Mechanical watches are wonderful – they’re aesthetically pleasing and look spectacular, they also allow us to admire and appreciate the watchmaker’s work. If you’re wanting to find out more, on the ways in which mechanical watches work as well as understand the advantages they carry over other watch movements, then stick around, because we at Lux Horology, delve into the details.
Mechanical watches have many advantages over quartz movements etc. and that’s what we’ll cover in this article today. But not only will we talk about the differences, we will also solely focus on how and why, mechanical watches are so good? So, first up is the lifespan of mechanical watches – so sit back, relax… just kidding, just have a good read and we hope you learn a thing or two.
1. THE LIFESPAN OF MECHANICAL WATCHES
Mechanical watches are the best type of movement – in terms of giving you a prosperous life as you will. They retain incredible architecture, specifically designed by expert watchmakers and designers etc. to allow for less friction, and more long-lasting lubrication.
One example of less friction, is the use of the co-axial escapement, invented by George Daniels in 1976 – and patented in 1980. The escapement uses radial friction instead of sliding friction, which actually allows for the longevity of the movement to be increased. Albeit, that the lubrication is applied correctly etc.
The components of mechanical watches are much more long-lasting than that of a quartz for example. With precious metals and brass being used in mechanical watches, whereas plastic and delicate materials being used in quartz watches, such as the coil. It’s this overview, which allows us to understand why mechanical watches last so much longer. And makes us realise why they’re so much more expensive.
Why do mechanical watches last lifetimes (if treated properly)?
– Durability of the materials
– Lubrication of components
– Handcrafted with care
– Advancing technologies e.g. innovations
We’ll cover these topics a little bit further, down below… so keep reading.
2. THE HISTORY OF MECHANICAL WATCHES
This is an important aspect of why mechanical watches are “so good”. When buying a watch there are many factors which go into the thought process, as a lot of you already know, as you’ve bought watches yourself. But to us at Lux Horology, and i’m sure a lot of you too – the history and heritage of a timepiece is just as important as the design, and the specifications it comes equipped with. Hence the reason why so many watches hold a story or have a meaning, or even pay homage to someone, or something etc.
But it’s this which drives the sales a lot of the time. A great example of this, would be the classic Omega Speedmaster Professional, it’s a cracking watch, with or without the story, but it’s the story which warms people to it. And that goes for a lot of the watches you see on the market today.
It’s not a bad thing either, it’s actually quite a sort after “thing” – having a storyline, or heritage etc. It just adds a personal touch to the watch, and carries forth that piece of history on a timekeeping device, which will no doubt, be passed down the heirloom one day.
3. ARE MECHANICAL WATCHES MORE DURABLE THAN QUARTZ?
Mechanical watches are more durable overall, that’s for sure. You’re definitely more likely to see a mechanical watch survive 50 years, rather than a quartz watch, am i right? The matter of the fact, is that the components and materials used throughout mechanical watches, are much more durable alone, just down to the fact that they’re more resistant to damage etc. For example a stainless steel component, against a plastic one? I think we can all guess which one will survive longer.
But if we’re going to get technical, then let’s talk about how mechanical and quartz watches react to knocks etc. With mechanical watches, they have jewels set in place which are different in different movements, but they’re there to protect and resist shocks etc. whereas, quartz watches don’t have as many components, but can be more compact sometimes, which can often mean they’re more shock resistant – so it can be hard to judge whether or not one is more durable than the other. Another example would be the constant movement (pun intended) in the mechanical watches, which can lead to wearing of the components. However this is far easier to repair than a quartz movement, where if one thing breaks it can cause irreparable damage. So, if we’re talking from a general overview prospective, then mechanical watches will win in terms of surviving the longest (especially if looked after properly).
At the end of the day, mechanical watches are more often than not, handcrafted and assembled, which in itself increases the price, and this alone highlights the quality difference between the two, which is why they last longer.
4. ARE MECHANICAL WATCHES GOOD TO INVEST IN?
Mechanical watches are incredibly good to invest in, and there are many reasons to invest in them. When buying a mechanical watch, in most cases the watch will retain it’s value, dependant on the condition, of course. But, if you buy a mechanical watch, and it is rare, has a well respected name within the world of watches, and it has high demand, then you’re sure to make a few pennies.
An example of this would be the stainless steel Rolex Daytona, which has a retail value of around £10,500, but a grey market value of around £30,000, which is just astounding. It just goes to show the level of play within the grey market.
The investment side of watches comes from the supply and demand aspect, as we just mentioned, but it also comes from the quality of the watches too. With higher quality materials, along with the demand, fetching for unbelievable prices. With any high quality mechanical watch, you’re going to retain that value for a long time, albeit you don’t make any money, but you don’t lose any money either. But sometimes, if you’re looking for the right watch, and do your research, you can make a good profit on any watch – if you want to find out more on the “Reasons to invest in watches”, just click here.
5. MECHANICAL WATCHES ARE ALWAYS INNOVATING AND IMPROVING
With new technology and different ways of incorporating movements within the design of watches, various watchmakers are getting very creative, and it’s these innovative designs and mechanical advancements, which bring the watch world to life.
An example of a creative watchmaker, would be Jacob & Co, who are “Trying new ways of doing things, using different materials and developing new complications are all part of Jacob & Co.’s reason for being — Jacob & Co. will never settle for being like anyone else.” This is what makes them so unique, and allows for them to stand out. But the point i’m trying to make, is that, with more watchmakers experimenting and creating new advancements, the world of mechanical watches is set to boom… even further,
The drive behind innovating and creating new watches, movements etc. is one for the watch enthusiasts and the designers and watchmakers to enjoy, but it also leaves the door open for anyone getting into the passion of watches. And a quartz watch doesn’t give you that same feeling.
6. MECHANICAL WATCHES CAN BE AFFORDABLE
A lot of the things said in this post, have been geared towards luxury mechanical watches – but it’s not all about them. As many watch brands around the world offer affordable mechanical watches. This includes, but is not subject to, Seiko, Citizen, Casio, Tissot and many more. They all hold some incredible specifications and are great brands to get started with.
This idea behind having more affordable mechanical watches is great. It allows for a new market, for beginners, or up and coming watch enthusiasts to prosper and delve into the world of watches, one watch at a time, without breaking the bank.