Ernest Jones Watch Buyer's Guide
To help you in making your decision we have crafted a guide about the available watch movements we have among our watch brands at Ernest Jones.
A guide to watch movements
The movement of a watch is its working mechanism. Our guide to different watch movements will help in making your decision when buying the right watch for you.
Mechanical & automatic watch movements
Mechanical movements feature moving parts that wind up manually or automatically. The main component of a mechanical movement is the mainspring, a spring that gradually unwinds and transmits energy. A mechanical watch, although usually requiring winding up if its manual, will keep accurate time. The traditional watch wearer enjoys the contact of winding up their watch. There is something classic and enjoyable about a wind up watch.
Automatic watches are self winding and do not need to be wound manually. Inside the watch sits a small weighted rotor which has to oscillate in order to wind the mainspring. Wearing the watch causes motion from the wearer's arm which is then translated into energy that powers a series of gears winding the mainspring.
History of mechanical watches
Some of the first movements were made of steel, featured a 1 hour hand and had to be wound twice a day.
The first self winding movement was invented in 1770 by Swiss horologist Abraham Louis Perrlet for pocket watches. Once the spring power mechanism was used to power the timepiece the wrist watch evolved. The mechanism was designed to wind as the wearer moved, which is still the case today.
Quartz & electronic watch movements
Quartz, a widely used timekeeping technology. Electronic movements often feature no moving parts and are battery driven. A quartz watch is powered by an electronic oscillator regulated by quartz crystal. The electric current causes the quartz inside to vibrate with a precise frequency. The frequency is broken down through an integrated circuit where power is released through a small stepping motor setting the watch hands in motion. Digital watches are also part of the quartz movement family and sometimes feature LCD, liquid crystal displays. Some quartz watches feature both analogue and digital time dials for simultaneous display of different information. These are known as ana-digi.
Whether you choose a watch that is digital or analogue, both have different looks depending on what you're seeking in a watch. Read more about the watch features in our features and functions section.
Branded watch movements
At Ernest Jones we offer internationally recognised brands, famous for their movement technology.
Citizen Eco-Drive technology
Citizen timepieces are created with award winning Eco-Drive technology combined with the highest quality materials. The Eco-Drive 'never needs a battery' technology uses the power of light and converts it into energy, which is stored permanently in a rechargeable lithium-ion cell.
Light is absorbed through the dial and beneath the dial is a solar cell absorbing light, converting into energy. Exposure to light everyday both natural and artificial means the Eco - Drive watch is constantly full of energy.
Seiko Kinetic technology
SEIKO has developed kinetic technology that generates electricity from movement caused by the wearers arm. The kinetic system is based on a rotor spinning at high speed. Each Seiko timepiece has a small capacitor storing an electrical current, which is released when the watch needs to be powered. The current is stored in an ESU electrical storage unit. This stores electricity that powers the watch when it's not on the wrist. Kinetic watches operate for 6 months if not worn at all.
SEIKO has introduced Kinetic Auto Relay watches that are devised to tell the precise time when they are not worn for up to four years. These watches come with a power save function that will automatically stop the hand movement approximately 72 hours after the watch has been taken off to preserve energy. The Kinetic Auto Relay watch also has a relay function that is triggered by a slight swing motion and automatically returns the watch to present time, provided it's used within four years.
What to consider with watch movements
Whatever type of timepiece you're hoping to own, before choosing your movement you may want to consider factors such as winding or changing the battery, time accuracy and general maintenance. Quartz watches will need battery replacements from time to time. Whereas mechanical watches require cleaning once every 3 to 5 years, to maintain reliability, service details will often be provided in the information booklet with the timepiece. At Ernest Jones we offer our Atelier service in store, including prestige watch servicing and repair. See our full list of Atelier services in our watch services section.
Choosing a timepiece with the right movement is an important part of your purchasing decision. Whether you're shopping for a watch for fashion, sport or classic everyday style, the long lasting factor comes down to movement. The definitive watch guide brings you iconic timepieces from around the world. Browse our brands now and choose the right movement for you.