Automatic Watches FAQ [Part 1]

Do you dream of having an automatic watch but is hesitating because it is too complicated to have one? True enough.

Through the years, automatic timepieces are considered intricate and noteworthy valuables. Owning one makes you more updated with the fundamentals of automatic watches maintenance and of course, the common watch terms you should know. Do you have queries now in your mind? We have got the answers! Here is the first part of the top frequently asked questions (FAQ) about automatic watches.

1. What is an automatic watch?

Automatic timepieces are also known as mechanical movement watches. Compared to a quartz timepiece, an automatic watch has no battery. Its power comes from a mainspring that stores energy from the wearer’s movements throughout the day. Thus, the automatic movement. Some mechanical movement watches are self-winding watches (automatic) while others need manual winding.

2. Who invented the first automatic watch?

The history of automatic watches dates back to the 18th Century. The first man to develop a rotor was Swiss watchmaker Abraham Louis Perrelet (1729-1826) while Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823) successfully improved self-winding watches. Hence, in the history of automatic watches, Perrelet earned the moniker ‘Father of Automatic Watches’ because of his rotor invention.

3. What is a Power Reserve?

In automatic watches, the main source of power comes from the stored energy found in a coiled spring, also known as the mainspring. The amount of time by which the spring can hold the energy to make the watch run is known as the automatic watch power reserve. The estimated automatic watch power reserve is usually 41 hours.

NOTE: The 41-hour power reserve is the usual timeframe by which an automatic timepiece can continue running even if you are not wearing it. After that, you can wear it again to get energy from your wrist’s movements or you can do a manual winding.

4. Do automatic watches need to be manually wound?

Technically, an automatic watch still needs manual winding. Although wearing it continuously winds it naturally because of the user’s movements, it will still stop functioning at a certain time once you remove it from your wrist. Moreover, manually wound watches usually have a longer power reserve than the usual.

5. How do you wind an automatic watch?

There are two common ways on how you can wind an automatic watch:

  • Winding by wearing it – simply wear your watch always to maintain its stored energy from time to time
  • Wind it by the crown – position the crown first at 0 and simply turn the crown at a clockwise position for 30-40 times and you are good to go

6. Can an automatic watch be overwound?

Definitely. Overwinding can cause permanent damage to the watch’s winding gears, so it is advised to follow 30-40 turns only or until resistance is reached.

We have completed the first half answers to some of the most common FAQ about automatic watches. For more information please refer to the second part of this FAQ.