: How did watches work before batteries?

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: How did watches work before batteries?

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Watches worked by stored energy in a wind up spring. Self winding watches had a mech that would wind the spring just by your normal wrist movement during the day. Pretty sure wind up watches are still made.

Springs. Have you ever heard of someone “winding” their watch? That refers to turning a little knob which tightens a spring. The spring pushes on stuff, and that pushing force turns the gears that make the watch work.

Tension coils that acted like a slowly releasing spring that drive the movement (mechanism) of the watches. Winding the watch stored energy in the coil and could typically run for a few days per wind.

Some had incredible levels of accuracy given the limitations of the technology.

Springs! You would have to wind your watch to keep it working. I’m not a horologist but there would be a spirally wound spring connected to gears that would spin at the correct speed to keep the watch displaying the correct time. Every so often you’d have to wind up the spring like you wind up those little toy cars that drive across the floor.

Springs and gears. You would have to wind up the watch spring with a little key or knob and set it before it would work, and then it would keep time for several hours, a day, maybe even longer depending on the watch.