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What is a Sweeping Second Hand Watch?

If you’ve spent any time reading about watches, or have been in the horology world for a while, you’ve probably encountered the term “sweeping second hand watch”.

These “sweeping hands” are highly sought after in the world of watches, as watches with sweeping second hands are not only more accurate but are usually associated with luxury or class. We take a look at what these hands exactly are below.

A sweeping second hand is not hard to spot by any means. Watches usually have a ticking second hand, and that image of a hand going “tick, tick, tick” is almost synonymous with the classic clock.

However, some pieces have a second hand that tick multiple times per second as opposed to the one time per second rhythm most people are familiar with.

This ticking is perceived by our eyes as a sweeping motion because of how fast the second-hand ticks, this also results in more accurate timekeeping to go along with the buttery smooth movement of the hand.

Ideally, the more times a watch ticks per second, the more accurate the watch will be and the smoother the sweeping motion will feel.

Majority of mechanical watches in the market today tick at around 5 times per second which already provides a great look and accuracy. In the earlier days, Rolex and other Swiss watch companies would claim that their 8-beat per second movement was the pinnacle of watch technology.

However, that is no longer the case today. Luxury brands all over the world now have watches that tick up to 10 times per second, giving a type of smoothness and accuracy that simply can’t be matched by other mechanical watches on the market.

A sweeping hand would be a great addition to any watch because of the incredible look along with the added air of class and luxury.

While this feature is not a requirement for a great watch, as many great and classic pieces out there don’t have sweeping seconds hand, it would definitely make any watch extra special.