Automatic Watch Movements

If you’re just getting started learning about luxury watches, you’ve come to the right place. You may have heard of automatic watch movements before; even admired the gears, springs, levers and rotors in action yet are unsure what the term actually means.

We’ll explain everything you need to know about automatic movements before investing in your first watch.


What Does Automatic Watch Movement Mean?

Automatic watch movements, also known as self-winding watches, allow for the timepiece to be powered as you move. The concept ensures that the owner of an automatic watch does not need to wind manually yet ideally is required to wear the design on a regular basis.

This type of movement is very popular for daily use, as the watch remains operational without winding. Once fully wound, automatic movements usually have a power reserve ranging from 36-42 hours. However, if you let your watch become very close to the end of its power reserve, your timepiece will need more than your wrist movement to fully wind the mainspring and maintain a long power reserve. 

To find out what to expect from your watch ensure that you familiarise yourself with the manufacturer’s product specifications. 

How Automatic Watch Movements Work

The regular movement of your wrist throughout the day creates energy allowing for the oscillating rotor to spin, which winds the mainspring. If the timepiece is left unworn the oscillating rotor will stop spinning and the hands will come to a temporary halt until the watch is reset.

To keep an automatic mechanical movement powered you can invest in an automatic watch winder whilst unfastened to your wrist. They are particularly useful for those collecting watches and have a few automatic timepieces amongst their favourites. Automatics disengage when they reach full power reserve so cannot be overwound.

At first, the main spring in automatic watches is completely unwound and therefore, requires movement to get started. An active wrist will begin the process yet to take full advantage of the power reserve, it is advised to initially wind the crown 30-40 times to wind the mainspring. Also, for those who are not very active during the day may need to give it a boost now and then. 


Who Makes Automatic Watches?

Many of our luxury brands design automatic movements including Nomos Glashutte, Breitling, TAG Heuer, Maurice Lacroix and Grand Seiko to name a few. The impressive engineering and hassle-free concept does generally raise the price in comparison to quartz movements. However, the benefits ensure that you do not have to change the battery every 2-3 years.

Are Self-Winding Watches Accurate?

Yes, luxury brands work very hard to guarantee precision with their self-sufficient movements. Both cutting edge technology and working by hand using the greatest attention to detail ensures accuracy bringing the watch to life piece by piece.  

Of course, if you fail to wear regularly your watch will stop yet once reset to the correct time; you can be assured that any luxury watch will read the time accurately.

How to Clean Automatic Watch Movements

The easiest way to ensure that your automatic watch is in good condition is to book in for a service with a trustworthy expert, like us, every 2-3 years. Regular maintenance will extend the life of your timepiece keeping it ticking for much longer as you move.