Learn a little more about kinetic watches and our guide to some of the best currently available in 2022.
Our world is constantly connected and always-on. When was the last time you turned your smartphone off? It’s probably been a while.
However, when it comes to an always-on smartwatch screen, do they always work for you when you need them? Do they work a little too well with the motion of your wrist and consequently turn on randomly? Sometimes they take some adjusting and getting used to. So we have to ask ourselves, what happened to simply looking at a watch to see the time?
Automatic, self-wound, or kinetic watches certainly offer precision from their minute inner parts. They’re not connected to anything, so you can enjoy freedom from batteries and chargers when wearing one. Something an Apple Watch user can only dream of!
They save you money on batteries because they don’t need any power source other than the energy they acquire from your regular motions. To ensure a worry-free wristwatch, a kinetic watch is the best option.
The difference between automatic and kinetic watches
A swinging rotor powers both kinds; however, the significant difference is that automatic watches store power in a spring, whereas kinetic watches store it in a capacitor. Furthermore, Kinetic watches get their energy from the natural movement of your wrist, which generates electricity. Therefore, these are energy-saving timepieces that can store power for months at a time.
Seiko kinetic watches
In 1986, we saw the first Seiko kinetic prototype introduced to the market and marketed initially as an automatic watch (which isn’t untrue, but as we’ve mentioned above, there is a difference). Two years later, the first commercial kinetic watch was released and, in 1991, became known as Seiko Kinetic watches. Today, they still dominate the market for this particular kind of watch, so you’ll notice there are a lot of Seiko models on this list of the best kinetic watches. Now you know why!
Without further ado, let’s look at the 10 best kinetic watches in 2022.
Men’s Seiko 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Watch
Now you know that a kinetic watch gets its power from the movement of your arm throughout the day. So you’d be right to expect it to be comfortable. You certainly don’t need to opt for a silicone band for this.
Take the SNK805, for example. It has a khaki green NATO strap that offers good breathability and takes to the shape of your wrist. Pure comfort. This is in addition to a 37mm stainless steel case.
Furthermore, it has a green dial to match the band. On the face, you’ll find a date window at the three position, a second, minute and hour hand, Arabic numerals and 5-minute markers.
Worth noting, this watch also offers 30m water resistance.
You can buy this watch for around $90.
Invicta Unisex Pro Diver Stainless Steel Automatic Watch
If you’re into diving, this unisex offering from Invicta is the perfect companion. Whilst you will need to use a dive computer, it’s always good to have an infallible backup.
The 40mm stainless steel case on the 8926OB has a rotating bezel and chronograph that will certainly come in handy. As well as luminous hands on a black face for ultimate readability. What’s more, it offers water resistance up to 200m.
Again, this watch is around $90, which is a bargain for a dive watch. Read more about the Invicta brand here.
Seiko Kinetic Perpetual Novak Djokovic Special Edition
Back to Seiko for the SNP149P2. We put this special edition piece on here purely for the looks; above all, it’s absolutely breathtaking.
Each dial on the face reflects a condition Djokovic faces in his quest to become a tennis legend. These being two sub-dials; one for tracking the hour and the other for the month, a date window and
Inside it has, you guessed it, a kinetic movement with analog display.
However, this special edition is on the more expensive side at around $600.
Raconteur Hemingway Automatic
This timepiece is a vintage-inspired piece from a Swedish brand, so naturally, it offers a minimalist beauty. Dark but clean. You can even choose from a range of deliciously dark leather straps, which you can change to suit your mood.
You get a 40mm stainless steel case with a polished finish and a sapphire crystal dome for ultimate protection.
Inside is a Japanese Miyota 821 self-winding movement, offering a 45-hour power reserve.
You can pick this up for $270.
MVMT Men’s Analog Watch Chronograph
If you like minimalism, you’ll love this. In fact, at a glance, it looks like the face offers nothing, but look again!
This watch has a 45mm brushed stainless steel case, sandstone leather wristband and hardened glass dome.
You’ll see three sub-dials on the matte black dial; a 60-second timer, 30-minute timer and a 24-hour clock, plus black hour and minute hands with blue accents from the second and dial hands. Look even closer, and you’ll see a small calendar window.
You can purchase this watch for around $150.
Bulova Men’s Automatic
Another stunning design. The 98A179 from Bulova has a gunmetal case that lets you see the workings of the watch as it moves, which is pretty cool.
A larger 46mm stainless steel case with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal protection and 100m water-resistance.
The black face offers luminous seconds, minutes and hours with a solitary Roman numeral for 12 and an open balance wheel.
This watch has it all; function, beauty and quality.
Seiko Japanese Quartz Black Analog Watch
Back to Seiko for the final two on our list of the best kinetic watches. The SKA649 is a kinetic Japanese Quartz movement and will keep going for six months between charges.
It offers a minimalist design with a unique style.
Offering a black ion-plated 45mm stainless steel case with a matching bezel. This watch has luminous skeleton hands and offers a simple hour and minute markers. At the 3 position, you’ll find the date. This is all protected by a Hardlex crystal, which is scratch-resistant. As you might guess, the case back is transparent, offering a look into the inner workings of the piece.
Finally, we get to the Seiko SUN023P1. This is a big 47mm dive watch developed to withstand professional-level activities underwater. As such, it offers 200m water resistance.
This watch has a crowded face, but with that, it offers functionality. When you press the right button at the 2 position, it causes the second hand to move and tell you how much power reserve is left (luckily, in months). Interestingly, there’s a fourth, blue hand which shows the time in 24-hour format.
The bezel offers a lume in the form of a dot and generally has big bold blue and orange accents. All in all, probably not the one for the office, but certainly for those outdoor enthusiasts who like their watches to make a statement.
Seiko Le Grand Sport
We already know it’s a stunning timepiece, but seeing it in person only makes it appear better. The watch has a silver-finished stainless steel band and a black dial to enhance its stunning appearance.
Anyone who owns a high-end timepiece would prefer not to have to open it again to replace the battery. Most watch collectors choose mechanical or solar watches because of this. Changing the battery on this watch will be unnecessary for the foreseeable future because it is kinetic in nature. In time, the watch’s batteries will need to be replaced because they lose their ability to keep a charge after a given amount of time.
You may also check the watch’s battery life by tapping the 2 o’clock button on the watch. If you click the button and the second-hand moves 5 seconds ahead, the watch has a day’s worth of power left, but if it travels 30 seconds forward, it has six months. Between 4 and 5 o’clock on the dial, you’ll find a date window.
The watch features a 41mm watch face and a case thickness of 11mm. Hardlex glass shields the watch face, which is housed in a stainless steel casing. The skeleton-style watch features a transparent screw-down case back that allows you to see the watch’s internal gears.
Due to a bright coating on the dial and on the hands, the timepiece is visible even in low light or completely dark conditions. Because the watch hands are so visible even in the dark, you won’t have any trouble keeping track of the time.
If you don’t mind the watch’s weight, it may be an excellent dress and casual timepiece. When it comes to watches, you can count on the stainless steel band and tank-like construction to keep them safe. Additionally, it is water-resistant to a depth of 100 metres, so you won’t have to avoid the water.
There are several drawbacks to wearing most stainless steel watches, including the fact that they can be uncomfortable to wear. In general, stainless steel timepieces are excessively heavy for most individuals. The Seiko Velatura men’s kinetic watch is perfect for you if you fall into this category. The watch only weighs 2.26 ounces, making it extremely portable.
Additional features include an attractive black dial with silver hands and markers and a hefty weight. Furthermore, the hands and dials of the watch are coated with a brilliant material, allowing you to tell the time even in complete darkness. Day and date sub-dials are also included. In addition, sapphire, the world’s second-strongest glass after diamond, guards the watch’s dial.
Seiko’s Direct Drive Technology powers the watch. The watch may be changed manually as well as by the user’s motions. The crown may be manually wound to generate power for the watch, which can then be used to charge the battery. It’s possible to manually wind the watch if you don’t want to wear it 24 hours a day. Even better, it features a separate sub-dial that shows the amount of battery remaining on the watch, allowing you to keep track of this information in real-time.
The black polyurethane straps of the Seiko Velatura are incredibly light and comfortable. The water resistance of this kinetic watch is 100 metres, so it won’t need much maintenance.
To summarise, if you don’t mind spending a little extra, this kinetic watch is a terrific addition to your wardrobe or watch collection, depending on your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Kinetic Watch
Do kinetic watches actually work?
Motion generates kinetic energy. The movement of a kinetic watch is powered by the wearer’s everyday movements. Simple, common gestures like shaking someone’s hand or waving, or swinging your arms as you walk or spin the steering wheel while driving, all generate energy. During a person’s motions, a weight oscillates within a watch to catch the energy. A capacitor is used to store the energy, which slowly releases over time.
What is the difference between a kinetic watch and an automated watch?
The automatic-quartz movement used in kinetic watches is also known as a “automatic-quartz” mechanism. A quartz timekeeping system is used in a self-winding kinetic watch, similar to an automatic watch. Using a high-frequency quartz crystal as a driving force, a capacitor powers the gears by transferring energy to the crystal. Hairspring and balancing wheel are two of the most common timekeeping mechanisms used in automatic movement.
In comparison to mechanical movements, quartz movements lose just a few seconds a month on average, while mechanical movements lose several minutes each month on average. To learn more about watch movements, check out our buying guide.
How long will a kinetic watch last?
Even if you might be sceptical of the technology’s unfamiliarity, you can rest assured that kinetic watches are just as robust as any other form of watch. Capacitors may be loaded and discharged thousands of times, and while a calibration of the capacitor every ten years or so might assist keep your clock in peak condition, the capacitor does not wear out.
When looking for a kinetic watch, what should I bear in mind before making a purchase?
Investing in them is a long-term proposition. However, there are several kinetic watches for ladies as well as for men. If you wish to wear your watch every day due of its low-maintenance nature, you should base your purchase on your own personal style preferences.
My kinetic watch stopped working after I kept it in a drawer for a few weeks. Is something wrong with it or am I missing something?
No, I doubt it! As there is no battery, it is powered by your movements. If it’s been sitting for a while, all it needs is some movement to get it going again. Re-set the time after moving it around. It’s expected to work again.
My automatic watch isn’t something I wear every day. How do I keep the battery charged?
For your automatic watch, you may have a winder. For kinetic watches, this is like a unique jewellery box that moves to preserve the charge. It’s great if you have a collection of automatic timepieces if you have a watch winder that can accommodate many watches.
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