No matter what the watch, no matter the brand at the heart of every watch is watch movement. The movement is the engine of a watch that acts as the powerhouse to make the watch and its functions operate. This internal mechanism moves the hands and powers any complications such as a chronograph, moon phase, date, day/date or dual time zone. The movement drives all timekeeping functions and is essential to keeping accurate time. A watch would not function without it.
There are dozens of different movements or calibres created by watch movement manufacturers, but each of these movements falls into one of two categories: mechanical or quartz. Here at Adina we use both.
An easy way to differentiate a quartz from a mechanical movement is by looking at the second hand. On a quartz watch, the second hand has the tick-tick motion that moves once per second while mechanical watches have a smooth, sweeping seconds motion.
Quartz movements are very accurate and require minimal maintenance aside from battery and seal replacements. Quartz watches tend to be more affordable as being battery powered, have few moving parts. Watch snobs sometimes view quartz watches as not being desirable, because they lack the technical craftsmanship and engineering of mechanical timepieces. Look closer at the fine Swiss Made repairable quartz movements that we use here at Adina Watches and with a little and understanding of how the technology works, it becomes utterly fascinating. You soon realise that a quartz-regulated Adina watch, is home to an incredible piece of machinery.
How a Quartz Movement Works
A quartz movement utilizes a battery as its primary power source and typically we use quartz movements across each of our collections. To create power in quartz watch movements, a battery sends an electrical current through a small quartz crystal, cut out in the shape of a tuning fork. Quartz naturally vibrates at a precise frequency and also has piezoelectric properties, meaning that when pressure is exerted upon it, it produces a small volt of electricity. Electrifying the crystal to create vibrations controlled by circuit keep the movement oscillating and drive a motor, in turn moving the seconds hand and giving the quartz watch its signature once-per-second tick. The second will then move each of the hands in turn via geared train.
The mechanical movements used by Adina are known for their high level of quality and craftsmanship, skilfully created by expert watchmakers. These movements contain an intricate series of tiny components working together to power the timepiece. Generally speaking the blueprint of a mechanical watch movement hasn’t changed much in centuries but technology has allowed for more precise engineering and greater attention to detail.
How a Mechanical Movement Works
A mechanical watch movement uses energy from a wound spring (remember in a quartz movement it is a battery) to power the watch. This spring stores energy and transfers it through a series of gears and springs, regulating the release of energy to power the watch.
Differences Between Mechanical Movements
There are two types of mechanical movements found in the Adina collection today. Manual and automatic, both of which have unique characteristics. If a mechanical watch is your preferred choice, then type of mechanical movement it uses comes down to personal preference and application.
Considered to be the most traditional movement, manual movements are the oldest type of watch movement. Manual-wind watches are often beloved for their beautiful display of the watch movement, which can usually be seen through the case-back. These movements are often referred to as “hand-wound movements” because they have to be manually wound by hand to create energy in the watch’s mainspring.
How a Manual Movement Works
The wearer must turn the crown multiple times to wind the mainspring and store potential energy. The mainspring will unwind slowly and release energy through a series of gears and springs that regulate the release of energy. This energy is then transferred to turn the watch hands and powers the watch’s complications. Depending on the power reserve capacity of the movement, which could be anywhere from 24 hours to five days or more, will dictate how often you will need to wind it. At Adina we only use hand wound movements in our pocket watches and require daily winding. It is a time honoured ritual which many manual-wind watch owners simply love doing, before placing their watch in their pocket for the day ahead.
The second form of mechanical movement is automatic. Often referred to as “self-winding,” automatic movements harness energy through the natural motion of the wearer’s wrist. Watches with automatic movements are very popular because the wearer doesn’t have to worry about winding the watch daily to ensure constant operation. As long as the watch is worn regularly, it will maintain power without requiring winding.
How an Automatic Movement Works
An automatic movement works largely the same way as a manual movement, with the addition of a metal weight called the oscillating rotor. The rotor is connected to the movement and can rotate freely. With each movement of the wrist, the rotor spins, transferring energy and automatically winding the mainspring which as we have discussed previously is the watches’ power source. Adina Watches featuring an automatic movement may still require winding. If the watch is worn actively every day, it will maintain timekeeping functions without winding, but if the watch hasn’t been worn for an extended period of time, it will need a quick wind to garner initial power.
A great alternative to hand-winding automatic watches is to use a watch winder, which will keep the watch fully wound when it’s not being worn.