The Science Behind Perpetual Movement

The Science Behind Perpetual Movement

In order for a watch to keep time accurately, it needs a source of energy that it can store up to continue ticking. This source of energy is known as a watch’s movement. The most common types of watch movements are mechanical, automatic, and quartz. Each of these movements works differently, and there are pros and cons to wearing a watch that is powered by all of them.  This article will specifically focus on perpetual motion movement. Automatic watches are also known as self-winding watches due to their ability to store up energy via either a manual wind from the wearer or from a spinning rotor within the watch that allows it to wind itself. 

Lets Talk About Watch Movements

As you just learned, there are three primary types of watch movement – mechanical movement, automatic movement, and quartz movement. Below is a brief explanation of each

1. Mechanical movement is the oldest and most traditional method of making a watch tick. Inside a mechanical watch is a wide array of turning cogs which, when the watch is manually wound by the wearer, will continue turning at a precise rate to keep the watch ticking accurately. 

Mechanical watches are often considered luxury items, and watchmaking has rightfully been deemed an art form, largely thanks to the expert craftsmanship behind mechanical watches

2. Quartz movement is a more recent method for powering watches. This type of watch movement relies on a battery which sends an electrical current through a piece of quartz inside the watch, vibrating at a precise frequency that keeps the watch’s hands ticking with great accuracy

3. An automatic watch, also known as a self-winding watch or perpetual motion watch, is powered by energy stored in the watch’s mainspring. The energy is generated by a weighted rotor that spins as the wearer’s wrist turns. 

Automatic movement is a fascinating feat of human inventiveness, allowing a watch to keep ticking accurately without a battery or much interference from the wearer as long as it is worn consistently. An automatic watch can also be manually wound if necessary, something the wearer might have to do after going a long time without wearing the watch.

Each of these movement methods can be found in watches on the market today. However, since quartz and automatic movement are more recent inventions and typically provide the wearer with a more convenient, low-maintenance timekeeping experience, they have become significantly more popular over the past few decades.

The Beauty in Wearing Automatic Watches 

Automatic Watches,  as you now know, contain fascinating technology that allows them to work reliably with little interference from the wearer. The weighted mechanism in an automatic watch harnesses the wrist movements of the wearer. This makes for an extremely appealing wearing experience. 

You can feel the weight of an automatic watch as you wear it, giving you a distinct sense of its quality and the craftsmanship behind it. This is a far different experience from strapping on a flimsy, lightweight digital watch or smartwatch, which feels like a kitschy gadget in comparison.

In addition, automatic watch movement can be found as the power source for many different types of watches. It is important to distinguish a watch’s movement from its type. The movement of a watch is not the primary method of categorizing the watch. Instead, a wristwatch will typically be branded under the umbrella of a specific design. 



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