How a Mechanical Watch Works

I’m one of those ever more rare individuals who always wears a wristwatch. While I could just reach for my cell phone every time I wanted to know the time that isn’t my idea of practical nor desirable. Even as a young kid I was always fascinated with wristwatches, especially mechanical ones (quartz ones may be more accurate and the watch I wear most often, my Tissot T-Touch, may be quartz but my heart has always been with mechanicals). It’s a feat of human ingenuity to get all those little gears, springs, and jewel bearings running together in such in a way that allows us to accurately tell the passage of time. If you’ve ever taken a mechanical movement apart you can’t help but appreciate the engineering that went into its design and construction.

With that said I also enjoy those old videos that explain how things work. Needless to say I came across this gem, an old video that has to be from the ’50’s or ’60’s explaining how mechanical watches work. It’s actually does a very good job of explaining the concept (it seems older videos were much more straight forward and expressed their point clearer than modern videos usually do so they’re often better in my opinion):

For those of you wondering why I’m posting content about watches on my blog realize this is my blog and I will post what I want. It’s always fun to drive off of the beaten path and post things that have nothing to do with my usual content of guns and libertarianism.

2 thoughts on “How a Mechanical Watch Works”

  1. Watches are super fascinating to me, too. And to think they were making pocket watches some 300 years ago. And the way they went about making such tiny mechanical devices was crazy. Or, the solutions to little problems they found, such as Breguet’s tourbillon counteracting gravity by placing the escapement and balance wheel inside a little rotating cage to prevent the watch’s movement from getting stuck or slowing down.


    Incidentally, Breguets are some of the fanciest, most expensive watches among watch snobs.

    1. “Yeah, it’s a Rolex. 50th anniversary Submariner, hence the green accents.”

    2. “Mine’s a Breguet.”

    3. “….Oh.”

  2. my 10 year old daughter is doing project in school on mechanical watches and she loved this posting on your blog. She now understands the working of the watch Thank you

Comments are closed.