What is an automatic watch? And how does it work?

Posted by Daubin Barshtak on June 13, 2011.


            Have you ever wondered what makes a watch automatic? Or how an automatic watch works?


            A watch is considered an automatic watch when no manual winding is necessary to keep the mainspring wound in order to keep your watch ticking.  This works by a mechanism similar to a half-moon that is run by a series of gears. This mechanism functions off the wearer’s natural arm movement. As the wearer’s arm sways, the half-moon mechanism winds the mainspring. One major benefit of automatic watches is that the mainspring will not break from over winding.  This is due to the fact that the half-moon rotor features a detent or pawl that allows the stem of the crown to slide continuously along the mainspring without stopping. However, it is important to remember that if you don’t wear your watch regularly, to wind it manually by rotating the crown.


            All watches are different, so it is important to research exactly what type of watch is right for you and how it functions. Remember, as a rule of thumb, automatic watches will generally last around 48 hours before they will need wound if it is not being worn.


Daubin Barshtak

Pacific Bay Watch




  1. Kaycee August 28, 2011

    I love reading these articles bceasue they’re short but informative.

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