smoothie.jpgForums are a goldmine today. A lot of people assume that automatics move as smoothly as butter. This is not the case. Sweep second hands “tick” but they tick up to 8 times per second, making them look like they are moving without stopping. Remember – these are still gears and gears have teeth. Even the most beautiful Rolex still “ticks” a little. If it’s ticking once per second, then you’ve got a quartz or a big problem.

How smoothly should a ETA 2834-2 movement sweeping hand move? – Watchuseek Watch Forums

By John Biggs

John lives in Brooklyn and has loved watches since he got his first Swatch Irony automatic in 1998. He is the editor of WristWatchReview.

5 thoughts on “How Smooth is An Automatic Watch?”
  1. This is excellent information, John. Thanks.

    So, except for the Seiko, Automatics are the only watches with second hands that flow smoothly around the dial like that? That is the sure-fire way to tell

    And Quartz is 1-tick-per-second? What rate, then, do mechanicals tick at?

  2. The gears have nothing to do with the tiny ticks of an automatic. It’s all about the frequency of the escapement. Certainly, different gear ratios will determine the size of the tick, but the gears themselves operate in a smooth continuous manner. If this weren’t the case, things like cars, food mixers, helicopters, bbq rotisseries, and so forth would wear out in very short order.

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