A watch seems simple, strap it on your wrist, set the time and go about your life; but watches actually have several different types of movements which dictate their care and use.
First let’s discuss what a movement is. A watch movement is the components that power the watch. There are three main types of movements Manual, Automatic, and Quartz movement.
A manual movement is the oldest form of watch movement and dates back to the 16th century. In order to work, it must be wound daily, and is usually found in expensive, collectible and very conservative style watches. The watch should be wound till there is tension in the crown. Winding the watch past that point could result in damage to the watch.
The automatic movement came into being in the beginning of the 20th century. It is a mechanical movement that is self winding as opposed to a manual which requires the wearer to wind the watch everyday. The watch is powered by the movement from the wrist of the wearer. So long as it is being worn the watch will keep working. If the watch is taken of though for more than a day it will need to be manually wound to start the movement again or kept in a watch winder.
A quartz movement is battery powered. It is the most accurate form of movement for keeping time on the market. The battery provides electricity to the quartz crystal which in turn causes the crystal to vibrate. The electric pulses are sent to the stepping motor. The stepping motor sends an electrical pulse to the dial train which in turn advances the hands.
Few watches today feature a manual movement. The choice comes down to lifestyle and budget. Automatic watches tend to be pricier but the ability to never have to think about a battery is a big selling point for many. They also are often waterproof which means showering and swimming are a breeze. Quartz Watches are generally more affordable. They often come in a wide variety of colors and styles and the price point enables the buyer to own more than one.