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I notice that many people think that 'automatics' are the only mechanical watches. They aren't, of course. There are also wind-up watches - still, even today, and some of them are high-end and expensive. I think Patek even makes a couple.

I never see much discussion of wind-ups. I like them, myself. I have a couple, and I always enjoy winding them in the morning. It is like a special bit of quiet time with your watch. Also, a wind-up has less parts which means less bits to go bad. Which, too, would make them a little lighter.

Am I missing something here? Is there some other reason besides freedom from the supposed dreariness of winding that accounts for the preference of automatics? I mean, you only have to wind them once per day so it is easy to incorporate into your morning ritual. How could you forget to wind your watch if you just put it on your arm?
 

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Automatic is obviously more convenient. Manual is better if you're going to fit a display back.
 

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I think it has to do with the availability of movements I mean ETA produces a lot of automatic movements. Of course, the average watchbuyer is too lazy to have a true wind-up. A automatic movement watch is as easily wearable as a quartz. You never have to think about winding it.
Not sure about the "less parts" statement. Some higher end wind up movements are pretty complicated:


213 parts.
 

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Enzo is a wind-up!!

;-) ;-) :-d :-d

Sorry, I just could not resist. Sorry, Enzo!

This infraction business did not exist when I was Young & Wild. I just got some severe verbal punishment, as the Mods can certify.
 

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Most watches are purchased by non-WIS. Most non-WIS want to be able to put a watch on and forget about it. The idea of having to do something as 'time-consuming', 'laborious' and 'old-fashioned' as winding a watch every day wouldn't wash with them.

I love the idea of having a manual wind, but I don't currently own one. That's because I don't wear dress wathes and don't think manual movements suit sports watches (Speedy aside). However, I would also be worried that I would forget to wind it some morning and then end up with what is effectively a broken watch.

When I finally get around to buying a proper dress watch, one that will only be worn on the occassional, special evening, I would like that to be a manual wind. Until then, I'll probably stick to automatics.
 

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Before coming here I didn't know manual winders existed. I generally prefer manuals. I don't wear the same watch every day and they wind down in between so an auto movement is utterly useless for me. I wish there were more manuals out there.
 

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I guess automatic is a lil superior than manual wind as it gives you the option of hand winding the watch yourself or just being a lil lazy and let it do the job for you. I like both kinds :)
 

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Back in the day when automatics were being introduced on a wide scale one of the advertising themes was that autos were superior timekeepers as they kept the mainspring power constant inducing a more steady rate as opposed to manual watches that had varying torque in the gear train as the mainspring wound down.
 

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Gosh, it's years since I've had a manual wind watch!

One downside of having to manually wind your watch on a daily basis is the increased risk of cross-threading the crown, or damaging the seal. Not good if you need your watch to be waterproof.

As I remember, overwinding could be a problem too.
 

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I believe that some watchmakers argue over the accuracy of an automatic movement due to the swinging of the rotor... But simply put, I don't really think either has an advantage over the other in accuracy.. at least this is what I hope to be true. Anyways, automatics are just too convenient to ignore.
 

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Personally, I buy the watch, not the movement.

However, the movement manufacturer is more important to me than the type of movement. As far as preference I would have to go with the hand-wind watches or autos that hand wind. I find 'rocking' my autos out of their slumber a bit of an inconvenience.

I think that some folks like the autos because of the added complication. I know that I love wearing my vintage Omega bumper and the way it 'thumps' whenever I move my arm.
 

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Generally speaking, automatics are more accurate than manuals.

The power output of a watch mainspring, as it unwinds, drops off. This changes the amplitude of the balance and thus the rate of the watch. This change is relatively small, on an ETA 2824-2 (Standard grade) it is only 20 sec over a 24 hour period (maximum). For a Top grade 2892A2 it is half that figure. This power drop off is not linear, but the first third is rather flat, then it starts to drop off.

An automatic watch, if constantly worn during the day and place static during the night will be at, or nearly at, it full wind state during the day, and stay within a small range of the power curve. Then, at night, when static, will begin to wind down, but even after 8 hours would still be in the flat portion of the power curve.

A manual wind watch will immediately begin to wind down and if wound in the morning, by night will have entered the second third of the power curve where it starts to drop off (most movements have a power reserve of 36 to 50 hours, which means the flat portion is 12 to 17 hours.

Aside from the "wear-and-forget" convenience and slight accuracy gains, there are some other reasons to prefer an automatic, if the watch is to be used as a diver's watch. With an automatic, the crown does not have to manipulated as often, therefore, the crown seals will experience less wear and be less susceptable leaking.
 

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Informative, thoughtful and well-written posts like this are why I keep coming back to this forum. Thank you.

Generally speaking, automatics are more accurate than manuals.

The power output of a watch mainspring, as it unwinds, drops off. This changes the amplitude of the balance and thus the rate of the watch. This change is relatively small, on an ETA 2824-2 (Standard grade) it is only 20 sec over a 24 hour period (maximum). For a Top grade 2892A2 it is half that figure. This power drop off is not linear, but the first third is rather flat, then it starts to drop off.

An automatic watch, if constantly worn during the day and place static during the night will be at, or nearly at, it full wind state during the day, and stay within a small range of the power curve. Then, at night, when static, will begin to wind down, but even after 8 hours would still be in the flat portion of the power curve.

A manual wind watch will immediately begin to wind down and if wound in the morning, by night will have entered the second third of the power curve where it starts to drop off (most movements have a power reserve of 36 to 50 hours, which means the flat portion is 12 to 17 hours.

Aside from the "wear-and-forget" convenience and slight accuracy gains, there are some other reasons to prefer an automatic, if the watch is to be used as a diver's watch. With an automatic, the crown does not have to manipulated as often, therefore, the crown seals will experience less wear and be less susceptable leaking.
 

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Most watches are purchased by non-WIS. Most non-WIS want to be able to put a watch on and forget about it. The idea of having to do something as 'time-consuming', 'laborious' and 'old-fashioned' as winding a watch every day wouldn't wash with them.

I love the idea of having a manual wind, but I don't currently own one. That's because I don't wear dress wathes and don't think manual movements suit sports watches (Speedy aside). However, I would also be worried that I would forget to wind it some morning and then end up with what is effectively a broken watch.

When I finally get around to buying a proper dress watch, one that will only be worn on the occassional, special evening, I would like that to be a manual wind. Until then, I'll probably stick to automatics.
I fail to see how a wound down automatic is effectively a broken watch. It's just like a hand wind that needs winding. I'm seldom in such a hurry that I don't have time to wind it up and set it, and if I AM in that big a hurry I just grab one that is working. To keep them from winding down I use a winder, but I always check the time against a quartz watch. :-d

When I was a kid my dad had hand wind watches and my first watch was a Waltham manual wind. I think I eventually overwound it, but I can't be positive about that.

Nowadays I find that when I wear a hand wound watch I tend to wind it more than once a day, just to stay in the flat part of the power curve. If I'm wearing it then it's no problem to give the stem a few turns.
 

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I like them both but I prefer a hand wind watch. I love the simplicity and substance of the ETA 6497/98 movements. Also, winding my watch in the morning it a little zen-like for me....I know it sounds silly but in this fast paced complicated world a little good old fashioned watch winding brings me back to a simpler time. None of my hand winds have a screw down crown (they are all push pull) so I don't have stripped threads to worry about. I have never over-wound any of my hand winds and as far as accuracy goes I find them to be just as, if not more, accurate than my autos (granted I'm not comparing daily seconds gain or loss to the atomic clock). My JOA homage and my Kobold SOA are my current faves!
 
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