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How Long Do Automatic Watches Last?

How Long Do Automatic Watches Last?

Men's luxury watches are an investment. If you purchase a high-quality item, you can pass it on to your children and grandchildren. Automatic watches are often constructed to last a lifetime. However, this happens selectively if the watch is poorly handled.

To comprehend how long automatic watches last, one must first understand what an automatic watch is, how it operates, and what distinguishes high-quality from low-quality watches.

What is An Automatic Watch?

An automatic watch is a watch driven by automatic mechanical movement. By mechanical, we imply that it contains mechanical components, but more significantly, it is driven by mechanical parts, as opposed to a quartz watch's battery. Specifically, automatic movements employ rotors that rotate when the watch is subjected to movement, most typically when the wrist moves while you have your watch.

In conjunction with gravity, wrist movements cause the rotor to rotate. It winds (generates energy) to the mainspring when it rotates. The component of an automatic movement that "stores" the energy powering it is the mainspring. The mainspring is as it sounds: a spring that becomes increasingly taut as it is wound. When the watch ticks, it requires energy produced by the mainspring "unwinding." 

Before the invention of the automatic movement with a rotor, mechanical watches were manually wound, which required human winding to wind the mainspring. With an automatic watch, the rotor performs this function. The "catch" is that you must subject the watch to sufficient motion to generate enough energy to function. Without adequate movement, the rotor will not deliver sufficient energy to the mainspring, leading the watch to run out of power and stop.

What is A Watch Movement?

A watch movement, or watch engine, is a timepiece's inner workings. It is the mechanism that powers and ticks the watch. Mechanical, automatic, and quartz watch movements are the three primary types of watch movements that function differently. 

Are Automatic Watches Less Accurate Than Quartz Watches?

An electrical circuit drives quartz watches, while automatic watches are mechanical. So it is natural to question if quartz watches can be as precise. This preference is an ongoing dispute in the watch industry, but a decent automatic watch has nothing to worry about. 

Before quartz watches were invented, watchmakers had honed their skills with automatic timepieces for hundreds of years, designing them with great precision and accuracy.

Some inexpensive automatic watches cannot keep up with quartz, but if they are of comparable quality, they accurately maintain time. In reality, the best Swiss automatic watch movements used in Swiss army watches are occasionally superior to quartz. The major strength associated with automatic watches is that you don't need to worry about the battery running dry so long you wind it. 

How Long Does An Automatic Watch Stay Wound?

Most automatic timepieces can run for 40 to 50 hours when completely wound. Some premium models can operate for days or even weeks. The minimum power reserve of any modern automatic watch with a movement in good operating order is 38 hours - this is the case for most watches on the market. 

The vast majority of contemporary automatic timepieces can stay wound between 40 and 50 hours, with 48 hours as the average time. These values are only valid for a fully wound movement and then allowed to rest without being touched. Every time you move your watch, you wind the mainspring slightly, extending the battery reserve.

Will An Automatic Watch Last A Lifetime? 

The durability of an automatic watch is one of its most remarkable characteristics. With good craftsmanship, unlike a battery-powered or quartz watch, an automatic watch has an endless lifespan, only stopping when the wearer fails to wind or operate the internal mechanics of the clock.

An automatic watch can be brought back to life after years with the "flip of a switch" or the movement of the dial. 

Shop Luxury Timepieces That Last

This key characteristic of an automatic watch signifies that there is never a single owner. An automatic watch can outlive everyone if well-maintained. This feature makes the watches priceless items passed down from generation to generation. By acquiring an automatic watch, you are effectively purchasing an heirloom to pass down to family and friends. Therefore, utilize, maintain, and transmit it. Eventually, this is what will be remembered about you.

Get yourself or your loved one an automatic watch from our collections this holiday season at Serket Watch Company through our page. Contact us for more information or inquiries by filling out our contact form. 

Image Credit to Alex Yeung solarseven / Marjan Veljanoski

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