In the past 10 years there has been a big leap forward in solar powered watches, particularly driven by Citizen Eco-drive and more recently Seiko Solar. The benefit of modern solar watches is that they are very practical, accurate and easy to maintain. So why would mechanical automatics designer watches be popular? One of the reasons in this day and age is increasingly their eco-friendly credentials. It can be argued that mechanical watches are less harmful to the environment as they have no significant chemicals in batteries and power storage cells, and that they may last longer as they can be serviced many times in their lifetime. If the right model is chosen where the movement is widespread, then the parts could be available for longer. This is where the Swiss auto’s prevail as they are synonymous with quality watches and a good system of parts availability in the future.
As we have said, if its time accuracy and ease of use then a battery powered or solar watch is for you. Automatic designer watches need winding by hand regularly and for auto’s regular wrist movement is required to energise the watch. If you don’t move enough then the occasional hand winding is necessary. This also ideally means that the watch should be worn every day or every other day. If fully wound-up they will last between 36 and 42 hours, which means that if worn on weekdays for work and taken off on Friday, then come Monday it won’t be working and will need winding-up again and the time and date re-setting.
Accuracy wise auto’s are tuned to be somewhere between a few seconds and 15 seconds gain per day. This means that over a week they may gain up to a minute. As mentioned before, auto’s can be re-tuned if they gain too much time. If this happens after the automatic designer watches is perhaps over 7 or 8 years old, it’s often best to combine this adjustment with a movement service.