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Manual Winding Watch VS Automatic Watch, Which One is Suitable for You ?

Jul 11, 2021

Many people are confused by the endless variety of watch styles on the market that they don’t know how to choose one that is suitable for them, especially when it comes to mechanical watches, they are often hesitant about manual winding watches or automatic watches. So what’s the difference between these two kinds? And which one is better for you?

1.Power Source of Manual Winding Watch & Automatic Watch

As we all know, the mechanical watch relies on the mainspring in the movement as the power, which drives the gears and then pushes the hands, but the way of power source is different. A self-winding mechanical watch usually has a semi-circular oscillating weight in the movement. The automatic winding mechanical watch drives the gears and levers to wind the watch through the rotation of the oscillating weight. As long as you wear the watch, you can make the oscillating weight “spin” and wind up through the swing of your arm. However, there is no oscillating weight in the manual winding watch, so you have to turn the crown (the knob on the side of a watch) to wind the watch.

mechanical watches

2.Features Comparison Between Manual Winding Watch & Automatic Watch

(1) Automatic watch is more accurate than manual winding watch.

Automatic watch adopts a device to prevent over-winding, which will not cause the movement to wear out due to excessive energy accumulation in the mainspring. But manual winding watch doesn’t. On the one hand, manual winding watch rely on twisting the mainspring which may cause excessive winding and break the mainspring. On the other hand, manual winding watch needs to be turned the crown, which would be easily wear and tear the movement so as to influence time accuracy.

(2) Automatic watch is more convenient than manual winding watch.

If you have a manual winding watch, you need not only to periodically supplement clockwork to keep your watch moving, but also need to make sure that your watch is not over-winding. However, you don’t have to worry about your automatic watch over-winding, just move your wrist to easily complete the process of winding the watch. As long as you wear your watch over 8 hours every time, your watch would be on working in 30-40 hours generally.

(3)Automatic watch is more waterproof.

Manual winding watch need to be winded frequently, so the crown of the watch would be easily wear and tear, destroy the waterproof layer, causing water to enter the watch. But these situations are not easily happened on automatic watch.

(4)Manual winding watch is thinner and lighter than automatic watch.

This is because automatic watch includes an oscillating weight, which increase the whole weight and volume of an automatic watch. In contrast, there is no oscillating weight in manual winding watch, so it can be made thinner and lighter, as well as more comfortable on your wrist. As far as i know, PIAGET and BVLGARI, started as jewellery, also compete on the thinness of manual winding watches. From this we can see that the weight and volume of movement is an important factor that affects people’ s choice of watches.

(5)Manual winding watch is cheaper, and the price of maintaining is lower.

Automatic winding watch includes more little components and more complex structure which make it this kind of watch expensive. The more complicated structure a watch has, the more money they need for watch maintaining. Whereas manual winding has relatively simple structure, so they are cheaper and more reasonable in price than automatic watch.

(6)Manual winding watch makes people have more participation.

Many kinds of manual winding watch has a transparent back, which is an unique design that you can directly see the movement inside. Especially when you turn the crown on the watch, you will hear the sound of the gears rotating after the mainspring accumulates energy. The ticking sound will make you have more interaction with your watch, and you will feel more involved. This is also the reason why many watch collectors like manual winding watches. Winding your watch every day is like a novel way to relax. This provides a sense of connection between you and your watch. When you see the movement running because of your actions to turn the crown, you will find the joy in it.

3.Some Suggestion That you can refer to

Nowadays, technology develops faster and faster, people's demand for products is intelligence and convenience. Automatic watches are convenient to wind and use, so it would be many people’s choice. By the way, if you have more than one automatic watches, you can buy a watch winder to help you wind the watch when you don’t wear it.

Young people like to exercise, so automatic watch maybe a good option. The elderly don’t have so much exercise time, so I recommend them to use a hand-wound watch. It can continue to work for above 30 hours every time the hand-wound watch is wound.

If you read this article and find yourself thinking “it’s just a watch and i just need to watch times”, maybe you are more suitable for automatic watches. And if you are flipped about the beautiful movement structure on the back of the watch, you may be more suitable for a manual winding watch. I believe you can make a great choice!

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