Automatic watch: what to look for?

Je more intensively one the clock passion pursues, the more expensive becomes the affair usually also. Inevitably, one says goodbye to quartz watches and ends up with an automatic watch, in case of doubt with a manufacturer from switzerland. The purchase of an automatic watch must be well thought out. In this article I will briefly introduce you to what to consider when buying.

Top selection

  • Date
  • sapphire crystal
  • Quartz
  • Men stainless steel analog
  • Automatic
  • Classic
  • stainless steel case
  • Metal bracelet with folding clasp.
  • Curved hardlex glass.
  • Stainless steel case with.
  • Metal bracelet with folding clasp.
  • Hardlex glass.
  • Gold colored wrist watch made of.
  • Golden stainless steel case.
  • White dial with.
  • Stainless steel case
  • Metal bracelet with.
  • Hardlex glass.
  • Stainless steel case
  • Metal bracelet with folding clasp.
  • Hardlex glass.
  • Stainless steel case
  • Metal bracelet with folding clasp.
  • Hardlex glass.
  • Stainless steel case
  • Leather strap with buckle
  • Curved hardlex glass.
  • Stainless steel case
  • metal bracelet with folding clasp.
  • Hardlex glass.

Table of contents

  1. Automatic watch – what is it
  2. Automatic watch or quartz watch
  3. What to consider when buying an automatic watch?

Automatic watch – what is it?

Before answering the question of what is important when buying a automatic watch * I would like to briefly outline how an automatic watch works and which preliminary and final steps have to be taken. Disadvantages they have compared to a watch with other watch movements (e.g.B. quartz or manual winding) brings with it.

An automatic watch contains a mechanical movement in which the movement energy of the wearer is used to tension the mainspring. This is done via the so-called rotor, which is also clearly visible on automatic watches with a glass back. Since the watch is wound by the movement energy of the wearer, this also means that an automatic watch does not need a battery.

Automatic movements have a number of technical refinements that are beyond the scope of this article. For example, the so-called slipping clutch ensures that the spring cannot be overwound and the escapement ensures that the energy is released at exactly the right speed.

The back of the Nomos Club Automatic reveals the movement

view of an automatic watch movement

automatic watch or quartz watch

  1. Quartz watch vs automatic watch:accuracy
    if you look at the absolute basic function of a watch, namely the display of the time and this as accurately as possible, the quartz movement usually has the nose in front. As a rule, quartz watches have an inaccuracy of 15-25 seconds per month. With automatic watches, this can not be answered in a general way, because it depends extremely on the used movement. Very high quality automatic movements, as they are for example in a rolex submariner, come on about 2-5 seconds / week. In more affordable price regions, however, this deviation can be significantly higher.
    quartz watch: 1 point
    automatic watch: 0 points
  2. Quartz watch vs automatic watch:cost
    with the cost factor the calculation is also relatively simple. Quartz watches * with good processing quality already start at 50€. With the acquisition costs of an automatic watch one moves with acceptable quality at least with 300€, upward practically no borders are set. For a higher-quality movement and a brand watch, you quickly find yourself in the four-digit range. In addition, there are maintenance costs for an automatic watch. The more expensive the watch, the higher the maintenance costs as a rule. With the watch with quartz movement only costs for the exchange of the battery arise.
    quartz watch: 2 point
    automatic watch: 0 points
  3. Quartz watch vs automatic watch:passion
    after all the rational arguments, we now come to the emotional components: the passion for the watch. And this is where the automatic watch scores!A quartz watch is highly precise but very unemotional. From a relatively low price range, it makes little difference which quartz movement is installed. The manufacture of a quartz movement is fully automatic and no real craftsmanship is involved. It looks quite different with the automatic movement. These are technical masterpieces and are often made by hand.The exact manufacturing process is as guarded as the coca cola recipe and as a wearer you can call a masterpiece of watchmaking your own. In watches with a back cover, the delicate work of an automatic movement can even be observed in real time. Therefore, for real watch lovers for whom a watch is more than a fashionable timepiece, the automatic watch is clearly at an advantage. in fact, the quartz watch wins in 2 out of 3 categories, but for real watch lovers there is no way around an automatic watch!
    quartz watch: 2 point
    automatic watch: 1 point (and still the emotional winner)

"if you stop advertising to save money, you can also stop your watch to save time"."
henry ford

What to consider when buying an automatic watch?

After the rough explanation of the functionality and the advantages and disadvantages compared to a quartz watch, I would like to go into the following what to consider when buying an automatic watch. this list could be stretched into the almost immeasurable, the following points are only as an introduction to the buying advice in the world of automatic watches to see.

automatic watch: price factor

The price is logically a decisive factor. With automatic watches it is to be considered that one should not fall below a price segment which lies approximately with 150€ in my opinion.

You can find on amazon or ebay watches with automatic movement for less than 100 €, but here the quality of the movement and the processing is doubtful. An automatic movement is highly demanding in production and therefore a minimum of 150€ should be invested for quality.

For beginners, it is advisable to first acquire a relatively inexpensive automatic watch and not immediately enter the mercedes price class. My recommendation for the entry would be the seiko SKX009 *, a diver watch for about 170€ with good workmanship and proven movement. Upwards there are no limits to the price limit. In this case, the complexity of the movement and the brand determines the purchase price.

automatic watch: factor watch type

If you have decided on a price range, you should think about what type of watch you are looking for. The most common type of watch is the so-called dresswatch, which is characterized by a high-quality, simple appearance and goes particularly well with business outfits.

The divewatch or dive watch is originally used by divers, but is also a popular sport watch. Besides the fact that diving watches are water resistant, you can recognize them optically mostly by the rotating bezel.

Another very popular type of watches are chronographs, which are characterized by a stopwatch function, which is visually visible on the corresponding pushers. The most famous chronograph is probably the model speedmaster of omega, which was also the first watch on the moon. Other widely used types of watches are pilot watches, military watches or field watches.

Automatic watch: factor function (complication)

A decision point that is closely related to the previous one is that of function. On the one hand, the decision for a certain type of watch has optical aspects, but on the other hand, it also has functional aspects. If you value a watch with start-stop function then this means for you to reach for the chronograph.

The additional functions of the watch are called complication in automatic watch. Probably the most widespread complication is the date display. Popular is as already mentioned the start-stop function and the display of moon phases. The more difficult the complication is in the technical implementation, the higher the price of the corresponding watch.

So-called minute repeater (watches with minute repeater), for example, like to cost a six-figure euro amount. With this complication, the time is signaled by an acoustic signal. From my point of view, the date display is recommended as a complication for beginners. Completely to do without a complication. If in doubt, I would always opt for a higher quality movement in favor of a complication. In addition, it should be noted that complications also increase the cost of maintenance of the movement.

Complication deluxe: minute repeater from patek philippe

Automatic watch: factor accuracy/quality

A not insignificant factor plays of course also the accuracy and reliability of the watch. Recommended here are movements that are already built into many models and therefore have proven their reliability and accuracy over years, if not decades. In the lower price segment, I recommend here as mentioned at the beginning, especially the brand seiko. In the price segment above it is worth to pay attention to the built-in movement. For example, a number of brands use automatic movements of the company ETA.

These ETA movements are built in modified form in high-priced watches such as breitling, but also in much cheaper watches such as tissot. Due to the large number of pieces, experience and over the years perfected production processes, you do not make a mistake as a beginner when buying an automatic watch with an ETA movement.


as a true watch lover, sooner or later there is no way around an automatic watch. If you look at it purely from a practical point of view, the quartz watch can score with advantages, but if you are looking for real craftsmanship, you have to go for the watch with automatic movement. When buying itself should not fall below a price segment of 150 € and rather on a higher-quality movement rather than on the highest possible number of complications set.

What else to look for in an automatic watch? In the first place that the watch pleases and fits the lifestyle. Because as with all other watches applies to automatic watches: primarily it must please the buyer and wearer!

The watches with asterisks (*) marked links on this watch blog are so called provision links. If you click on a link like this and buy through this link, I get a commission from your purchase. For you the price does not change.

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