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Article: The History Of Automatic Watches - A Beginner’s Guide

The History Of Automatic Watches - A Beginner’s Guide - Atolio Vegas

The History Of Automatic Watches - A Beginner’s Guide

What is an automatic mechanical watch?

A mechanical watch is a watch that uses a clockwork mechanism to measure the passage of time, unlike quartz watches that operate using the vibration modes of a piezoelectric quartz tuning fork, or radio clocks, which are quartz watches synchronized with an atomic clock via radio waves. A mechanical watch is driven by a mainspring that must be wound periodically by hand or by a self-winding mechanism. Its power is transmitted through a series of gears to power the balance wheel, a heavy wheel that oscillates back and forth at a constant rate. A device called an escapement releases the wheels of the watch to move forward a small amount with each swing of the balance wheel, causing the clock's hands to move forward at a constant rate. The escapement is what makes the "ticking" sound heard in a working mechanical watch.

Move the clock forward at a constant rate. The escapement is what makes the "ticking" sound heard in a working mechanical watch.

Mechanical watches are usually not as accurate as quartz watches, and eventually require periodic cleaning and calibration by a skilled watchmaker. Since the 1970s, quartz watches have taken over most of the watch market, and mechanical watches are now mostly marketed as a luxury item, bought for their aesthetic and luxury values, in appreciation of their exquisite craftsmanship, or as a status symbol.

Who invented the automatic mechanical watch?

The first reference to self-winding watches was at the end of 1773 when a newspaper reported that Joseph Tolstos had invented a watch that did not need to be wound. But his idea was probably based on the perpetual motion myth, and it is unlikely that it was a practical solution to the problem of self-winding watches. In 1776 Joseph Gallmayr also stated that he made a self-winding watch, but there is no evidence to support this claim.

The oldest reliable evidence of a successful design is a watch made by the Swiss watchmaker Abraham-Louis Perelet, who lived in Le Locle. In late 1776 or early 1777, he invented a self-winding mechanism for pocket watches using an oscillating weight inside the watch that moved up and down. The Geneva Society of Arts, in a report on this watch in 1777, stated that 15 minutes of walking was necessary to fully wind the watch.

Is an automatic mechanical watch better than a quartz one?

This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions we get, and the answer is not a simple "yes" or "no". Ultimately, it comes down to preference. Are you a watch lover at heart? (Go automatic.) Are you crazy about gears and parts? (Scrolls automatically.) Want something simple that just tells you the time? (Go to Quartz). Maybe, too, you just like the way it looks.

How do I set my automatic watch?

here we have specific instructions on how to manually start all Atolio Vegas automatic watches. If you skip this step, your watch will never work properly, it's simple and only takes about a minute.

Our self-winding watches should be worn at least 10 hours per day to increase the power reserve. If this is not possible, or if the watch has not been worn for more than 15 hours, the starting process must be repeated.


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