The Best Watch Movements (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021

The Best Watch Movements

Watch movements are the heart and the brain of a watch. Some work through a combination of electronic and mechanical parts and others mechanically. These days, with the availability of top quality that is provided and lowest cost electronic watch movements, many watchmakers began to retrofit watches. Watchmakers would replace mechanical watch movements with the new quartz watch movements. Movements can be fit into almost all watches.

Usually, best watch movements are incredibly small and oftentimes quite delicate. They need to be carefully handled to avoid damaging small parts. Some sort of training is needed or start out working with watches that have no value if you plan to change watch movements. Performing this type of work on your watch requires careful handling of the movement and lots of practice.

Switzerland is the heart of the most luxurious watch industries, where thousands of professional watchmakers do their work to craft the best watch movements available in today’s market. So if you would like to know what makes a mechanical movement so unique you have to delve into the miniature world of intricate components, engineering ingenuity, precision instruments, and a pair of steady and calm hands.

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Best watch movement types

There are many best watch movements, but the three primary types are automatic, mechanical, and quartz watch movement. Before buying your next watch you should understand each of their positives and negatives. 

  1. Automatic – Kinetic energy from the person’s wrist is transferred automatically to drive the mechanism inside the watch.
  2. Mechanical – The movement of the mechanical watch will cause the second hand to move in a very smooth sweeping motion. 
  3. Quartz – the movement causes the second hand to move in individual ticks, and the quartz watch is powered by a battery.

Automatic movement is often referred to as self-winding, an automatic watch is a mechanical watch that harnesses kinetic energy from the natural motion of the person’s wrist. Manual winding is not required in automatic movement. The inside mechanism is kinda similar to a mechanical movement. 

How an automatic watch works: A metal weight called a rotor is added to the manual parts. The rotor rotates freely and is connected with the movement. The rotor spins with each movement of the wrist, transferring the movement energy to the mainspring.  

Benefits of An Automatic Watch.

  1. Daily winding your watch is not required with this type of watch. 
  2. With regular wear the watch continues to function normally.

Mechanical Movement’s passage of time is measured by a spring-driven mechanism. Manual or mechanical timepieces perform virtually the same function as those powered by quartz movements. A mechanical world of the complexity of spiraling springs and moving parts that charge the movement of the watch hands. A number of the rotor mechanisms of these types of watches work in conjunction with the earth’s gravitational pull by compressing the mainspring during wrist movement and creating kinetic energy which fuels the automatic winding mechanism.

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How mechanical movements works: Not like quartz movements, a mechanical movement works by using energy from the wound mainspring to power a watch, rather than a battery. This spring transfers energy through a number of gears and springs, and powering the function of the watch hands and the complications. 

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Benefits of Mechanical Movements:

  1. Worrying about the battery won’t be a problem anymore.
  2. With the proper care a well-built mechanical watch will last a lifetime.

The Quartz Movement was introduced in 1969 by Japanese watchmakers. The launch of this new technology was a challenge to the traditional timepiece houses who relied on mechanical movements to power their watches.

How quartz movements works: Quartz movement timepieces are powered by a battery that sends an electrical signal through a part or a piece of crystal quartz. The quartz movement vibrates 32768 times per second which creates a signal with a precise frequency. The vibrations are measured by the circuit which converts into a single pulse every second.

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Benefits of Mechanical Movements:

  1. Quartz movement watches are battery powered and do not require human intervention to keep working.
  2. A quartz mechanism ensures superior accuracy which barely veers from the exact time.
  3. The quartz watches are lower maintenance due to the low number of moving parts and the presence of a battery.
  4. A quartz timepiece is more durable than a mechanical watch because it has fewer moving parts that may require repairing.

Which type of best watch movements is best?

If you keep questioning yourself which type of best watch movement is best for you then the answer is really simple. If you are the type of person who looks for an affordable, practical, low maintenance and accurate watch then a quartz watch is the perfect choice. Another thing about an automatic watch is that it’ll stop if not worn for three to five days and you will need to keep setting the time which is not good or healthy for the watch.

If you are an occasional wearer the quartz watch is the most suitable for you. However, for people who want a watch with charm, an automatic movement watch has its charm too. In a digital world where everything works and operates with electronic circuits and a battery, an automatic watch will make you stand out.

Don’t hesitate and take the time to consider each of these watch types that we mentioned before you begin shopping for your next timepiece.With a little knowledge and a little search, you will easily determine which type will best suit your lifestyle or your personality. 

Is Quartz better than automatic?

The biggest difference between automatic mechanical watches and quartz is the soul. The exceptionally high level of skill and passion that goes into making just one mechanical watch pales compared to mass-produced quartz watches. Mechanical watches exist in both automatic and manual styles. 

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In modern days, the debate between automatic and quartz watches is very much alive. Most of the world’s finest watches are automatic, created by some of the globe’s greatest micro-engineers. On the other side, quartz watches provide a wonderfully cheap, accurate and durable alternative to the classic style. 

If you are seeking an investment or an item to pass down to your children, go for an automatic mechanical watch. On the opposite side a quartz watch isn’t so much an investment it is more as a practical way to tell time. By purchasing a quartz watch, you are buying something that should last for many lifetimes. In a few words, both automatic and quartz watch movements have their benefits. 

Why choose quartz over automatic?

  1. Due to less labour-intensive to make, quartz watches are cheaper than automatic watches.
  2. When it comes to keeping time quartz watches are extremely reliable and accurate.
  3. Quartz watches require very little maintenance, you just have to change the battery every few years. 

Why choose automatic over quartz?

  1. Many mechanical movement makers have a lot of history and heritage.
  2. Many automatic movement watches have a transparent sapphire case back that allows you to see the automatic movement gently oscillating while it’s at work.
  3. A second handed mechanical watch moves multiple times a second, while a second hand quartz watch moves once per second.

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Which is the best Swiss automatic best watch movements?

Here are five of the most accurate and best watch movements ever.

1. Zenith Defy Lab

Zenith has been a watchmaker based in Le Locle in the center of  Switzerland’s watchmaking industry since 1865. Zenith released its Defy Lab model in late 2017, and claimed it to be the most accurate mechanical watch that exists. The most innovative aspect of this type of movement is that it did away 30-odd components that comprise the balance spring. 

The Zenith Defy Lab movement also features a 60-hour power reserve. The Zenith Defy Lab also has a frequency rate that is almost three times more than the El Primero which makes the Defy Lab more than 10 times more accurate.

2. The Calibre 360 Concept Chronograph

Tag Heuer was founded in 1860 and these days is based in La Chaux de Fonds, and still remains one of the leading Swiss luxury watchmakers. Tag Heuer is known for its innovative production of chronographs, which are essentially stopwatches. 

Tag Heuer based his complex and rare or unique movement on its earlier innovation, the Chronomatic Calibre 11 which was released in early 1969. The Calibre 360 movement is beautiful in its complexity making it unique. 

3. Tag Heuer Mikrogirder

It was released seven years after the Caliber 360 concept chronograph. This mechanical watch or chronograph could do timing to 1/2000th of a second. The new mikrogirder used a completely new regular system which works with a linear oscillator that vibrates at a much smaller angle of a typical mechanical movement. It allowed the movement’s frequency to be better modulated without having to overbounding the power supply.

4. Seiko Spring Drive Mechanical Movement with Quartz Regulation

The Japanese watchmaking giant, Seiko first started the business in Tokyo in 1881, and was at the vanguard of the momentous quartz movement breakthrough in late 1969. It didn’t take long and Seiko became a giant in the watch world, thanks mostly to its cheaper and more accurate quartz movements. The Japanese company has also innovated with mechanical movements and archived to create automatic quartz which was a combination of both quartz and automatic technologies.

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