As the name suggests, automatic watches, or self-winding watches, are wound by the movements of the user's wrist and do not need a battery. These watches are equipped with a special mechanism that uses the movement of the wrist to store energy that powers the watch. A quartz watch, on the other hand, runs on battery, which has to be replaced at regular intervals.
An automatic watch has a special mechanism that uses the movements of the wearer's wrist to power itself up. Every flick of the wrist activates the rotor, which winds up the mainspring reserving the power (also known as the heart of the watch). This powers up the timepiece and keeps it running in good condition.
The average power reserve of an automatic watch refers to the number of hours it is expected to function flawlessly after it has been used for 8-10 hours by an active person. This can vary greatly depending on the model and whether it's a man's or woman's watch. However, generally speaking, the average power reserve can be around 30-40 hours.
We are surrounded by appliances and gadgets that emit magnetic fields. Everything - from a set of speakers to microwaves to radios and even X-rays – has magnetism, which can affect the working of our timepiece. Thankfully, this contact is pretty limited and it usually has little to no effect on the operation of our watches.
However, on the rare occasion that the exposure is prolonged, magnetic field can impact the precision of the watch, causing it to speed up. Sometimes, it's only by a few seconds and at other times it could be several minutes. When this happens, the watch will have to be brought to the service center and demagnetized so that it works properly.
Condensation is a phenomenon that occurs when a watch is exposed to sudden fluctuations in temperature. In the workshop or factory, when the watch's back case is closed, a certain amount of air and moisture gets trapped inside, leading to condensation. Under normal circumstances, this will disappear within a few minutes.
However, if a great deal of moisture gets into the watch due to some sort of leakage, the condensation will not disappear on its own. In such cases, the timepiece has to be taken to a watchmaker as soon as possible, to prevent the rusting of the delicate mechanism inside.
Between 10.00 P.M and 3.00 A.M, do not rotate the clock anticlockwise as the parts related to the operation of the day and date in a watch are in motion. It's inadvisable to change the day and date around these hours as it could lead to breakage of internal parts. However, these are just standard instructions and can vary from watch to watch. Therefore, it's important to follow the manufacturer's advice in this regard.
Thanks to the advancement in modern technology, it is now recommended that a watch be serviced every 4-5 years. However, depending on how active the user is and his handling of the watch, it may be required to have it serviced earlier.
In a quartz watch, the battery must be replaced every 15 months. This should be done even if the watch is functioning properly. Should you fail to do so, the protective seals of old batteries can leak and damage the movements and mechanism of the watch.
A good watch doesn't come cheap and, like all other luxury items you own it, demands regular care and maintenance. You'll find these general tips useful.
Proper functioning of movement of the watch is covered under its international guarantee.