Apart from being a trendy fashion accessory, watches have the all-important job of telling the time at a glance. Wristwatches have been an essential part of every man and woman’s wardrobe and can instantly complete the look of an outfit. There are many kinds and styles of wristwatches; one of which is the automatic wind watch. What is this kind of watch, and how does it differ from the others?
Batteries Not Included
Wristwatches are able to tell people the time as the internal mechanism allows it to keep pace with the standard time measurements accepted in the world. The typical clock face has three hands—a long one for the minute hand, a shorter one for the hour hand, and a distinct third hand for measuring seconds. The same internal mechanism makes the hands move in accordance to the tick of a pendulum, which is more or less a second.
This internal mechanism is can be controlled by a myriad of things, but most often than not, the mechanisms are controlled by either a rotor spring or a quartz. What powers either the spring or the quartz can be a number of things as well. Way back in the old days, there were what was known as manual watches. These are pocket or wristwatches that used rotor springs in their mechanisms, and were powered up by manually winding up a knob or the clock face dial by hand—like a key of a wind-up toy or music box. The tension creation by manually winding the knob powers the mechanism for days, until all the tension is used and the watch has to be wound up again.
These days, there are a number of self-winding watches available in the market. These newer versions of the classic watches utilize the wearer’s natural arm movement to convert into winding force. As the wearer swings his or her arm—while walking, or while typing on the keyboard, etc, the self-winding watch converts these movements as tiny wind-ups of the knob. This makes self-winding watches virtually battery-free for their entire lifespan.
But there are people who wear watches more often than others, and there are people who might be more jittery than most. Will that not damage the watches in any way?
Advancements have also provided measures for such circumstances. Usually, wearing a self-winding watch for a day will generate enough power to keep it running for two days, but for those who only wear watches on occasion, there are available watch winders that can be bought.
For people who might be worried about generating too much power, however, can relax. There is another internal mechanism that senses when the spring is at its tightest, and locks it into place so that it does not wind up anymore. This ingenuity effectively cuts off the dangers of over-winding the spring and potentially damaging the wristwatch itself.
When it Stops, No One Knows
The beauty of an automatic wind watch is that there will be no more batteries to replace, ever. The mechanism of the watch allows it to tell the wearer the time for as long as it goes—for decades or more.