Why Are Automatic Watches So Expensive? A Detailed Explanation

There is no doubt that a $30 quartz watch can provide the exact time as a $200,000 Rolex automatic watch, but for sure, people still crave a luxury item that costs the same as a sports car. 

Automatic watches are often regarded as masterpieces in the world of timepieces. Hence, many people are willing to spend lavishly to add some timepieces to their collection.

The most interesting question here is: “Why are automatic watches so expensive?”. Please read, this article will provide the reasons behind its value and some helpful information regarding this topic. 

Automatic Watch


Overview Of Automatic Watches Luxury

What are automatic?

 also known as self-winding watches, harness kinetic energy from the natural movement of the wearers to wind the mainspring

While manual watches require the wearer to manually turn the crown multiple times to wind the mainspring to power the watch. Instead, on automatic watches, a metal weight called a rotor is connected to the movement. With every movement of the wearer’s wrist, the rotor spins and winds the mainspring. 

Hence, if you wear an automatic watch daily, you don’t have to worry about winding it to ensure its smooth operation.

A brief history 

The history of them dates back to the 1977s when Swiss watchmaker Abraham-Louis Perrelet invented a self-winding mechanism using an oscillating weight. 

Hundred years ago Perrelet, Abraham-Louis Breguet was also interested in the idea and attempted to create the first self-winding design with a barrel ‘remontoire.’ View worthy, his design was perceived as too sophisticated and expensive to produce. However, it marked a quick milestone for the automatic watch to famous brands evolve now.

But it wasn’t until the 1920s that British watches repairman John Harwood noticed the downfalls of automatic movements and developed his legendary self-winding mechanism using accumulated kinetic energy to tension the spring. Hence, his journey from an idea to a commercially automatic watch was beyond question.

Why Are Automatic Watch So Expensive? (3 Main Reasons)=

Production Mechanical

It is noteworthy that the production of its movements in most luxury watches accounts for their value. In fact, mechanical movements result from years of meticulous process, from researching, developing, testing to manufacturing.

Unlike mass production, the automatic watch often requires the level of expertise and craftsmanship of watchmakers to create the highest quality item that meets strict manufacturing standards. Significantly, several stages are custom and require meticulous attention to detail.

Furthermore, whether luxury watch brands decide to make movements in-house or obtain from third parties, the costs of advanced movements often become relatively high, thereby contributing to its overall expensiveness.

Materials and jewels-setting Cost

Plastic, steel, precious metals are among the materials used to craft cases. Surprisingly, stainless steel is the most common material used in manufacturing watch cases. However, major high-end brands choose precious metals such as gold and silver to add up the price for the new watches. 

Some brands even feature jewels, such as diamonds, sapphires, rubies, or emeralds on the watch display and setting to express refinement and prestige further. Of course, the cost can vary considerably depending on the number of jewels, but these precious gems definitely cost an arm and a leg.

Exclusivity Brands

It is no surprise that quartz watches often fall into mass production while automatic watches are often produced in limited numbers, especially from prestigious brands such as Rolex. 

Needless to say a word anymore, the term ‘exclusive’ means expensive. This phenomenon is no exception to watch. For this reason, brands tend to charge premium prices for their timepieces.


How to preserve an automatic watch when not in use?

Ideally, you can keep your automatic watch in an automatic watch winder. It is an electric device used to keep automatic watch wounds when not worn.

In other cases, you can store your wristwatch in areas with low humidity and no direct exposure to heat or sunlight. Generally, people recommend preserving it in a box or case rather than simply a shelf. 

How long does an automatic watch last?

Actually, there is not an exact answer to this question. Them’s longevity mainly depends on their quality, care, and maintenance. 

Remarkably, a high-quality automatic watch with proper care can last for a lifetime or several lifetimes.

Wrapping Up

You’ve reached the end of the article. Hopefully, after reading this article, you now have sufficient information regarding the topic.

Although the automatic wristwatch is more expensive watches than regular quartz, they’re still worth buying. Indeed, with this high price, you’ll get a prestigious, high-precision timepiece for your special occasions.

If you find this article helpful, feel free to share it with your friends or loved ones. Also, don’t forget to leave us some comments or thoughts.

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Last Updated on September 24, 2021 by The o.d.m team