Quartz Watches (Battery)
A timepiece with a quartz movement is powered by a battery. Quartz watches are generally cheaper than those with mechanical movements and are also more accurate. Beside from needing to replace the battery every 2-3 years, battery powered watches require very little maintenance or service. If you do require a battery change, our repair technicians can do this for you. Just send your watch to us here.
Quartz watches are powered by an electronic oscillator that transmits an electric current through quartz crystal. This current vibrates at a constant high speed of around 32,768 times a second until this frequency is released through a small stepping motor which in turn makes the dial features of the watch move.
You can find some examples of Quartz watches here.
Unlike a quartz watch which is powered by a battery, mechanical watches are powered by something called a mainspring which has to be wound up before the movement will work. The spring stores and transfers the energy through a series of gear components including a balance wheel and an escapement, regulating a release of energy to power the watch.
There are two types of mechanical watches available: a self-winding mechanical watch and an automatic mechanical watch.
The mechanical automatic movement quite simply means that the watch becomes powered automatically through the movement of your wrist. Every time you move, energy is created by the oscillating rotor which spins around and winds the mainspring. Automatic watches were designed so the wearer would not need to wind them manually. Automatic watches require regular wearing otherwise the watch will eventually stop and will need to be reset. You can also purchase automatic watch winders that allow you to keep the watch powered even when you are not wearing it.
Mechanical watches are generally more expensive than quartz, but the movement is much more impressive and it means that you don’t have to worry about getting the battery changed every 2-3 years.
You can find some examples of mechanical watches here.
Manual Winding Watches
With a manual-winding movement you have to physically twist the crown of the watch to power up the intricate components inside. As you turn the crown, the mainspring is charged up to store energy and once the winding stops, the spring unwinds at a limited speed (controlled by the balance wheel and escapement) which powers the hands to show the time through a set of gears. How often you need to wind your watch will depend on the model you have, but the majority require winding every two to three days.
Chronometer self-winding movements are considered the very best since they are subjected to vigorous testing to ensure that their timekeeping is accurate to -4 to 6+ seconds a day. This testing is carried out at the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (also known as COSC) where they test every chronometer in a variety of different temperatures and positions to ensure it meets the required standards.
You can find some examples of COSC certified watches here.
Solar Powered Watches
Solar powered watches are considered just as accurate as quartz watches but do not require a battery replacement. They source their power from light, whether that be sunlight or artificial light. They store this energy up within a solar panel found under the dial allowing the watch to work even in complete darkness. This solar power is converted into an electrical charge which is used to recharge the battery or capacitor that runs the watch. Since you do not need to change the battery,, solar powered watches are also considered helpful for the environment as there are no harmful chemicals disposed with each battery change.
You can find some examples of solar powered watches here.
A movement made more famous by the watch brand Seiko, Kinetic watches are very similar to Quartz except they have an additional rotor within them that generates an electric current to recharge the battery. This rotor is similar to that used in automatic watches as it is the movement of the wearer that creates this power.
You can find some examples of kinetic watches here.