Why Are Mechanical Watches Pricey?
We now live in a technologically-advanced world and most of our preferred timepieces are made of digital displays. Truth be told, digital watches are actually the most accurate timepieces out there mainly because they are not hindered by mechanical or moving parts.
Digital watches, you could say, are redundant thanks in no small part to smartphones and tablets that we use on a daily basis.
In your quest to find a suitable watch to wear every day, you might find that there are still some mechanical watches being offered, even by luxury watchmaking companies.
In fact, luxury watches are already quite synonymous with mechanical watches mainly because brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe are mostly making them (among many other brands).
But, why is this dated timepiece still the preferred watch among enthusiasts and watchmaking companies alike? And, why are they pricey despite its rather old technology?
How They Operate
Digital watches operate using some sort of battery and that is why they are more accurate when it comes to telling the time. Mechanical watches, on the other hand, operate using a couple of springs and gears.
To help you better understand the difference in terms of how they operate, I may have to explain it in a horological sense.
Quartz watches are lumped with digital watches in the sense that they vastly operate using a battery. The term ‘Quartz’ actually refers to the quartz crystal that is used in most inexpensive watches.
When a powerful enough charge is supplied to the quartz crystal, it will start to resonate thanks to its piezoelectric material. They are pretty accurate in that the COSC even marks the most inexpensive quartz watches to be more accurate than most mechanical watches, due to the fact that they lose more or less just 25 seconds a year.
Mechanical watches operate in a much different way. Regardless of whether or not it has a self-winding mechanism or it is wounded manually, a mechanical watch operates using a series of different springs and gears that are powered mainly by kinetic energy.
For instance, if we are talking about automatic watches, they are powered by your natural movements and so long as you are moving, its mechanism will keep the watch powered for a considerable amount of time. Typically, they have a built-in power reserve that stores kinetic energy to help power the watch even if you are not wearing it.
Because of the more intricate nature of mechanical watches, that is one of the main reasons why it is more expensive than your conventional Quartz watches.
Keep in mind that because it relies mainly on springs and gears, mechanical watches are less accurate in telling the time than their counterparts.
Why, Then, Are they Expensive?
Despite the fact that they are less accurate timepieces than an inexpensive Quartz watch, you are pretty much wearing a piece of history. You see, the first-ever wristwatch is a mechanical watch and it is made in a time where technological advancements, in terms of watch refinement, didn’t exist.
Aside from that, most luxury watchmaking companies tend to create mechanical watches. There are even some where they are fitted with precious jewels and crystals that can instantly up the price.
But more importantly, it is just the engineering aspect of it. Sure, it is not as accurate as you want it to be, especially for the long term, but just how it works will make you appreciate watches more than anything else.