Types Of Watch Movement
There are a number of movements available for watches but one of the most innovative is the Eco-Drive movement, a patented design from the Citizen Watches group. It is a watch movement that never needs a battery for the ultimate convenience - no battery to replace ever. Citizen Eco-Drive technology channels the power of light - from any natural or artificial light source - and transfers it into energy which is stored in a permanently rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Under normal conditions indoor and outdoor, there is ample exposure to light to keep the watch running forever.
The Citizen Eco-Drive's revolutionary Eco-Drive energy cell stores enough energy to power the watch up to an astonishing 5 years (depending on model) even in the dark.
There is also in most Citizen models a built in low charge warning which gives instant feedback when charging is needed. There is also a quick start function that means the watch starts up seconds after exposure to light.
How Does It Work?
Natural and artificial lights are absorbed through the crystal and dial. A special solar cell converts the natural and artificial lights into energy. Enough energy is stored to power the watch, even in the dark, for approximately 6 months or longer.
An automatic watch has a simlar movement to that of a mechanical watch, but it 'self winds' using the movement of the wearer. Therefore, automatic watches are known as mechanical watches that are self winding. The winder is retained as a feature so that the time and date can be altered manually. The movement of the wrist and body causes the rotor, a metal weight attached to a winding mechanism, to pivot freely on its staff in the center of the movement. The rotor rotates back and forth in a circular motion at the slightest action of the wrist. The rotor's movement winds the mainspring, a flat coiled spring that powers mechanical watches.
The modern rotor system automatic watch was developed by Rolex and introduced into the Oyster line as the Oyster Perpetual in 1931. Emile Borer is credited with inventing the modern rotor system. It wasn't until wristwatches became popular in the 1920's and Rolex perfected its system that automatics came into their own.
Quartz watches measures time by means of a microscopic piece of synthetic quartz. The quartz vibrates very quickly in response to an electric charge; it is these vibrations that enable the watch to keep time. Quartz watches have either an analog dial, with rotating hands, or a digital LCD display.
The tiny piece of quartz serves as the watch's "oscillator." All timepieces have an oscillator of some sort - an object which, through its continuous, unvarying motions, "tells" a watch or clock how much time has passed. The oscillator in a grandfather clock, for instance, is a pendulum.
Quartz is an ideal material to use as an oscillator. First of all, it loses very little energy as it vibrates, so the vibrations are extremely steady. Secondly, it exhibits what scientists call the "piezoelectric effect," meaning that it vibrates in response to an electric charge and, conversely, generates voltage when it vibrates. This quality is central to the way a quartz watch operates.
Here's How It Works
- The quartz oscillator receives an electrical charge from an integrated circuit, which gets its power from the watch battery. The electricity makes the quartz vibrate, or oscillate, at the rate or 32,768 times per second.
- As the quartz oscillates, it sends electrical pulses - at the same rate of 32,768 per second - back to the integrated circuit. A device called a "trimmer" regulates the quartz oscillations.
- The intergrated circuit divides the electrical pulses repeatedly until they have been reduced to a single pulse each second. The circuit is, in effect, counting the pulses and returning to zero each time the count hits 32,768.
- The one-second impulses are transmitted to a stepping motor, which transforms them into mechanical pulses that drive a chain of gears and, ultimately, the watch hands.
Kinetic is Seiko's name for a category of watches that differ from standard quartz watches in that they never need a battery change. That's because a Kinetic watch generates its own electrical power. It uses the simple motion of the wearer's arm to create electricity to run the watch. A Kinetic watch has the same, extremely high accuracy as a standard quartz watch, accurate to within 15 seconds per month. Kinetic represents one of the most technologically advanced energy generation and storage technology available for watches. It has two major advantages over standard quartz technology.
For most people, the greatest advantage is convenience. With a kinetic watch the battery will never need replacing. Worn regularly, a Kinetic watch will never stop; it continually generates and stores electricity. Consequently, it is virtually maintenance free.
Another major advantage of Kinetic technology is that it is environmentally friendly. Kinetic watches use clean, natural energy - the motion of the wearer's arm - to generate electricity.
Kinetic Auto Relay Movement
The Kinetic Auto Relay watch has a patented power save function, which puts it into a 'sleep mode' in order to save energy. If the watch is stationary for 72 hours, it automatically kicks in to a 'power save mode', which prevents excess energy consumption if the watch is unused for a long period. In that mode, the hands stop moving but the watch's inner circuits constantly keep track of the time for as long as the watch is stationary, literally for years.
If the watch is fully charged when it becomes stationary, it will continue to track the time for four years. If you pick up the watch and shake it once or twice at any time within the four-year period, the watch 'wakes up' and the watch's hands are reactivated. The shaking motion triggers a Time Relay function, in which the watch's timekeeping 'brain', which has been continually keeping time, relays the exact time automatically to the hands, hence the name Auto Relay. The hour and minute hands, driven by a high-speed step motor, spin around until they display the exact current time.