What is a Watch Movement?

Watch movement, often referred to as a “caliber,” is the engine that powers a watch. It’s the mechanism that moves the hands and powers any complications like a chronograph, dual time zone, or calendar.

Types of Watch Movements

Understanding the different types of watch movements is essential for any watch enthusiast. Here are the most common types:

  1. Mechanical Movement: Powered by a mainspring, this traditional movement involves intricate craftsmanship.
  2. Automatic Movement: A type of mechanical movement that winds itself when worn, thanks to a rotor that moves with the wearer’s arm.
  3. Quartz Movement: Powered by a battery, this movement is highly accurate and requires minimal maintenance.
  4. Tourbillon Movement: A specialized type of mechanical movement, the tourbillon aims to counteract the effects of gravity for improved accuracy. It is often found in high-end luxury watches and is considered a mark of exceptional craftsmanship.

Watch Caliber Explained

The term “caliber” refers to the specific model of a watch movement. Manufacturers often have unique names and numbers for each caliber to distinguish them based on their features and complexities.

Key Components

  • Balance Wheel: Regulates timekeeping.
  • Gear Train: Transmits power from the mainspring.
  • Jewels: Reduce friction in the movement.

How to Choose the Right Movement

  1. Lifestyle: Choose a movement that fits your daily activities.
  2. Budget: Mechanical movements are generally more expensive than quartz.
  3. Accuracy: Quartz is more accurate but lacks the craftsmanship of mechanical movements.

Maintenance Tips for Watch Movements and Calibers

Proper maintenance is crucial for the longevity and performance of your watch. Here are some detailed tips based on the type of watch movement:

Mechanical Movements

  1. Regular Servicing: Mechanical movements should be serviced every 4-5 years. This involves cleaning, oiling, and calibration.
  2. Avoid Shocks: Mechanical watches are sensitive to physical shocks. Always remove your watch before engaging in activities that could cause impact.
  3. Winding: For manual mechanical watches, regular winding is necessary. Make it a habit to wind your watch at the same time each day.

Automatic Movements

  1. Use a Watch Winder: When not in use, keeping your automatic watch on a winder can help maintain its accuracy.
  2. Check Power Reserve: Know the power reserve of your watch and try to keep it wound to avoid timekeeping errors.
  3. Regular Servicing: Like mechanical movements, automatic movements also require servicing every 4-5 years.

Quartz Movements

  1. Battery Replacement: The battery in a quartz movement typically lasts 1-2 years. Replace it promptly to avoid leakage and damage.
  2. Seal Check: During battery replacement, ensure that the seals are checked and replaced if necessary to maintain water resistance.
  3. Cleaning: A simple exterior clean with a soft cloth can keep your quartz watch looking new.

General Tips

  1. Temperature: Extreme temperatures can affect the lubricants in the watch. Always store your watch in a moderate temperature.
  2. Magnetism: Keep your watch away from strong magnetic fields as they can disrupt the movement.
  3. Water Resistance: Even if your watch is water-resistant, it’s advisable to get the resistance checked annually.

Ready to Dive Deeper into the World of Watches?

If you’re keen to explore more about watch movements and calibers, or if you have specific questions, we’re here to help. View our education section or call to speak with one of our experts today.