Ever wanted to know the difference between an automatic or a mechanical watch? We take a closer look at the different watch movements and explain exactly how they work.



A mechanical watch utilises a mechanism that measures the passing of time. Using a spring, it can be wound periodically to stay accurate. The spring then releases its stored energy to power the watch. Mechanical watches are usually not as accurate as quartz as they need to be wound often to continue showing the correct time. The second hand on a mechanical watch will show a continuing sweeping motion when it moves around the face.




An automatic is exactly what the name states, automatic. The spring inside the watch is self winding and they don’t require a battery. The natural motion of the wearers arm helps to keep the watch accurate. With each arm movement, the rotor will spin inside the watch, which transfers energy to the battery and powers the watch. This means automatic watches need to be worn often to stay accurate. The majority of today’s watches offer an automatic movement.



A quartz watch is a battery powered watch that uses a crystal for accuracy. The battery sends an electrical signal through the crystal which then vibrates and helps the motor move the hands around the watch face. The ticks on a quartz watch are individual as opposed to a mechanical watch which shows a sweeping motion. Quartz watches often required very little maintenance unless a battery needs replacing.