New to watches? Just picked up your first automatic timepiece? Then you may be wondering: what is an automatic watch, and exactly how does it work? Let's get into it:


As its name suggests, an automatic watch is a timepiece that’s powered automatically. More specifically, it’s powered by you. Rather than requiring manual winding, an automatic watch is built with a self-winding movement that relies on kinetic energy to run. To put it simply: every time you move your wrist while wearing your automatic watch, you’re powering it.


Understanding Automatic Watches

Automatic watches are built with a small metal weight known as a rotor, which spins and automatically winds as you move your wrist throughout the day. As the rotor spins, it winds the mainspring, which serves as a power reserve and powers your watch. Excess energy in the mainspring is stored and used when the watch is not being worn. Although, it’s important to remember that this stored energy will deplete over time, so it’s best to wear your watch often to keep it running.


If you haven’t worn your automatic watch in a while and it’s no longer running, simply wind the crown until you feel a slight resistance, much like you would with a hand-wound watch. This will tighten the mainspring, and the tighter you wind it, the more potential energy your watch will store.


Benefits of Owning an Automatic Watch

The main benefit of owning an automatic watch is that it doesn’t require a battery. This means one less battery for you to worry about changing and one less battery ending up in our landfills—a major perk for both you and our planet.


Automatic watches are also favored for their craftsmanship and artistry when compared to quartz (battery-powered) watch movements. The assembly of gears and springs in an automatic watch movement requires expert precision, and many automatic movements even include components known as jewels. These synthetic rubies act as bearings, ensuring smooth timekeeping and longevity. In higher-end models, you’ll often find a minimum of 21 jewels used in the movement.


How to Care for your Automatic Watch

Automatic watches love to be on the move! If you let your automatic watch sit around too long without wearing it, it may stop ticking and will lose its accuracy. So, make sure to show it some love by wearing it often. Alternatively, you can invest in a quality watch winder. This special mechanism will carefully rotate your watch in a way that mimics the natural movement of your wrist to power your watch while you’re not wearing it.


Choosing the Right Automatic Watch

When choosing the right automatic watch, there are a few key things to keep in mind to ensure you find a timepiece you’ll enjoy:


  • Type of automatic movement: Research the different movement types like Swiss or Japanese, and consider factors such as accuracy, power reserve, and durability. The movement is the engine of your watch, so you want it to be top-notch.
  • Quality: Pay attention to details like the case material (stainless steel, titanium, etc.), the quality of the dial and hands, and the material of the bracelet or strap. A well-made watch will not only look better but also last longer.
  • Style and Design: Your watch should be an extension of your personal style. Consider the case size and shape, dial design and color, and the type of bracelet or strap that goes well with your everyday look. With automatic watches spanning from sporty to dressy, there's surely one out there that's got your name on it.


        The Evolution of Automatic Watches from Timex

        In 1958, Timex made a significant move in the watch industry by launching its first line of automatic watches, known as the Viscount collection. This release marked Timex's entry into the growing market for self-winding timepieces, reflecting the brand’s reputation of innovation in the field of watchmaking.

        Why Choose Timex for your Automatic Watches?

        Timex has a 170-year-old legacy in watchmaking, and over the years, we've established a reputation for producing reliable and durable timepieces at accessible prices. This makes our automatic watches — specifically our iconic mid-century Marlin collection — a great option if you're looking for exceptional craftsmanship at a fair price.


        Key Takeaway

        All in all, automatic watches are loved mainly for their fine craftsmanship and ease of maintenance. Take care of it, wear it often, or give it a wind now and then, and you've got yourself a timepiece that's in it for the long haul.


        We’ve picked a couple of our favorites below, but if none of them suit your style, feel free to shop our full collection of automatic watches to find one that speaks to you.




        • TW2W47600 M79 Automatic 40mm Synthetic Rubber Strap Watch Primary Image
          M79 Automatic 40mm Synthetic Rubber Strap Watch
          40 mm Stainless Steel/Stainless Steel
        • Marlin® Automatic 40mm Leather Strap Watch
          Marlin® Automatic 40mm Leather Strap Watch
          40 mm Brown/Stainless Steel
        • Marlin® Automatic 40mm Leather Strap Watch
          Marlin® Automatic 40mm Leather Strap Watch
          40 mm Black/Stainless Steel
        • Tiburón Automatic 44mm Synthetic Rubber Strap Watch
          Tiburón Automatic 44mm Synthetic Rubber Strap Watch
          44 mm Red/Gunmetal
        • TW2W12700 Giorgio Galli S2 Automatic 38mm Primary Image
          Giorgio Galli S2 Automatic 38mm
          38 mm Black/Stainless Steel/Black
        • TW2V61900ZV Marlin® Sub-Dial Automatic 39mm Leather Strap Watch primary image
          Marlin® Sub-Dial Automatic 39mm Leather Strap Watch
          39 mm Blue/Stainless Steel/Silver-Tone

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