The Swiss may have set the bar for timepiece quality, but Japanese design has since caught up. Understanding the various types of movements can help boost your timepiece know-how. Check out the breakdown on the different movement types:
First things first, movement refers to the interior mechanism of a watch that drives the timekeeping functions. In other words, the movement is the watch's engine. This internal mechanism powers not only the hands, but also any complications such as the chronograph or subdials.
Both Switzerland and Japan have a long legacy in the watch-making industry. Today most watch movements are still designed and manufactured in Switzerland or Japan.
Swiss movement means that more than 50 percent of the movement was assembled in a Swiss factory from Swiss-manufactured parts. Certain case stamps identify the Swiss movement, including Swiss quartz, Swiss automatic or Swiss auto, and simply, Switzerland or Swiss.
There are three types of movements: mechanical, automatic and quartz.
The most vital feature of a mechanical movement is the mainspring, which must be manually wound to store potential energy. This spring unwinds slowly, releasing energy to move the gears that power the watch's timekeeping abilities. This movement is characterized by a sweeping motion in the second hand.
Automatic has a self-winding design in which the timepiece harnesses energy produced by motion to wind the spring. This movement consists of a rotor that springs when the watch on the wrist is in motion, such as when the wearer moves his arm. Then the mechanism transfers the energy from the spring rotor to the main spring of the winding system.
Named after the quartz crystal that works in conjunction with the battery, quartz movements are very accurate. The battery passes an electric current through the crystal to keep it oscillating at more than 32,000 vibrations per second. In turn, this vibrating crystal drives a motor that moves the watch hand at a constant rate to keep time accurately. This movement involves individual ticks from the sweeping hand, in contrast to a mechanical movement's sweeping motion.
All Jorg Gray timepieces are designed with quartz movements.
What is the difference between a mechanical (or automatic) movement and a quartz movement?
The main difference lies in how the watches get their power. While mechanical and automatic watches store power in the spring barrel from either manual winding or automatic movement, quartz mechanisms charge from a button cell battery and are regulated by a high-precision synthetic quartz, which keeps time with a frequency of 32,768 oscillations per second.
What is a typical lifetime of a watch battery?
A battery life generally spans from two to five years depending on the type of watch, its dimensions and the quantity of energy needed for specific functions. Watch owners should keep an eye out for when the second hand begins to jump in four-second intervals, which is an end-of-life indicator. At this point, the battery of the watch needs to be changed.