to change the battery every 1-2 years like a normal quartz watch. Simply strap the watch to your wrist and it will run or you can also manual wind it by rotating its crown to directly top up its potential energy inside the mainspring.

In addition, less pollution is being discharged as there is no harmful batteries being thrown away every year. This characteristic of automatic watch quite possibly makes it the most environmentally friendly watch types around as it only uses the common mechanical parts made from metals without any harmful chemicals found in batteries and electronic chips.

3. Has Sweeping Seconds Hand

why buy an automatic watchThe next cool features of automatic watch is sweeping seconds hand. This is one of its main characteristics that will enable you to tell an automatic watch from quartz watch easily.

An automatic watch will have a sweeping or gliding seconds hand motion as opposed to the ticktock/1 second jump of quartz watch. The reason for this lies in how their movement works.

Inside an automatic watch, the timekeeping is done by a balance wheel that is designed to oscillate in a fixed frequency (often times 6 or 8 beats per second). With each beat, the balance wheel will cause the seconds hand to move through a set of gear trains and hence, the seconds hand will move very fast, at a rate of 6-8 times per second.

This seconds hand motion give the effect of sweeping or gliding seconds hand that is very cool to look at.

For a quartz watch, the integrated circuit inside it is the one responsible for timekeeping (with the help of a quartz oscillator). The IC will then send a signal to a step motor to move the seconds hand every second, hence the jumping seconds hand.

It could, theoretically, make a sweeping seconds hand by signaling the motor to move 6-8 times every second (like automatic watch) but this will consume more electrical energy (and bigger battery) and increase the wear and tear inside the watch (cause it to be more expensive as better materials are needed to be used).

4. It Has Some Of The Best Looking Watch Designs And Craftsmanship

What does Rolex, Omega, Tag and other higher end watches with good-looking designs have in common? That’s right, most of their watches have automatic movement in it.

As its unique and has better character, automatic watch is currently positioned at the top end of watches with beautiful designs and exquisite craftsmanship. The reason for this is that watchmakers know that they can’t market and compete in terms of pricing with the very affordable quartz watch.

Which is why most automatic watchmakers design and market their watches to the rich and famous by using precious metals (gold, titanium etc.) and handcrafted parts to create some of the best looking watches in the market. By focusing in this niche market, it has helped automatic watch industry to survive despite having a cost disadvantage against the cheaper quartz watch.

Another main reason why automatic watch is just so nice to look at is because its mostly made out of metal instead of plastic. The parts need to be metal because of the high amount of moving parts which require for the robustness and strength of metal.

In order to hold the weight of the metal parts, the outer casing also need to be made out of metal. This gives the chance for watchmaker to create an exquisitely polished metal case which is truly beautiful to look at. And thanks to the heft from all the metal, automatic watch also feels heavy and has some heft in it which makes for a pleasant wearing experience.

5. To Appreciate The Great Effort And Engineering Behind It

In this current age of electronics, how can anyone create something that do a complex thing without relying on electronics?

True enough, timekeeping is very easy with a quartz watch. A small piece of quartz movement is sufficient to tell time. You just need to hook up a battery cell and it will run. In fact, many great things were born out of electronics such as smartphones and smartwatches (which is really cool btw).

But then on the other side, we have automatic watch that seeks to keep time accurately (almost) without relying on electronics. It uses mechanical moving parts in the form of balance wheel to keep time. There’s also the power reserve and self-winding module and time display module.

And then to cram all of these into a very small footprint that can be worn on our wrists. Now that’s something that not everyone can do. There are no less than 100 small parts in an automatic watch and all of them need to be designed, manufactured and assembled perfectly for the watch to run.

There’s a lot of effort put into these watches. Without a doubt, automatic watch is a culmination of centuries of mankind’s effort in timekeeping and I personally, have a great joy to wear one on my wrist =)

6. Experience Of Wearing It Is Different From Normal Quartz Watch

The next reason to buy an automatic watch is to because it has a different feeling when being worn as compared to the normal quartz watch.

I’m pretty sure most of you guys already own a quartz watch before (my first watch was a quartz when I was a kid). It’s a great piece of watch and just works without any fuss. But as I’ve mentioned above, its run entirely by electronics which kind of making it quite boring to be used. There’s no real fun in wearing one, to be honest.

Automatic watches, on the other hand, is something entirely different. Like all mechanical devices, you need to pay attention to how it performs so that you can use it correctly.

There’s the matter about its power reserve, you might need to manual wind it, there’s more resetting need to be done (especially if you have a lot of watches in your collection), you need to keep track of its accuracy, need to be aware and bring it to service, and a lot of other stuffs. While it seems like a lot of work to do for a watch, I found that this gives me a chance to interact with my watches kinda like the watch is a living being – which I really enjoy =)

In addition to that, automatic watch also has the self-winding mechanism in the form a free moving rotor that moves with wrist motion. This kind of mechanical feedback makes wearing the watch something that’s really special and not found in other watch types.

7. Can Last For A Long Time And Good Item As Heirloom

Automatic watch also can last for a long time and is something that you can keep as an heirloom for your descendants. In fact, many vintage watches on the market right now are automatic watches, with some of them can keep running. If being kept properly, automatic watch can easily outlive you and passed on to the next generation.

One reason for its longevity is because of the high use of metals inside the watch, with the stainless steel type the most usually used. Metals are robust and can last long, provided its not rusted – which is what stainless steel is all about. Just keep it out from moisture, store it in a dry place and you will be able to keep the watch intact for years.

As the movement, its not as long-lasting because the oils used as lubricant will go bad after 5 or so years. But this is not a cause for concern as sending the watch to be serviced will do the trick. In fact, many vintage automatic watches are running fine now after being serviced. When push comes to shove, you can always replace the movement entirely with a new one, provided that it will fit inside the case.

8. As An Investment Vehicle (Some Watches Only)

Quite like a vintage car, automatic watch can also be a good investment vehicle, though this only applies to some watches.

As mentioned above, automatic watch can easily last for a long time and after a few years, there might be a demand for it. This is because with changing style/trend, some watch models will be discontinued to follow the latest trend.

Case in point is with watch sizes. A few decades ago, anything bigger than 38 mm diameter is unthinkable. But now, most of the watches are in 40mm++ diameter. With clothes, watch style is continuously evolving and something that is hot now will not be so a few years later.

This creates a demand for yesteryear watches whereby some people might still want to hold on to that kind of style or watch model. They might not be able to afford these watches years ago due to many reasons and now, since they can afford it, they are willing to get these previous generation watches for their collection. This creates a thriving market for vintage watches and with the right condition, automatic watches can still keep most of their value.

But then, only some automatic watches can be regarded as an investment vehicle. This mostly revolves around the higher priced watch with a unique standing around the watch community such as stainless steel Rolex Submariner. This watch is one of the few that can be said to be an investment in itself thanks to how popular it is.

One of the key things to remember is an evergreen design from a good brand will be a sure win. And this is why the Submariner is such a hit because its design have been mostly unchanged from decades ago – proving just how popular and evergreen it is. So do your research prior to buying a watch solely for investment purpose to avoid losing out in the end.

9. Statement Of Your Exquisite Taste

If you see someone wearing an automatic watch, what do you think of him/her? Without a doubt, you’d think about how rich he is (depending on the brand/watch price) but another thing that will spring into mind is how good his taste is.

Automatic watches almost always have a good design. Though it depends on the price and brand, I found that most automatic watches are impeccably designed even for a normal low-end models, more so than a normal quartz watch.

And when worn on your wrist, it will be a statement on what your taste is much like the other elements of your outfit. Wearing an automatic watch will easily elevate your style without even trying.

10. A Good Conversation Starter With Fellow Watch Fans

I’ve been able to strike conversations with strangers just from commenting on their watch.

Yes, its unthinkable, but when you’ve been deep down into watches, did your research, own a few of them, sooner of later you can easily tell what kind of watches anyone is wearing.

But most often than not, my conversations will start by me being intrigued with the other guy and asking about their watch. Apart from the watches that I own, there are many watches that I only know from reading online and stumbling upon them in real life on another guy’s wrist will definitely get me excited.

And that’s also what usually happened with me. Often times, some guys will strike a conversation with me on a watch that I’m wearing – it can be either because he’s also an automatic watch fan or because the watch is really handsome (see point no. 4 & 9 above). If you don’t wear an automatic watch, these conversation opportunities will not exist.

By the way, have you noticed that most magazines about finance and business have full page ads featuring automatic watches? This is because most of the rich wear automatic watches and if you want to appeal and connect with them, wearing an automatic watch yourselves could be a great way to that.

Are Automatic Watches Worth It?

So are automatic watches worth it? Yes, automatic watches are definitely worth your money based on the 10 reasons above. It’s one of the non-electronically device that we can have right now and as an automatic watch owner, I’ve been very happy with my watches.

But then again, not everyone might be suitable to own one of these as it also have its own disadvantages that might be a deal-breaker for them. For example, if you’re looking for a very accurate watch or something that is very lightweight, then a quartz watch might be the best for you. I’ve written an entire post about the differences of automatic vs quartz watch that you can use (click here to read it).

In addition, I’d like to recommend that you start out with the cheaper variations of automatic watches before buying something that costs thousands of dollars and then finding out and automatic watch is not to your liking. I’ve had a couple of friends splurged on Rolex Submariner worth thousands of dollars to reward themselves only to not use the watch after some time because its not keeping a “correct time”.

Such costly mis-purchases can be avoided if you try out with cheaper watches just to test the waters and see if automatic watch is for you or not. If you’re interested in getting an affordable watch, check out my 10 best affordable automatic watch under $200. If its too cheap and you want to get something more expensive, then my collection of the top 30 automatic watches under $1,000 might be able to help you.

Related Questions

What is the reliability of quartz watch compared to automatic watch? In terms of reliability, quartz watch is able to keep better time compared to automatic watch. This is because it uses an electronic circuit with quartz oscillator that can keep time accurate to +/- 10 seconds per month. (Read my previous article on how quartz watch can be so accurate).

What is automatic watch lifespan? Automatic watch can last forever provided that it is not damaged and being serviced based on manufacturer’s recommendation which can vary from 3 to 5 years (read more about automatic watch service in my previous post here).

I hope this article about why anyone should own an automatic watch will be beneficial to you. Do let me know what you guys think about by commenting below.