Mechanical watches are making a comeback. Why are they suddenly so popular?

Watches

Because mechanical watches last for decades, they are often passed down from generation to generation. Some people update the look of the watch by replacing the watch band or straps.

What you need to know about mechanical watches

Smartwatches and fitness trackers have dominated the watch market for a few years, but recently there has been a resurgence of interest in mechanical watches. While they may lack the bells and whistles of their high-tech counterparts, they have an understated elegance that makes them truly timeless in their design. As holiday shopping is in full swing, time is running out for shoppers to pick the mechanical watches that have started appearing on wish lists.

What you should know about mechanical watches

What are mechanical watches?

Mechanical watches measure the passage of time with clockwork mechanisms that require periodic winding. Some mechanical watches are automatic and self-winding when the wearer moves their arm. Other mechanical watches require manual winding, which is usually handled by skilled watchmakers or jewelers.

What is the difference between mechanical watches and quartz watches?

The main difference between mechanical and quartz watches is movement, which refers to the mechanism of a watch that powers its operation. While mechanical watches rely on automatic or manual winding, quartz watches use batteries to keep time with vibrations and electrical impulses.

While mechanical watches have been around for over 120 years, the quartz watch didn’t make its debut until 1969. According to Seiko, maker of the first quartz watch, the battery-powered mechanism was profoundly more precise, which was. in part due to the continuous operation which lasted for a good part of the year.

Although quartz watches are more precise and more common, high-end watchmakers often prefer mechanical movements for their designs. Their know-how contributes to their timelessness, in the truest sense of the word. Literally, mechanical watches have an indefinite lifespan given their construction, which most electronic and high-tech devices do not.

Why are mechanical watches popular again?

The increase in demand for mechanical watches is somewhat unexpected, but it is not surprising. Many consumers, especially millennials, prefer to invest in products that stand the test of time. As expected, this includes high-priced designer mechanical watches. Other consumers are moving away from high-tech smartwatches and instead want to embrace the aesthetics and craftsmanship of mechanical watches.

Mechanical watches may also have gained popularity for the 2021 holiday season due to technology product availability issues. A Better Business Bureau public relations official recently told Wake Up 2Day on KHON2 News in Hawaii that chip shortages are making it harder for retailers to restock smart devices, including smartwatches and fitness trackers, at time for vacation. As a result, mechanical watches have become attractive alternatives for open-minded consumers.

The best mechanical watches back in fashion

Bulova Men's Sutton Stainless Steel Automatic Wrist Watch

Bulova Men’s Sutton Stainless Steel Automatic Wrist Watch

Both sporty and refined, this Bulova watch combines a classic aesthetic with a skeleton dial and a contemporary stainless steel strap. It is waterproof to 30 meters and has a 3-year warranty.

Sold by Macy’s

Bulova Automatic Two-Tone Stainless Steel Diamond Accent Ladies Watch

Bulova Automatic Two-Tone Stainless Steel Diamond Accent Ladies Watch

The intricate details of this Bulova design make it a truly unique timepiece. Along with rose gold accents and Roman numerals, it has a comfortable 34 millimeter case and discreet strap.

Sold by Macy’s

Fossil Flynn Automatic Black Stainless Steel Men's Watch

Fossil Flynn Automatic Black Stainless Steel Men’s Watch

An affordable option that doesn’t compromise on style, this state-of-the-art Fossil watch is well received for its sleek, smoky finish. It has a striking two-tone dial which is ornate without dominating the design.

Sold by Macy’s

Tissot Automatic Swiss Le Locle Stainless Steel Wrist Watch for Women

Tissot Automatic Swiss Le Locle Stainless Steel Wrist Watch for Women

A simple design that is ideal as a signature timepiece, this Tissot watch has shiny silver accents and a bold 42 millimeter case. The dial is easy to read with large Roman numerals and stick markers.

Sold by Macy’s

Seiko Automatic 5 Sports watch for men with gray nylon strap

Seiko Automatic 5 Sports watch for men with gray nylon strap

Made with a lightweight yet durable nylon strap, this sporty Seiko is ideal for casual or active wear. It is waterproof to 100 meters and is popular among water sports enthusiasts.

Sold by Macy’s

Rado Women's Golden Horse Diamond Stainless Steel Swiss Automatic Watch

Rado Women’s Golden Horse Diamond Stainless Steel Swiss Automatic Watch

An example of modern sophistication, this Rado design features an elegant stainless steel bracelet and rose gold bezel. It features an easy-to-read mother-of-pearl dial and discreet diamond accents.

Sold by Macy’s

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Sian babish written for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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