Swiss Watch Movements: A Guide
Swiss Watch Movements
A watch movement is the engine that makes it run. Seems a simple statement but there are different types and grades of Swiss watch movements that go into a good watch.
There are 3 types of watch movements that go into a good watch. Each has its own characteristics and functions and make each watch unique. The choice of movement depends on the wearer and what they want from a Swiss made watch.
Movements come in two main types. Mechanical and Quartz. Each has its own characteristics and is designed to meet exacting standards. Automatic and manual watch movements fall under the mechanical type and quartz movements fall under the quartz type.
Automatic Watch Movements
Automatic watch movements are self-winding, self-perpetuating movements that work by movement of the wearer. A half circle-shaped metal weight attached to the movement that can move in 360 degrees as the wearer moves. The rotor is attached by a group of gears to the mainspring and as it rotates, it winds the mainspring, giving the watch power. once fully wound, the rotor will disengage from the mainspring.
Manual Watch Movements
Manual watch movements are just that. They need to be wound every day. These movements attach the stem to the mainspring and store the energy in the wound watch. As you wind the watch, tension will start to build but if you go past where the spring is wound, damage could occur
Quartz Watch Movements
Quartz movements use a battery to power the watch rather than winding. An electrical pulse s sent to a quartz crystal which vibrates at 32,768 per second. the rotor moves one second forward each time this is achieved. It makes quartz watches highly accurate.
Jewels in a watch movement are mainly rubies. The purpose is to reduce friction on the moving parts of a watch. Just like cartilage in bones, jewels keep wear down and the watch movement functioning well. Rubies are used because they are hard and long lasting in a Swiss watch movement.