The movement or caliber is what drives the hands of a watch and so, I think you’ll agree, it’s important for anyone looking at buying a luxury watch to spend time learning about each movement type and how it functions.
Only then can you make an informed decision and invest in the perfect timepiece for you and your lifestyle.
So, let’s take a closer look at the automatic watch movement.
What is an automatic watch movement?
Also commonly known as ‘self-winding’, an automatic watch movement is exactly what you’d expect it to be from the descriptive nature of its name.
An automatic watch is a mechanical watch with which manual winding is unnecessary. This winding isn’t required as the automatic movement is powered by the natural energy created by the wearer’s motions.
An automatic watch converts your everyday motion into seconds, minutes and hours — which we feel is pretty magical.
The history of the automatic watch
In late 1776, Swiss watchmaker Abraham-Louis Perrelet invented what is thought to be the first example of a self-winding mechanism for a watch. It did differ from the modern version and was placed in a pocket watch, but was based on the same theory.
Unlike modern automatic watches, it was reported that 15 minutes of walking was first required to self-wind Perrelet’s invention for eight days of use.
However, in 1778, Hubert Sarton invented a self-winding movement with a central rotor, which is more akin to today’s version of an automatic.
Still though, pocket watches were the trend at the time, which weren’t ideally placed for natural motion.
Fast forward to 1923 and British watchmaker, John Harwood, created the first wristwatch with a pivoting weight to wind the mainspring. Now located on the wrist, this was a big improvement, but still not perfect.
Rolex then worked on the idea and created the perpetual movement in 1931. With a rotor that could now spin freely, Rolex’s version of the automatic movement is what we all know and love today — it has been recreated by all modern watchmakers.
How an automatic watch movement works
In short, an automatic watch winds through the use of kinetic energy from the wearer.
In more detail, here is how the modern self-winding movement works:
- A rotor is added to the manual parts of the watch, which is a metal weight.
- The rotor is connected to the movement and is free to rotate.
- With each movement of the wearer’s wrist, the resulting energy is transferred to the mainspring.
- The mainspring is then wound.
It doesn’t take much movement to create lots of energy, so losing time is never a worry.
Why choose a watch with an automatic movement?
Automatic watches have many benefits when compared to other watch types.
Primarily, you never have to worry about winding them on or changing a battery; they’re a carefree choice for those who want to wear their watch with lots of pride and zero hassle.
Below are a couple of examples of automatic watches from our collection:
This Breitling Gents Superocean Heritage automatic watch is cool and contemporary but with a vintage twist. Ideal for the modern diver or anyone with style!
The ladies’ Seamaster Aqua Terra automatic watch is the definition of elegance with its 18ct rose gold, mother of pearl dial, and enchanting circle of diamonds.
Explore all of our luxury wristwatches online today.