Wrist Watch technology
In the ever changing technology of the 21st century, watch manufacturers are expanding their horizons. If you've been to any jewelry store, including Steven DiFranco Jewelers, lately you've seen the massive amounts of watches available to the customer today, and the technology of some of their inner workings may confuse you. If we were to ask you the difference between an automatic and a kinetic watch, would you be able to describe it? Or, would you be one of the many customers that comes in for a watch battery replacement even though the watch doesn't even have a battery?
This web page has been designed to clear everything up relating to the different watch technologies, and/or help you better analyze you own watch problems so that you can avoid a lengthy trip to a watch "service station".
These days seeing a manual wind watch is a rarity. Older, even antique watches were predominantly manual wind mechanical style watches. This meant that every morning you would put your watch on your wrist, then wind it up until you felt slight resistance. The watch would keep fine time throughout the day.
Manual wind watches were the mainstay of worldwide timekeeping for many years. Some of you will even remember having to wind up your alarm clock before going to bed each night!
If you own any manual wind watches, whether they are old or new, keeping them wound up and running is a very good idea. Keeping a manual wind watch running on a regular basis will keep the watch from getting "gummed up" and causing maintenance issues down the road. Your manual watches should be wound up at least a couple of times per week.
Older manual wind watches had a few problem areas that need to be addressed. Problem number one is that all mechanical watches have a balance staff that supports the balance wheel. This staff or shaft is very thin and can be easily bent by impacting the watch. Problem number two is that older mechanical watches had poor dust resistant characterisitcs, making annual cleaning more of a necessity than modern watches.
Looking back on this technology today, makes it seem like a pain, back then we didn't know any different. Today, there are a few watch manufacturers that are producing fine manual wind time pieces, these are somewhat pricey but very elegant.
Automatic / Self-Winding
Automatic or self-winding technology has been around for quite some time. These watches are common amongst Bulova and Accutron as well as the fine Filip & Company watches, all of which we carry in stock at Steven DiFranco Jewelers. Today, many luxury brand wristwatches are powered by automatic/self-winding movements.
An automatic watch represents its "ability" to wind itself, and yes we said WIND (pronounced whined), no battery here. Your movement actually moves a half-circle shaped winder that winds the mainspring of the watch, giving it a reserve of power which will last approximately 36 hours.
This technology has been around for awhile and that's because it's very reliable. There is no need to change a battery. It only asks that you MOVE. These watches can also be wound the old fashion way by simply rotating the crown (see the watch setting page for an explanation on the crown).
Is this technology for you? Well, if you do not move either because of age or another physical condition, an automatic watch is not for you because of it's need for movement to keep the mainspring of the watch wound up. If you have multiple watches, and you will only wear your automatic watch once a week or so, you will have to reset the watch every time you are wanting to wear it. This can be a task you will quickly tire of.
Automatic winders can be of a great help with automatic watches, keeping them wound up until you are ready to wear them. These are available as a decortative...