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Intro and question

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  • Intro and question

    Thought I better finally introduce myself to the forum. I'm a newbie jafa watch enthusiast, recently introduced to the world of mechanical watches by a mate. I own a few quartz watches, including Tag purchased circa 1996, and a Raymond Weil and Rado Dynastar inherited from the late old man. Did a bit of swotting up and pulled the trigger on an Omega Speedmaster automatic at end of 2011. Love the chronograph complications etc. I have recently acquired a lovely Orient Star World Time from Hammers (thanks Bryn, the watch looks great, and you were a pleasure to trade with :D ). I am learning a lot from the many watch enthusiasts on this forum and am hoping to make it along to the Auckland gathering next Friday.

    I'm starting to get my head around the various terminology used in the watch world (thanks to the good folk here at TK) however I am confused by the difference between "mechanical", "manual" and "automatic". My understanding is that both manual and automatic are mechanical ie. not quartz/battery powered, and that manual means hand-wound, while automatic is wound by movement of the wearers arm? Yet in some quarters, it would seem that mechanical refers only to manual?

    Hope someone is able to assist - apologies if this is a bit of a dumb question.

    Cheers Steve.

  • #2
    Hi Steve

    Welcome to the forum. You got it pretty much spot on but as for confusion, there is plenty of that to go around. Stick around long enough and you will know what I mean.

    Look forward to meeting you on Friday night, once we work out where it will be.

    'I hope, when i die, my wife doesn't sell my watches for what I told her I paid for them.'


    • #3
      Welcome mate and hopefully see you at Father Ted's Friday

      Mechanical watches are either manually wound or automatically wound... an automatic may or may not also be able to manually wind.

      There are a few weird ones, 'cross-overs if you like for example the movements which use an automatic winding module not to charge a mainspring but to power up a storage cell an example of this is the Seiko Kenetic range.

      My Spring Drive Seiko 5R66 is another weird on if you gawk at it's movement is looks like an ordinary automatic mechanical but it is not as it has no balance - just becuase I think the movement is interesting here you go:

      Spring Drive in numbers:

      • 0.025 mm. The thickness of each layer of alloy in the coil block.
      • 1 second a day accuracy, 10 times better than the chronometer mechanical standard.
      • 3 types of energy are controlled by the Tri-synchro regulator: mechanical, electrical and electro-magnetic.
      • 5 craftsmen and women. Only Seiko’s 5 most skilled craftsmen and women are entrusted with the assembly of Spring Drive.
      • 8 times per second. The precise speed at which the glide wheel turns within the electro-magnetic braking system.
      • 13 generations of prototype were built in the development phases.
      • 15 microns . The width of the wire in the Tri-synchro regulator’s coil.
      • 18 layers of amorphous alloy in the coil block.
      • 25 nanowatts. The minute amount of power needed to activate the regulator, less than half that needed in all other watch circuits.
      • 28 years of research and development invested in the project.
      • 30 percent improvement in winding efficiency achieved through the improved Magic Lever system.
      • 30 jewels in the movement. 32 in the small second hand version.
      • 72 hours of power reserve.
      • 92 years since Seiko built its first wristwatch.
      • 124 years of Seiko's expertise in time keeping.
      • 230 patents have been applied for in Japan, USA and the EU.
      • 276 components in the movement. 280 in the small second hand version.
      • 600 actual prototypes were built between 1997 and 2004.
      • 25,000. The number of times the coil is wound, for maximum energy efficiency.
      • 28,800. The number of times the glide wheel turns per hour.

      Timekeeper Watch Club
      Auckland, New Zealand, Pacific Ocean, Earth