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Watch 101

How does a mechanical watch actually work? What is the difference between automatic and mechanical watches? And what is the function of a Quartz crystal in a watch movement? The following section aims to mediate a basic understanding of art of Swiss watchmaking.

Mechanical Watches

Mechanical watches are powered by a winding mechanism. The crown must therefore be wound to the stop, which corresponds to ~ 10 rotations of the crown. The stored energy is then transferred to the watch hands via a complex mechanical transmission process.

Automatic Watches

Automatic watches do not need to be rewound.Through the natural movements of the wrist, the power reserve is drawn up by kinetic energy via a rotor (energy storage). The energy is then transferred to the watch hands via a complex mechanical transmission process. 

Quartz Watches

While in mechanical and automatic watches the movement is powered by kinetic energy, in Quartz watches this task is performed by a battery which is the source of energy. A quartz crystal ensures the right frequency, ensuring that the energy of the battery is only passed on to the mechanics to a regulated extent. Quartz watches are therefore extremely precise.

Chronograph Watches

The term chronograph refers to a wristwatch with a stop function. A chronograph can therefore be used like a stopwatch to measure time spans. In addition, many chronographs have an additional scale for calculating speeds, for example. The tachymeter scale is best suited for this purpose and can be found on many models.

Chronometer Watches

Chronometer is an automatic, mechanical or battery-powered watch that displays the time particularly accurately. The Swiss Chronometer Control Centre (COSC), founded in 1973 in La Chaux-de-Fonds, is mainly responsible for testing and issuing certificates in accordance with ISO 3159. According to the ISO standard, the deviation of mechanical movements may not exceed -4 to +6 seconds per day.