Automatics outnumber Wind-ups.

Thread: Automatics outnumber Wind-ups.

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  1. #1

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    Automatics outnumber Wind-ups.

    Does anyone know when automatics started outnumbering regular wind-up mechanicals?

    When I was growing up it seemed like most people wore wind-up watches. I knew about automatic (self-winding) watches, but they seemed like the exception to the rule.

    Nowadays the only type of mechanical I practically ever see is automatic.

    When did the "crossover" take place?

  2. #2
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    Re: Automatics outnumber Wind-ups.

    Hi

    I think the cross-over took place at different times in different countries, but generally by about 1969/1970 the shift had happened. It came, perhaps, to its zenith with the invention of the worlds first automatic chronograph, the El Primero, followed quickly after by the cal 11 that appeared in Breitlings etc.

    In the 60s a lot of higher end brands were pushing automatics (eg the best ever mass-produced automatic - the cal 561 Constellation from Omega) and it basicaslly went on to become the standard.

    It became a fashion thing and a statement of one's technological savvy in the mid to late 60s to have an automatic, but manual winds were still made......then all the techno-heads went over to quartz and left us horological petrol-heads to watch on helplessly as brand after brand bit the dust.

    The beauty of it is that there are some fabulous but undervalued manual winds around from that period from most of the high-end manufactures - booty indeed!

    Cheers

    desmond


    Quote Originally Posted by anon2 View Post
    Does anyone know when automatics started outnumbering regular wind-up mechanicals?

    When I was growing up it seemed like most people wore wind-up watches. I knew about automatic (self-winding) watches, but they seemed like the exception to the rule.

    Nowadays the only type of mechanical I practically ever see is automatic.

    When did the "crossover" take place?

  3. #3

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    Re: Automatics outnumber Wind-ups.

    Thanks. That's awesome.

    I remember my grandfather buying an automatic watch in the late 1970's. Back then people called them "self winding." It seemed like an unusual watch. But then, I guess quartz watches were still somewhat rare for their time also, at that time. To me a watch was something that one wound up by hand. Then again, maybe it was because I was a kid and most kids had manual watches like Timex pin levers.

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  5. #4
    Member obsidian's Avatar
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    Re: Automatics outnumber Wind-ups.

    I remember when my father got a gold Bulova automatic from his employer in 1974, and how he didn't like to wear it because it weighed so much more than the hand winders of the time. Funny, I recently looked at it and it is tiny: 32 w/o crown and with the acrylic crystal it weighs close to nothing-- I wonder what my father would have made of the paper weight/wall clocks men wear on their wrists these days.
    The best watch is the one that makes you happiest... and tells the time.

  6. #5
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    Re: Automatics outnumber Wind-ups.

    Quote Originally Posted by mondodec View Post
    Hi

    I think the cross-over took place at different times in different countries, but generally by about 1969/1970 the shift had happened. It came, perhaps, to its zenith with the invention of the worlds first automatic chronograph, the El Primero
    Or even the Bren/Dubois Depraz cal. 11 movement. But, who's counting :)

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