If you're reading this, you're probably in the market for a new watch. If that's the case (or if you just love watches), you've probably heard a lot of different terms being thrown around, two of the most important being "quartz" and "automatic." We’re here to help breakdown the main differences between these two types of watches and how you can shop for your next watch like an expert.

The powerhouse of a watch is its movement, its basically what an engine is to a car, it’s what under the hood that matters. At AVI-8 we offer both quartz and automatic movements, all built by the Japanese watchmaking house Miyota. The main difference between quartz and automatic is what powers the movement. While a quartz movement is powered by a battery, automatic movements are self-winding and are powered by the movement of your wrist.

The power of an automatic movement is more easily understood by looking through an exhibition caseback - a feature on all AVI-8 automatic models. When an automatic movement is said to be self-winding, it is referring to the act of winding the crown (the little knob on the side you pull out to adjust the time) to tighten the mainspring inside. The tension on this metal coil is what powers the movement. Once this mainspring is initially tightened, it will continue to be winded by the movement of the semi-circular rotor, which can be seen through the caseback.

As you move through the day, you wrist’s movement will cause the rotor to rotate around, giving power to the coiling of the mainspring, keeping the watch on time. A regular wearer of an automatic watch can usually get away with not winding the watch frequently, but if your automatic watch does stop, don’t fret, it isn’t broken. Simply re-wind the crown and allow your wrist to power your watch without the help of a battery!

Explore our automatic offerings below. If you still have any questions about quartz versus automatic movements, feel free to email us at!