Watch Talk- Part 2- Movement Types

Now that you’re familiar with the basic parts of a watch, we’ll talk about movement. 

The movement is the internal mechanism or caliber of a watch. It’s basically what makes the watch hands move and runs other features (i.e., calendar, time zone, etc.) of the watch. When you open the caseback of the watch, the plates and gears that you see make up the watch movements. 

Many have classified watch movements, but there are mainly three: (1) Quartz, (2) Manual, and (3) Automatic. 

Quartz movement means the watch is battery-operated. Seiko popularized this in the 1960s. Clue: if the second hand of your watch moves in a “ticking” beat, you probably have a quartz movement. This kind of movement is very popular due to its low maintenance. You just have to change the battery every year or two. And, its low cost is a BONUS!

Manual movement or hand wound movement is the grandparent of all movements. Dating back to the 16th century, this movement needs daily intervention. Yes, you have to wind that watch every few days, if not daily. Due to its intricate parts, this kind of movement is an art in itself and is usually found in collector’s items and accessories. If you see the second hand moving in a smooth and sweeping motion, you may be holding a treasured collector’s timepiece in your hands. 

Last, but not the least, is the automatic movement. This is often self-winding and is dependent on the wearer’s wrist movements. You eliminate the inconvenience of battery changes (or leaks, if you forget to change the watch battery) and the daily winding. And because the watch is powered by the kinetic energy harnessed from normal wrist movements, this watch usually lasts indefinitely.