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beaubleu montre automatique ecce lys

The balance wheel of the automatic watch: strength and precision of time

The automatic watch is a must for purists. A true masterpiece of watchmaking, the balance wheel automatic plays a central role in the operation of your watch.

Why do we say that an automatic watch is self-powered?

What sets an automatic watch apart from other battery-powered timepieces is its self-powering mechanism. Automatic watches are powered by the kinetic energy generated by wrist movements throughout the day. When you move or walk, kinetic force provides the energy your automatic watch needs to function properly.

The self-sufficiency of automatic watches is their greatest strength. So you don't need to recharge it or change the batteries!

How does the balance wheel work?

To enable this complex mechanism to operate in the best conditions, the balance wheel could be compared to the project manager of a construction site. In fact, it is the balance of your automatic watch that divides the time units into equal parts to create this regular cadence. The balance of your automatic watch will oscillate regularly, creating impulses which are then transmitted to the gear train. The rhythm of the balance wheel will allow the hands of your watch to turn precisely.

How accurate is an automatic watch?

The precision of your automatic watch is one of its greatest assets. The balance wheel ensures a precise rhythm which controls the entire mechanism. This regular rhythm gives your watch very fine precision, allowing it to gain or lose a few seconds per day.

However, if you don't wear your watch for several days, it may stop. Indeed, as we said previously, your automatic watch works thanks to the kinetic energy of your movements. If you don't move for several days, your watch will no longer have the energy it needs to operate its system. You will therefore have to reassemble it. To do this, unscrew the crown, then turn it between 15 and 30 times until you feel slight resistance. Once this is done, your watch will be ready for the day and will still provide you with precision so you are always on time.