Which is more accurate?
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  1. #1
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    Which is more accurate?

    Automatics or manual wind? Yes quartz beats them all. Developed a love for manual watches, just love the way they tick and the sound it makes when winding them.

  2. #2
    Member Leopal's Avatar
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    Re: Which is more accurate?

    None. Or the same...

  3. #3
    Member EnderW's Avatar
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    Re: Which is more accurate?

    Automatic and manual have same accuracy (when same watch from same brand). The only difference is winding rotor.

    One could argue that automatics should perform better as watches often deliver better accuracy at full-wind, and an automatic regularly worn will remain fully wound, but that is a stretch. As long as manual watch is regularly would and PR is not too low - it will deliver great accuracy as well.

    Manual and automatic - both are mechanical watches, and will make same sound as hand sweeps (tick is usually quartz, but mechanical may have many tiny ticks continuously), and typically both automatic and manual can be handwound.
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  5. #4
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    Re: Which is more accurate?

    The components responsible for time keeping, holding all things equal, are identical between the two. Therefore, as a broad rule, there is no difference in accuracy between them.

    Theoretically, however, an automatic worn all day will be at or near its peak in terms of power reserve, which in most watches promotes best stability. However, because the wearer's activity changes from day to day, and that assumes that he wears a watch, or the same watch, every day (unlikely), one might actually suggest the converse, as a manual wind that is wound every day would experience a somewhat more consistent day to day variation.

    It's a very abstract sort of analysis that is unlikely to have any meaningful impact on timekeeping in real life. I think manual winds prevail when thinness is a major concern, as well when the beauty of a movement is concerned (the latter being entirely subjective, of course). Automatics have obvious convenience advantages, and they also make highly water resistant watches much more plausible as a screw down crown will interfere with the owner's ability to hand wind.

    For me, I prefer manual winds. They're simpler, thinner and prettier. I'm not a big dive watch guy to begin with, I rarely swim with anything other than a G-Shock on, and I don't mind winding them every day (in many ways, I prefer it).
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  6. #5
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: Which is more accurate?

    Whether one watch is more accurate than the other depends on how much effort was spent setting each watch up. Winding method doesn't have an effect.
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  7. #6
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    Re: Which is more accurate?

    If you wind daily, too, I don't think isochronism should be a big factor. The rotor generally means an auto will have a fairly high degree of wind; it actually doesn't take much to keep an auto going. I can't think offhand of a quality movement with less than 38 hours of PR. If you wind every day at a consistent time, then you're never dropping much below 1/2 the PR. In my limited checking, isochronism doesn't become seriously apparent until far lower...maybe 10% or less.

    And obviously, if your manual has better PR, this should be even less of an issue.

    Dan makes a good point, that if you love a screw down crown...go auto. Go manual with a display caseback and nicely decorated movement, if you like to view the movement. Even a micro-rotor hides a fair bit. :) And, yes, while manuals can be inherently thinner...the rotor again...there are plenty of thin autos out there. The Nomos Ludwig or Tangente neomatik is < 7 mm.
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    Re: Which is more accurate?

    Quote Originally Posted by gangrel View Post
    If you wind daily, too, I don't think isochronism should be a big factor. The rotor generally means an auto will have a fairly high degree of wind; it actually doesn't take much to keep an auto going. I can't think offhand of a quality movement with less than 38 hours of PR. If you wind every day at a consistent time, then you're never dropping much below 1/2 the PR. In my limited checking, isochronism doesn't become seriously apparent until far lower...maybe 10% or less.

    And obviously, if your manual has better PR, this should be even less of an issue.

    Dan makes a good point, that if you love a screw down crown...go auto. Go manual with a display caseback and nicely decorated movement, if you like to view the movement. Even a micro-rotor hides a fair bit. :) And, yes, while manuals can be inherently thinner...the rotor again...there are plenty of thin autos out there. The Nomos Ludwig or Tangente neomatik is < 7 mm.
    That's a good point. Manuals being thinner is also contingent on holding all things equal. There are undoubtedly automatics thinner than some manual winds, and micro-rotors (albeit at a very high price) largely sidestep the thickness issues of automatic winding.

  9. #8
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    Re: Which is more accurate?

    for mechanical it depend from the movement, not from the system.

  10. #9
    Member TwentiethCenturyFox's Avatar
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    Re: Which is more accurate?

    I prefer automatics for the simple fact I can put them on my watch winders. I believe with higher end watches the accuracy is similar.

  11. #10
    Member pithy's Avatar
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    Re: Which is more accurate?

    If you actually believe in isochronism and are speaking of worn watches - the auto has the potential to be more precise unless you continually wind your manual.
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