Power Reserve

Watches Power Reserve – Preserving Watch Power

What is a Power Reserve, It’s Uses, and How Does It Work?

Power Reserve are one of the most important component in a watch. Every watch has it. If you ask about how much power is left in a watch after being used for some time, you will have a very mixed answers.

A watch cannot run without power. For quartz watches, the amount of energy left are very easily known from the battery indicator, which can be easily replaced. However, mechanical watches work differently.

In essence, mechanical watches functions similar to how someone turns a wind-up toy. Just like how you turn a key on a wind-up toy to make it run, it’s basically the same as a watch, in which you can turn the crown to allow the watch to function.

A watch crown


Both mechanical watches and wind-up toy, the springs on the inside roll when someone turns the knob (or key), and the tension of the spring that is tightened is what triggers strength, which is then distributed through a series of gears when releasing the coil.

Now, imagine miniaturizing all the components mentioned above, then combine them in a mechanism that is smaller than the size of your pinkie.

Or if you want to level up, think about how certain brands find innovative ways to reengineer the power reserve mechanism so that the clock can run for days, weeks, and in some extreme cases, for months.

The watch power reserve is located on the component known as the ‘barrel’. It is a barrel in a thin mechanical motion and almost flat in shape.

Inside, is a thin strand of metal known as the ‘main driver’. When rotated, the main impulse and winding tension saves energy for the watch. When the drive is released, it rotates the barrel, which is connected to the gear gear that supplies energy throughout the watch.

However, it is important to note that the energy channeled must be regulated. If not, the hour and minute hands will spin uncontrollably until the electricity runs out. A mechanism that controls the speed and order in which the power released is known as escapement.

In an standard mechanical clock, the power bank can last around 38 to 42 hours. It only gives you enough time, approximately one day, to put it back on, so it keeps ticking and functioning, and doesn’t mess up the the other features such as date and moonphase.

What happens if you have more than one watch that you use on different occasions, but don’t want their power to run out and face the hassle setting them up every time you want to use it?

Watch winders.

Basically, this is a small box that serves as a storage place for watches, which are also equipped with a rotating mechanism. Its function is to mimic the movement of the wrist, swinging either in the direction of the needle or counterclockwise to keep the main drive constantly working.

This box can hold one or several units, which are usually made with luxurious appearance either raw wood materials and expensive genuine leather. Some watch collectors say that watch winders can be slightly destructive to watches, as it moves really fast. Thus, making it wear faster, which means you have to service them frequently.

However, many collectors rely heavily on this product for storage because thier watches have their own complicated  components, such as a perpetual and moonphase, which are complicated enough to restore them after they stop.

Just like how modern mechanical watches, they are engineered to boast unprecedented levels of performance and accuracy. Power reserve components have also been developed to display levels of stamina that have never been experienced before.

Some improvements includes Panerai, which offers eight days of power reserve on several caliber in-house.

There are really good models, such as A. Lange & Söhne’s Lange 31, which shows a 31-day power reserve; and Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari, which showcases an amazing 50 days of reserve in the tank.

Joe Fischer

Loves watches and lifestyle

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