3 Types Of Movements Difference Between Quartz, Mechanical, Automatic Timepieces
There are three types of movement:
- Quartz – the movement causes the second hand to move in individual ticks. Powered by a battery.In 1969, Seiko, the Japanese watchmakers introduced the quartz movement. The launch of this new technology challenged the traditional timepiece houses who relied on mechanical movement to power their watches.In response, most of the established watch companies released their own versions of quartz analog watches, kick-starting an era of battery-operated wristwatches.How Quartz Movement Works
- A quartz timepiece is powered by a battery that sends an electrical signal through a piece of crystal quartz.
- The quartz vibrates 32768 times per second, creating a signal with a precise frequency.
- The vibrations are measured by the circuit and converted into a single pulse every second.
- The consistent movement of the watch hands is a result of this pulse.
- Mechanical – the movement will cause the second hand to move in a smooth sweeping motion. The watch requires manual winding to operate.The passage of time on a mechanical movement watch is measured by a spring-driven mechanism. The spring (also called a mainspring), needs to be wound periodically.Mechanical or manual timepieces perform virtually the same function as those powered by quartz movement. Apart from the lack of a batter, closer inspection reveals something extra – an added emotion that has caught the fancy of many a horologist. A mechanical world of complex spiraling springs and moving gears that fuel the movement of the watch hands with elegant accuracy.Some of the rotor mechanisms on these watches work in conjunction with the earth's gravitational pull – compressing the mainspring during wrist movement and creating kinetic energy that fuels the automatic winding mechanism.
The intricate mechanism in these watches can often only be described as art. In fact, with some manual movement watches – reading time becomes an afterthought as these classic wristwatches transpire into something else. They are more appropriately termed timepieces, collector's items and accessories.
How Mechanical Movement Works
- Unlike quartz movements, a mechanical movement uses energy from the wound mainspring to power a watch, rather than a battery.
- This spring transfers energy through a number of springs and gears, powering the function of the watch hands and the complications.
3.Automatic – kinetic energy from the wearer's wrist is transferred automatically to drive the mechanism inside the watch.
Often referred to as self-winding, an automatic watch is a mechanical watch that harnesses kinetic energy from the natural motion of the wearer's wrist. The mainspring is automatically wound from the natural movements of the wearer's wrist. Manual winding is not required.
How Automatic Movement Works
The internal mechanism is similar to a mechanical movement.
- A metal weight called a rotor is added to the manual parts.
- The rotor can rotate freely and is connected to the movement.
- The rotor spins with each movement of the wrist, transferring the energy to the mainspring.
- The mainspring is automatically wound as a result of this energy transfer.