In the world of watches, two popular timepieces stand out: quartz vs mechanical watch. Both are highly prized for their superb craftsmanship and precision timekeeping. Watch enthusiasts can easily distinguish between the two. But when it comes to the watch terms automatic vs mechanical watch, there is some confusion or misunderstanding. This is because these mechanical and automatic watch movements look similar yet have some differences. Understanding the difference between mechanical vs automatic watch is one of the best ways to gain insight into watch movements. Simply put an automatic watch uses a self-winding mechanism that is powered by the movement of the wearer’s wrist and does not need to be wound manually. Mechanical watches, on the other hand, are timekeeping devices that use a mechanical movement to track the passage of time.They don’t require any electronics or batteries like quartz watches, but use a spring-powered mechanism.

Automatic watch

What is automatic watch

     An automatic watch, also known as a self-winding watch or simply an automatic watch, is a mechanical watch. When the wearer moves his wrist, the rotor connected to the movement will rotate with it, and the mainspring of that watch winds up, and the mainspring stores energy to provide power for the watch to drive the hands to move. So when the mainspring is fully wound, the watch will last for a long time before it needs to be wound again.for example, Miyota 9015 movement has a power reserve of about 40 hours.

   If your automatic watch has a sapphire glass caseback, you can always see the oscillation of the rotor.

What is automatic watch

How to wind an automatic watch

   Automatic watch may sound simple to operate, but automatic watches do not mean that they are fully automatic and do not need to be wound manually. When an automatic watch is not worn for a long time, restarting the watch also requires manual winding.and to wind an automatic watch needs to comply with certain rules and steps, otherwise it is easy to damage the movement mechanism of the automatic watch.

Step 1

    Take off the automatic watch. It is important not to wind the automatic watch while it is being worn, as this can confuse the watch mechanism.

Step 2

    Locate the crown, which is a small button located on the right side of the case. The first thing is to determine the style of the automatic watch.

    If it is a regular automatic watch, just pull out the crown to set the time and date. The crown generally has 3 positions. The first position is when the crown is in the normal position and the watch operates normally. The second position is when the crown is pulled halfway down and is used to set the time or date. The third position is where the crown is pulled out completely to set the time or date.

   If it is an automatic diving watches, the crown is usually screw down. In this case, the crown needs to be screwed in anti-clockwise 3 or 4 times until it pops out then continue to screw it in clockwise 30 times to charge it. Finally press down on the crown to restore it to its original position.

Step 3

   Turn the crown clockwise until you feel resistance and stop winding immediately. And the time must always be set forwards. This is because the watch moves the hands forwards to set the time.


    Do not set the date when the watch is close to 12 o’clock as this may damage the date wheel.

   If you have a screw down crown, be sure to screw the crown back into place. This is done by pushing the crown back into the winding position, pushing it in once more and then starting to turn it clockwise to lock it in place.

   The crown should still be turned very gently and winding should stop when resistance is felt.

   If the crown is pulled out completely, the hands may be inadvertently moved. If this happens, promptly move the hands forward and reset the time to reach the correct time again.

Mechanical watch

What is a mechanical watch

    Mechanical watches use a winding mechanism to measure time, with the mainspring winding to maintain power to power the balance wheel, and gearing to transmit power to move the hands forward at a constant rate. Quartz watches, on the other hand, are powered by batteries. Generally mechanical watches are also equipped with jewels, which are used to reduce friction inside the movement and extend the life of the watch movement parts. The jewels on the movement can be seen through the sapphire glass back.

How to wind mechanical watch

     For manual mechanical watches, winding is a necessity. The first step to wind is to remove the watch, hold it in your left hand and unscrew the crown with your right hand. Pull the crown to the first position and rotate the crown clockwise, turning 20 to 40 turns until resistance is felt representing the completion of winding.

Mechanical vs automatic watch

     Automatic mechanical movements and manual movements don’t have  battery Both mechanical and automatic watches are made up of a variety of important parts, including the mainspring, balance wheel, jewels, escapement and gears. These complex components work together to drive the hands and keep accurate time. There are also a variety of functions that can be found on automatic and mechanical watch, such as chronograph,GMT and tourbillons – enhancing the complexity of a mechanical watch.

Automatic vs mechanical watch

Watch movement parts

     In terms of movements with the same functions, automatic movements are more complex, have more accessories and are thicker than manual mechanical movements. It is important to note that automatic movements have one more rotating weight (rotor) than manual mechanical watch movements.

Power source

   As mentioned earlier, automatic movements have one more rotor than manual mechanical movements. An automatic watch relies on the movement of the wearer’s wrist to transfer energy to the mainspring to keep it wound, whereas a mechanical watch does not have an automatic rotor and needs to be wound manually.


   Both of these movements can have a high accuracy. but automatic movements have a higher accuracy because automatic watches can be kept running at full wind speed. Many high-end luxury watch brands prefer automatic movements due to the greater precision and convenience.


   Both of Mechanical watches require regular maintenance, including cleaning, lubrication and adjustment, usually once every 3 to 5 years. However, the movement of the wearer’s wrist facilitates the ability of an automatic movement watch to keep running smoothly, so a manual mechanical movement requires more maintenance.


  As mentioned earlier, automatic movements have more accessories and more complicated craftsmanship, so automatic movement watches are more expensive.

Power reserve

   Manual mechanical movements offer a longer power reserve. Typically, a fully wound automatic watch has a power reserve of 36 to 42 hours, however, a manually wound watch can have a power reserve of 48 to 15 days.

Mechanical vs automatic watch

Are automatic watch better than mechanical?

   Both automatic and mechanical movements can achieve a high degree of precision. In terms of ease of operation, automatic watches are more convenient. The manual mechanical movement is more appealing to watch enthusiasts or collectors who appreciate manual winding. Watchessy can provide customers with mechanical movements from Chinese Seagull, Japanese Miyota and TMI, as well as Swiss brands such as Ronda and Sellita, etc. We can choose the right movement according to customers’ budget.

Conclusion-Automatic vs mechanical watch

    In conclusion, both automatic watch vs mechanical have their unique attributes and charm. Automatic watches offer the convenience of self-winding, powered by the wearer’s motion, while mechanical watches embody traditional craftsmanship and require manual winding. Ultimately, the choice between the two comes down to personal preference, style, and budget. Whether you opt for the precision of a mechanical watch or the effortless winding of an automatic watch, both exemplify the artistry and mastery of watchmaking.

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