An automatic watch is one that runs without the need for a manual winding mechanism. These timepieces are durable, which makes them a good choice if you want a long-lasting watch. However, you should keep in mind that they will cost you more than a manual watch. It is best to purchase a watch that has a longer warranty period so that you can be sure it will last you for years.

Longines Master Automatic Watch

Functions of automatic watches

While most watches are purchased for aesthetic reasons, watch enthusiasts may enjoy learning more about the inside workings of their watches. Regular care and maintenance of an automatic watch will ensure that it keeps its accuracy for a long time.

An automatic watch has a number of internal components that work to keep it ticking. Its main organ, the balance wheel, receives energy from the mainspring and "beats" between five and ten times a second. The escapement, an internal braking system, transmits this energy to the hands and dial through a gear train.

The escapement supplies impulses to the balance wheel, which ensures the rate of the hands' rotation. Some models have a skeletal case back that displays the movement through a crystal. Fly-back chronographs are useful for aviators, as they automatically restart when the weight swings back to zero. Many watches also feature complications, or additional indications, in addition to timekeeping.

Self winding

The main difference between an automatic watch and a quartz watch is its winding mechanism. The latter is powered by a battery, while the former requires manual winding and requires no special maintenance. If you wear an automatic watch daily or are away for 36 to 72 hours, you will need to wind the watch manually, or by using an automatic winder machine.

Besides the mainspring, the rotor is the heart of an automatic watch. This semi-circular weight is mounted on the movement and enables the watch to wind itself. As the wearer moves his or her wrist, this weight swings in a circle, and transfers energy to the mainspring. The mainspring then stores this energy in the rotor and prevents it from spinning further. There are many metrics used to measure the quality of the movement of an automatic watch.


An automatic watch is an impressive piece of mechanical engineering, with more than 100 parts. These components are all made with great precision and accuracy. 

This is a major benefit of an automatic watch because you don't need to worry about timekeeping errors.

Automatic watch mechanisms are reliable and durable, and they combine a mechanical watch style with a perpetual winding mechanism.

Vintage watch mechanism

Automatic watches have two main components: a mainspring barrel. The mainspring is a coil of spring steel that provides power and turns the crown. The barrel also contains gear teeth, which turn the center wheel once per hour. The center wheel is attached to a shaft that extends through the dial. A cannon pinion is attached to the rotor barrel, and a minute hand is attached to it with a friction fit. Both components are connected to the mainspring's shaft, which drives the hour wheel and hand.

Another important part of an automatic watch is the balance wheel. It regulates time by oscillating between five and ten beats per second. A spring connected to one end of the balance wheel moves in and out of position each time the balance wheel swings. The balance wheel also works with a mechanism called escapement. The escapement allows the user to regulate the amount of energy transmitted from the mainspring to the balance wheel.

As you can see, an automatic watch is a small mechanical machine. Unlike traditional mechanical watches, an automatic watch doesn't rely on a battery or winding mechanism to keep time. A mechanical watch must be wound up and wound periodically to keep time, so regular maintenance and repairs are vital. A watch with an automatic movement is a fine piece of craftsmanship, and many of them feature precious stones.

Power reserve

A watch's power reserve tells the owner how long it will run before the watch needs to be wound again. The more power the mainspring has, the longer the power reserve. However, as the mainspring loses energy, the accuracy of the timepiece will degrade. In this case, the watch will have to be wound again.

A watch's power reserve is displayed on the dial in different ways. Some brands offer a horizontal numerical bar on the dial of their watches, while others use a simple hour and minute hand. For example, Panerai provides a numerical bar on some of their Luminor 1950 references, while MB&F created its Legacy Machine 1.

A mechanical watch's power reserve is a useful feature if you plan on wearing the watch for long periods of time. However, if you plan on wearing it all day, you may not want to use the power reserve. To ensure the watch has a long power reserve, check whether the watch has a power reserve indicator. Usually, an automatic watch has a power reserve indicator, but if it doesn't, simply wind it up again to reset the power reserve indicator.

The power reserve of an automatic watch can vary between five and fifty hours. A model with more power will last longer than one with a lower power reserve. For example, a Tudor Black Bay watch has a 70-hour power reserve, while a model with less power will run for half that time.

Whether you buy a mechanical or quartz watch, the power reserve indicator is a useful feature. It not only makes it easier to monitor the power reserve of a watch, it can also show the quality of the watch's workmanship.


The cost of an automatic watch can vary greatly depending on the brand you choose. The brand of the watch also plays a big role in the overall service and maintenance experience. Different brands use different parts and materials, and this can affect the overall price. Some of the most popular brands are Omega, Rolex, Seiko, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet. You can also send your watch to a manufacturer for repair or maintenance. This has several benefits, including the use of original parts and experience.

Automatic watches will require regular servicing, usually every two to four years. This service may cost anywhere from $60 to $100, depending on the model. Different watchmakers recommend different servicing intervals. Some will recommend a yearly water resistance test, while others recommend a five to ten-year full service. This service will include disassembly of the movement, cleaning, and re-lubrication.

Another benefit of an automatic watch is its high level of accuracy. Automatic watches require more sophisticated manufacturing techniques than quartz watches. As a result, they are more expensive due to the many small parts and intricate workings. The process used to build an automatic watch requires years of professional training. It also can't be mass-produced like a quartz watch. This exclusivity is part of what drives the price up.


Taking proper care of an automatic watch is essential to maintain the proper performance of your timepiece. This process involves regularly cleaning and dialing, as well as keeping the watch clean and protected. The best way to take care of an automatic watch is by following the manufacturer's instructions. If you follow these steps, you can keep your watch in good condition for years.

First, you should avoid exposing the watch to water. This can cause damage to the watch's internal mechanisms. The pushers and crowns on your watch are particularly vulnerable to water, and can be damaged if they are prone to water. In addition, you should make sure that you keep your watch in a watch box to ensure extra protection.

Another aspect of watch care is cleaning the watch strap. If your watch is made of leather or cloth, you should wipe it thoroughly every night. This will keep it germ-free and prevent bacteria from accumulating inside. If your watch is made of metal, you can also clean it by using a soft cloth dampened in water and mild soap. Otherwise, you can wipe it off with a dry cloth. After cleaning, make sure that you let it air dry completely before storing it.

You should also wear your watch to maintain its accuracy. This will help prevent it from falling or acquiring worse conditions over time. Additionally, you should have regular services performed on your watch to ensure that it is functioning properly. Typically, an overhaul is recommended every seven to ten years, and a basic check every three to five years.

FAQ: Automatic watches

What is so special about an automatic watch?

An automatic watch is a type of watch that uses the energy from the wearer’s body to wind itself. It is a self-winding watch. Automatic watches are also known as self-winding watches or self-winding clocks.

Do automatic watches have batteries?

No, automatic watches do not have batteries. Instead, they are powered by the movement of the wearer’s body.

How long do automatic watches last?

An automatic watch is a type of watch that uses the natural movement of the wearer's arm to wind the mainspring, eliminating the need for manual winding. Automatic watches typically have a power reserve of 38 to 48 hours, meaning they can be taken off at night and still work properly the next day.

Who are automatic watches for?

Automatic watches are a great choice for those who enjoy the history and craftsmanship of timepieces. These watches are often considered heirlooms by their owners. Since their introduction in the seventeenth century, mechanical watches have stood the test of time. With proper maintenance, these watches can last a lifetime.

What is the difference between automatic watches and mechanical watches?

There is a big difference between automatic watches and mechanical watches. Automatic watches are powered by the movement of your body, while mechanical watches are powered by a spring that needs to be wound manually. 
This means that automatic watches are much more convenient to wear because you don't have to worry about winding them up. However, mechanical watches are generally more accurate and have a longer lifespan.


As you can see, an automatic watch is a special type of watch that has many benefits. If you are looking for a watch that is durable, accurate and does not require batteries, then an automatic watch is a great choice for you.