3 Interesting Facts on Manual Winding Watches

If you are looking for the best watches for men, you will find that there are usually three types of watch movements that you can buy from: manual winding, automatic and quartz. While manual winding watches are less popular with young working professionals who are constantly looking for the best dress watches, they are popular with middle age men who enjoy a little sign of character on their wrists.

Due to the lack of rotor, manual winding movements are generally thinner than automatic movements. Perhaps due to that, they are often featured in minimalist watches. In this article we’re going to provide three interesting facts on manual winding watches, and explain just why their popularity hasn’t waned, even though they are more than a couple of hundred years old.


Perhaps you might be aware that the first manual hand winding movements first came into existence in pocket watches during 1500s. However, do you know that the early watches were terribly inaccurate? In those days, a watch could vary 15 to 20 minutes per day and still be considered as a good timepiece. While their accuracy were less than desired, they played important roles in many industries. It wasn’t until 1760 where the accuracy of manual winding movements were tuned to a comfortable precision of a few seconds in a single day.


In a manual winding watch, the owner needs to wind the watch every few days in order for it to be operational depending on its power reserve. If the owner forgets to wind the watch up when required, the watch will stop working, requiring the owner to reset the time.

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You might initially cringe on the idea of doing such a painful chore every few days, but the truth is many watch connoisseurs actually enjoy doing so. Through powering the watch movement through their own effort, many feel that manual winding watches are arts of machinery and possess “souls” compared to the quartz watches.


With the introduction of automatic watches in the 1970s, manual wound watches gradually become less popular and favored during that time due to the fact that automatic watches were much more convenient. It wasn’t until the late 20th century when manual winding watches found its way back to the horology world.

Today, manual winding watches remain popular among watch collectors but are probably not sought after by collectors in the same way that manual hand winding watches are. Manual winding watches represent a history of more than 500 years of craftsmanship, expertise and refinement and are well-loved by vintage watch collectors for their legacy. This is probably why most of the unique vintage watches are powered by manual winding movements.

Today, many men watch brands still feature manual winding movements in their watches such as Panerai and Nomos. Most manual winding watch lovers enjoy different 22mm leather watch straps to bring out different flavors and character of their timepieces. Which manual winding watches do you love? Be sure to let us know in the comment section below.