Automatic vs Chronograph Watches: What’s the difference?

If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Details

If you have seen all these different watches on the market and wondered what an automatic or chronograph watch is, then this is the post for you.

What is an automatic watch?

Automatic watches are mechanical watches that use a wound spring to drive the gears of a watch. The difference between an automatic and wind-up mechanical watch is that an automatic watch uses the motion of the wearer’s arm to wind the spring.

For many people, automatic watches are synonymous with high-quality Swiss-made watches like Rolex, Omega and some high-end Seikos, but of course, most watch companies usually produce a range of watches that are both automatic and quartz.

Seiko Chronograph watch

What is a chronograph watch?

A chronograph watch is any watch that has a stopwatch function and separate dials to display the running time. This is usually at least a seconds and minutes sub-dial, but can also include a third dial for hours.

So, when you see a chronograph watch, like the Seiko pictured above, it is usually obvious. Whereas an automatic watch is harder to see from a distance because the mechanism is inside the watch.


Recent articles