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Self-Winding Watch vs Automatic – Understanding Watches in Depth

22/05/2024 | JSA Support

If you are wondering about the distinction between self winding watch vs automatic, you should know that you aren’t alone. The world of watches has been discussed amongst enthusiasts and collectors, many of whom have been passionate about these watches for decades.

These clocks, the epitome of the traditional watchmaking art striving for technological advancements, are the paradigm of merging the modern world and the traditional one. When we look deep into the details of those types of watches, we realize that these minute yet important variations make these watch models unique yet popular among watch enthusiasts.  


The Understanding of Self-Winding and Automatic Watches

Firstly, it is worth knowing wherein self-winding and automatic watches differ: this information can be seen by tracing their roots. The idea of self-winding watches is traced to the closing of the 18th century with the work of Abraham-Louis Perrelet, a Swiss watchmaker who, very likely, thought of the first of this kind. The cre­ation of Perrelet's machine, which can be known as either a "perpetual motion watch" or an "automatic" watch, was made relevant because it exploits the natural motion of the wearer's arm to wind the mainspring and thereby eliminates the need for always winding the watch manually.

 The term "automatic" came to denote self-winding watches, so much so that it began symbolizing the seamless connection of mechanical inventiveness with basic activities of everyday life. Nonetheless, there are slight differences between self-winding and automatic watches, particularly in regard to the winding mechanism and their historical evolution.


Decoding Self-Winding Watches

Automatic watches or, as they are called in the watch industry, "self-winding watches" or in short "automatic" watches, don't need outside energy to be wound because they rely on the movement of the wearer that provides the mechanical energy which keeps the watch's mainspring spun.

The thrust of movement's weight is transferred through a rotor, often built as a semi-circular weight within the balance area. The mechanism 'rotor" is attached to the wrist of the wearer, and it oscillates as the wearer moves their wrist. Thus, the rotor steals kinetic energy, oscillates the mainspring, and consequently supplies energy that ticks the hands in record time. Doesn’t that sound intriguing for a watch lover?

Besides, self-winding timepieces are very convenient to use. Namely, you don’t need to do any special care except for regular winding. Instead of the manual watches that are periodically wound up, self-winding timepieces are constantly powered, provided they are worn in person. The built-in function ensures the effortless timekeeping desired by people with dynamic lifestyles. The device maintains a balance between ultimate time-keeping and great craftsmanship.


Learning about Automatic Watches

While the words self-winding watch and automatic watches are almost synonymous, automatic watches are a subcategory of self-winding timepieces defined by how they automatically wind themselves. Their movement has a source of mechanical power through incorporating a rotor that winds the mainspring in two directions within the mechanism, thus resulting in increased efficiency and power.

The modern automatic watches also feature a classy and pretentious appeal because of their association with wristwatches past and present. These watches are made up of close attention and are performed by watchmaking with their mechanical movements. It comes in almost all components, that balance wheel till the escapement, synchronize to create a masterpiece of precision & elegance beyond only timekeeping.


Learning About the Past and Present  

Even though there are some common features, the way self-winding and automatic watches have transformed over time is so different from each other. Yet they share a common ground, the passion for creating a horological work of art.

Although they are markedly different in form factor, both are based on watch work that is the hallmark of the craftsmanship and innovation associated with luxury watchmaking. They blend tradition and modernity to create symbols of style and sophistication that last a long time.

Automatic watches and self-winding watches have gained new abilities in their performances with the recent innovations of technology by introducing features like improved capability of shock resistance, no-magnetism, and increased power reserves. These cutting-edge technologies don´t only help to increase the performance of the watches, but they also provide a true solution for quality-conscious consumers who are looking for reliability, durability, and precision.


Attraction of Self Winding and Automatic Watches

The attraction of self-winding and automatic watches strikes the chord of more than functional requirements. It brings with it a knack for tradition, craft, and personal identity. There are aficionados who see self-winding or automatic watches as more than a practical need; they see it as a tangible connection to the watch-making tradition that is as old as the globe.

Hence, what makes these clocks special is their intrinsic mechanical excellence and their power to make the ones using them feel like they are at home once again. So, if you are in search of some amazing and elegant pieces, and want to make sure that you get your hands on the best piece out there, then you should definitely check out the collection that is available at Arizona Fine Time.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is the difference between self winding and automatic watches?

Self winding watches depend on the wearers motion, while the automatic watches depend on winding for enhanced efficiency and accuracy for timing.

Q2. Why choose a self winding or an automatic watch?

Choosing both of these watches can be a personal choice for you depending on your preferences or likes as well as dislikes.


As we explore the differences and similarities between self-winding and automatic watches, you must have understood the comparison of self-winding watch vs automatic. To shop some exclusive pieces and watches, check the collection available at Arizona Fine Time.