The movement is the heart of a watch, quite literally. It is motion that makes a watch tick, keeping time and powering its functions. But where does that motion come from?

In the early days of clockmaking, the motion was driven by a pendulum. The potential energy stored by winding the clock was released into the clock’s movement by a pendulum. The pendulum swings back and forth with a regular, constant speed that releases energy in measurable increments, powering the time keeping of a watch. However, pendulums are only reliable when a clock is still; they don’t work well in portable devices.

Eventually, the watch was invented. All early watches were “mechanical,” as we would call them today. In mechanical watches, the motion is driven by the unwinding of a spring, called a mainspring. The watch is manually wound, and then the spring unwinds in regular, measured increments that drive the timekeeping of the watch. Mechanical watches need to be wound every day, as the mainspring slowly unwinds over the course of 24 hours.

Later still, automatic watch movement was invented. In an automatic (or self-winding) watch, the mainspring is wound by the natural kinetic motion of a person’s body as they move. Specifically, an automatic watch has small round weights called “rotors” inside. These rotors are allowed to spin freely, reacting to your natural movement as you walk, run, gesture, or use your watch-side hand in any way. The spinning of these rotors transfers rotational movement to the mainspring, which is wound accordingly, and then unwinds and drives the watch.

Here are the best places to buy automatic watches in Los Angeles:

1. Feldmar Luxury Watch Store

Feldmar Watch Company, Inc. began as a repair business fixing the broken, relinquished watches of New Jersey pawnshops and has evolved into a century-long, family business based in Los Angeles, CA. We hold traditional values close and remain firmly rooted in our family’s history while staying on top of the latest technological advancements and offering collections from the most highly sought-after brands. We have earned a respected place in the luxury watch industry. Follow the evolution of our brand, on the timeline below.

2. Weiss Watch Company

Individually assembled by hand, our practice merges timeless techniques with modern technology to bring you watches that are built to look good and last. And with every timepiece perfected by a Swiss-trained and certified American watchmaker, the quality of every piece is something we’ll always stand by.

3. Second Time Around Watch Company

Second Time Around Watch Company specializes in the sale, purchase, repair, and appraisal of vintage watches and modern wrist and pocket watches. Our current watch inventory includes hundreds of collectible and rare, vintage watches. Our owner, Jon Goldfarb has been an avid watch collector and enthusiast for many years. We are dedicated to ensuring that all Second Time Around Watch Company customers are 100% satisfied.