Automatic & Complications
Automatic For The People
The most interesting and desirable watches are called Automatic watches. Automatic watches are mechanical watches that are driven "automatically" by harnessing the kinetic energy produced by simple human movement. Often called "self winding", automatic watches save energy when a simple oscillating rotor at the base of the movement spins as the arm moves. That rotor winds a simple mainspring, storing up that energy, which is then released at a constant rate, moving the hands of the watch. Today's best automatics are so well built that, with proper maintenance, they will last for generations.
Life's Great Complications
Complications are mechanical watches, usually automatic, that perform multiple timekeeping tasks. These are the true marvels of horology, some commanding tens of thousands of dollars on the market. Vintage handmade complications routinely sell for more than most automobiles. The most common of all complications is the chronograph. Chronographs are wrist born stop watches that can break down time into hours, minutes, seconds...often to 1/100th of a second. The chronograph's popularity is a function of it's myriad of applications, from sports and racing to aviation and navigation. Other complications include functions like moon phase, tides, power reserve indicators, and calendars showing day, date, even year. One famous, hand built complication, will actually track the time, day, date and year...accounting for leap years...for over one century!