Battery vs. Wound Watches

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Since the launch of the first battery-powered watch in 1957, the debate about battery versus hand-wound timepieces has raged on. Some prefer the battery innovation as the more convenient option, with no need to worry about winding. Others consider the battery watch an inferior mechanism, preferring instead the craftsmanship and ingenuity that goes into making a wound or self-winding watch.

The two styles of construction compete across a range of features and benefits. A more contemporary innovation, the self-winding watch, achieves a middle ground in its mechanism between the two. For watch enthusiasts, the question is one of personal preference and taste in selecting the right style of timepiece design.

Wound watches required daily winding in order to keep the time. They were the main type of watch mechanism prior to the introduction of batteries, and still retain of heritage appeal today. For collectors and those with a genuine passion for watches, those with winding mechanisms remain the pure, highest quality choice. In practical terms, this is a less obvious decision.

Wound watches will slow down and stop if they are not rewound, and this creates a daily task for the wearer. If you can’t commit to the winding task every day, the watch will quickly become unusable. Particularly for more expensive timepieces, it is crucial to wind the watch every day to keep the mechanism in good running order.

Self-wound watches aim, in part, to address this problem. These watches wind on the wrist as the wearer moves about his business. The natural rhythms and movements of motion throughout the day are enough to encourage the self-winding mechanism to run, which helps keep these watches sufficiently wound as they are being worn. Self-wound watches have limiters that prevent over-winding, and can reduce much of the manual winding burden day-to-day.

Self-winding watches cannot wind themselves during the night, however, or during times when they are not being worn. For these occasions, automatic watch winders can be used to keep the watches running and ready to use. These often-stylish items look great in any room of the home, and provide automatic winding so you don’t have to constantly wear your watch to keep it wound.

With no manual winding required, these nifty devices can help make self-wound watches the best middle ground between wound and battery-powered devices. Sites like provide a range of automatic winders that can make the self-winding option a better choice.

Wound watches and self-wound watches are often the most stylish choice, and those with a keen eye for fashion will prefer the heritage look on most occasions. However, for those seeking a practical, cheap watch for day-to-day use, a battery-powered wristwatch could provide the answer. 

Lower cost and easier to maintain, these watches often fall miles short in quality. That tends to mean less accurate time keeping, and a less hardwearing mechanism that will fail over a much shorter period of time. Nevertheless some prefer the convenience and flexibility that comes from a battery-powered watch over the more involved experience of caring for a mechanical model.

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