Do Automatic Watches Need Batteries?

There are two main kinds of analog watches these days, mechanical and quartz.  Mechanical watches rely on a complex series of gears and machinery to keep time, while a quartz watch relies on the vibration of a piece of quartz.  The quartz is made to vibrate with electricity, therefore quartz watches require a battery.

There are two main types of mechanical watches as well:  wind up and automatic.

Wind up watches need to be wound periodically to work.

Mechanical Watch Winding Mechanism. This is not present on an Automatic Watch
Mechanical Watch Winding Mechanism. This is not present on an Automatic Watch

Unlike the traditional wind-by-hand watches, automatic timepieces are wound automatically with the motion of the wearer’s wrist. Automatic watches are powered just by your arm and wrist moving.

Related:

Are Automatic Watches Battery Operated?

The incredible thing about automatic wristwatches is that they need neither batteries to operate nor winding if worn daily.  How do automatic watches work without batteries? They power themselves by using the kinetic energy generated by your wrist movement. It means whenever you are walking, working out, cooking, or doing anything at all, you literally are providing the power to keep your watch working.

If the watch has a battery, it is NOT an automatic watch . You don't have to replace the battery on an automatic watch.
If the watch has a battery, it is NOT an automatic watch . You don’t have to replace the battery on an automatic watch.

What Happens If My Automatic Watch Runs Out Of Power?

The only real flaw to those non-batteries required timepieces is that if you don’t wear the watch regularly, it can’t stay activated all the time. But don’t worry – in case your automatic watch has not been worn within the last 36-72 hours, just wound it manually or with an automatic winder machine, and here it goes – your watch is ready to go.

Close up of Automatic Watch Mechanism
Close up of Automatic Watch Mechanism

In Conclusion

The difference between automatic and battery watches is that automatic watches are mechanical and don’t need to be wound, and battery watches are quartz and don’t need to be wound.

Automatic Men's Watch with Visible Mechanism
Automatic Men’s Watch with Visible Mechanism

Automatic watches now outsell wind up watches by a large margin.  In fact, nearly all luxury watches are automatic.  One of the most important choices a person shopping for a watch needs to make is to decide between an automatic (mechanical) watch and a quartz watch.

Our Favorite Automatic Watches

Brand
Face Color Options
Invicta
Seiko
Military Colors
Seiko
Tissot
200 meters
Citizen
Invicta Pro Diver Unisex Wrist Watch Stainless Steel...
SEIKO Men's SNK807 SEIKO 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Watch...
SEIKO Men's SNK805 SEIKO 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Watch...
Tissot mens Gentleman Stainless Steel Dress Watch Grey...
Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Diver Quartz Mens Watch,...
Product Name
Invicta Pro Diver Unisex Wrist Watch Stainless Steel...
SEIKO Men's SNK807 SEIKO 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Watch...
SEIKO Men's SNK805 SEIKO 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Watch...
Tissot mens Gentleman Stainless Steel Dress Watch Grey...
Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Diver Quartz Mens Watch,...
Type of Watch
Automatic
Automatic
Automatic
Automatic
Automatic
Watchband Type
Stainless Steel
Blue Canvas
Green Canvas
Stainless Steel
Black Rubber
Water Resistance
200 meters
30 meters
30 meters
100 meters
200 meters
ASIN
B000JQFX1G
B006CHML4I
B000LTAY1U
B07XTVQ8XR
B016R90VBK
Face Color Options
Brand
Invicta
Invicta Pro Diver Unisex Wrist Watch Stainless Steel...
Product Name
Invicta Pro Diver Unisex Wrist Watch Stainless Steel...
Type of Watch
Automatic
Watchband Type
Stainless Steel
Water Resistance
200 meters
ASIN
B000JQFX1G
Brand
Seiko
SEIKO Men's SNK807 SEIKO 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Watch...
Product Name
SEIKO Men's SNK807 SEIKO 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Watch...
Type of Watch
Automatic
Watchband Type
Blue Canvas
Water Resistance
30 meters
ASIN
B006CHML4I
Military Colors
Brand
Seiko
SEIKO Men's SNK805 SEIKO 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Watch...
Product Name
SEIKO Men's SNK805 SEIKO 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Watch...
Type of Watch
Automatic
Watchband Type
Green Canvas
Water Resistance
30 meters
ASIN
B000LTAY1U
Brand
Tissot
Tissot mens Gentleman Stainless Steel Dress Watch Grey...
Product Name
Tissot mens Gentleman Stainless Steel Dress Watch Grey...
Type of Watch
Automatic
Watchband Type
Stainless Steel
Water Resistance
100 meters
ASIN
B07XTVQ8XR
200 meters
Brand
Citizen
Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Diver Quartz Mens Watch,...
Product Name
Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Diver Quartz Mens Watch,...
Type of Watch
Automatic
Watchband Type
Black Rubber
Water Resistance
200 meters
ASIN
B016R90VBK