WG101: Watch Movements & Types

Welcome to Watch Gang 101, an informational series that takes a deep dive into the wide world of watches. In this installment, we take a closer look at the various movements that make your watch tick.

The movement of a watch, also known as its caliber, is the beating heart behind your favorite timepiece. Movements can generally fall into one of three different types: manual, quartz, and automatic.

Manual Movement

Making its debut in the 16th century, manual (also known has hand-wound movement) is by far the oldest of the three. The various parts seamlessly work together in a display of mechanical harmony. Keep in mind, though, that a manual watch will usually require daily winding in order to keep working properly. The Nomos Glashutte Tangente is a great example of a modern watch we’ve showcased with manual movement. Previously featured in our invite-only Centum Tier, the Tangente boasts a hand-wound Alpha caliber known for its timekeeping perfection.

Quartz Movement

Extremely accurate and easy to maintain, these battery-powered watches burst onto the scene in the late 60s and have remained popular ever since. The Three Leagues Baden is a perfect example of what a quartz watch is capable of, both in terms of design and performance. The Baden is specifically powered by Swiss quartz movement, which gives it a boost of prestige thanks to the excellent reputation of Swiss parts. Quartz powered watches were first released in Japan, and Japanese-made quartz movements remain extremely popular today in watches like the Elevon Aviator. Though perhaps known more for their precision and accuracy than their mechanical aesthetics, Japanese quartz movements are consistently accurate and reliable. 

Automatic Movement

Marvels of early 20th century technology, self-winding watches are still extremely popular and common to this day. Though they rely on the natural movement of your wrist to wind the mainspring, automatic watches can still be hand-wound at the crown. This comes in handy if your watch has been sedentary for a while and stopped ticking. One of our favorite automatics in the Watch Gang collection is the Heritor Morrison, notable for its high quality Japanese-made movement and unique crown placement. Another self-winder we’re fond of is the Tsovet SMT-FW42 which features Swiss automatic movement. Similar to its quartz counterpart, Swiss automatic movement lives up to its sterling reputation. 
Be sure to check out more installments of , and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and TwitterNew to Watch Gang and want to become a member? It’s easy! Click here to get started and watch your collection grow into something truly special.