The popularity of mechanical watches is on the rise - forward-thinking fashionistas are claiming that they’re making a comeback. Pfft, a comeback. That’s some disgraceful language right there. The word comeback implies that mechanical watches were out of fashion for a while and for a watch-worshipper like me, that has never been the case.
Ok… I’ll hold my hairy hands up – it might have happened for a little while, when modern quartz watches came on the scene. But what exactly is a mechanical watch? And why are they suddenly so in demand? Well my friends, let Weird Ape divulge.
Simply put, mechanical watches are – as you humans say – old school. To measure a passage of time, they use a tiny, intricate system of machinery called a mechanism, which is powered by a spring. This spring must be tightly coiled, which is why mechanical watches must be wound periodically.
The force of the spring powers a minuscule device called the balance wheel. This weighted-wheel swings back and forth at a steady rate, whilst a complex little part called the escapement works its magic. The escapement is responsible for moving the watch’s hands around the dial - it’s the escapement that makes that wondrous ‘ticking’ noise, so typical of mechanical watches.
But what’s all the hullabaloo? Recently, mechanical watches have seen a surge in popularity; not long ago, both Esquire and GQ Magazines hailed the humble mechanical watch as ‘a trend to watch in 2015’. This is very exciting, as mechanical watches fell out of favour when quartz watches were introduced in the 70’s. Battery-powered pieces like the Gentleman took over - as it was a huge technological advance not to have to wind your wristwatch.
We are currently experiencing similar advances in the modern-day market, what with the release of the smartwatch and other so-called ‘wearable technology’. Apparently the smartwatch market is expected to reach $32.9 billion by 2020 - however, rather than simply sit back and ‘watch’ – ahem - as technology takes over, the classic mechanical watch is still faring well. Better, in fact.
It’s a lot to take it, but isn’t it marvellous? These little gems aren’t just watches, oh no, they are compact pieces of engineering history; exemplifying the master craftsmanship of watchmakers over the years.
It seems that more and more people are becoming aware of the quality and pleasure that wearing a mechanical watch brings. It’s almost as if with every ‘tick’, your watch is talking to you, like the mechanism inside is a living thing. Now, with the trend for skeleton watches, you can even peek inside – and be rewarded with the joyful sight of a watch’s exposed inner workings. My Gear – Mechanical Skeleton Watch embodies this perfectly, with its glass-encased, gold-coloured, utterly mesmerising skeleton features.
Mechanical watches are considered a high-end product; purchased for their history, their authentic aesthetic, that sublimely satisfying ‘tick’… And wearing one is simply an appreciation of its masterful craftsmanship – or a status symbol, showing that you’re a gentleman who really does appreciate the finer things in life. A smartwatch might be able to show you your emails, or tell you how many steps you’ve taken in a day, but they do lack the level of artistry and charm offered by their mechanical counterparts.
All of this implies that there will be a whopping great price-tag attached, but that’s where your old pal Ape comes to the rescue, by bringing you affordable watches from all around the world. Browse my collection of unique and unusual mechanical watches today, and get yourself a slice of the action.