Mechanical Movement and Electronic Movement Watches – What is the difference between the Two?

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Everyone wants to buy a nice looking designer watch and above all they want it to last for a long time, as a well made quality watch should last for many years, with it only having a new battery once a year. As technology improves, so does the quality and type of watches that are manufactured by some of the leading brands, but there are still two types of movements, mechanical and electronic, and we take a look at the difference below.

Mechanical Movement Watches

When watches were first produced, they were all mechanical movement watches, as the technology did not exist outside of moving parts. Some watches contain many moving parts, all working together to make your watch keep time and move along, a bit like a cog like set up.

When you wind one of these watches up, they then slowly let off this energy to control the movement of the watch, which is controlled to make a periodic energy release, and this is how the watch keeps time. Most of these type of watches will also use a balance spring and balance wheel, which helps with the control of gear system, something which is vital to keep the watch on an accurate basis.

These watches are stillought after, but often more expensive, as they are very traditional watches. With some of them now becoming collectors models because there are less and less being made as many manufactures now move to other technologies to help with cost and accuracy.

Key facts:

  • Traditional watch making assembled by hand,
  • No need for battery replacements.
  • Even though mechanical watches have many moving parts that work beautiful together and looked after will keep running
  • With a mechanical watch the parts are always working once wound up, so servicing is key to a long life, if you start to find you're running late it may be time to service your watch!

If you have an automatic winding watch then it would be a good idea to invest in a watch winding box, this will rotate your watch to keep the movement wound, ask watch mad for details.

Electronic Movement Watches

The new form of watches, the electronic movement watches have few or no moving parts, as they use something called the piezoelectric effect, which is in effect a tiny quartz crystal, which helps to provide a far more accurate time and stable watch, with less that can realistically go wrong.

These types of watches are often called quartz watches because of the way they work, with most looking like they still operate a mechanical operation under the surface, to help maintain the look and feel of the more traditional watches. These watches only started to be produced in 1969, with the first electronic movement watch being a Seiko, which was only really research in Switzerland in 1962.

These watches, or type of watches, generally cost less to make and are there before made in many thousands, as they are more cost effective when made at these quantities. The electronic movement watch has helped to drive the price of designer watches down and make them more affordable, but some traditionalists will still prefer the mechanical movement watch over the electronic version.

Key facts:

  • Electronic movement have few moving parts, sometimes none, as they are all electronically controlled
  • They are more accurate due to the technology involved, and as this improves the watches become even more accurate
  • Because they are less deficient than the mechanical movement version, they are less likely to suffer errors or issues

So, in conclusion, even though more watches are now being made with the electronic movement, traditional mechanical movements are still being produced, just at lesser levels of production which in turn contribute to them being more expensive. No one can really say which is better, as there is most definitely a market for both, but it is just good to see that watches, in whichever form are now being made more affordable in the market.