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Watch Mechanics and Movements

April 23, 2020 4 min read

Watch mechanics and movements: solar, eco drive, radio controlled

When we get into the world of watchmaking, we look not only at the aesthetic, but also inside each watch, its mechanism. Currently, apart from the traditional movements, such as theKinetic, theSolar or theRadio-controlledare added.

Seiko Kinetic watches are a combination of technological innovation and the best quality. Since the first Kinetic prototype, Seiko has made it synonymous with respect for the environment, high performance and long durability.

So, what does the Seiko Kinetic movement consist of?

The idea behindSeiko Kinetic watches is the ability to convert kinetic energy into electrical energy using the natural movement of your hand, turning a rotor, which after going through a series of gears, drives the main motor of the watch. This motor converts this movement, kinetic energy, into electricity that is later stored in a very small capacitor, also called a lithium accumulator. This capacitor is like a rechargeable battery, so there is never a need to change the battery, and it always displays the time with the precision of a quartz watch.

In addition, theKinetic Perpetual models, which combine the perpetual calendar with all the benefits of the Kinetic movement, use the world's smallest (0.4mm) ultrasonic motor that shows correctly, apart from date and day, month and leap year.

Keep innovating and keep exploring new technologies in watchmaking ... With this thought appears theSeiko Astron, the world's first GPS Solar watch, the most significant advance in the world of watchmaking.

A Solar GPS watch identifies different time zones on Earth, so it automatically adjusts wherever you are. In addition, when the watch is exposed to sunlight, it will automatically receive the signals from one or more GPS satellites with an accuracy of one second every 100.000 years, that is, the differences are milliseconds. When it runs out of light, the watch stores the time of the last manual time or time zone adjustment, and when it is back on the light, the time adjustment will start automatically.

Regarding theSeiko Astron, to improve the speed and quality of the GPS connection, three independent motors are used for the hour, minute and second hands, therefore, the5X caliber, only needs three seconds to change a zone time to another.

‘The watch that never stops, wherever you are.’

The technology known today as Eco-Drive was created in 1976 byCitizen with the first analog quartz watch that works with the energy from light.

TheEco-Drive movement is designed to convert both natural and artificial light, of any intensity, into energy capable of running watches. You will never need to replace the battery; therefore, they are considered one of the greenest watches in the world. According to the Citizen company, Eco-Drive watches have eliminated the need to use more than 10 million batteries in North America. This is great news for the environment and an important step towards reducing pollution.

The operation of the Eco-Drive movement is the following:

  • Any type of light is captured through glass and the sphere, which contains photosensitive cells.
  • The solar panel of the watch converts that light into electricity by providing energy.
  • The solar cells inside the mechanism store a large amount of energy so that the watch works for years even in poorly lit areas.

It is important to note thatCitizen's Eco-Drive technology surpasses the rest for its ‘load reserve’. The vast majority of watches with Eco-Drive movement, fully charged, continue to operate for more than 6 months, even in complete darkness.

On some models, if the watch is not in the light for a long time, the hands will stop moving thanks to its power saving function. However, it will continue to operate with the precision of a quartz watch. And when it will be exposed to light, it will return to its normal movement.

Some Eco-Drive watches include additional benefits such as: insufficient charge warning, the power saving function, mentioned before and light level indicator.

In case you missed, discover more regarding the most famousCitizen collection in our blog aboutCitizen Promaster watches.

Aradio-controlled watch is one that has a radio wave receiver incorporated. It is capable of automatically synchronizing through the reception of the hourly signal emitted from a transmitting antenna. The frequencies that currently exist are mainly found in Germany, the United States, China and Japan.

One of the pioneering brands in radio-controlled watches wasJunghans who, in the late 1980s, created the first serial radio-controlled table clock. However, the German brand has made history in the 90s, with the appearance of Mega 1, the first radio-controlled wristwatch. In Europe, these watches receive the DCF77.5 longwave time signal from Germany. The clock time is synchronized daily, so the differences are milliseconds. In addition, the changes between summer and winter time, as well as the change of month, are also carried out automatically. If the watch is out of range of one of the emitters, then it works with the precision of a quartz watch.


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