Daylight Saving comes to an end on Sunday, November 2nd at 2am and you should be inviting customers in for tune-ups or fresh batteries for their timepieces. Make sure your staff is up on their watch-movement knowledge so that they don’t accidentally recommend a new mainspring for a quartz watch…
Watch movements are the engines that supply power to make watch hands move and control special features such as calendars, dual time zone dials, or chronograph functions. There are numerous different movements created by watch manufacturers utilizing proprietary innovations, but each of these movements will fall into one of two types—quartz or mechanical.
An easy way to tell the difference between the two at a glance is by looking at the second hand: on a quartz watch, the second hand has a pulsing, tick-tock rhythm that moves once per second while the second hand on a mechanical watch sweeps around the face with a continuous, monotone glide.
A Quartz Movement uses a battery as its power source and is typically the type of movement found in standard, no frills clocks and watches. The battery sends an electrical current through a small quartz crystal, electrifying the crystal to create vibrations. These vibrations keep the movement oscillating and drive the motor to move the hands. Quartz is an ideal crystal for transmitting electric current because it vibrates with very regular frequency (that’s why they’re used in radio equipment, too!) and the material is inexpensive. Low maintenance and high accuracy make quartz movement watches very popular, and with fewer moving parts they are cost effective to mass produce.
A Mechanical Movement uses energy stored in a wound-up spring which gets released to a series of gears and smaller springs that power the hands. Manual Movements require the wearer to turn the crown in order to wind the mainspring and store potential energy. The frequency of winding depends on the power reserve capacity of the movement which could be 24 hours to five days or more. Automatic Movements (also known as self-winding watches) have weighted metal rotors that spin with the wearer’s natural wrist movements. The spinning automatically winds the mainspring, though these watches still have crowns for winding when the watch has not been worn for a while. Mechanical movement watches are favored by connoisseurs who appreciate the precise engineering and fine craftsmanship that goes in to each timepiece. Luxury manual movements can often be viewed and admired through their case-backings.
Mainsprings can weaken as they age or from over-winding and watch batteries will eventually wear out. Let your customers know that replacing either of these should always be done by skilled professionals who have proper tools and training. The seasonal clock change is great opportunity to remind your customers about your watch repair services, wristwatch and clock collections and see if they’d like to fall back with a spiffy new watch band.
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