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Automatic watches are mechanical watches that are also self-winding. These timepieces rely on the motion of the wearer's wrist to produce the energy needed to keep them wound. The modern automatic watches we are familiar with today date back to technology originally introduced in the late 18th century by Swiss watchmaker Abraham-Louis Perrelet.
An automatic watch movement has a specialised mechanism capable of winding the mainspring by reacting to energy produced by motion. This is accomplished via an oscillating weight and rotor that move on a pivot as the wearer's arm swings back and forth. This motion activates a winding mechanism that works on a ratchet system.
As a general rule of thumb, a fully wound watch stores enough energy to continue working for a couple of days. Thus, an automatic watch worn daily should rarely need manual winding. A watch left unused for several days at a time might require manual winding to get it started again.
The thing to know about automatic watches is that their winding mechanisms do not tend to be as robust as manual watches. Thus, the need to be very careful not to overwind. If a movement stops, all is not lost. Just use the crown to set the correct time, then wind a few times (typically around 20 times is sufficient) and leave it at that. Normal wear will then keep the watch wound as you go.
Automatic watches can slow down over time due to lack of lubrication, exposure to dirt and grime, shock, and age. To this end, having an automatic watch serviced every few years is a good idea. Indeed, regular service ensures optimal life and accurate timekeeping.
Tic Watches is an official stockist for most of the brands we stock. We invite you to visit our Darlington shop or order your next automatic watch online. We offer free UK returns, free UK delivery, a minimum two-year warranty, and more. Ask about our 0% financing as well when you're ready to purchase.