How Do Automatic Watches Store Energy | Discover The Secret Behind This!

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The popularity of automatic wrist watches doesn’t seem to have any bounds at the moment. This is because they provide some excellent features that are not available in conventional battery watches. For instance, they work automatically without the need for usage of batteries. In here we are talking about how do automatic watches store energy. A recent survey carried out revealed that most people prefer wearing these watches due to such a feature.

Despite this feature and benefits, it has been discovered that there are lots of people who are yet to start using these watches. This is because they don’t understand how they store energy without the aid of a battery. Some even believe that claiming these watches don’t use battery is a scam.

Are you among these people? Do you know that understanding how automatic watches store energy is very crucial? As simple as this sounds, it can determine whether you will experience the benefits they offer.

In case you have been racking your brains to know how these watches store energy, this post will be revealing the whole truth. After reading the details below from beginning to end, you will have a vast knowledge of how these watches store energy.

Read next: Why Automatic Watches are Better

Facts on how automatic watches store energy

The truth is that there is nothing mysterious about how automatic wristwatches store energy, especially when you understand how they have been designed to function. For the sake of clarity, it is important to know all the components that make such a process to be possible.


This is a moving component inside watches. The oscillating weight is what it is called and tends to swing 3600 as you wear the watch on your wrist. As it is rotating within such a watch, energy is created.

Simply put, the rotor spins as you wear the timepiece. It is the spinning motion that gets converted into energy, thereby automatically winding the watch without any manual adjustment. If your hand is not in motion, the rotor won’t rotate/spin.

Reverser mechanism

This component has been designed to sit between the gears and the rotor. It plays a very crucial role when it comes to making the rotor to spin as expected. There are different types of reverser mechanisms in wristwatches.

However, the pawl-winding system has always been known to be the best. It is built with two wheels – bottom disc and top disc. How the discs will function depends on the rotation of the wheels. 


If you really want to understand how automatic watches store energy, it is crucial to know every detail about the mainspring. This is a coiled strip which is made with metal. As energy is being released, the watch will begin to unwind. This energy is being stored inside the mainspring.

It is the moving gears that make it possible for such power to be transferred. It is through the presence of a mainspring that the wheels of a timepiece are turned. Through this process, there is an occurrence of one unwinding after another.


The geartrain makes it possible for energy to be transferred to the escape wheels of an automatic timepiece from a mainspring, which has been explained above. It is no secret that such watches have a source of energy.

However, for power to be transferred from one component to another, the geartrain is needed. This is how the balance wheel or pendulum will rotate.  


With this component functioning, time can be divided into equal or similar factions. It is the gears that supply energy to the lever of a watch. The escape wheel releases this energy.

Have you ever noticed the hands of an automatic wristwatch moving? This is made possible by the escapement. Again, when energy is stored, it has to be released.

Escapement functions as the link between a watch’s regulating organ and its mainspring. It plays a very crucial role in advancing the hands of a timepiece. At regular intervals, the pendulum is given a small push.

This makes the hands move forward equally. Without escapement, such a process won’t be possible.

How are watches powered?

Based on the above, it is evident that energy is stored in an automatic watch’s rotor component. It can also be called half-disc metal weight. As this component spins, the watch will typically be running. The good part is that the battery is not needed to have it spinning continuously. Automatic wristwatches have been designed to function as your arm is in motion.

In other words, as you wear an automatic timepiece and swing your arm around, energy is being stored that can keep it running for some time. Therefore, such a watch can still function accurately, even when it isn’t worn.

If you have been wondering why such a timepiece is usually referred to as a self-charging watch, there is no doubt that the explanation above provides an obvious answer. Without moving your arms, the energy stored can help it to function for about 24-32hours. 

Please note that there is a massive difference between getting energy and storing energy in automatic watches. For instance, energy is produced as you swing your arms while wearing them. For storing energy, such takes place in the rotor, as explained above.

How much energy does a self-charging watch produce

Through the movement of your arm, kinetic energy is produced. This will later be converted into potential energy for the components to function, as explained above. Every self-winding watch has been designed to reach a stage known as “full wind.” This is that point where the maximum amount of energy has been produced and stored in the self-charging wristwatch.

Swinging your arms after the timepiece has reached such a point won’t make any impact. The full wind is the point where an automatic watch can work on its own even when you are not wearing it. The amount of energy being stored can last you for up to 38hours. 

When it comes to how long a self-charging watch can last after reaching full wind, lots of factors are involved. The most obvious of all is the brand. There are some top brands that produce self-winding watches, which can last for weeks before stopping. 

Tips on how to keep automatic watch when not wearing it

Based on the above, there is no doubt that you have understood how self-winding watches store energy. However, it is important to note that it can stop working once you fail to wear it despite such a timepiece being designed or built to store energy. The tips below will help keep your self-charging watch functioning even when you don’t wear it.

Cleaning it

Do you know that self-winding wristwatch can quickly stop working when too much dust penetrates into their components? When it comes to solving a problem that has to do with how to keep an automatic watch when not wearing, most people usually don’t pay attention to where their watches are stored in. If you have decided to store your watch in a place, check whether it is very dusty. One way to ensure the watch is working is by cleaning it on a regular basis.

There are two benefits of using this strategy. Apart from preventing dust from penetrating, it will ensure that more energy is stored even when you are not wearing it. The reason is that as the watch is being cleaned, you are moving it, thereby making energy is being produced and making it to remain in such place much longer without being worn.

Proper storage

This is quite different from what has been revealed above. It has been discovered that hot temperatures can affect these watches. In this case, they will start losing time. On the other hand, they can become too fast when the temperature is too cold. There are times the watch may even stop working. 

It is recommended to have a treasure box where your watch can be stored in. Simply put, avoid storing an automatic watch inside something that is not enclosed. Where you are storing such, it shouldn’t be too cold or hot. The heat has a way of having the lubricant dried out. When this happens, the gears will start to experience friction. This secret can help to keep it in perfect working condition for a very long time.

Regular servicing

Do you know that even the best brands of self-winding watches do stop after working for some time? If you plan storing your timepiece for a very long time without wearing it, hiring the services of a professional repairer is inevitable. Such an expert will handle problems related to moisture proliferation. 

A repairer will also check the gears and other components to know whether any replacement is needed to keep such automatic timepiece working. Furthermore, proper and regular servicing can help ensure the gaskets are in excellent working condition. Hiring a repairer may make you spend extra, but it can help ensure you don’t have to bother about your watch stopping when it is not worn.

There are many strategies to handle a problem that has to do with keeping an automatic watch when not wearing it. However, these ones will definitely make it to work as expected over a given period of time.


You have learned a lot from the ideas shared in this post, especially in the aspect of how mechanical watches store energy. Also, ensure using the tips mentioned above to optimize your timepiece’s performances when it is not being worn. It will definitely stand the test of time with such tips.

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