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      05-03-2008, 01:33 PM   #1
ska///235i
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Watch questions - Movement

Any watch experts here? I'm starting to have an interest in watches, but not sure what exactly the "Movement" means.

thee are so many diff. type of movements...what does it mean
or does every company have there own movement names???

Here're just a few types I have seen and not sure what the diff. are.

Swiss quartz
Japanese quartz chronograph
Swiss Ronda 5040D quartz chronograph
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      05-03-2008, 04:10 PM   #2
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I'm sure everything above was correct, I just couldn't sit still long enough to read it all. The readers digest version is the movement is what actually keeps the time - it is what moves the hands in the watch.

Quartz means it takes a battery, and that is the energy of the movement.
Automatic is a self winding movement. There is a circular pendulum that winds the watch as you move your hand. Most automatic watches have about a 40 hour power reserve.
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      05-03-2008, 05:12 PM   #3
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Just as Turbofan noted - the two general movements are automatic and quartz. Automatics keep time by mechanical means. Quartz watches use the vibration of a quartz crystal to keep time.

Automatic movements are generally found on more expensive watches, but actually don't keep time as well as quartz movements. They will lose a few seconds each day.

You can usually determine whether a watch is an automatic by the looking at the second hand. I will have a continuous sweeping motion as opposed to the ticking motion that of a quartz watch. Automatics are typically heavier watches since they have more mechanical parts.

Automatic movements are also more expensive to maintain. They generally have to be sent for maintenance about every 5 years.

Nicer watches generally have auto movements for the cachet. There are some makers such as Omega that offer models in both quartz and automatic versions. The automatic versions usually run about $500 more.

Because automatics are self winding through movement, if they are left sitting they will stop within 24 - 40 hrs. A lot of owners have cases that will keep the watch wound when stored.
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      05-04-2008, 01:24 AM   #4
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i c
so mainly 2 types...
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      05-22-2008, 08:54 AM   #5
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Well, just to make things a bit more complicated, there is another type which many people don't like, the hand wind movement. You have to "hand wind" the movement via the crow (the knob on the side of the watch) about once a day, like an old school pocket watch. Some very expensive swiss watches use this movement such as Panerai. It is a neat, simple movement if you don't mind interacting with you watch every day or winding it before you wear it.
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      05-22-2008, 10:51 AM   #6
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I think I can add something to the conversation.

With automatic movements (the more expensive watches) there is a sub category called "Certified Chronometer". These are fully mechanical(no battery) time pieces that have been sent to the official Swiss certification place and been given the seal of approval that the design and manufacture of that particular spring and gear etc set will keep time to within a specified tolerance. I THINK you can recognize the certified chronometer with a special tag when under the glass at the store.

Another thing about movements... not all watch makers design and manufacture the watch guts themselves. Most watches buy the guts of the watch from a company that just does engineering and manufacture of watch guts. Your Omega, Tag, or Rolex just put those guts inside their exterior design. So, what you're mainly paying for when you buy an expensive watch is the name and look on top of someone else?s engineering. I think very few watches have both the movement and the pretty exterior engineered under the same roof.

*Bad analogy time* Imagine if Ford only made engines. And, imagine most cars on the road; Toyota for example was 100% Toyota except for its engine. Now, imagine that was the case for most of the cars on the road. Specialty and expensive cars would be the exception. Ferrari would engineer and manufacture both the drive train and the actual car. Actually, I think there is a parallel to automotive transmissions here. There are 2 major transmission houses in the world that supply the majority of automotive transmissions on the road to car companies.
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      05-22-2008, 11:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satakal View Post
Most watches buy the guts of the watch from a company that just does engineering and manufacture of watch guts. Your Omega, Tag, or Rolex just put those guts inside their exterior design.

Rolex makes their own

ETA is a swiss company (swatch) that makes most the movments for a lot of swiss companies...the japanese movements are good also (but not usually collectable)

suprising...many of the better fake rolex watches have ETA movements
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      05-22-2008, 11:48 AM   #8
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I knew I was gonna get some facts wrong. But, I think I nailed the main points right?

When you go into the jewlery store, you can spot the certified chronometers with the green tag on the gold string right? And, its just a ploy to get you to drop more money right?
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      05-22-2008, 11:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satakal View Post
I knew I was gonna get some facts wrong. But, I think I nailed the main points right?

When you go into the jewlery store, you can spot the certified chronometers with the green tag on the gold string right? And, its just a ploy to get you to drop more money right?
yes...

it means the watch has been tested by http://www.cosc.ch/ and they give you paper work...

somewhat marketing...but you have independent testing of the watch...

Now...my M3 speedo on the otherhand...governed at 155...but I have seen 172
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      05-22-2008, 12:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ideliver View Post
Now...my M3 speedo on the otherhand...governed at 155...but I have seen 172
dollars spent =/= accurate dials. got it.

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      05-23-2008, 12:07 AM   #11
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I think probably a better way to differentiate watch movement is:

a) mechanical movements,
b) electronic movements, and,
c) hybrid movements


a) mechanical movements
with mechanical movements, you must wind up a mainspring in the watch. after it is wound up...over time the spring unwinds itself releasing the stored energy. using a complex set of gears and other stuff I don't really understand (experts call it an escapement mechanism) this energy from the unwinding spring is captured and converted into a controlled movement and hence tells time. there are two main variants within the mechanical movement world:

1) manual watches that must be manually wound by user by twisting or winding the crown

2) automatic or self-winding watches. these watches have a rotor/pendulum that captures the movements of the arm and winds the spring eliminating the need to wind the crown manually.

most mechanical watches sold today are automatics.

chiefly, there is no electronics used in a mechanical watch. as such, it suffers from being inaccurate (compared to cheaper quartz movements). because they are complex, they are also expensive to maintain (they generally need to be serviced and wound regularly) and to buy. however, for these same reasons they are coveted by watch collectors.

mechanical watches that have been tested by COSC (some fancy Swiss body) to be sufficently accurate enough are labelled as a "chronometer". only a mechanical watch can be a chronometer.

in contrast a "chronograph" is any watch (either mechanical or electronic) that keeps time and has a stopwatch function.

b) electronic movements
electronic movements generally have very few or no moving parts. most electronic movements use a quartz crystal which resonates very regularly at a certain frequency. the quartz crystal is thus used to regulate movement and show time either on a LCD or via hands on an analog clock. the quartz movement is generally powered by a battery or capacitor.

generally, electronic movements are much more accurate than mechanical movements. however they are not really complex movements and therefore are not considered desirable by collectors.

still...there are some nifty quartz movements out there. Citizen has a solar powered quartz movement...called Eco-Drive.

The japanese (Seiko) were the first to pioneer the quartz movement into a wristwatch form. when someone says they have Swiss quartz...it just means the movement was manufactured by a Swiss company. Some people seem to like the cachet of saying their movement is made in Swiss...presumably because Switzerland is where a lot of pretigious watchmakers/companies originate from. Personally I don't think it matters much given that the quartz movement isn't exactly a difficult movement to make.

IMO...if you wanted to get a mechanical watch...you would likely get a Swiss movement because they are usually more prestigious.

c) hybrid movements
this is not really a popular watch terminology...but there watches out there that use some elements of electronic movements and mechanical movements.

for example, Seiko's Kinetic movement uses a mechanical rotor/pendulum to capture the energy from arm movements. but instead of winding the mainspring (as in a mechanical watch) the energy is stored in a capacitor which powers a quartz movement.

Seiko's Spring Drive is even neater...it uses a mechanical movement that is regulated electronically. it captures the smooth unwinding action of a mainspring (hence the sweeping second hand much like in a mechanical Rolex) but with the accuracy of a quartz movement. Technically it beats everything else...but only time will tell (haha) on whether it will be considered a true collectible item.
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      05-23-2008, 04:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spacedogg View Post
I think probably a better way to differentiate watch movement is:

a) mechanical movements,
b) electronic movements, and,
c) hybrid movements


a) mechanical movements
with mechanical movements, you must wind up a mainspring in the watch. after it is wound up...over time the spring unwinds itself releasing the stored energy. using a complex set of gears and other stuff I don't really understand (experts call it an escapement mechanism) this energy from the unwinding spring is captured and converted into a controlled movement and hence tells time. there are two main variants within the mechanical movement world:

1) manual watches that must be manually wound by user by twisting or winding the crown

2) automatic or self-winding watches. these watches have a rotor/pendulum that captures the movements of the arm and winds the spring eliminating the need to wind the crown manually.

most mechanical watches sold today are automatics.

chiefly, there is no electronics used in a mechanical watch. as such, it suffers from being inaccurate (compared to cheaper quartz movements). because they are complex, they are also expensive to maintain (they generally need to be serviced and wound regularly) and to buy. however, for these same reasons they are coveted by watch collectors.

mechanical watches that have been tested by COSC (some fancy Swiss body) to be sufficently accurate enough are labelled as a "chronometer". only a mechanical watch can be a chronometer.

in contrast a "chronograph" is any watch (either mechanical or electronic) that keeps time and has a stopwatch function.

b) electronic movements
electronic movements generally have very few or no moving parts. most electronic movements use a quartz crystal which resonates very regularly at a certain frequency. the quartz crystal is thus used to regulate movement and show time either on a LCD or via hands on an analog clock. the quartz movement is generally powered by a battery or capacitor.

generally, electronic movements are much more accurate than mechanical movements. however they are not really complex movements and therefore are not considered desirable by collectors.

still...there are some nifty quartz movements out there. Citizen has a solar powered quartz movement...called Eco-Drive.

The japanese (Seiko) were the first to pioneer the quartz movement into a wristwatch form. when someone says they have Swiss quartz...it just means the movement was manufactured by a Swiss company. Some people seem to like the cachet of saying their movement is made in Swiss...presumably because Switzerland is where a lot of pretigious watchmakers/companies originate from. Personally I don't think it matters much given that the quartz movement isn't exactly a difficult movement to make.

IMO...if you wanted to get a mechanical watch...you would likely get a Swiss movement because they are usually more prestigious.

c) hybrid movements
this is not really a popular watch terminology...but there watches out there that use some elements of electronic movements and mechanical movements.

for example, Seiko's Kinetic movement uses a mechanical rotor/pendulum to capture the energy from arm movements. but instead of winding the mainspring (as in a mechanical watch) the energy is stored in a capacitor which powers a quartz movement.

Seiko's Spring Drive is even neater...it uses a mechanical movement that is regulated electronically. it captures the smooth unwinding action of a mainspring (hence the sweeping second hand much like in a mechanical Rolex) but with the accuracy of a quartz movement. Technically it beats everything else...but only time will tell (haha) on whether it will be considered a true collectible item.
Good summary. If you noticed, the type of movement you get normally equals what you're willing to pay (in newer watches anyway). Tag's, Omega's, Rolex's, Breitling's, etc. are going to fall in the mechanic movement realm with Seiko's, Citizens' and others falling into the other areas. The more complex the watch and the more it takes to maintain over time, the more you'll pay.

The Omega Seamaster 300M GMT I have is pretty cool as it uses something known as "Co-axial" escapement. I believe Omega is the only group using it right now and it was developed and patented by Dr. George Daniels who is one of a few on the Earth who can still create a complete watch by hand (case and dial included). The idea behind it is that by utilizing radial friction instead of sliding friction at the impulse surfaces, the co-axial escapement significantly reduces friction, theoretically resulting in longer service intervals and greater accuracy over time. Because of this, supposedly the service internal on my Seamaster is once every 15-20 years. Time will tell.
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