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The Beginner’s Guide to Watch Movements

The movement of a watch is the technology that makes the hands move. But this simple action requires masterful craftsmanship. Keep reading to learn more about watch movements!

The Beginner’s Guide to Watch Movements

What’s in a watch? A movement. But what is it that a movement requires to make the parts go? The answer might be more complex than you imagined. After all, digital watches aren’t the same as mechanical, and automatic movements aren’t the same as manual.

A good rule of thumb for finding a quality watch begins with understanding the concept of COSC certification. The COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres) is a Swiss organization that tests movements for exceptional timekeeping quality down to the millisecond—ensuring that customers get the highest-quality timepieces possible. Here at Golden Tree Jewellers, we take pains to make sure that the timepieces we offer our customers live up to the horological standards of the COSC.

Mechanical Movements

Omega De Ville Watch

The mechanical watch movement is one that utilizes a spring-based mechanism to turn other gears and smaller springs. This movement, historically the springboard for other styles of movement, still retains a certain mystique thanks to the artistic quality of the mechanical parts put together and working in unison.

Since mechanical watches are less precise than quartz watches, mechanical watches are treasured nowadays for their aesthetic quality and the durability to last for generations. Particularly with collections like the De Ville line of Omega watches, a mechanical movement creates a timepiece that can be passed down with only a little maintenance.

Quartz Movements

Longines La Grande Classique

Having their origin in 1969, the quartz movement utterly revolutionized the world of watchmaking. By using a battery to pump electricity through a small piece of quartz, a sensor can record the regular vibrations of the crystal and translate that to timekeeping. While quartz movements were resisted for many years by the Swiss horologists, they’ve found acceptance due to their ultra-precise timekeeping, affordability, and durability.

The benefit of today’s watchmaking environment is that quartz movements aren’t reserved for cheap supermarket watches anymore. Even luxury designers like Longines have worked quartz movements into some of their top-shelf collections, such as the La Grande Classique line.

Automatic Movements

Rado Watch Hyperchrome

The automatic movement is a variant on the mechanical movement. While the automatic watch is designed with the same intricate inner world of springs and gears, it includes some form of pivoting weight attached to a ratchet. This ratchet is connected to the mainspring of the timepiece and collects kinetic energy to “self-wind” with every movement of a wrist.

Many of the collections we offer here at Golden Tree Jewellers, including the Hyperchrome collection of Rado watches and the Sevenfriday M-Series collection, are designed with various styles of automatic movement in mind.

Electromechanical Movements

The electromechanical movement was designed to bridge the gap between the utility of quartz and the timelessness of mechanical movements. Rather than using a traditional mainspring-balance bar system to count out time, the electromechanical watch uses a battery and quartz to power the gears and springs found in mechanical movements—essentially using the same power, but from a different source. Here at Golden Tree Jewellers, we carry many different styles of electromechanical watches from top designers like Omega and Tissot.

Find Luxury Watches and More at Golden Tree Jewellers


When you’re looking for the top watches in the industry, browse the watch finder on the Golden Tree Jewellers website today! And remember that no matter what your jewellery repair or watch repair needs are, Golden Tree Jewellers is here to help you. If you’d like to find out more, contact us at (604) 530-7221 or visit our Langley, British Columbia showroom!

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