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Automatic or manual watch: How to make the right choice?

In the world of watchmaking, apart from quartz watches, there are two schools: mechanical watches with manual winding and mechanical watches with automatic winding. Both work without batteries thanks to a precise and ingenious mechanical system, but they are not equal.

Manual or automatic winding

When it comes to choosing your automatic watch , the main difference concerns the winding. Both types of watches are powered by very precise mechanisms that do not require any external energy source. At the heart of these mechanisms is the barrel spring, the escapement and the regulating organ. The spring gives the hands the energy necessary to move forward, the escapement determines the frequency of the movements of the hands and the regulating organ in turn participates in this regulation. However, in a manual watch, when the barrel spring is relaxed, the watch lacks energy and must be wound manually, on average once a day. An automatic watch, on the other hand, has an oscillating weight that winds the spring using the movements of your wrist.

Automatic watch: which winding system is the most durable?

The answer to this question is quite simple. As hand-wound mechanical watches must be wound daily, they are subject to more stress and wear. It is in particular the crown seal which is supposed to ensure the watertightness of the watch. When the crown stem rubs against the seal, the seal eventually loses its elasticity and no longer performs its function properly. If it is a "diving" watch, that is, intended to go underwater, it is preferable that it is an automatic watch, because it is more durable .

Originality or practicality?

Although there are countless models of automatic watches, many enthusiasts prefer hand-wound watches for their originality and traditional appearance. Those who have this inclination are, however, aware of the disadvantage that this watch presents in having to be wound manually, unlike the automatic watch.

Ultimately, the choice between an automatic watch is a question of taste and individual preference, because a watch is above all an object of pleasure!