While there are, without a doubt, collectors that focus on a single type of movement, I have learned to love them all. There is an almost intimate feeling when you turn the crown to wind the mainspring with a hand wound movement. It is like you are breathing life into the mechanism. The fact that you have to repeat that daily, or at least I do even when the power reserve is longer, also turns it into a pleasant routine.
With automatic movements, there is a different kind of magic, and that is that your own motions power it. Simply going about your day is often enough to keep things going, making it an (almost) perpetual pleasure. Perhaps this is also why I enjoy the Valjoux 7750 so much. As it only winds in one direction, the large oscillating weight can cause a wobble when free spinning in the other direction. While some might find this a less desirable design feature of the caliber, it always makes me smile as it is a reminder of the nature of this movement. Oscillating weights also give watch brands another way to express themselves, as these days most watches feature a display case back. Their decorations further add to the appeal of the movement and, therefor the watch as a whole.
In particular, in the beginning of my watch collecting career, I was a bit of a movement snob and looked down on the quartz calibers of my childhood watches. That all changed when somebody showed me the Rolex caliber 5035, which powered their Oysterquartz Datejust models. I was not only surprised to see all the decorations on the movement but also the ingenuity of the Rolex engineers who designed the movement. This made me dig deep into the history of the quartz movement (more about that later) and made me appreciate this type of movement again. The grab-and-go quality of watches with this caliber is also something that I enjoy from time to time because as much as I love hand-wound and automatic watches, the quartz ones have the biggest chance that I don’t have to set them, which is ideal when you are running late. Unless you find out in the car that the battery is dead, though I guess you can’t have it all.
What is your favorite type of movement? Let us know in the comments.