What Is a Self-Winding Watch?

Also recognised in the industry as an automatic watch, timepieces with either of these names are powered by the movement of the wearer’s wrist and are very popular amongst watch collectors. The intricacy, complexity and skill involved can not be ignored and are desired by those fascinated with watchmaking at its finest. 

Find out everything you need to know about self-winding watches before you make your choice. 


How Do Automatic Watches Work?

Self-winding watches keep ticking via the natural motion of the wrist and therefore, need to be worn daily. Wrist movement causes for the weighted rotor mounted to the back of the movement to spin, which winds the mainspring powering the watch. Many watches feature an exposed case back to reveal the movement at work, which can be admired by the wearer.

On purchasing a self-winding watch the mainspring is completely unwound. Therefore, it is advised to wind the crown manually 30-40 times to ensure the mainspring is fully tightened and the power reserve is at full capacity.

How Long Will a Self-Winding Watch Run?

This all depends on how active the wearer is. Those sat at a desk all day are not energetic enough to keep the watch continuously running. Also, those who own a few different watches will notice the power reserve of those not worn drain of energy.

Self-winding watches rely upon activity to tell the time and therefore, investing in a watch winder is a good idea for days when the timepiece is not being worn or if you have had a particularly motionless day. Those with a very active lifestyle that keep the watch fastened to the wrist will in return keep the automatic watch powered requiring little maintenance from the wearer. Most watches have a power reserve that can help you understand how long your watch will run. Check the indicator to see if you are keeping active enough throughout the day.


How Accurate Is a Self-Winding Watch? 

Standard automatic movements are 99.97% accurate, which is pretty close to perfection if you ask us. Brands work tirelessly to offer automatic watches with complex movements that are precise, reliable and of high quality. Many have built a strong reputation relying upon their dedication to accuracy, which is demonstrated time and time again on the wrist to continue their proud legacy in the watchmaking industry.

If you would like to check the accuracy of a specific watch, many brands will proudly display the exact figures in their watch specifications. 

Who Makes Self-Winding Watches? 

Many of our luxury watch brands pride themselves on the stunning automatic watches that they design. TAG Heuer, Grand Seiko, Nomos Glashutte and Bremont are just a few who offer precise and reliable self-winding timepieces that are considered amongst the best automatic watches in the world. The exceptional skill, intricacy and complexity that goes into making an automatic watch movement with all the gears, springs and screws is recognised as a work of art not matched by a quartz movement.

Can a Self-Winding Watch Be Overwound? 

The simple answer is no. Very active wearer’s or those who store their automatic watches using a watch winder do not need to worry that their timepiece will be overwound. Once the timepiece is fully wound the winding gears disengage from the mainspring to prevent damage.