Automatic watches were initially designed as a more economical alternative to the costly mechanical wristwatches worn by aristocratic women during the Regency Period (aged 18aged around). These timepieces were powered by the wearer’s own power, rather than the reliance on a hanging bell or chain running back and forth. They were designed with their large round face and large crowns for displaying the time with confidence. The word automatic comes from the French term “automatic” which means “with or without muscular action”.
An automatic watch, also called self-winding watch or just automatic, is a watch that makes and releases its own power by itself when the wearer wants it to. There are many automatic watches with a second hand wound by the wearer, winding automatically when it gets dark enough. This is because the large ball bearings inside wind the hands and the movement of the levers and the minute hand during the night, so that at a distance of one hour the hands have already started moving. Since these automatic winding watches require no power source other than their own natural energy source to run, they are classified as “wind-driven” watches.
The mechanical, automatic watches we know today first made their debut in the late nineteenth century, when the first mass production took place. At that time, the ball bearings that were used to regulate the power of the mainspring were not yet mass-produced. Therefore, this type of watch required a person to manually wind it every morning, before leaving their house. This is called “winder” watch, since the winding of the watch goes continuously by hand.
Some automatic watches today use a mainspring driven escapement system, so that the winding and pulling of the hands revolve around a spiral winding mechanism. This type of mechanism is the oldest known and also the most efficient, since the parts are mass-produced and the cost of production is minimized. Due to its precision and smooth operation, this type of automatic watch costs more than the other types. The most expensive automatic watches still use the ball bearing mainspring system.
Some automatic watches have both types of devices. There are many different types of automatic watches on the market today, and each has their own distinguishing features. There are two types of automatic watches: mechanical and hand-wound. Each type of watch has a different specification, including the materials used in its construction, the mechanism that powers it, the number of parts that are included in the design, the features of the face and the band, etc.
All in all, it can be said that the most expensive automatic watches are those that have the best craftsmanship. The highest priced automatic watches are those that are hand-wound, which requires a special craftsman’s skill. The price of such a watch may not necessarily reflect on its quality, but it is important to understand that high-priced does not necessarily mean high quality.