Posted: Nov 01 2018
Watches are one of the last things that stick to one particular function: time. Even if they have a date or stopwatch feature, their whole existence is to serve as a time keeper. They don't have to muddy the water with other gimmicks or yearly releases (Apple watch not included) and rely on an old school technological basis. Watches are inherently a traditional piece because the way they operate hasn't changed much over time however they have different ways in which they operate. When choosing a watch at Reserve Supply you can go with a couple different options on movement, either a mechanical or quartz movement.
The simplest way to categorize the two is how they are powered. One requires a battery and one doesn't. In a quartz movement the watch is powered by a battery and regulated by a small quartz crystal. When an electrical current is run through the crystal it vibrates at an almost perfect constant frequency. This is what makes a quartz movement watch keep very precise time and since there aren't many moving parts to the system, they are durable, lightweight and easy to maintain. You'll have to change the battery every couple of years with a quartz movement but they are a solid daily go-to option and will be reliable. For example, Shinola's Argonite movement on their classic Runwell is a Swiss quartz movement and uses a battery.
If you're mechanic minded and curious as to how things function, you may be more into an automatic watch. Automatic watches don't run on a battery. They rely on an intricate system of cogs and springs to keep time and all they need is the daily motion of the wearer to do it. The movement is powered by a mainspring, specifically created set of wheels, and rotor weight. When you wear an automatic watch your natural movements spin that rotor weight and that winds up the mainspring. It's the unwinding of the spring that keeps time and there are no batteries or manual winding required. Sometimes automatic watches will have a clear piece on the back to put the mechanical movement on display. There are more moving parts at work in an automatic watch so they sometimes may have a heavier case and not as precise than a quartz but it's their tradition and the fact that they never need batteries that keeps their fans around.
No one in 2018 needs a watch. We are in an age of phones and screens that can give you the time of day whenever you need it. The phrase "do you have the time" has fallen out of practice and if asked most people will reach for their phone, push a button to turn it on, and tell you. Watches are functional nostalgia that don't require a button or constant new technology, they just need a glance and a bit of admiration. Stop by the shop and see our selection of watches, talk about them with us, or teach us some more.