Kinetic Watch Movement – The Future in the Palm of Your Hand

January 7th, 2010 | 6 Comments

Okay, it’s not in your palm exactly, but on your wrist is close enough. Kinetic Watch Movements and their counterparts (i.e. mechanical watches) are the top prospects of futuristic watch consumerism. It’s hard to determine whether watches that require batteries will become obsolete, but the consumption trend indicates that Kinetic and Mechanical watches have the potential to eclipse battery powered watches.

Opinions within the watch industry differ on the value and prominence of watches that are powered by kinetic derivatives. The only thing agreed upon is that the future of watches is up for grabs.


Want to learn more? Find out:


What is a Kinetic Watch?

The movement of a watch is the internal mechanism responsible for keeping time. A watch with a kinetic movement is powered by the motion of the wearer’s arm, in other words, kinetic energy. This kinetic energy gets transformed into electrical power. Because this energy source is naturally generated, kinetic watches are referred to as battery-less watches.



How Does a Kinetic Watch Movement Work?

The kinetic movement generates electricity to power the watch. The movement causes a weight to oscillate, which prompts a micro-generator to spin and produce electricity. This electricity is stored in a capacitor, which is analogous to a battery in a battery-powered watch. This electricity is then distributed through an integrated circuit at 1-second intervals to power the gear train and move the watch.

While the kinetic watch does use a quartz crystal, it differs from a traditional quartz watch in that it will never need a battery change because it generates its own electricity. Kinetic watches are also comparably accurate to quartz watches, with a monthly +/- 15-second margin of error.


How Does a Kinetic Watch Movement Differ from a Mechanical Watch Movement?

Current technological homogenization can confuse different operating mechanisms. With the rising popularity and similar structure of kinetically driven watches, it’s difficult to determine the differences, and thus, which watch is best for you.

Both mechanical and kinetic watches are powered by humanistic means. The kinetic watch uses the kinetic motion of the wearer’s arm and a quartz crystal to electrically power the watch.

Mechanical self-winding watches use the kinetic energy from the wearer’s arm; however, they are powered solely by a mainspring. This means they don’t use a quartz crystal or any electric power source, making them more humanistic.


Some Watches that Use Kinetic Energy

Seiko Kinetic Black Ion Watch

This Seiko watch operates with a quartz crystal that has kinetic capabilities. It has ion-plated stainless steel case and bracelet. There’s also an elapsed timing bezel, and it’s water resistant up to 330 feet. It goes for $187 on Amazon.com.

Orient Power Reserve Automatic Watch

This Orient mechanical watch has an automatic movement. It does not use a kinetic watch movement. It does use the kinetic energy generated by the motion of the wearer’s arm, but that kinetic energy powers a mainspring, not a quartz crystal. It runs entirely on humanistic power; there is no electronic mediating source. It has a solid case and stainless steel bracelet, and is water resistant up to 50 meters. It goes for $290 on OrientWatchUSA.com.

Invicta S1 Automatic Race Watch

This model is a self-winding timepiece. It uses the kinetic energy of the wearer’s arm and a mainspring only; there’s no electric power source. It has a stainless steel case, champagne dial and date function. It’s designed in a classic racing style; the dial is reminiscent of the gears and dials in a race car. It retails at $398 on Amazon.com.

Technologically progressive watches can seem complicated and confusing down to the smallest details. But watches that use kinetic energy in some form will undoubtedly play a role in the future of the watch industry. They are becoming increasingly accurate and eco-friendly; thus, their popularity is rising.



  1. 6 Comments | Tell us what you think!

  2. By Brian on Jan 9, 2010

    Cool, I didn’t know what the difference between kinetic and automatic was. Now I do!

  3. By Dustin Hawkins on Jan 14, 2010

    How is this different from the Citizen EcoDrive? They are quartz movements that do not require battery recharging, correct?

  4. By zak on Sep 23, 2010

    How much power will this generate v/amps?

  5. By stephen cunningham on Oct 9, 2010

    i think this is sweet

  6. By stephen cunningham on Oct 9, 2010

    how deep in the water can u go with the watch, is it aromatic, kinetic, or is it quarts.is it American or or is it a forin watch.

  7. By danni on Mar 12, 2011

    I’d rather choose the spring powered – kinetic watch. This kind of watch runs well even in electric shock or magnetic field.

6 comments | Tell us what you think!