The watch movement, also known as "calibre", is the heart of a watch. It's what makes the watch "tick".
The three most widely used watch movements are quartz, manual and automatic movements. Manual and automatic movements are mechanical; they consists out of mechanical parts like gears and springs. Quartz movements have an electrical circuit and require a battery to run.
Quartz movements are very accurate and require minimal maintenance. They are powered by a battery that sends electrical signals through a piece of crystal quartz. The quartz vibrates 32768 times per second. These vibrations are measured by the circuit and converted into single pulses every second. Quartz movements can be identified by a ticking motion of the second hand, whereas mechanical watches have second hands with a sweeping motion.
Manual movements, or hand-wound movements, are the oldest type of watch movements. These mechanical movements require daily winding in order to work. A mechanical movement uses energy from the hand-wound mainspring to power the watch, instead of batteries like in quartz movements.
Tip: Manual movements should be wound until there is a feeling of tension or tightness on the crown. If it is wound past this point, damage to the movement may occur.
Automatic movements work largely the same way as manual movements, except that a metal weight, called rotor, is added. This rotor spins with every movement of the wrist, transferring energy and automatically winding the mainspring.
Tip: There are watch winding boxes on the market to wind automatic watches when not worn.
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