How Does A Watch Work Without A Battery?

There are some watches where you don’t need to swap a battery to make it tell the time again.

These so-called mechanical watches tend to have an automatic movement inside them which powers itself through winding it up or the motion of your wrist.

In this post, I will explain to you how these watches can work without a battery.

Read on to find out more.

Watches That Need A Battery

The watches that do need a battery are mostly digital watches or watches with a quartz movement.

Digitals watches like Casio’s have a digital display to tell the time, this display consumes power from a button cell battery.

The battery on a Casio doesn’t run quickly out of power, most Casio watches last between five and six years on one battery.

Whenever this runs out it’s not hard or expensive to swap the battery.

The second watches that need a battery are watches with a quartz movement.

These watches have a regular hour and minute hands to tell the time instead of a digital display.

Those hands are moved by a quartz movement which works on a button cell battery.

Most quartz movements last for around 2 years on the same battery.

Again this is not a big deal since a battery can be replaced easily by yourself.

When you are not sure about opening your watch you can go to your nearest watch store or jeweller where you can get a new battery for just a couple bucks.

A Quarts Movement Watch

Watches That Do Not Need A Battery

Watches that can tell the time without the use of a battery are called mechanical watches.

A mechanical watch uses a clockwork mechanism to measure the passage of time.

These watches get their energy through winding the mechanism or through the motion of your wrist.

The watches that get their energy from winding the mechanism are called manual watches since you need to wind the mechanism up from time to time otherwise the watch will stop telling time.

Automatic watches also known as self-winding watches use the energy which is created by the motion of your wrist.

So a self-winding watch converts your everyday motion into seconds, minutes and hours.

These watches don’t need to be wound up unless you leave them without motion for a long time.

The time that needs to last before an automatic movement is out of power is called power reserve and is mostly written down in hours.

Tho some watches can have a power reserve of 7 days!


The guy who loves to chat about watches.

All watch related