5 Reasons to Love Mechanical Watches

Rolex Cosmograph "Pre-Daytona" ref. 6240

In your search for a watch, you’ve likely come across the three primary types of movement built into wristwatches which are quartz, automatic, and mechanical. The oldest developed movement is mechanical, which has been crafted and perfected ever since the first mechanical clocks were invented in the 14th century. Read on to see the value of present-day mechanical watches, and why they continued to be revered by collectors over the other two calibers.

What makes mechanical watches different from an automatic or quartz?

A quartz caliber watch is powered by a battery and quartz crystal. It’s often mass-produced, thus cheaper than automatic or mechanical watches. While quartz caliber has accurate timekeeping methods, these watches don’t move as smoothly as automatic or mechanical. The way it’s powered also means that you have to throw away the battery and obtain a new one every few years.

Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Septantieme LE Rose Gold Mens Watch 240.2.19 Q3002420

Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Septantieme ref. Q3002420

Automatic watches are powered by the motion of the wearer’s arm through an intricate engineering system. Mechanical watches are different from this in that the spring must be manually wound up for movement. They have no circuitry or battery, they are simply built out of handmade craftsmanship that keeps them running for ages.


Why do collectors continue to buy them, and why should you?

Mechanical watches have a classic charm to them that simply can’t be topped by quartz-caliber watches. Although the quartz caliber is more accurate, the mechanical movement shows impressive feats of engineering through its complex system. Now, with the ease of seeing accurate times on a cell phone, watches are often appreciated more for their aesthetics and craftsmanship. Collectors appreciate mechanical watches because of their design and durability that can translate to being passed down through generations.

Patek Philippe Annual Calendar 5035

Patek Philippe Annual Calendar ref. 5035


What is a Mechanical Watch?

A mechanical watch simply refers to the movement that’s been constructed into the watch. Mechanical watches need to be wound up, unlike the quartz which uses a battery, and the automatic which uses the motion from the wearer’s arm.

A mechanical watch operates through the wound mainspring which operates the balance wheel. The hands move at a consistent rate through this. A ticking noise can sometimes be heard in mechanical watches although they move at a constant rate unlike quartz watches.


5 Reasons to Love Mechanical Watches

1.   Craftsmanship

One of the top reasons why people love mechanical watches is the craftsmanship that goes into them. There’s a reason why mechanical watches are known to be more expensive than other options. Showing up at a social event with a high-quality mechanical watch on your wrist will certainly make a statement. Wearing a mechanical watch demonstrates that you care about quality.

Jaeger LeCoultre Mechanical watch

Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Septantieme ref. Q3002420

Mass-produced quartz watches can’t even be compared to the amount of craftsmanship and care that goes into creating a mechanical watch. When it comes to watches, you often get what you pay for. The pricier a watch is, the more advanced engineering went into creating the mechanical watch. These complex movements truly stand out among other types of watches, and the mechanical movement has been developed for a long time.


2.   Longevity

Compared to quartz watches, which may only last up to ten years due to the production methods used, the mechanical caliber is long-lasting. These watches created with the best quality materials last a long time, often even long enough to be passed down through generations.

Patek Philippe Caliber 27-70 mechanical watch movement

Patek Philippe Caliber 27-70 Movement

The grades and springs of mechanical watches are top quality, and if you’re consistent in maintenance, then they won’t degrade as quickly. Though they require more maintenance than quartz watches, when they are kept up, mechanical watches will have unmatched longevity when taken care of.


3.   Heritage

Due to the long history of mechanical watches, when you purchase one you’re getting something with a long heritage behind it. Many years have passed since the first mechanical clock was invented and displayed for the public to see, but the mechanical movement has continued to develop to a high quality.

All photos are of the actual watch in stock Patek Philippe Complications Annual Calendar Yellow Gold Watch 5035 5035j

Patek Philippe Complications Annual Calendar ref. 5035G

While you can find a nice quartz watch that will last for a while, it’s rarer to purchase a quartz watch that’s fifty to seventy years old. You could purchase a mechanical watch from the 1900s that will still work well and continue to last many more years.


4.   Overall Quality

As you can tell from the other positives of mechanical watches, the overall quality of mechanical watches is excellent. There’s quite a difference between the seconds hand motion of the quartz watch and the mechanical watch.

Blancpain Villeret Perpetual Calendar 8 Days Rose Gold Watch 6659

Blancpain Villeret Perpetual Calendar ref. 6659

Due to the intricate system and engineering of a mechanical watch, the seconds hand moves smoothly. Quartz watches tend to tick and seem to move instantly to the next second. This changes the aesthetics between the two watches, with the mechanical caliber often considered to be superior.


5.   Value Appreciation

Mechanical watches hold their value over time. Purchasing the right mechanical watch can be a great investment because the price will often rise with inflation. With all the work and quality materials that go into making mechanical watches, it’s easy to see why the value stays the same or even potentially increases.

Rolex Daytona 6240

Rolex Cosmograph “Pre-Daytona” ref. 6240

Even simple mechanical watches have about 150 parts without complications such as a chronograph. More complex mechanical watches have even more intricate systems utilizing more parts. This complexity certainly helps with the inherent value that’s in a mechanical watch.


Mechanical Watches – Final Thoughts

Although quartz watches are more accurate, their mass-produced quality can never compare to the craftsmanship of mechanical watches. There are many reasons to love mechanical watches, as agreed by the various collectors of this caliber.

Mechanical watches are derived from a long history, and they have reached higher levels of craftsmanship than ever before. If you get a quality mechanical watch, you can also be certain that the value will appreciate over time. This is always something to consider when making a large purchase.

If you’re ready to get your own mechanical watch after hearing all the reasons to love them, then check out our vast collection of quality watches from nearly 40 of the world’s best watch brands. Go to SwissWatchExpo.com to discover a wide array of new and pre-owned mechanical watches.

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