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Watch Movements

A watch "movement" refers to the interior mechanism that drives the watches timekeeping functions. They can be entirely mechanical, electronic or kinetic. Each type of movement has advantages and disadvantages.

  • Quartz Movement – A quartz movement is powered by a battery. In a quartz movement watch, a vibrating quartz crystal drives a step motor to move the hands at a constant rate. Passing an electric current through the crystal keeps it oscillating at over 32,000 vibrations per second, making the movement extremely reliable. Because quartz movements are so cost effective, most affordable watches have this type of movement. Swiss quartz designs combine the movement with the chassis and jewels of a mechanical watch to form the most accurate and durable quartz watches. On average, the battery of a quartz movement watch will need to be changed every 1-2 years, however there are some quartz watches that employ solar-powered rechargeable batteries or kinetic technology.
  • Mechanical Movement – A mechanical movement is the original method used to power a watch. A mechanical movement uses a spring that must be wound by hand using the stem in the crown. Once wound, the spring will slowly unwind and release the energy that powers the timekeeping functions. Mechanical watches must be wound daily, however they are appreciated by many for their detailed craftsmanship and aesthetic appearance. A well-built mechanical watch can last for generations.
  • Kinetic Movement – Kinetic, or automatic watches, feature mechanical movements that harness the energy produced by the wearer's arm to wind the spring. The wearer does not need to manually wind the watch every day; however the movement will wind down without continuous movement. It is recommended that, if the watch is not consistently worn, that it be manually would every couple of weeks or stored on a watch winder. Additionally, the time should be adjusted monthly as kinetic movements can gain or lose a few minutes per month.

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