I guess many people don’t understand it deeply. A manual movement, frequently called a hand-wound movement, is the oldest type of watch movement made, dating back to the 16th century. It requires daily winding in order to work. Manual movements are the most traditional movements and are usually found in very conservative, expensive, and collectable watches. So let's take a closer look at it.

Components of the manual movement:

Crown

The wheel on the side of the watch that is used to set time. It can also be turned to wind the watch to run.

Mainspring

The power source of the movement. The kinetic energy from winding the crown is transferred to the coil-shaped mainspring, which stores the energy by getting tighter and tighter.

Gear Train

Transmits the stored energy from the mainspring to the escapement through a series of small gears.

Escapement

Acts like a brake, taking the energy transmitted from the mainspring through the gear train and pushing it out into equal, regular parts.

Balance Wheel

The heart of the movement, receiving the energy to run from the escapement. The balance wheel beats, or oscillates, in a circular motion between five and ten times per second. A watchmaker can make the balance wheel oscillate faster or slower, which in turn makes the watch run faster or slower.

Dial Train

Another series of gears that transmit the regulated, equally metered energy from the balance wheel to the hands of the watch, making them move.

Jewels

Synthetic rubies that are set at points of high friction, like the center of a gear that is constantly in motion. Used as bearings to reduce metal-to-metal friction and wear, they improve performance and accuracy. Rubies are used because they absorb heat well and are extremely hard.

If you purchase a manual watch, you need to pay attention to these points.

  • Daily winding is required.
  • When winding a manual watch, it should be wound until there is a feeling of tension or tightness on the crown. If it is wound past this point, damage to the movement may occur.
  • Remove the watch from the wrist prior to winding or setting. Failure to do so will cause damage to the movement, crown, and stem.
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