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

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.

Cheers!

Leave a Comment