VIEREN automatic watch movement

Learn the differences between automatic and mechanical watches, how to tell them apart, and get help deciding which one to choose.

Learn the differences between automatic and mechanical watches, how to tell them apart, and get help deciding which one to choose.


Jess Chow, Founder of VIEREN Watches

January 2022


Jess Chow, Founder of VIEREN Watches

January 2022

Mechanical watches - how do they work

Mechanical watches were the first initial design for accurate timekeeping. Invented in 1510 by German clockmaker Peter Heinlein, mechanical watch movements are powered by manually winding the crown.

The crown turns the watch mechanism by "charging" the mainspring inside the watch and moving the seconds hands forward as the spring unwinds. Quality mechanical watches today typically have a power reserve of about 42 hours, and will need to be wound every day to ensure precise timekeeping.

Mechanical watches - how do they work

Mechanical watches were the first initial design for accurate timekeeping. Invented in 1510 by German clockmaker Peter Heinlein, mechanical watch movements are powered by manually winding the crown.

The crown turns the watch mechanism by "charging" the mainspring inside the watch and moving the seconds hands forward as the spring unwinds. Quality mechanical watches today typically have a power reserve of about 42 hours, and will need to be wound every day to ensure precise timekeeping.

Mechanical watches - pros and cons

Mechanical timepieces are complicated calibers that embody the best of legacy handcrafted arts. The innovation and design seen in modern mechanical watches push the watchmaking industry forward.

However, due to the high level of craftsmanship required, mechanical timepieces are often very expensive because of the hours of handwork and machinery required to create these tiny timekeeping titans.

Mechanical watches - pros and cons

Mechanical timepieces are complicated calibers that embody the best of legacy handcrafted arts. The innovation and design seen in modern mechanical watches push the watchmaking industry forward.

However, due to the high level of craftsmanship required, mechanical timepieces are often very expensive because of the hours of handwork and machinery required to create these tiny timekeeping titans.

Automatic watches - how do they work

Automatic watches were the next version of the mechanical watch. Back in the early 20th century, people were tired of having to wind their watch every day and looking for a more efficient way of keeping accurate time.

Invented in 1776 by Swiss watchmaker Abraham-Louis Perrelet, the automatic watch movement included an added feature to power the watch with daily wear instead. The rotor, a weighted semi-circular disc that sits on the back of the movement, would swing back and forth to wind the watch movement.

Automatic watches - how do they work

Automatic watches were the next version of the mechanical watch. Back in the early 20th century, people were tired of having to wind their watch every day and looking for a more efficient way of keeping accurate time.

Invented in 1776 by Swiss watchmaker Abraham-Louis Perrelet, the automatic watch movement included an added feature to power the watch with daily wear instead. The rotor, a weighted semi-circular disc that sits on the back of the movement, would swing back and forth to wind the watch movement.

Automatic watches - pros and cons

Automatic watches are among the most advanced of the 3 movement types because automatic watch movements can keep accurate time with daily wear, rather than with manual winding (for mechanical watches) or with a battery (for quartz watches). Also known as a "self-winding watch", automatic watches are a technological innovation from the early 20th century that gave people more freedom and convenience to make the most of every second of their life.

However, if an automatic watch has not been worn for more than a day or two, it will need to be "charged" again by turning the crown 30-40x to fully wind the watch. Automatic watches also tend to be heavier and thicker due to the rotor, which is why thin automatic watches that look good on the wrist and and stand the tests of time are expensive and covetable.

Automatic watches - pros and cons

Automatic watches are among the most advanced of the 3 movement types because automatic watch movements can keep accurate time with daily wear, rather than with manual winding (for mechanical watches) or with a battery (for quartz watches). Also known as a "self-winding watch", automatic watches are a technological innovation from the early 20th century that gave people more freedom and convenience to make the most of every second of their life.

However, if an automatic watch has not been worn for more than a day or two, it will need to be "charged" again by turning the crown 30-40x to fully wind the watch. Automatic watches also tend to be heavier and thicker due to the rotor, which is why thin automatic watches that look good on the wrist and and stand the tests of time are expensive and covetable.
VIEREN Swiss automatic watches for men and women editorial