Manual Vs Automatic Watches: Which To Buy

Setting out to buy a watch in Singapore, whether online or in-stores, can sometimes be a little confusing when you encounter some of the industry jargon. Luxury watches on their own, are often extremely complex, and they often come furnished with additional bells and whistles. These variances may make buying brands like Seiko, Fossil, Timex, and others seem daunting. Read on as we share more about the mechanism behind what makes mechanical watches tick, before diving into the difference between both manual and automatic watches.

Mechanical Watches

Mechanical watches consist of a small spiral spring, otherwise known as the mainspring, to provide a mechanical movement to a watch. After being wound either by a manual or automatic winding system, the mainspring, housed in a barrel attached to a toothed disk, gradually uncoils and releases tension.

When the mainspring uncoils, the barrel slowly rotates on its arbour to keep the watch’s gear train in motion. When the energy stored in the mainspring runs out, the watch stops automatically. How long a watch can operate without being wound is dependent on the watch’s power reserve – this can vary from a day to more than a week on some models.

As mentioned above, mechanical watches can be broken down into two main categories: Automatic and Manual winding.

Automatic Watches

Automatic watches are designed where the rotor is attached to the watch’s movement. This means that when you move your wrist, the rotor in the watch winds the mainspring automatically. This makes automatic watches very convenient since it works with the natural movements of your body. Hence, automatic watches are also known as ‘self-winding watches’.

With that said, if you do not wear your automatic watch, it will eventually stop working when it has run out of energy since without movement, the rotor will not spin. Thus, the mainspring does not get charged with new energy.

Manual-Winding Watches

A manual wind watch works in the same way as an automatic one, but it does not have a rotor. As its name suggests, manual-wind watches need to be wound up manually to build up the tension in the mainspring. Hence, unlike automatic watches, you will need to wind it before putting it on.

For many, the process of manually winding a watch might sound tedious. However, many lovers of luxury watches do not mind this, and they wear manual-winding watches only. Furthermore, watch-lovers who love the mechanics and engineering behind each timepiece may also find the process of winding their watches fun.

Just like an automatic watch, a hand-wound one also needs regular winding. If the watch is not wound, the energy stored in the mainspring will run out, causing the watch to stop.

Pros And Cons Of Manual VS Automatic Watches

One of the main benefits of automatic watches is that as long as you wear it regularly, you do not have to worry about winding them. The watch will have sufficient energy to function from the energy that your wrist movements generate.

Another benefit of choosing an automatic watch is the wide variety you can choose from. Generally, the market prefers automatic watches for their convenience. As such, most mechanical watches from renowned brands like Fossil, are designed with an automatic winding. For instance, check out the Fossil Me3218 Bronson Automatic Men Watch is a beautiful, sporty-looking, smoke-coloured stainless steel watch with an automatic movement, or for something more classic, the Timex Marlin Automatic 3 Hands Date Men Watch is one for you.

On the other hand, manual-wound watches allow their owners to interact with the mechanical movement, creating a daily routine for them – watch-owners get to wind and appreciate the movement and build a connection with the watch. In addition, manual-wound watches do not have a rotor, so their designs tend to be slightly sleeker and slimmer compared to their automatic counterparts.

Aside from automatic watches, Seiko also offers a range of manual-winding watches like the Seiko Prospex Srph99k1 Limited Edition "Black Series" Tortoise Men Watch, which comes with both automatic and manual winding.

A Wide Range Of Watches At City Chain Singapore

A hand-wound and automatic watches come with their own sets of pros and cons. In the past, hand-wound movements were the only option, however, automatic watches came about and offered the convenience of winding as long as you wear the watch.

While automatic watches are preferred, a hand-wound movement gives you a closer connection with your watch, giving you some time every day to appreciate the fine craftsmanship that has gone into the timepiece.

Offering a wide selection of manual-wound and automatic watches from your favourite brands like Fossil, Seiko, Timex, and more, buy your next watch from City Chain today! With over ten stores located islandwide, visit any City Chain outlet in Singapore