How does a pocket watch work?

The pocket watch has long been the standard, but even after the invention of the wristwatch in 1810 by Berguet, it remained fashionable and very popular with lovers of fine watches. It is, indeed, an object that allows to know the time, but it is also an accessory of fashion and refinement.

A manual, automatic or quartz movement

The oldest gusseted watches are equipped with manual winding movements. The energy the watch needs to run is provided by a mainspring that must be contracted by turning a crown. This is known as manual winding, which must be carried out at a variable frequency depending on the watch model.

There are also pocket watches with automatic movements that work in the same way as the previous ones, but which wind themselves when worn. This is possible thanks to an additional part, the rotor. This is a weight that, as it swings from left to right with the natural movements of the wearer, compresses the mainspring and winds the watch.

Less interesting, quartz pocket watches are more recent and work thanks to a battery that sends electrical impulses to make the quartz vibrate. The vibrations are transmitted to a circuit board that translates them into hand movements.

How to wind a mechanical pocket watch?

Older pocket watches are wound with a key that fits into a keyhole on the back of the case. To wind the watch, simply insert the key and turn it clockwise until you feel a slight resistance.

Older pocket watches are wound with a crown. The crown can have three positions: up, to set the time, down, to wind the mechanism and halfway up, to set the date. To wind the pocket watch, simply place the crown in the down position and turn it clockwise until you feel some resistance.

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