The difference between automatic and mechanical watches

The watch, composed of a case and a dial, is an instrument that measures time and is part of the daily life of many men, women and even children. Available in different models, prices and quality, depending on the brand, it has the advantage of being movable without its operation being altered. However, there are different types of movements, namely automatic and mechanical. Let’s see what the difference is between these two types of watches.

The automatic watch

The watch with automatic movement has a mechanical dial which is wound using a very special mechanism. Indeed, the barrel spring, located in the case, rewinds itself thanks to the movements made by the wearer of the watch. These movements store enough energy to keep the watch running.

The watch with automatic movement is generally very appreciated for its quality parts. Slightly less precise than the quartz watch, its power reserve is variable, as it has no battery or electronic element. With a very simple winding, its life span is excellent and it often has an excellent quality-price ratio. Described as ecological and alive, it is adulated in watchmaking, because its reading is facilitated by a linear design and a very fluid movement of the hands. Its date and time display are very aesthetic thanks to the small jumps of the second hand and the movements of the wrist.

The mechanical watch

The watch with mechanical movement finds its energy in the spring wound in the barrel. The winding is done manually thanks to the movements that the wearer of the watch will make at the level of his wrist and more precisely by one or more turns of his crown.

The watch with a mechanical movement is the most classic model. Its dynamics are based on the movements of the barrel spring, the escapement and the regulating organ. Requiring no batteries to operate, it is more sensitive than a quartz watch. It requires regular maintenance to avoid damage over time.

The advantages and disadvantages of these types of watches

The watch with automatic movement :

  • Has the advantage of going up by itself, without any intervention from its user ;
  • is available in more models than the manual winding watch ;
  • requires less frequent maintenance than a mechanical model ;
  • some models are heavier to carry, because its rotor is weighted ;
  • does not allow to admire its gears, since the rotor hides a part of the movement.

The watch with mechanical movement :

  • Allows its user to admire its gears ;
  • is often lighter to wear than a watch with automatic movement, because the rotor is not weighted ;
  • requires a daily ritual of reassembly a bit tedious ;
  • leads to wear of the crown seal when winding the watch.
Beaubleu Paris dual time Vitruve GMT Blue round hands automatic watch