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The advantages & disadvantages of automatic watches

Geplaatst op 21-12-2022 door Marc Hut

Have you got your eye set on an automatic watch? A smart choice! An automatic timepiece is handy and has a number of advantages. Why you should go or not go for an automatic watch is up to you, but in this Watch News we will explain the advantages and disadvantages of automatic watches. Let's start right away with the advantages because, after all, the good news needs to be told first!

Citizen NY0100-50ME Promaster Super Titanium automatic mens watch 42 mm

The advantages of an automatic watch

Never replace battery again
The most important advantage of an automatic watch is it doesn't contain a battery so you'll never have to replace a batt. You'll wind the watch by wearing it and moving your wrist. 

        Read also: 'My watch is broken! 10 common watch defects'

No battery = no unnecessary opening of the case
With an automatic watch you do not have to replace a battery. This means it is not necessary to open the watch case unless the watch needs to be repaired. The advantage of this compared to a quartz watch with battery is that an automatic watch will remain waterproof. But maybe you're thinking 'but I don't have to replace the battery of a quartz watch that often, do I?'. Now, that is true. But still: You wil need to replace the batt at least within 1.5 - 2.5 years depending on the movement inside the watch. There will come a moment that the battery of your quartz watch is empty!

Is it difficult to replace the battery?
Replacing the battery is certainly not difficult, you can probably do it yourself and most jewelers can do it in no time at all, so it is not such a drama. But when your watch is waterproof enough to go diving with it, it is advisable to have a water resistance test done. After all, you don't want your timepiece to leak.

Philipp Plein PWBAA0421 The $keleton watch 44 mm

Beautiful to look at
Automatic watches are generally quite beautiful. Many automatic machines, such as these Philipp Plein models, have a window on the dial through which you can see the mechanism of the machine. Other automatics, such as some TW Steel watches, have a glass back so that you can also see the movement inside. Beautiful!

Mechanism with gears and cogs
Watches with an automatic movement consist of several gears and cogs. They are mechanical. A rotor with an unbalanced weight winds up the watch through your movement. The rotor, gears and cogs drive the hands and make sure your arm movement is stored and used to drive the mechanism. The idea that you have a real mechanical timepiece is of course cool.

Energy reserve for a few days
Most automatic watches have an energy reserve for a few days, some can be put away for 1 to 2 days before they stop running. Did your automatic watch run out of energy? You'll have to start ist moving again. Wind it back up by shaking it horizontally and by hand for half a minute. Some machines can also be wound by means of the crown and of course you could use a watch winder so your watch will never stop again.

The disadvantages of an automatic watch

There are a few potential disadvantages of automatic watches:

  1. Cost: Automatic watches tend to be more expensive than quartz watches, as they require more complex and expensive movements.
  2. Size: Automatic movements are typically thicker than quartz movements, which can result in a watch that is thicker and heavier.
  3. Accuracy: Automatic watches are not as accurate as quartz watches, as they can be affected by factors such as the position of the watch and the wearer's activity level.
  4. Maintenance: Automatic watches require more maintenance than quartz watches, as they need to be serviced periodically to keep them running smoothly.
  5. Power reserve: Automatic watches have a limited power reserve, and will stop running if not worn for an extended period of time. This can be a problem if you don't wear your watch regularly.
  6. Water resistance: Some automatic watches are not as water-resistant as some quartz watches, as the water can seep into the movement through the winding crown.

A small time deviation
Automatic watches may differ slightly in time display if you compare them with quartz watches. How much they deviate? That depends entirely on the watch and the movement it contains. But it can vary from a few seconds to a minute a day. The rule is actually: the more expensive the watch, the less deviation.

Occasional maintenance
It may eventually be necessary to provide maintenance for an automatic watch. Especially when the watch deviates more than it did in the beginning, it may be necessary to have the watch cleaned and checked by a watch repairman. Want to open an automatic watch yourself? Do not! The movement is complex and consists of many small parts.

Versace VEV600619 Chrono Signature quartz mens watch

An automatic watch: more expensive
Automatic watches are on average more expensive to buy than their quartz counterparts of the same quality. That is logical after all, the automatic timepiece is more complex. Fortunately, there are as many watch brands with automatic watches as there are trees in the forest, so it should certainly not be impossible to find a good and affordable model to your taste.

Don't buy Chinese junk
It seems so nice: watches on Alibaba or Wish etc. But we only recommend buying automatic watches from well-known brands. Make sure you are entitled to the warranty conditions of the brand. That is 2 years for new watches. Chinese junk is cheap but the quality of the watches is really not the best.

Find your automatic watch here >

Conclusion: automatic watch or not?

Don't you care if your watch deviates from time to time? Do you like such a mechanism? Then do it! Are you looking for a precision time machine that is highly accurate? Then take a quartz watch with a good movement. Especially watches with a Swiss Made movement are of high quality. Find all our men's watches here.


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