In this section we explain everything you need to know about automatic watches.
What is the difference between an automatic watch and a quartz watch? Whom do automatic watches suit? How does an automatic watch work? Why do automatic watches sometimes stop?
Continue reading to answer all these questions.
When Tradition Meets Modern Times
Mechanical watches look back on a centuries-old tradition and found their way to our wrists about 100 years ago. But we will not write down the whole history of mechanical watches here, nor mention all the pioneers who were involved in the development up to today’s automatic watches or the functions of the respective gears in detail.
Rather, this page serves to clarify general questions about the automatic watch and above all to highlight the differences to watches with other power sources such as quartz watches. We believe that this is the only way for you to decide whether an automatic watch is the right one for you.
What exactly are automatic watches?
Automatic watches are a subcategory of mechanical watches. As the name suggests, the watches run through a mechanism inside the watch that is responsible for the power and thus the time indication. This means that mechanical watches work entirely without the addition of an external energy source. Mechanical watches include hand-wound and automatic watches.
The difference lies in the way in which the mechanism gets its energy. With automatic watches, energy is stored solely by your movement, which is then controlled and released to the respective gear wheels and thus at the end a rotary movement of the hands is released.
What is the difference between automatic watches and quartz watches?
The quartz movements are powered by a battery and an electronic circuit makes the quartz crystal oscillate. The quartz crystal replaces the mechanical balance wheel.
As mentioned above, a mechanical watch is equipped with a traditional mechanical regulator, whereby the energy for the power comes from a spring which has to be retightened regularly. This can be done either by the movement of the wrist or by the winding mechanism on the crown.
Why do mechanical watches usually cost more than quartz watches?
Since the movement of automatic watches consists of many individual parts – in our case almost 100 individual parts – the production of such watches is much more complex and the degree of manual work is significantly higher. The mechanics alone make an automatic watch a small masterpiece of the art of watchmaking.
For an automatic watch to work, more knowledge and greater care are required than with quartz watches. The decisive factor is that the many individual parts must be perfectly coordinated so that the watch works. Automatic watches therefore require greater precision and thus are more expensive.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of an automatic watch?
Unlike quartz watches, automatic watches combine a certain tradition and a high degree of craftsmanship. Automatic watches stand for elegance combined with a timeless modernity.
A clear advantage of automatic watches is certainly the fact that the watch does not require any batteries and therefore has a positive effect on the environment.
Another advantage is the automatic winding of the watch – so you do not always have to wind the spring of the watch manually. Because as long as the rotor on the back of the watch remains in motion, your watch will continue to run happily and without interruption. But even if the watch is not worn, our models have a power reserve of approximately 75 hours. This means that your watch will continue to run for up to 3 days after you put it down, provided that the spring has been fully charged by your movement. Another advantage of automatic watches is their long durability. With good care and handling, the watch is much longer lasting than quartz watches.
Where there are advantages, there are always disadvantages.
Due to the fact that automatic watches are very complex and rely exclusively on the mechanics, even the most expensive automatic watch can have a time deviation. This means that the watch can run inaccurately. One of the reasons for this is that the entire mechanism of the movement reacts more sensitively to environmental influences. So the watch runs either ahead or behind depending on whether it is very cold or warm, whether you are at the top of a mountain or at sea level. Magnetic fields from computers or even server rooms can also cause your watch to run inaccurately. This time deviation should be readjusted from time to time or demagnetized if necessary. However, this can be done by a watchmaker without great effort.
In addition, automatic watches do not like any sports with high impact. For sports such as tennis, mountain biking, golf or squash you should better put your watch aside. Because the small screws can break off with strokes or an impact. Such damage to your automatic watch is not covered by the warranty in 99% of cases – so better put the watch aside when you move!
Why do automatic watches sometimes stop?
Automatic watches stop as soon as you do not wear them for a while. This is not a defect, but the characteristic of a mechanical watch. As soon as the watch is set in motion when worn again, you only have to set the time briefly by pulling out the crown.
If the watch is standing still for a long time, it is possible that the watch will stop again after a short wearing time because it does not yet have enough power to run independently. This changes as soon as you wear the watch for a longer period of time. As soon as an automatic watch has almost completely discharged, it can also happen that it tends to run less accurately. This is because the watch runs with the very last energy reserve – time to move again!
Who are automatic watches suitable for?
Automatic watches are no longer just for watch lovers and connoisseurs. Rather, they are a sign of quality and stand for attention to detail. Our automatic watches are aimed primarily at all those who are quality-conscious but are not looking for a watch as an investment. All those who value craftsmanship, but would like to combine this tradition with the modern times. All those who want to admire the complex without paying the high price.
Automatic watches by Julien de Bourg are suitable for all those who are looking for a fashionable accessory, but are not willing to compromise on quality and design.
In order to show you the different possibilities how you can get your automatic watch running again or simply winding the spring, we have created a short video to visualize the individual steps. So if your watch stops – don’t worry. In no time your watch is ready to use again.