Reference Library

How does the electronic watch movement work?

Watches can be a great way to tell time and can serve as an excellent fashion accessory. While watches have decreased in popularity with the advent of cellphones and smartphones, they are still popular with many people. The following guide explores how the electronic movement in a watch works.

Before discussing electronic watch movements, it’s essential to understand the history of watch movement mechanisms. The goal of watch movements is to create an action that takes a unique amount of time to complete. This amount of time must not vary with heat, humidity, vibrations and other environmental conditions.

Early clocks used a pendulum to create distinct units of time. Since it takes a pendulum a certain amount of time to swing back and forth, grandfather clocks could often be accurate to within +/- one second every day. However, it was challenging for watchmakers to find an effective way to shrink the pendulum motion of a grandfather clock into a package small enough to fit on one’s wrist.

In 1780, the first pocket watch was invented. Early pocket watches contained a specialized disc that would spin at a constant speed. As the disc would spin, a small spring would be stretched. Once this spring stretched a certain amount, the disc would reverse in direction. This process would continue until the winding mechanism in the watch lost all tension.

While these types of mechanisms did provide a high degree of accuracy under the right conditions, the springs contained in these types of watches would often break down over time. This could cause the movement of a watch to increase or decrease. In addition, environmental conditions like heat and humidity could also have a negative impact on the movement of a watch. Many watchmakers realized that their pocket watches would increase in speed when the weather was warm and would decrease in speed when the weather was cold.

Modern watches are able to avoid all these problems by measuring the precise movement of a quartz crystal. When a quartz crystal has an electric current sent through it, it will vibrate at a certain frequency. This frequency will remain the same regardless of environmental conditions.

Through the use of specialized detectors, it’s possible for researchers to measure time very accuracy with a quartz crystal.

Watchmaking can be a rewarding career for many students and young adults. By studying the fine art of watching, it’s easy to find time for a great financial future. If you wish to work for the brands featured on LWW, you should ensure that the watchmaking course you enroll on is WOSTEP Certified, as this is a guarantee that the watchmaking course is of a standard to meet with these brands requirements for their service center and repair staff.