Tissot Automatics III Watch Review

This post will be dedicated to review the Tissot Automatics III, a dress watch with simple watch face design by the famous Swiss watch brand Tissot. I’ve always love simple dial designs as I feel it does not scream for attention and more elegant to look at. I believe busy dials are more suitable for casual and sporty watches while dress watches are much better with simpler but sharp dials. Let’s take a look at this watch here shall we.

Tissot Automatics III Watch Review

Tissot Automatics III Specification

Diameter: 40 mm
Thickness: 10 mm
Lug Width: 19 mm
Case: Stainless steel
Strap: Brown leather strap or stainless steel bracelet

Dial: White dial with circular texture at center
Watch Crystal: Scratch resistant Sapphire crystal
Markers: Index markers
Hands: Index hands with lume

Movement: Swiss ETA Caliber 2836-2 automatic self-wind movement
Movement Features: 25 Jewels, 28800 Vibrations per hour (8 beats per second), Hacking feature, Manual Winding
Power Reserve: 38 hours
Accuracy: +- 15 seconds per day

Water Resistance: 30 m or 100 feet
Other Features: Date display, Day display, Exhibition caseback

Best Place To Buy: Amazon at $380. MSRP for this watch is $595 from Tissot dealers

Tissot Automatics III Watch Review

Simple White Dial With Circular Texture At The Center

As I’ve mentioned earlier, the dial is very simple. It’s white in color with stainless steel silver hands and markers. But Tissot knows their stuffs and put a circular pattern at the center, giving the dial a nice look to it. It’s hard not to relate this to the Le Locle, another dress watch from Tissot but instead of circular pattern, they put a guilloche circle at the center. While the guilloche design on the Le Locle looks more unique and eye-catching with the its reflections, the circular pattern in this watch is less captivating but still looks good, unique and different than anything on the market right now. It gives the dial some character and depth to it which is really nice to look at.

The markers are index markers with long polished stainless steel bars that looks absolutely stunning. Minute markings are located at the outer edge of the dial. No lume is on the markers though a little bit of lume is applied on the stainless steel hands. Don’t expect the lume to hold up for long though as it’s applied on a very small area. It’s much better if Tissot don’t put any lume in my opinion. It’s a dress watch and people won’t expect any lume on it. I would prefer if they put a nice beveled stainless steel hands instead. It will surely look gorgeous on the dial =)

Minimal signatures are on the dial here – good thing as I would hate if many things are on the dial to block that circular pattern at the center. The watch crystal is made of sapphire crystal, as typical of most Swiss watches. I’ve written an article about various crystals here and sapphire is definitely the best for a hassle free watch. Use the watch carefully and you won’t get any scratch on the glass for its whole life. At the right are the day and date display which are very very convenient to have, especially for a work watch. I could not emphasized more on how convenient to have these while working. No more taking out our smartphones to check the date. A glimpse at our watch is what’s needed.

One thing that I don’t like about the watch is the usage of the “T” at the tail of seconds hand. This is something like a trademark of sorts for Tissot. I think all of their watch (please correct me if I’m wrong here) have this. In my opinion, the “T” does not blend in the whole design of the minimalist Automatics III dial. You’ve got a long index markers and long slim hands and suddenly there is this “T” at the seconds hand. It just break the whole theme of dress dial design as the “T” is kinda sporty. Tissot should rethink using this element for their dress watch models in future. Overall, the dial is very beautiful to look at, thanks to the stainless steel markers and circular pattern at the center.

Tissot Automatics III Watch Review

Solid Stainless Steel Case

As with any Swiss watch, the case of the Automatics III does not disappoint. Being a 40 mm diameter and 10 mm thick watch, it really looks elegant as a dress watch. The stainless steel case is a combination of brushed and polished surfaces. It has short and small lugs – nicely designed to shift all attention to the watch face. The lugs are also curving down to give a smooth transition of the strap to avoid any peculiar gap underneath it.

Look from sides of the Automatics III. You can see how the case is not as simple as it looks

 

The sides of the watch is quite unique and not as simple as it looks. It has a straight profile, but slopes towards the center at the top and bottom of the watch, creating a nice profile if looking from sides. Even the crown guard is uniquely designed, with Tissot’s “T” logo on the crown head. The lug width is 19 mm and comes with either a brown leather strap or stainless steel bracelet. I would totally recommend for anyone wanting to buy this watch to get the bracelet version as the bracelet is just out of ordinary. It has textured intermediate links that’s simply gorgeous. It makes perfect sense to buy the bracelet version and then buy an aftermarket leather strap if you want it. That way you can always change it later on if you feel like it.

At the back is an open caseback that shows the ETA 2836-2 movement. It’s always a pleasure to be able to look at the movements of our automatic watches. There is a special feeling when you see the rotor moves with your slightest movement, or the back and forth movement of the balance wheel that seems to entertain me. It makes me able to appreciate what’s happening inside these little timepieces.

All in all, this watch is built with solid craftsmanship and superb attention to detail. It’s these attention to details that makes the watch a pleasure to wear and look at.

There are two variations for the band: Stainless steel bracelet and the leather strap. In my opinion, the bracelet is more worthwhile to get as it looks more exotic than normal watch bracelet and will last longer than any leather straps. Plus, it will cost a bomb to get one of these Tissot original bracelet if you are looking to buy it afterwards.

 

Swiss ETA Caliber 2836-2 Automatic Self-Wind Movement

Inside the Automatics III is the ETA 2836-2 automatic self-wind movement, which is very popular among low to middle range Swiss watches with day and date function. This movement is modified from the ETA 2824-2 (another very popular movement too. Used in the Tissot Le Locle and Hamilton Jazzmaster, among others) by adding day wheel. This movement is automatic (can self-wind by wrist movement) and can be manual wind – a very beneficial feature to have in order to keep the watch running. The low 38 hours power reserve is definitely not enough to keep it running through weekend, so a good 20 or 30 rotations on the crown will ensure it’s running, and you can just pick it up on Monday’s morning without having to tinker to adjust the time and date. I’ve always recommend manual winding feature for the huge convenience benefit. (Read this post on how to manual wind your watch)

Apart from that, this movement also has 25 jewels in them, and runs at 8 beats per second for that smooth sweeping seconds hand. It also has hacking feature which means it will stop the time completely (including the seconds hand) when you want to adjust the time. Some older (and cheaper) movements cannot do this though. This gives the advantage of being able to set the watch accurately, down to the seconds. If you are obsessed with keeping your watch to follow the atomic clock, then this is the feature that you must get for your automatics watch. But if you are like me that don’t really care about a few seconds fast or slow on his watch, then you don’t need this function =P.

 

An awesome video review of the watch (featuring the stainless steel bracelet version). Notice how unique and mesmerizing the circular pattern on the dial is. And that intermediate links of the bracelet.. What unbelievable detail on a watch

 

Conclusion

Tissot Automatics III is another dress watch the Swiss brand, alongside it’s Le Locle and Visodate models. It has a very beautiful dial thanks to the harmonious white dial, circular pattern at the center and the silver stainless steel markers and hands. Not only that, the case is perfectly crafted, and made of curves and slopes that looks unique and pretty. Inside it is the Swiss ETA Cal. 2836-2 which is a workhorse movement of the Swiss world.

 

I hope you guys like this Tissot Automatics III review. I’ve tried to lay out every single detail but if there is anything amiss or you guys just want to ask questions about this watch, feel free to drop your comments below. Till next time then.

Cheers!
Isaac.

 

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Tissot Automatics III Price

Currently, this watch retails at an MSRP of $595 from Tissot dealers. But you can get it much cheaper from just $380 (stainless steel bracelet) and $340 (leather strap) from Amazon. Click the links below to check out the best deals from Amazon.

 

->Tissot Automatics III T0654301103100 – Stainless Steel Bracelet<-

 

->Tissot Automatics III T0654301603100 – Brown Leather Strap<-

Why And How To Wind Automatic Watch

why-and-how-to-wind-automatic-watch

How To Wind An Automatic Watch? And Why Do We Need To Do It?

Two questions that I get a lot from people is why do we need to manual wind an automatic watch and how to wind an automatic watch.

As we all know, automatic watch is “automatic” because the there’s a rotor that “automatically” rotates and recharges the power reserve by winding the mainspring with every movement of the watch.

This is an improvement over the mechanical watch that needs to be manual wind (i.e you need to rotate the crown knob) to increase its power reserve.

So do we still need to manual wind an automatic watch then?

The answer is: it depends on how do you want to use your watch.how-to-wind-automatic-watch

I’ve actually written a post on that touches the subject of watch winding but this post is more on the differences between manual winding vs watch winder (You can take a look at that post here ).

Here, I would like to elaborate more on this topic here as I think it is worth to go in detail on this.

But if you want to jump to how to wind automatic watch directly, click this link HERE to go to the second part of this post.

 

Why Do You Need To Wind Your Automatic Watch?

Automatic watches are designed to be self sustaining, that is not needing a manual winding.

Traditional mechanical watches, however, need to be manual wind every one or two days (depending on its power reserve).

But as mechanical watch technology matures, there was a demand for an “automatic” or “self winding” watch. The obvious reason was the nuisance for having to wind it time and again.

The industry responds to this by putting a weighted rotor that rotates as our wrist is moving to wind the mainspring (for more detail explanation, visit my post on how automatic watch works here).

hamilton-khaki-field-officer-h69419363-


Above is Hamilton Khaki King Officer, a one of a kind watch by Hamilton that uses mechanical movement. Advantages of mechanical movement are the cheaper price and generally lighter weight.

 

The invention of automatic watch creates a watch that does not need to be winded manually and releases watch owners from the mundane work of manual winding it everyday. This increases its appeal and soon mechanical watches are becoming almost obsolete nowadays.

But then since our automatic watches are designed to just run forever (assuming we wear it every day), do we still need to manual wind it?

In my opinion, there are two main reasons that anyone should manual wind his/her automatic watch:

 

1 – You Own More Than One Watch

Automatic watches will only self wind if you wear it. So if you got many watches and use only one of them a day, most of your watches will not have much wrist time and subsequently drop dead.

Now automatic watches dropping dead is not a big deal. There is no damage to them at all as newer synthetic lubricants inside most watches won’t coagulate over time, not like mineral oils from older watches.

But practical wise, it is not a convenient thing at all. Just imagine, when you want to pick them up, you have to manual wind it a bit first and then reset the time.

Not to mention if the watch has day and date function, you need to reset those too as well as its am/pm correction. All of this resetting can be a bother, especially on that hectic Monday morning.

The simplest solution to this problem is to keep our watches running over the weekend by manual winding it just to keep it from dead.

The timing to do this shall depend on its remaining power reserve, estimated based on the last time you take it off your wrist).

Sure, we can always get a watch winder that will do the winding for us but it requires a bit of extra monies plus the additional electricity bill.

But if you don’t want to spend further than your watch, manual wind is still the best option.

Now, I don’t recommend that you go and wind your watch everyday as some movement can be sensitive to frequent winding.

Based on my experience (corroborated with other information from the net), Seiko movements such as the 6R15 and 4R36 are quite robust and can be manual wind even everyday without any known issue.

Other Swiss movements, not really so.. So in any case, do check with the manufacturer of the movement if frequent winding is permissible or not just to be on the safe side.

 

2 – To Increase Power Reserve For Accuracy

Contrary to popular belief, just wearing your watch would NOT make it stock up to the full power reserve. You can try this with watches that have exhibition caseback.

Try to move the watch just like how your wrist would move during working or walking and observe the rotor. You will notice that the rotor does not really rotate much.

Fact is our normal movements such as walking, doing office work, hanging out watching TV won’t really rotate the rotor, which means the rotor does not able to fully wind the mainspring.

I believe only rigorous activities where our hands are moving so much such as jogging, swimming etc. will move the rotor a lot.

In addition to that, most automatic watches require at least 600 rotations of their rotor to fully wind.

This number depends on the movement make (you can go to this website to check for how many rotations your watch require) but still it’s quite a huge number.

These two elements combined mean that the automatic watch will has a hard time getting into full power reserve capacity just by wearing it alone.

That’s why I recommend that when your watch is not running to its best accuracy, you can try to manual wind it to full power reserve.

The best accuracy for any automatic watch is when it’s having its full accuracy and that’s where manual winding comes.

By manually winding it, we can keep the power reserve to full and subsequently improve its accuracy.

How To Wind Automatic Watch Correctly

So we have seen that there are actually valid reasons to wind automatic watch.

 

But how do we actually wind automatic watch?

 

It’s very simple guys. Just grip the crown or the knob at the right side of your watch and rotate it upwards (for most watches).

As you rotate, you should feel a slight resistance and some faint noise of steel grinding on each other though this really differs from movement to movement.

That’s the sound of the gears inside the watch, winding up our mainspring. If you had seen those car toys where we had to rotate the knob before it can moves, that’s actually the same concept applied for automatic watches.

By rotating the knob, we are actually winding or tightening the mainspring inside it. This builds up the potential energy in the spring and will be released gradually to run the watch.

By the way, some watches especially diver watches have screw down crown. The crown is “screwed in” to provide extra water resistance protection and need to be unscrewed before we can wind it.

 


Watch the video above on how to manually wind your automatic watch. The Rolex Submariner in the video has a screw down crown so you can see the person has to unscrew the crown first before winding it.

 

2 Tips To Wind Your Automatic Watch Safely

We also need to remember that the crown stem is a fragile part of a watch. It’s just a slender steel bar connected to the inside of the movement.

The winding mechanism of an automatic watch is also not as robust and could break if too much force is used on it. So I would recommend for anyone winding his/her watch to follow these basic rules to avoid damaging your precious automatic watch:

 

1- Wind the watch off your wrist.

Winding your watch on your wrist will cause your finger to be at an awkward angle and put lateral stress on the stem, and possibly damaging it the crown stem.

What I always do is to always wind my watch when I picked it up and before I’m using it. That way, I’m winding it by applying only the rotational force on the crown stem.

Also, be more careful of screw down crown watches as the crown stem is longer and there is higher chance you could be applying the force laterally.

 

2- Be gentle and don’t overwind.

When winding, remember to be gentle and don’t rush yourselves. Normally, a full wind will require more than 20-40 rotations for a watch (this will differ according to movement. Check your watch’s manual for info on this).

Some people might want to rush through it just to get it done asap (I’m guilty of this at times… LOL) but you have to remember the delicate manual winding mechanism might break if you wind it with too much force. It’s also related to how sensitive the parts are to explosive force applied on it.

Over-winding can also happen when you wind your watch past its end point which is why it’s important to feel any abnormal or higher resistance when winding.

That’s the hint that you already fully wind your watch. If you have a watch with power reserve, this will be very easy to tell as the indicator will show that the power reserve is full.

 

screw-down-crown

A look at an unscrewed crown. Notice how far the crown is from the body of the watch. This makes it very easy to applied excessive lateral force on screw down crown while winding. Another good practice is to avoid unscrewing the crown while on your wrist to avoid the same issue.

 

What I normally do is to sit back and relax while winding my watch. I’ll hold the watch in my hands and wind it at a moderate speed, not in hurry because I know it won’t take that much time (less than a minute or so)

I always keep my fingers parallel to the watch to avoid applying lateral force on the stem. I also always be aware of the resistance of the gears while rotating the crown.

When I feel that there is a slightly higher resistance, I stop winding at that time to avoid overwinding.

The key is to not rush and enjoy winding your watch. I feel there is a connection between me and my watches when winding them.

The feedback when my fingers rotate the knob is a special feeling that no other modern watches such as digital, quartz or smartwatches can give.

 

Can I Just Shake My Watch Instead?

There are some people who advise to shake the watch instead of winding it as winding has probability of damaging the internal parts of the watch.

Yes, I do agree that winding has the risk of damaging the watch, but only if you do it recklessly and not following the recommendations above.

Shaking the watch, on the other hand, is akin to wearing the watch and can also achieve the same objective of filling up its power reserve.

But as I’ve mentioned earlier, it will take more than 600 rotations of the rotor to fully wind it. I don’t know about you but to shake the watch 600 times seems a lot to me!

Due to this, a few rotations of manual winding seems to be more practical and less time consuming than shaking the watch itself.

One thing that we need to remember is not to shake our watches aggressively. Internal parts of an automatic is very fragile, with the balance wheel pivot the most susceptible to impact and shock damage.

Aggressively shaking the watch might damage it and costs you hundred of dollars of expensive repair bill.

If you still insist on shaking your watch to wind it, I suggest to move it moderately with large swing of your arm and keep the watch face parallel to the ground.

By doing this you won’t put direct impact on the balance wheel pivot and reduce the risk of damaging it.

 

How Often Should I Wind My Automatic Watch?

We’ve learnt that there are some valid reasons to wind our automatic watches. We also learnt how to manual wind it.

The next question is : how often should we wind automatic watch?

I would say it depends on your watch, how you use it, and who manufactures it. If you only have one watch and use it everyday, then you don’t even need to wind it at all.

But if you have more than one and rotate using them everyday, then you might need to wind the watch that you don’t use, provided you want it to keep on running and the idle time is long enough.

If it’s only a day off the wrist, most watches have the sufficient power reserve to ensure it can keep on running.

A typical automatic watch have at least 40 hours power reserve which means you cannot leave it untouched for more than one day.

But for a 2 days off (such as weekends), then you can wind it on the Sunday once to fill up the juice.

With that, you can ensure it’s ready to be used when you pick it up the next day. No hassle on adjusting the time and day/date at that time.

By the way, if your watch is the Swatch Sistem51 or Tissot PRC 200 Powermatic 80 which have enormous 90 hours and 80 hours power reserve respectively, then you can leave it untouched for up to more than 3 days.

A typical mid-range 6R15 movement by Seiko has 50 hours of power reserve or slightly more than 2 days. And based on my experience and Seiko’s own manual, this movement can be manual wind everyday.

But that’s not exactly the case with other movements. Some ETAs (such as the 2824 and its siblings) are not recommended to be manual wind often.

In the end, it depends on the manufacturer’s recommendation as they are the one who knows the best about the movements.

 

I Don’t Like To Wind My Watches. Any Other Alternatives?

Some people don’t like the hassle of winding their watches while for some, the huge number of his watch collection will be a big task for him to wind all of them manually.

For these guys, the only practical alternative is to use a watch winder. A watch winder uses a motor to rotate your watch, which also rotate the rotor and wind the mainspring. It basically mimics the movement of the watch when we are wearing it.

It is efficient and easy way to charge your watch. Not to mention you can still wind it even when you are on a holiday.

Chiyoda Double Watch Winder With LockChiyoda Double Watch Winder With Lock

Some winders can also be used as a fancy watch box which is very useful to keep your watch from dust.

For example, this Chiyoda watch winder is actually a really good looking box that can also be used to store the watch.

So if you have that couple of pricey Rolexes and Pateks in your arsenal, a watch winder is definitely very useful. Why would you buy many expensive watches if you can’t keep them properly right?

One thing you need to keep in mind is watch winders can be a bit pricey – more than $100 for a good one.

There are cheaper options which are usually made in China but these don’t really last long.

Most of the time, the motor of these cheaper winders will fail after a few months of usage due to lower quality material used. In the end, investing in a good winder might be the more economical choice over the long run =P

Read more on how to find a good watch winder and some popular models at my previous post here.

 


Above is a video showing how a watch winder works. A good thing about it is the angled position of the watch will make sure the rotor rotates fully during operation.

 

Conclusion

To conclude, there are just two simple reasons on why we need to wind our watch: to keep our watches running (for those with many watches in his/her collection) and to keep its timekeeping accurate.

How to wind it is very simple, but there are many ways to never wind your watch with. Fast, aggressive winding is totally prohibited as it could damage the internal parts which is delicate.

Finally, if winding is not your preference, you can always invest in a watch winder which can also double as your watch storage box.

I hope this article will help you guys on the hows and whys of winding a watch. Drop your comments on your preferred method of keeping your watch running and any experience (good or bad).

 

Thanks for reading and till next time.

Cheers!

Automatic Vs Quartz Watch Movements : Which Is The Right One For You?

Automatic Vs Quartz Watch Movements

Automatic Vs Quartz Watch Movements Infographic

 

In recent times, the advent of smartwatches have brought new attention to the watch world. But prior to these new technology-filled watches, watches were divided into only 2 major categories: automatic and quartz.

Well, that’s quite a summary because as I’ve written before, watches can even be divided into 20 types.

While that list consists of all things that made up a watch (movement, style and function), the majority of people only relate to what type of movement a watch has, and for that, the automatic and quartz movements are the most commonly used and known.

For simplicity, I’ve grouped the automatic and mechanical movements together because they are basically the same, with the difference of the self-winding capability of the automatic movement.

So are you ready to know about the difference between these the automatic and quartz watches? Let’s find out!

 

Differences Between Automatic And Quartz Watches

(I’ve written some detail posts about automatic watches and how automatic watches work. You can have a read of those posts by clicking the links for the detail stuffs)

 

Automatic and quartz watches differs by the way it keeps time. What this means is how the movement mechanism inside it, or in other words, how it track one second.

To turn the clock through the seconds, minutes and hours is very simple and can easily be achieved by gears.

But how to make sure the second hand on the watch dial/face moves precisely one second and corresponds exactly to one second in real world?

This is where automatic and quartz watch differs. Automatic watches uses mechanical parts (balance wheel and escapement set to be precise) to keep track of time while quartz watches uses quartz crystal oscillation which is powered by electricity.

Automatic Watch = Mechanical Parts, Quartz Watch= Electricity Driven

Automatic watch has been around for more than a century. So as you can guess, there’s no electricity back then. How do the watches at that time function then?

It’s due to the use of springs. Inside all automatic watch, there’s a mainspring that is wound tightly to contain potential energy. This spring is then released slowly (by un-wounding itself) to move the gears inside the watch.

 

Advantage of Automatic movement

An example of an automatic/mechanical movement. You can see how it’s actually consisted of  many small parts inside it and run entirely by kinetic and potential energy

 

The timekeeping is controlled by the wheel balance and escapement that ensures the watch speed is not too slow or too fast.

 

(Read my detailed explanation on how automatic watch works for more info)

 

Quartz watch on the other hand was invented in the 1960s. It uses a quartz crystal that vibrates swiftly when subjected to electric current to keep track of time.

The integrated circuit in the watch then detects the frequency of the vibration and then consequently assign the motor to move one second based on the vibration.

The usage of high frequency quartz crystal ensures the higher accuracy of the watch (+-15 seconds deviation per month) as compared to the older automatic watch (+- 15 seconds per day).

 

advantage Quartz movement

Above is an example of a quartz movement. It’s much smaller than its automatic counterpart which contributed to its lightweight and slim profile

 

Surely, the newer quartz watch movement has higher accuracy (well, that’s the main reason why it’s being invented in the first place) but this does not mean automatic watch is not without any advantage.

 

Automatic Vs Quartz Watch Movements

If you’re new to the world of watches, or just want to buy one for yourselves or as a gift, I believe it’s fairly important for you to know the pros and cons of both automatic and quartz watches.

That way, you can make a better decision on what type of watch you REALLY need to get, as opposed to buying based on marketing campaign or word of mouth.

In this section, I’ve listed out the advantages and disadvantages of both automatic and quartz watch movements so that you’ll have an idea of what to expect from both.

 

Automatic Watch Movement
Advantage Disadvantage
Does Not Need A Battery To Function Lower Accuracy
Sweeping Second Hand More Expensive Than Quartz
Unique Characteristics of Automatic Movement Typically Bigger and Heavier
Different Than The Digital World Around Us Most Automatic Watches Have Low Power Reserve
Generally More Beautiful Than Quartz Watch
Quartz Watch Movement
Advantage Disadvantage
Much Cheaper To Get Need Battery To Operate
Very Accurate Ticking Second Hand
Slim And Light

 

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Automatic Watches

Let’s see the detail explanation for the pros and cons of an automatic watch.

Advantages Of Automatic Watches:

 

1- Does Not Need A Battery To Function

Automatic watches are self-winding and does not need a battery to run like quartz watch. The mainspring (equal to battery) in automatic watches is recharged by the movement of our wrist while wearing it.

The trick is in the rotating semi-circular rotor at the back of the watch. As the watch moves (either while strapped to our wrist or while being shaken) the rotor will freely rotates.

Subsequently, this tighten the mainspring further, increases it’s potential energy and power reserve.

In addition, we can also manually wind the watch by rotating the crown.

As someone who had used a quartz watch before, I know how inconvenient it is to suddenly realized your watch was dead without any warning whatsoever.

It’s more frustrating when you’re in a busy day working to catch that deadline or important meeting. A dead watch can totally jeopardize this by giving a wrong time to us. Totally troublesome!

With an automatic watch, this is no longer a problem as the power reserve is replenished with your every use.

Just make sure to give a good manual wind every now and then to keep the power reserve at full. No more surprises of a dead watch =)

 


An excellent video showing the difference in the second hands of quartz watch (left) and automatic watch (right)

 

2- Sweeping Second Hand

One thing that automatic watch has that is hard to be replicated in a quartz watch is the sweeping second hand.

This is the unique characteristic of the automatic movement, by virtue of the balance wheel and escapement set.

The quick movement of these parts causes the fluid and smooth movement of the second hand as compared to the jerky tick-tick action of quartz’s second hand.

The sweeping action is actually not that different from the tick-tick action. It’s just that the second hand moves at a high rate, up from 6 beats per second (meaning in one second the hand “jumps” 6 times).

Because of this, the second hand appears to be moving smoothly though if you look at it closely, you’ll notice the minute movements.

There are also automatic watches that have 8 beats per second and even higher than that. The higher beats per second movement will gives a much smoother second hand action as it’s moving at a faster rate.

This cannot be seen in a normal quartz watch due to design. Should a quartz watch make this feature (which is possible), the battery will deplete quickly because of the amount of electricity needed.

I should also add that in recent times, there are also quartz watches that have been designed to reproduce the same sweeping second hand such as the Bulova Precisionist that has a 16 beats per second sweeping second hand.

It’s possible for a quartz watch to have this feature but it’s definitely a rarity and not common.

 

A battle of sweeping second hand between a Rolex Datejust (automatic watch, left) and Bulova Precisionist (quartz, right). The Bulova is a quartz with a special movement that can produce the sweeping second hand and have an amazing accuracy – at a few seconds per YEAR

 

3- Unique Characteristics Of Automatic Watches

Another advantage of the unique characteristics of an automatic watch. First of all, it is a heritage brought by century old of innovation.

Out of touch with recent technological advancements? Perhaps. But no one can deny how these little mechanical watches have a huge attraction to it for being what it is – an elegant timepiece brought to life by no more than moving pieces of steels.

The mechanical things inside this watch is something that is very different and refreshing. Not to mention that most of automatic watches are assembled by hand (with the exception of mass produced Swatch Sistem51 and Sistem51 Irony).

This is very different that quartz watches that are mostly assembled by robots.

Seiko SARB033, one of the most gorgeous automatic watch I’ve ever seen. Seen to the right is the exhibition caseback showing its Seiko 6R15 movement caliber.

 

Some automatic watches also has an exhibition caseback (such as these Seiko SARB033 and Hamilton Khaki King) which shows the beautiful mechanical parts moving around.

It’s totally beautiful and magnificent to look at. You will always wonder how the watchmaker actually make those tiny parts and assemble them together into a fully functioning watch. This is definitely not available even it the highest end of quartz watches =p

victorinox-infantry-vintage2-2

Victorinox Swiss Army Infantry Chronograph is one example of how an automatic watch is able to be a stopwatch. Without a doubt, a quartz watch can be a better stopwatch but the mechanical precision and detail needed to make an automatic chronograph is simply stunning.

 

One more unique characteristic of automatic watches is the complications. It is basically extra functions the watch can perform such as showing day/date, moon watch, chronograph/stop watch, perpetual calendar, even chiming the time.

With every extra thing the watch can perform besides just showing time the more complex the mechanism will be – thus the name “complication”.

A quartz watch can easily achieve all of these for sure but the electronics of it just don’t have the same awesomeness as this.

 

(Check out these long list of the 30 best automatic watches under $1,000 to $200 that you’ll absolutely love)

 

4- Different Than The Digital World Around Us

Another advantage that automatic watch has is how it’s totally different than the current digital world that we’re living in.

Almost all parts of our lives are in digital: our computers where you read this blog, our smartphones where adults stare almost 3 hours everyday, our cars, television, etc.

Basically everything around us is in digital format, one way or the other.

Thus, the mechanical parts of automatic watch is a breath of fresh air as it does not depend on any digital or electronics to run with.

Personally, I feel that my automatic watch gives me a good place to de-stress after hours of working on my computer. Sometimes, you just need something different to prevent accumulating stresses from our everyday lives.

And if you’re afraid of any apocalypse scenario where no digital/electric stuffs work anymore, the automatic watch might be a good backup – just in case =)

 

5- Generally More Beautiful Than Quartz Watch

Just look at the most beautiful watch and you’ll surely notice that most (if not all) are automatic.

I’m not really sure why this is so but if I’m going to take a guess, I believe it has to do with the manufacturing process of automatic watches itself.

For lower priced automatic watches, it’s possible that the manufacturing will involves mass production.

But for higher grade timepieces with superior movements, it’s almost certain that it will be assembled by hand.

Since its cost is higher due to the hand assembly, it’s only logical for the design, ornamental and aesthetic of the watch to be of a high level so that the company can market it for a higher price.

Sure, there’s also beautiful watches with quartz movements, especially the ladies’ watches because of the need to keep it small.

But if we’re talking about men’s watches, dressy automatic watches with beautiful dials are the norm.

And if you’re thinking of using a watch to complete your style, an automatic might just be what you need.

 

(Read also the 10 Best Automatic Watches Under $200)

 

Disadvantages Of Automatic Watches:

We’ve looked into the advantages of automatic watches. I would be lying if I say that automatic watches don’t have any disadvantages – it do!

Here are some cons that came to my mind:

 

1- Lower Accuracy

Even the most accurate automatic watch with COSC Chronometer are only 4-5 seconds accurate per day.

This means that it will gain or lose 4-5 seconds per day. And this is only at the more expensive automatic watches. Normal automatic watches are can actually have 15-20 seconds accuracy per day.

Before you go into panic mode, these numbers might seem a bit too much but it’s still 99.977% accurate considering we have 86,400 seconds in a day, which is very outstanding for something that’s made of moving steel parts.

It’s definitely much inferior to quartz watches that can be a few seconds accurate in a month.

I’ve made it a habit to reconfirm my watch’s time with my smartphone every morning or before I strap it on.

I also need to add that automatic watch is NOT my main timekeeping device. For that, I have my trusted smartphone which is always right beside me (who doesn’t??).

For me, the watch is used to for it’s convenience to tell time and I personally don’t really care if it’s off by a few seconds or minutes.

 

2- More Expensive Than Quartz

Due to its high amount of minuscule parts, the costs of it can be substantially higher than an equivalent quartz watch which have lower part counts.

Not only that, some automatic movements can only be assembled manually by human leading to high labor costs.

This could be due to differing movement caliber and the design of the watch itself. You just can’t automate large number of different products at the same time.

Because of these factors, a good automatic watch is usually more than $100 in price, though there are some minimalist designs that is more affordable.

By the way, I have to add that Swatch was able to make a simple movement that can be assembled by robots which is the Sistem51 movement.

They are able to do this by using a simplified movement with only 51 part count. A significant improvement as the number of parts in a normal automatic watch usually is more than a hundred.

If other manufacturers can increase their production line automation level, we might be able to see drop in the price. Let’s hope for that shall we =)

 

3- Typically Bigger And Heavier Watch

Automatic watches typically is bulkier and heavier compared to quartz watches. This is due to those stainless steel parts used in it.

For a quick comparison, an automatic watch uses gears to move the energy from its mainspring to the timekeeping device.

On the other hand, a quartz watch uses a small battery (instead of the mainspring which is larger) and some small wires instead of the gears.

In addition, it also depends on the complexity of the movement: automatic watches with complex complications such as chronograph will be much bigger than a normal three-hands auto watch.

But some people actually prefer a heavy watch because it feels more solid and can withstand more punishment.

It gives a bit of a manly feeling with that heavy piece of steel strapped on your watch. If you also feel the same way, do let me know in the comments section below! =)

From my own experience, the first few months of wearing the watch will put some stress on your hand because of the added weight.

But after a few weeks, you will get accustomed to it and might even started missing it when not wearing the watch.

 

4- Most Automatic Watches Have Low Power Reserve

Even though we can recharge automatic watch by simply wearing it, it also has its own power reserve to keep it running.

If the power reserve is used up, the watch will stop working until we give it a good shake or manual wind it.

A common problem with most automatic watches is the low power reserve – I’m talking about 38 to 40 hours equal to less than 2 days.

This is only a problem for those that have more than one watch in their collection. Surely, he/she will like to wear different watches depending on the occasion, or just want to rotate wearing it.

And in just less than 2 days, the watch is dead and you need to restart and adjust the time again.

If you’re wearing your automatic watch everyday, this is not a problem for you.

There are two ways if you want to keep the watch running even without any wrist time: manual winding and watch winder. Check out my post (click the link) to find out more about these two methods.

By the way, I have to add that some companies do make automatic watches with a higher power reserve.

For example, Seiko’s 6R15 movement has 50 hours (slightly more than 2 days) while ETA’s Powermatic 80 has an outstanding 80 hours!

Best part of all, both movements can be had in the low-middle range of prices! Check out some of my reviews in this site to find out more about it.

 

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Quartz Watches

We’ve seen the pros and cons of automatic watch. Now let’s see what does quartz watch has in store for us.

 

Advantages Of Quartz Watches:

1- Much Cheaper To Get

One of quartz watch biggest advantage over automatic watches is the much cheaper price.

Easy to manufacture due to lower part counts and not to mention widespread automation makes it very affordable.

A $10 quartz watch is very easy to get, though of course the quality is another different matter. On the other hand, a $10 automatic watch is near impossible to get LOL!

Without a doubt, if you’re just looking for a nice watch for your kids as their first watch, then a quartz is the perfect choice.

 

 

2- Very Accurate

Another great thing about quartz watches is its high accuracy. Due to the high frequency oscillation of the quartz crystal, quart watch retain a much higher accuracy than its automatic counterpart.

The normal standard for its accuracy is +-10 seconds per month, with more expensive quartz watches can be to the tune of +-10 seconds per YEAR (such as this Bulova Precisionist).

It’s totally on a different level than automatic watch in terms of accuracy. If you are looking for a no hassle watch that will show the exact time at any moment, than a quartz could be the perfect choice for you.

And unlike automatic watch, you don’t even have to reset the watch at all (except for when you change the battery of course).

 

3- Slim And Light

Another good advantage of quartz watch is how it’s much lighter than a typical automatic watch.

Well, this is not surprising since the watch is made from small number of components and don’t take up much space as compared to the automatic watch.

Try to pry open a quartz watch and you’ll see how small the components are. Do the same with an automatic watch and you’ll notice how starkly different these two are built.

Not to mention most automatic watch’s case is made of steel – another factor for its weight.

Quartz watch on the other hand, can be made from plastics which also reduces the weight of the watch.

Thinking of buying the first watch for your kid? I’d suggest stick to the quartz watch since it’s less straining on the wrist.

 

Disadvantages Of Quartz Watches:

Now, let’s see what are the cons of quartz watch.

 

1- Need Battery To Operate

Unlike automatic watches, quartz watches need battery to operate. This is one of the main disadvantage of it for a few reasons.

One, the battery will need to be replaced every few years or so. This might be a nuisance for some to do this.

Not only that, most watches don’t have a power indicator to know when your battery might die.

It can be totally unpredictable and depending on when, it can disrupt your day totally. Just imagine you are changing to go to work and wear your watch.

While in commute you check your watch and see that it’s still early so you take a detour to a local cafe for some coffee and sandwich.

When you arrived at your office, your colleagues asked why you were late. In turns out your watch is already dead and you don’t know it…. (it’s a true story that happened to me btw lol..)

Another thing that we need to be wary of is when using complications such as chronograph that can sap the battery faster.

Fortunately the Japanese released this and produced some inventions such as kinetic watch and solar watch.

Seiko has produced its Kinetic watches that can recharge your watch by the movement of your wrist while wearing it.  Meanwhile Citizen is famous with its Ecodrive solar watches that are powered by light.

The beauty of these watches are the battery can lasts for months after one full recharge. This makes them a very useful watch especially for those that don’t like the hassle of changing batteries but still want a quartz watch for its accuracy.

 

(Read here to check out the 10 Best Solar Watches Under $200)

 

2- Ticking Second Hand

Another thing that make quartz watch a bit lesser valued is the ticking second hand. It can be annoyingly loud or quiet, depending on the quality of the quartz watch movement.

Personally, I feel that this is an area that automatic watches really triumphed over quartz watches.

The sweeping second hand is just better to look at compared to these ticking hand.

Of course, there are some watch manufacturer that managed to produced a quartz watch with a sweeping second hand that does not reduce its battery life significantly.

But such watches (such as the Bulova Precisionist) are rare and can command a hefty price tag due to this feature.

 

Bottom Line

Technical and functionality wise, quartz is definitely a step up from the legacy automatic movement.

It features a more accurate timekeeping that’s much superior. In addition, the cost to produce these quartz watches is low and very affordable to everyone.

Wait…

Does this means automatic watch is useless in this age?

Like all questions, it depends..

If you’re one that need a cheap, accurate and no frills watch, the quartz might be the best watch for your.

But if you don’t really mind about the accuracy of the watch since you already carry your smartphone around (like me and literally everybody that I know), then the automatic watch can be an option.

Looking to up your style? What’s better than that good looking automatic watch. It can even be a conversation starter with fellow watch fans.

Irregardless of which, I believe that there’s no right or wrong in this debate. Don’t be swayed by what people tell you about which watch is better to buy. Do your own research and make your own mind yourselves.

Or you just ask for my opinion on what’s the best watch for your situation. I’ll be glad to help =)

 

 

If you have any thoughts about the differences between automatic and quartz watches, please write your comments below. I would love to hear what you guys think.

Till next time then. Ciao!

Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph T035.627.16.051.00 Review

Chronographs are one of most popular complications that people loved. To be able to make your watch as a stopwatch is a great tool. Watches after all are a tool for us. But the mechanism to make a chronograph can be quite complex, which will make them costs substantially more than your normal automatic watch.

This is due to the amount of mechanism in the watch and the many subdials to record seconds, minutes and hours of the stopwatch timekeeping. Fortunately Tissot has released the Couturier Automatic Chronograph T035.627.16.051.00 which is an affordable, yet high quality and Swiss Made model of this very useful tool. Let’s take a look at Tissot Couturier review shall we.

 

Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph T035.627.16.051.00 Review

 

Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph T035.627.16.051.00 Specification

Diameter: 43 mm
Thickness: 14.84 mm
Weight: 127 g
Case: Stainless steel case
Caseback: Solid caseback with aperture showing balance wheel
Strap: Leather strap with butterfly clasp

Dial: Black dial with silver index markers and date display
Dial Window: Sapphire crystal with non-reflective coating
Hands: Dauphine shaped hands with lume
Subdial: Chronograph subdials: 30-min subdial at top and 6-hour subdial at bottom. Running seconds hand subdial at left position.

Movement: ETA C01.211
automatic chronograph movement with 15 jewels. 21600 vibrations per hour or 6 beats per second
Power Reserve: 45 hours
Movement Features: Chronograph function, date display, hackable and manual winding

Water Resistance: 100 m or 330 feet
Other Features: Tachymeter scale at edge of dial, non-screwdown crown

Best Place To Buy: Amazon

 

Sharp And Elegant Looking Watch

Looking at the Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph and one can’t resist to comment on its good looks. The design is nothing fancy – just black dial with silver white hands, markers and signatures. It is in this very simple design and color usage that the watch looks tremendously gorgeous and elegant.

After all, black dial with silver stainless steel watch are just so cool looking right? Put that on a leather strap and you get a very sharp and dressy looking watch, the kind that every guy need to have.

The diameter of the watch is 43 mm with a rather thick 14.84 mm thickness. I honestly do not like the thickness, but it can’t be avoided as a chronograph automatic movement will be bulkier than their normal automatic sibling. The lugs are big and bulky, which shows that very masculine look. You can also notice that the crown is signed with Tissot’s “T” logo.

The chronograph pushers are at 2 and 4 o’clock positions. They are not like normal circle pushers but instead have an oval shape which will give better feel when using it.

 

Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph T035.627.16.051.00 Review

 

On the back of the watch is a unique caseback. Tissot uses solid caseback with a small aperture (or opening) just to show the balance wheel. At first I think it looks nice until it hit me – why didn’t they use a full exhibition caseback?

A full exhibition caseback will be totally gorgeous to have as we can see the back of the C01.211 automatic chronograph movement in full instead of just an opening. It’s really a design decision which is not welcomed at all.

Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph T035.627.16.051.00 Review

 

Subdials And Silver Markers/Hands

As you already notice, the Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph has 3 subdials on it. The top subdial is to record minutes for chronograph. The bottom subdial is for recording hours for chronograph (until 6 hours). The top subdial scale is until 30-min. Once the chronograph goes 30 minutes, the bottom subdial will move to mark half an hour.

The left subdial is a running seconds hand. This means the main second hand will not be moving at all. It will only move when using chronograph function to record seconds. It’s a shame actually to not be able to enjoy the sweeping second hand but it seems that most automatic chronograph has this sort of movement restriction. For a truly beautiful sweeping second hand with perfect chronograph function, I suggest you check out Bulova Precisionist (but it’s a quartz though..).

At the right of the dial is a circle that housed Tissot’s signatures, as well as the date window. These 4 subdial circles gives this watch a perfect symmetry design. Everything on the black dial is made of silver and white in color, giving a very nice contrast.

The markers are index shaped and bold. At the edge is the tachymeter scale. The watch uses dauphine shaped hands which have a little bit of lume on it.

 


  A video showing the Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph T035.627.16.051.00 upclose. You can also see how to use the chronograph function. Notice also the running second hand is at the left subdial and not the main second hand.

 

How To Use Chronograph / Stopwatch Function?

For those of you that don’t know, chronograph function means the watch can be used as a stopwatch. You know the thing the used to time Olympic races etc? Yes that’s the thing. For the Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph, the chronograph is operated by using 2 knobs or pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock positions.

Pushing the top pusher will start the stopwatch. The main second hand will move with each passing second. Once it make one rotation, the top subdial will move by one mark signalling one minute has passed.

Unlike electronic stopwatch, this Tissot will only be able to record up to 6 hours of time. In order to stop the time, simply push the top pusher again. You can push the top pusher to continue the time. Pushing the bottom pusher will reset the chronograph to zero.

Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph T035.627.16.051.00 Review

 

ETA C01.211 Automatic Chronograph Movement

Inside the Tissot Couturier is an ETA C01.211 automatic chrongraph movement. Words has it that this is a cheaper automatic chronograph movement designed by ETA for Tissot to use in their cheaper watches.

I’m not sure as to why Tissot don’t just use the ETA Valjoux 7750 chronograph movement (as in the Victorinox Infantry Vintage), but it seems they want a new movement for this purpose.

Even though this is a “cheap” movement, but ETA does not disappoint here. The C01.211 movement has lower jewel count at 15 jewels and 28800 vibrations per hour or 8 beats per second for that pretty sweeping motion.

The lower jewel count might be one of the improvements done by ETA to reduce cost. It also has a huge 45 hours power reserve, hack-able and can be manual wind. One trade off might be its thickness which is quite thick resulting in big watches.

I was not able to get a published accuracy data, but knowing ETA, we can safely assume the accuracy of the movement to fall within 10 seconds deviation per day since it is not a COSC certified chronometer.

 

Tachymeter Scale For Measuring Speed

On the edge of the dial is a tachymeter scale to measure speed. The numbers on the scale will show the speed of any object in km per hour or mile per hour, provided the distance that object travels is known. For more example, you can visit Wikipedia.com for the examples.

In real life, I don’t think it has any significant usage as we have to know the distance that object traveled which is quite hard to know. But I can see that this can be real nifty for a sports event when you already know the distance of any runners or swimmers for example.

Thus it is quite easy to do the simple calculation to get the speed of that particular athlete. Another usage might be in a racing event.

 

Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph T035.627.16.051.00 Pros And Cons

I’ve listed the pros and cons of this watch below for your easy reference:

Pros:
1- Beautiful, sharp and elegant looking watch with its black dial and silver markers/hands
2- Automatic chronograph movement at an affordable price

Cons:
1- Very thick at almost 15 mm
2- Will look substantial and big unless you have a big wrist
3- A full exhibition caseback is better than an aperture on the back

 

Conclusion

Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph is a beautiful looking watch. With its stainless steel case and chronograph subdials, it looks sophisticated and elegant at the same time. Having a chronograph function is a big plus as now your watch is one step closer to the functionality most electronic watches have.

Manufactured by Tissot, the trusted Swiss watchmaker with one century of experience should give an assurance on the quality of the craftsmanship of this watch. All in all, this is a watch those looking for a dressy automatic chronograph should buy.

Hope you guys enjoy this Tissot Couturier review. Drop your comments or question on this watch below. Hope to see you guys soon.

Cheers!

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Looking to buy the Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph T035.627.16.051.00? Look no further than Amazon. Amazon currently has the best price for it at their online store. Click the link below to go to Amazon and check its best prices and deals.

 

–>>Click Here To Check The Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph T035.627.16.051.00 Prices On Amazon<<–

Watch Winder VS Manual Winding – Which One Is Better?

Watch Winder VS Manual Winding - Which One Is Better?

So you’ve got yourselves an automatic watch after much research about it and how it differs with the normal cheaper quartz watches out there.

But then you realize that you need to use the watch at least a couple of hours everyday for the mainspring to have sufficient charges to power the watch for the next 38 hours (the minimum power reserve in modern automatic watches).

If you have only 1 watch, that’s fine as you’ll use the watch everyday and this would not be an issue.

But if you have a few watches in your collection (as most guys do..), you will soon have the problem of having more watches than you can use in a single day.

For normal working people, usually there is one watch for work, and another watch for night time or weekends. Of course, sports time will require another different watch too.

Having 2 watches is still okay as you can rotate it every day but once the number goes up, some watches will barely get enough wrist time.

Everyone got their own favorite watch so it’s totally understandable that you will wear your most prized/beautiful/expensive watch than the other less significant watch. What happens then is that these watches will drop dead from not being used.

 

Watch Winder VS Manual Winding - Which One Is Better?

Manually winding a Breitling Navitimer by rotating the crown

 

There are two easy ways to keep them running though. The first is to manual wind it by rotating the crown and the second way is to use a watch winder.

Both ways have their advantages and disadvantages that we will soon go through. But before that, I would like to explain why we need to keep our automatic watches running.

 

Benefits Of Keeping Your Automatic Watches Running

  1. Convenient – take out and just use it
  2. No need to adjust the time or date/day
  3. Will keep the internal mechanism running
  4. Ensure the lubricating oil won’t solidify or coagulate (for older and cheap movements)

 

The whole idea of keeping our automatic watches running is for convenience. It means we can just simply take out the watch from drawer and put it on.

No need to adjust the time and day/date whenever we want to use it. This saves time and is great for those Monday morning rush.

This is great for watches with complications such as moon phase and perpetual calendar that are designed to be running all the time for the complications to work perfectly.

Another benefit by keeping it running all the time is the internal mechanism will keep on running, thus preventing the lubricating oil from solidify or coagulate.

But this is only true for vintage watches and low quality watches that uses mineral oil. These oil will coagulate if the mechanism does not move for quite some time, making your watch to lose its accuracy or cannot even start.

But for new modern watches, synthetic oil is commonly used so this problem does not exist anymore.

 

skx007k-2Seiko SKX007 – A watch that is revered as a true workhorse. It has been around since 1996 and some people still use their 20 year old SKX007 till this day without any major issues.

 

But Will Keep Watches Running All The Time Increase Its Mileage?

One thing to take note is that keeping our watches running will affect its mileage.

There are 2 ways of thinking here. One says that just like a car, a longer running and higher mileage watch means the wear and tear in its mechanism is higher, thus lowering its lifespan.

So these people advise to just not bother with keeping your extra watches running and let them drop dead when not in use. This might be able to lengthen their lifespan.

I’ve a different opinion on this. Sure, if you let it drop dead, you can save some precious years for your watch.

For someone with 3 or 4 watches, his least favorite watch might only be used once every 1 or 2 weeks. So we are talking about a few years of inactivity (and lengthening of lifespan) for this watch if he let it dead when he does not want to use it.

But watchmakers are already building watches to withstand years of abuse. Swatch Sistem51 for example, has a 20 years guarantee by the company that it will keep on running perfectly. Seiko SKX007 has been in the market for 20 years and there are still people that bought it in 1996 and use it now.

The Swiss watch industry has exist for 100 years and they are continuously building watches that can test the time.

In my opinion, automatic watches are built for years continuously running, and I don’t see any actual benefit of keeping your unused watch dead just to “lengthen its lifespan”. For all we know, these little timepieces might even outlive us.

And of course, a full service should be done on the watch at the period recommended by the manufacturer. Just like a car, a good servicing of the internal movement will do wonders to keep it working perfectly.

Swatch Sistem51 sutr400-sistem-red-1

 

Swatch Sistem51 – a revolutionary automatic watch inside a plastic casing by the Swiss company Swatch. The company reportedly announced that the Sistem51 will be able to run perfectly fine for up to 20 years. Not only that, this watch also has a whopping 90 hours power reserve!

 

Watch Winder VS Manual Winding

We have learnt the benefit of keeping our watches ticking all the time. Whether you want to do it or not, I’ll have to leave for you to decide.

For me, a continuously running watch is very convenient and I’ll stick to that. So how to keep our watches running? As mentioned earlier, there are two ways for it: Manual winding or watch winders.

 

1) Manually Winding By Rotating Crown

How to manual wind your automatic watch? It’s very simple actually. Just rotate the crown upwards till you can feel and hear the movement making some faint noises.

In case you don’t know, the crown is the knob that sticks out from the watch case (Read my guide on watch’s anatomy here for pictures of the crown location).

It is also used to set the day and date of the watch. A good 20 turns (or more depending on your watchmaker’s recommendation) everyday is enough to fully wind the mainspring to full charge.

During winding, it is important to be gentle and not use too much force. Doing so will damage the crown as it is the weakest part of the watch. Using too much force could damage the gears inside,

causing you expensive repair works. Just lightly hold the crown and rotate it slightly will do. Always wind it when you are not wearing it, that is holding the watch with both hands.

Winding while wearing the watch might cause you to use more force than necessary.

 

A video of winding a Rolex Submariner (I purposely attached this video to share with you guys how gorgeous this watch is). The Submariner has a screw down crown, which is why the guy has to unscrew the crown first. It seems the Rolex will need 40 rotations to fully charge the mainspring and this will differs according depending on your watch model

 

Most modern watch has a clutch to disengage the manual winding mechanism from the mainspring to avoid overwind (the automatic rotor also has it too).

So there is no concern on overwinding your watch. But as a precaution, be mindful of the sound and feeling of the watch when its being wound. A loud, creaky and hard resistance that is abnormal might mean something is amiss and should be a concern.

 

2) Using A Watch Winder

A watch winder is a good alternative for people who does not want to manually wind their watches everyday. It is easy to use, can also be used as a box to hold your timepieces and can be a very nice looking addition to your bedroom.

Another good usage of the winder is when you are going for a vacation of travelling for work. On these occasions, you can’t bring your whole watch collection with you and manually winding the watch everyday is not possible. A watch winder is the perfect tool for these situations.

 

How Does A Watch Winder Work?

A watch winder is a very simple tool actually. The watch need to be secured to a watch pillow (just attached it like how you wear the watch using your wrist).

Then the pillow will be inserted into a hole of the watch winder. This hole is then rotated by a motor. This rotation motion will then rotate the automatic self-wind rotor and charging our timepiece.

 

A video showing Versa Watch Winder in operation

 

A Few Things To Consider When Buying A Watch Winder

A watch winder can cost from as low as $30 to hundreds of dollars. It is important for you to buy the correct watch winder then. Below are some of the tips to choose a suitable watch winder for your timepieces.

 

a) Which direction does it rotate?

Some watch winder will rotate clockwise or anti-clockwise. More expensive winders will have the option for both. This is very important as not all automatic watch’s rotor will rotate bi-directionally.

Some watches will rotate only in one direction. Again, you need to confirm with your watchmaker on how does the rotation of the movement going to be.

For example, a movement with rotor that only rotates clockwise will need to be attached with an anti-clockwise rotating winder to actually wind the watch correctly.

If your watch manufacturer can’t be contacted, you can try to check with Orbita database. Orbita, a watch winder manufacturer, has a comprehensive database on the directions of rotations for lots of watches. You can check it here.

 

b) How many watches do you have?

Watch winders come in many forms. Some have single slot to wind while others can have double or more than the space. For this, you will need to decide on how many winder slots you require for your watches as more slots will increase its price.

 

c) Battery operated or AC adapter?

It is recommended to use purchase an AC powered winder over battery powered units (though some winders have both options built-in). The winder will be running continuously, so a battery powered winder won’t really lasts long and you have to change it out.

 

d) How many turns per day (TPD)?

Most automatic watches has turn per day of around 700 to 1000. Most watch winders will have these settings in place. But some winders also have options for high turns per day (up to 2000 TPD) or a low of 300 TPD. It depends on how you use prefer to use the winder.

As always, contact your watch manufacturer for details of your watch’s TPD specification. Alternatively, you can also check in Orbita database for TPD settings (Orbita.com).

 

e) Motor quality

The motor is an important aspect of the winder. As mentioned earlier, the winder will be rotating quite a lot and only a high quality motor is robust enough to stay alive after a few months. Avoid Chinese made motor as much as possible as it will break in a few months max. Investing in a high quality motor is a very good decision.

 

f) Material of the winder’s internal

The finish of the internal of the winder is important to consider as well. A plastic or steel internals that touches with the watch could damage it due to friction when the watch is rotating inside it. A good choice is to buy a winder with soft fabric that will not damage your watch.

 

So, Do You Need Watch Winder?

So the big question: do you need a watch winder? It really depends on a lot of factors. One, watch winders could be pricey and some people might be turned off by that.

Not to mention manual winding is totally fine and can achieve the same objective of keeping the watch running. So why spend all those hard earned money?

But for those with a huge collection of watches, a big watch winder with up to 4 slots of winders is totally recommended as it can be quite cumbersome to wind those watches everyday.

Plus, big watch winders usually come with storage spaces for watches – you can literally make the winder as your “jewelry box” of some sort.

In the end, you yourselves has to decide if you need one. For me, my watch collections is still small and a watch winder might be too excessive.

But I can foresee as my collection grows into more expensive watches, I’ll surely get one of those winders that can also be a watch box =)

 

Where To Buy A Watch Winder?

For those of you that decide to purchase a watch winder, you can check the deals on Amazon. There’s a large selection of watch winder in Amazon to choose from.

Here I’ve listed some of the most popular winder on Amazon:

 

1- Versa Single Watch Winder

watch-winder-versa-single
A small winder for only one watch. It is a very compact and looks good with the round spherical shape. It’s also among the cheapest watch winder on Amazon (well, that’s a given since it can only house one watch LOL!).

Either way, this is a good candidate as your first winder due to its cheaper price. Check out the Versa single winder on Amazon by clicking here.

 

2- Chiyoda Dual Watch Winderwatch-winder-chiyoda-dual

Made from Japanese motor, this winder features dual slot for winding two watches simultaneously. It’s built with a quite nice looking finishing and has a LCD screen to conveniently show its current setting.

There’s also a key to protect your watches from prying hands. Check it out on Amazon by clicking here.

 

3- JQueen Quad Watch Winder

watch-winder-jqueen-quad

A winder with up to 4 watch slots. It has many functions and can operate with batteries or AC powered.

Check it on Amazon here.

 

4- Wolf Viceroy Collection – Triple Watch Winder With Storagewatch-winder-wolf-triple-with-storage

 

Now we’re talking. This winder is specifically designed for those with a huge collection of watches.

There are 3 slots for winders, with 5 additional storage space for watches at the top compartment – altogether there is space for 8 watches!

With quality internal and external finishing, it will be your very own man jewelry box. And it also comes with key lock to deter naughty hands (read: your kids, maid, etc.). Find out its price on Amazon by clicking here.

 

Hope you enjoy my article on the difference of watch winder and manual winding. Which one do you prefer? I would love to hear your opinion and experience in both methods. You can drop your comments below on the comments section and keep the ball rolling.

Till next time. Cheers!