There are two types of mechanical movements found in luxury timepieces today, manual and automatic, each with unique characteristics. Although mechanical movements are the preferred movement, the type of mechanical movement comes down to personal preference.
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 that manual movements do, with the addition of a metal weight called a rotor. The rotor is connected to the movement and it can rotate freely. With each movement of the wrist, the rotor spins, transferring energy and automatically winding the mainspring.
Watches featuring an automatic movement will still require winding, but dramatically less than a manual watch. If the watch is worn 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.