There is no such thing as a perfectly accurate watch but with so many luxury watch brands coming close with their own in-house mechanical calibres, it’s easy to see why automatic watch movements are dominating the industry. From the parts that are used to the testing that takes place, there are so many factors that can affect the accuracy of an automatic watch.
Because all mechanical movements are different and each vary in accuracy, we wanted to make things a little easier for you. In this handy Automatic Watch Movement Accuracy guide, you can discover all the key things to look out for in an automatic movement in order to help you narrow down only the best and most accurate.
COSC Chronometer Certification
One of the most key things to look out for in a watch is COSC chronometer certification. This stamp of approval comes from the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres, an institution that monitors and tests a timepiece to ensure it meets the precision criteria established under ISO 3159. The watch is tested for 15 days, in 5 positions at 3 different temperatures to ensure all criteria is tested and calculated. It is only when the watch has passed these tests that it can be given chronometer status.
Because they undergo so many variations of tests, chronometer watches are considered some of the most accurate in the industry. You can be sure that they will have a variation of no more or less than +6 or -4 seconds per day, something that is incredibly hard to do with standard mechanical movements. Many luxury watch brands like Breitling, Rolex and Bremont use chronometer certified movements so these are always good places to start looking.
Number of Jewels
If you ask any watchmaker out there, they will agree that one of the key components in a watch movement is the number of jewels. Friction is one of the most common reasons why a watch movement loses accuracy and when you look at a mechanical movement it is easy to see how close all the pivots, train wheels and balance staffs are to each other. So, reducing the friction between them is necessary for top performance.
One of the best ways that watchmakers reduce the friction is with the addition of jewels. Most watches now include synthetic rubies which have a rating of 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness while remaining cost-effective for both the manufacturer and the customer. Most automatic watches have around 15 to 21 jewels with some higher-end examples having up to 50. So, when you are looking into the specifications of your next dream watch, it is worth noting the number of jewels used in the movement as this can seriously affect its accuracy.
Look after your watch!
This seems like an obvious thing to bring up, but you’d be surprised how many people neglect their watches after they have worn them. You can spend all the time in the world researching what the most accurate automatic watch is and spent all your savings on your decision, but at the end of the day, if you don’t take care of your watch it will not stay accurate for long!
Just like any high-performing motor, a watch requires a service every so often to ensure its accuracy and condition is maintained. Most luxury watches are designed to last a lifetime, and this is often reflected in its price, but you wouldn’t buy a six-figure car and not expect to have it serviced. The same goes for watches.
If you are someone who wears their mechanical watch regularly but sensibly, ensures it is wound and stores it in a protective case when it is off the wrist, then we recommend you get your watch serviced every 4-5 years. However, if you only wear your mechanical watch occasionally and it tends to sit on the side encountering dust, you may want to consider servicing it every 2-3 years. This is also the case if you are someone who wears their watch regularly for sport since sudden movements, knocks and frequent water contact will take their toll.
We hope this guide helped you work out how to find the best automatic watch movements for accurate. For more information on the subject and to discover our personal choice of highly accurate automatic watches, click here.