Automatic Wrist Watches

I’ve stated before that I have set aside smart watches and gone back to an analog timepiece. One problem I had with the analog quartz watch I was using was it had thin silver hands and markings on a white background. Not a lot of contrast which makes it hard to read at a glance or in low light. I have other watches but most of them are dress watches and I rarely dress up in a suit anymore.

I decided to get a watch that was easier to see. I also wanted something mechanical, if I could find it. Briefly, there are two kinds of mechanical watches: 1. manual winding, where you have to wind it up every day, 2. automatic (self winding) watches which capture your motion as you move about to wind up the mainspring.

Automatic watches have always fascinated me so I went hunting for something suitable and found the Orient Scout Watch.

What I like about this watch:

  • Casual style
  • Big dark numbers on a light background.
  • Dark hands that glow in the dark. Sweep second hand. Easier to glance at the time during a meeting on the sly, so I don’t send the wrong signal to others.
  • Simple design: no day/date or other complications that need to be adjusted all the time. All I have to worry about is moving around enough to keep it running.
  • I think it looks good.
  • Made by Orient a company still specializing in mechanical watches with all movements still made in Japan.
  • I like the fact that it is mechanical, somehow even more analog.
  • Little window that shows a bit of the gear work and fly wheels moving - just because it’s fun.
  • No battery, so there is some small environmental benefit in that.

Watches: Analog vs. Smart

I’ve had an Apple Watch and an Android Watch. The Apple watch is, by far, the better of the two. I used both for notifications from social networks, SMS and email. Well I don’t do Facebook anymore, Twitter can wait and my phone does fine notifying me about emails. In short, since I’ve backed off from social networking I don’t need a smart watch.

I grew up when everyone wore an analog wrist watch. Even with a smartphone, I never gave up the habit and I probably never will. I constantly check the time on my watch.

I like quartz watches. They are so accurate and now, so common they are inexpensive to boot.

I like automatics for mechanical watches - I don’t miss having to wind my watch every morning as with a manual. Been there.

With the automatic watches, it is fun to have a “skeleton” style watch where you can see all the inner workings move, it gives off a steampunk vibe. However, I find the the background of all that gear work can make them hard to read at a glance.

Fair warning: watches can be like fountain pens, typewriters, notebooks: collectible.

Brad Enslen @bradenslen

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