The No Fuss Guide to Watch Shopping

Nov 23, 2011

The holiday season is already upon us and with Black Friday around the bend, many people are starting to preemptively plan their gift lists. A well-made watch is often a good present for both men and women and they never go out of style. However, if you’re new to the watch world, the idea of investing in a watch might seem a little intimidating. How do you know what movement to pick? What style? What are complications? We’ve made a list of watch movements to simplify things so that you don’t walk into a store blind.

Mechanical Movement

How does it work?

Mechanical movements are just that. The mainspring has to be manually-wound to keep the movement running. The mainspring unwinds slowly which releases energy to keep the gears turning. A mechanical or manual-wind movement will have an average of 36 to 40 hours of power reserve before it has to be wound again. But most owners of mechanical watches wind their watches once a day in order to make sure that it keeps running. Also, be sure to check that the watch is keeping accurate time at least once a month. Mechanical movement can lose or gain a few minutes over time.

Who would want a mechanical movement?

For anyone who appreciates genuine European craftsmanship, it’s hard to beat a classic watch with a mechanical movement. A well-made mechanical watch is always a thing of beauty and they’re often handed down as family heirlooms.

Automatic Movements

Hublot Aero Bang Black Magic Chronograph Men's Watch 311.CI.1170.CI

How does it work?

An automatic movement is a mechanical movement with a self-winding mechanism. This movement has a rotor keeps the mainspring wound. The rotor stays in motion through the movement produced by being worn on somebody’s wrist. The movement of the spinning rotor is then transferred to the mainspring. This watch will keep it’s power reserve as long as its in motion. If an automatic watch is not worn for several days at a time, then it will be need to be kept in a watch winder to maintain the power reserve. This watch will also require periodic checking to see if it’s keeping accurate time as a few minutes can be gained or lost over a month.

Who would want an automatic watch?

An automatic watch is just an amped up version of a mechanical watch so these watches are sure to have beautiful craftsmanship and sturdiness with the added benefit that they won’t have to be wound on a regular basis.

Quartz movements

How does it work?

A quartz movement is simply a movement that requires a battery. The name “quartz” comes from the way that the battery works in conjunction with a quartz crystal. The battery passes an electric current through the quartz which then drives a motor that controls the watch hands. Batteries will have to be changed every year and a half or so. These watches are also very accurate any maybe only need to have the time modified once a year, if that.

Who would want a quartz movement?

A quartz watch are for those who prefer to leave it and forget about it. They don’t have to be continually wound to maintain accurate time and they generally require less maintenance than mechanical watches. Also, quartz watches are very affordable and there are styles to accommodate every budget.

This is just a brief introduction to the watch world. If you want to know more about watch details and complications, please visit our Watch Glossary for more information.

King Jewelers is an authorized dealer for over forty luxury Swiss watch brands including Bell & Ross, Breguet, Breitling, Cartier, Chanel, Chopard, DeWitt, Harry Winston, Hublot, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Jaquet Droz, Montblanc, Roger Dubuis and TAG Heuer. King Jewelers is a member of the American Watch Guild and has been named a Leading Watch Retailer in North America by International Wristwatch Magazine. King Jewelers also offers expert watch repair and watch restoration at their retail locations in Aventura, FL and Nashville, TN.

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