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How to Buy the Best Watch Mechanism for Your Timepiece
If you are a watch enthusiast, you know that the mechanism or movement of a watch is the heart and soul of the timepiece. The mechanism is what makes the watch tick, and determines its accuracy, functionality, and durability. But how do you choose the best watch mechanism for your watch? Here are some factors to consider before you buy.
Types of Watch Mechanisms
There are three main types of watch mechanisms: mechanical, quartz, and hybrid. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on your preferences and needs.
- Mechanical: A mechanical watch mechanism is powered by a spring that needs to be wound manually or automatically by the movement of your wrist. A mechanical watch has a smooth sweeping motion of the second hand, and a distinctive ticking sound. Mechanical watches are often considered more prestigious, elegant, and collectible than other types of watches. However, they also require more maintenance, such as regular cleaning and lubrication, and are more prone to errors due to external factors such as temperature, humidity, and magnetism.
- Quartz: A quartz watch mechanism is powered by a battery that sends an electric current through a quartz crystal. The crystal vibrates at a precise frequency, which regulates the movement of the watch. A quartz watch has a jerky motion of the second hand, and a silent operation. Quartz watches are more accurate, reliable, and affordable than mechanical watches. However, they also have less charm, character, and craftsmanship than mechanical watches. They also need to have their batteries replaced every few years.
- Hybrid: A hybrid watch mechanism combines elements of both mechanical and quartz watches. For example, some hybrid watches use a mechanical movement for the timekeeping function, and a quartz movement for additional features such as chronograph, calendar, or alarm. Some hybrid watches use a quartz movement for the timekeeping function, and a mechanical movement for aesthetic purposes such as a skeleton dial or a tourbillon. Hybrid watches offer the best of both worlds, but they also have higher complexity and cost than other types of watches.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Watch Mechanism
When you are looking for a watch mechanism to buy, you should consider the following factors:
- Accuracy: Accuracy is the degree to which a watch keeps time correctly. It is measured in seconds per day (spd), which indicates how much the watch deviates from the true time in a 24-hour period. The lower the spd, the more accurate the watch is. Quartz watches are generally more accurate than mechanical watches, with an average spd of +/- 15 seconds per month. Mechanical watches have an average spd of +/- 10 seconds per day for high-end models, and +/- 30 seconds per day for lower-end models.
- Functionality: Functionality is the range of features that a watch offers besides telling time. Some common features include date display, chronograph (stopwatch), alarm, moon phase indicator, world time display, power reserve indicator, and so on. The more features a watch has, the more complicated and expensive the mechanism is. You should choose a watch mechanism that has the features that you need and use regularly.
- Durability: Durability is the ability of a watch to withstand wear and tear over time. It depends on factors such as the quality of the materials, the construction of the mechanism, the water resistance rating, and the shock resistance rating. Quartz watches are generally more durable than mechanical watches, as they have fewer moving parts and are less sensitive to external influences. Mechanical watches need to be serviced every few years to ensure their optimal performance and longevity.
- Style: Style is the aesthetic appeal of a watch mechanism. It depends on factors such as the design of the dial, the shape of the case, the type of strap or bracelet, and the overall look and feel of the watch. Some people prefer a classic and elegant style with a simple and refined dial and a leather strap. Some people prefer a modern and sporty style with a complex and colorful dial and a metal bracelet. Some people prefer a unique and artistic style with a skeleton or open-worked dial that reveals the inner workings of the mechanism.