While a watch’s band may be seen from afar, or its style of dial can be told on the spot, one thing can’t always be seen at first glance is a watch’s inner workings, defining its type. When we take a step back from the sophistication and overall look that watches bring their wearers and focus purely on the mechanisms by which they run, you’ll notice a wide variety of watches that differentiate themselves from each other.
Each type of watch works just fine, however. Which one is best all comes down to the person acquiring the watch; personal preference is everything. With that said, let’s take a look at the three main types of watches. Which one is best will be up to you to decide.
If you’ve ever heard the word “clockwork” used in a metaphor, it likely was meant to refer to a situation which acts as the inside of a mechanical watch. Mechanical watches are made up largely of tiny gears which make the hands go round. Mechanical watches are those which you’d expect to see on the wrist of the lead male role in a detective movie, going well with his briar pipe.
The gears themselves are all triggered by a slowly-turning spring. While we are unable to see the spring (unless the watch is taken apart), we can see the point at which the spring is wound up. When winding up a mechanical watch with the knob on its side, you’re essentially putting pressure on the spring, which will cause it to “push” against the gear-laden mechanism within, keeping the watch’s hands turning. Of coarse, once the spring doesn’t have enough pressure, the watch will stop functioning until the wearer goes about winding it up again. Mechanical watches give off the ticking sound we’ve all come to recognize in clocks of all type, whether or not they be worn on a wrist.
Mechanical watches have their own set of pros and cons in relation to other watches. As far as pros go, these watches are arguably the biggest staple in the watch collector’s display shelf. Mechanical watches also have a lot of history behind them and, for this reason, carry a degree of sentimental value. The downside is that they tend to be less accurate at telling time than some other modern watches (such as the quartz watch). They also typically need to be cleaned by a horologist, which may be a burden for some and an unnecessary cost for others. Despite this, many find themselves reaching for the mechanical watch when it comes time to give their wrist a makeover.
At first glance, the insides of an automatic watch look almost identical to that of a mechanical watch. The key difference between the two is that, while both are driven by gears (which are, in turn, driven by a spring), the spring in an automatic watch needn’t be wound up. While many (though not all) may still have a winding knob jutting out the side of the casing, it generally doesn’t need to be used by the wearer.
Much like manual watches, automatic watches give off a clicking sound due to the spring and gears used within. The only difference between the two watches is that the aromatic watch’s spring is wound up automatically. Outside of that key difference, both types of watch generally operate in much the same manner. This being the case, automatic watches will also need to be taken into a horologist for cleaning on a semi-regular occasion if you expect to keep it in working order for any significant period of time. Of course, if you fancy yourself a hobbyist, you may very well get into the cleaning of watches yourself, saving time, gas and money.
The Quartz watch distinguishes itself as being the watch of the century. Made with technology that looks more like something out of a Harry Potter film, the name is quite literal, in that Quartz watches are actually powered by a crystal. The crystal oscillator (an oscillator being responsible for the moving of the watch’s hands) actually emits a tiny frequency which lets the digitally-powered hands know when it’s time to move. Quarts watches, while lacking in history or novelty/collector’s value, are the best when it comes to a watch’s practicality. Quartz watches are considered to be the most accurate at telling time.
While naturally occurring Quartz crystals were once used in these watches, as the technology grew, it became easier and more cost-effective for large brands to use synthetic crystals. These watches typically have low maintenance requirements when compared to other watches – they generally don’t need to be cleaned or maintained in any way whatsoever. The only downside to these watches is that watch collectors and aficionados might pay more attention to the guy beside you with the mechanical watch. They are, however, equally fashionable (nobody sees the inside of your watch anyways), easy to own and are, without a doubt, the most effective when it comes to telling time.
Égard Watch Company makes a variety of watches including mechanical and automatic watches. Shop our exclusive sales to get yours at a great price today!