How to Choose a Watch – Mechanical Watches – Part Two

This is part two of the How to Choose a Watch series. In this segment we our main topic still revolves around watch movements and in this article, we go into detail about mechanical watches and the pros and cons that go with owning a mechanical watch.

Mechanical Movements

A mechanical watch has a movement that is powered by a mainspring. The mainspring is a coiled metal wire that is wound up by hand. Once wound, the mainspring will evenly unwind slowly. When it does, it causes the second hand on the watch to move in a sweeping motion around the face of the watch. Mainsprings tend to be around 9 – 13 inches in length. The longer the mainspring, the longer the mechanical watch’s power reserve will be. Which means the longer you can go without having to have the watch wounded again.

When it comes to mechanical movements they are not all packed in the same wrapping paper with the same bows. Meaning, not all movements are equal. Attention to detail and the craftsmanship behind mechanical movements will determine just how smooth and accurate the mechanical watch will be.

For some collectors, mechanical movement watches present the cream of the crop when it comes to timepieces. This is due to tradition and the amount of time, intricate work, and feat of engineering that must go into creating one. For these collectors, owning a mechanical timepiece is not just about knowing the time, it is a work of an art, appreciation to the engineering behind one, the history and of course the craftsmanship behind the timepiece.

The Pros of Mechanical Watches

  • No battery is required with mechanical watches. Since they are powered by a hand-wound mainspring, a mechanical watch will never need to have its battery replaced, as there is none.  Whenever the watch stops ticking, it just needs to be wound up.


  • Smooth movement of the hands. For some, the smooth sweeping movements associated with mechanical watches is more aesthetically pleasing than that of quartz watches.


  • It’s a statement. The amount of craftmanship, hours and engineering behind a mechanical watch is fascinating. Inside the watch are hundreds of very small gears and springs that all work in unison to give you the time. Some mechanical watches may not show off the insides, however, that is part of the charm. A watchmaker has spent countless hours perfecting the mechanisms that are hidden from the eye.


  • For some owners, one of the appeals of owning a mechanical watch is the fact that it must be hand-wound in order for it to keep track of time. The ritual behind this being done day in and day out is what is pleasing.


Cons of Mechanical Watches

  • If you are not one of those who finds having to continually wind a watch appealing then this of course could be considered a con. Mechanical watch mainsprings typically can go up to two days without the need of winding. However, it is recommended that they be wound once a day.


  • Like automatic watches, mechanical watches are also sensitive to the environment due the amounts of small and intricate springs and gears that are involved in its movement. These components are sensitive to the environment. Moisture, dust, impact shock, and magnets can spell trouble for any mechanical watch. Thankfully, and most rightfully so, modern day innovations and designs have made modern mechanical watches more able to withstand these elements. However, care should still be taken.


  • They are not completely accurate. Whereas, a finely crafted mechanical watch has the ability to keep time with a 99.99% accuracy rate. With age, a mechanical watch will begin to lose that accuracy. When this happens, you will need to take it to a jeweler and have it tuned-up. While on that subject, mechanical watches, whether they show symptoms or not should be taken in for a tune-up every four to five years anyhow.


  • Mechanical watches are expensive. The amount of manual labor, engineering, and craftsmanship behind a mechanical watch is going to cost quite a bit extra. While there are many mechanical watches that can be found below four figures, most are going to cost four figures or more.


Next, we will go into detail about the final watch movement, which is quartz. Of the three movements, quartz is not only the simplest but also the least expensive. Continue reading on to learn more about How to choose a watch.


About Matheu’s Fine Watches & Jewelry

Matheu’s Fine Watches & Jewelry has been providing quality products and professional services to the metropolitan Denver, CO area since 1951.  The very first watch repair and service facility ever opened in Colorado. Dan Matheu, watchmaker, pioneered watch repair and services in Colorado.  Today, Scott Matheu is at the helm steering Matheu’s Fine Watches & Jewelry. With his vision, Scott opened a watch store in Highlands Ranch and has made Matheu’s Fine Watches & Jewelry not only one of the largest watch stores to provide watch repair in Aurora, CO but also the entire state.

Whether you need watch repair in Aurora, CO, watch engraving, or even if you have an antique watch that you would like appraised, you can count on Matheu’s Fine Watches & Jewelry to provide you with superior service each and every single time. All of our watchmakers are factory trained and we have CW21 Certified by the American Watchmakers and Clockmakers Institute (AWCI) on site. This certification has the most stringent standards for watchmakers performing repair, restoration, and service work on watches. With one of the largest service centers in the metropolitan Denver, CO we are not only able to provide watch repair in Aurora, CO but to the entire 50 states as well.

Matheu’s Fine Watches & Jewelry is also a factory authorized service center for Cartier, Tag Heuer, Philip Stein, Swiss Army and many more brands. When you use Matheu’s Fine Watches & Jewelry for your watch repair in Aurora, CO, you can rest assured knowing that you will receive our (3) three-year warranty on major watch repairs that we provide. If you are looking for the best watch repair service center throughout the United States, you cannot go wrong when you choose Matheu’s Fine Watches & Jewelry. With certifications from not only AWCI but SAWTA too, we not only stand out from the pact; we lead it.