Battery-operated watches have been the custom of use for many years. More recently, however, artisans have begun to resurrect the old-world charms of mechanical watches, but with certain new world innovations—then came the birth of the automatic watch.
Automatic watches could be either manual or self-winding. More often than not, self-winding watches are more common these days than manual, though quartz watches are what is still considered to be the norm. Aside from getting the rustic charm of a self-winding watch, what are the benefits of getting one as opposed to getting a normal, battery-operated quartz watch?
No Batteries Necessary
As is obviously the best answer, self-winding and even manual watches have no need for batteries in order to keep going. Their internal mechanism involves a rotor powered by a spring that can be wound up by hand or automatically, by arm movements. This effectively eliminates the need for batteries that run out of juice in a year or so.
Having no need for batteries also eliminate the danger of battery fluid leakage, which can corrode the clock mechanism or cause the internal metal parts to rust. Of course, having no batteries will also reduce the cost of wearing the watch, no matter how small or inexpensive that cost might be.
Unique, Vintage Feel
Wristwatches are something more than a way to tell time; they are also great fashion pieces that can either make or break an outfit. Having a self-winding watch will give that old-world aristocratic feel associated with black-tie events and other first-class social gatherings. It can also call to mind the romanticism of the era in which mechanical watches were first introduced. For someone who is an avid collector or an enthusiast of all things vintage, self-winding watches are something that should be commonplace in his or her closet or wardrobe.
Lasts a Lifetime
The most important benefit a self-winding watch has over standard quartz watches is that self-winding watches last generally longer than quartz watches—decades longer, even more. The use of batteries increases the chances of accumulating dust, rust, and leakage inside the mechanism, while self-winding watches do not have such possibilities. Also, self-winding watches have a better chance of restarting itself even after being stopped for a long time than most quartz watches today.
That is not to say that self-winding watches do not break or wear down. If left stopped for an extreme length of time, even self-winding watches will have the chance to not restart properly. The difference with this is that fixing a stopped self-winding watch is easier than fixing a stopped quartz watch. In most cases, a stopped self-winding watch will usually need nothing more than a new oiling of parts, whereas a quartz watch might need a new mechanism altogether.
Time Will Tell
Between a quartz watch and an automatic watch, it is true that there are not that many differences. Getting one from the other will all come down to which is more preferred by the buyer or not, because if the owner of a watch is exceptionally careful—whether it be manual, automatic or battery-operated—then he or she can be sure that he or she will have a timepiece that will tell the time for years to come.