The Difference Between Kinetic and Automatic Watch Movements

Ever since watch winders have been available for sale, consumers who own Seiko Kinetic watches wonder why they cannot use a watch winder for their watches. Automatic movement watches work by motion and spinning of the watch’s inner rotor. The spinning of the rotor then winds the mainspring and powers the watch over time. There is no internal battery so usually the watch will stop running within 1-3 days.

The Seiko Kinetic movement watch is designed differently from traditional automatic movement watches. Seiko developed the first Kinetic watch back in 1988. The movement does have an internal rotor inside that swings, but it’s connected to a piece of quartz and a capacitor. The energy stored inside the capacitor powers the watch. The power stored on the watch can last up to 4 years or longer. Since the power last so long for Kinetic watches, we do not recommend purchasing a watch winder.

Many of our customers who purchase a watch winder for their automatic watches also own Seiko Kinetic watches and will use an unused slot to hold the Seiko Kinetic watch. It makes a nice display but the Kinetic watch will not take a charge from the circular motion of the watch winder. Seiko has produced a device called the Kinetic Energy Supplier that has an internal magnet which will power up your kinetic watches. They are made for technicians and watch dealers only so you won’t find them sold very often. Since Seiko Kinetic watches hold a charge for a long time, we do not see the need for a Kinetic energy supplier for the average person.

19 responses to “The Difference Between Kinetic and Automatic Watch Movements”

  1. John Cashmore says:

    How does one power up a Seiko Kinetic watch which has exhausted its’ power reserve?

    • buywatchwinders says:

      Our winders are made for automatic watches only so it will not work but they do have a device called a Seiko Kinetic Charger. It is very expensive for what it does. There are many posts online about using Braun toothbrush chargers and Phillips led candle chargers so that is something you may want to look into.

  2. Aubrey Edwards says:

    If a Kinetic watch converts mechanical energy from a turning rotor, how does it not work in a watch winder? That makes no sense.

    • buywatchwinders says:

      The speed that the rotor must be spun at is much greater than what a watch winder can provide. When worn, the wrist can provide the movement needed to make the rotor turn fast enough to charge but a smooth watch winder, it just does not create enough momentum to get the rotor moving fast enough. Induction charging is the best way to charge a Seiko kinetic.

  3. Billy says:

    Hi…What is the best setting for a seiko snkn47 watch in a winder? Forward (A), reverse (B)or both (A+B)….Your advise in this matter is greatly appreciated…Tks..Billy

  4. Sean says:

    What is the proper TPD for a Spinnaker 5080?

    • buywatchwinders says:

      I can not find any information on this movement other than that it is Japanese. I would suggest putting a fully wound watch in the winder with it set to 650 bi-directional. After 2 days if the time is not correct I would move to the next setting up in turns per day.

  5. Mark says:

    I have a Seiko Sportmatic 5 bought in Vietnam in 1966. Can I use an automatic winder?

    • buywatchwinders says:

      Yes, if it is an automatic watch it can be put in our watch winders. I would be hesistant to run an old watch like that without servicing it first.

  6. Robert sontillanosa says:

    You said “The power stored on the watch can last up to 4 years or longer. Since the power last so long for Kinetic watches, we do not recommend purchasing a watch winder.” I have a seiko kinetic prospex (SUN065). It says it will run for 6 months on full power. So where does the 4 years of power stored that you were saying apply on my kinetic?

  7. Charles Ganuelas says:

    Aloha …. Sorry but I’m lost …. What is the best way to manually wind my “Seiko 7002-7001 Dive Watch“ ? I have been “shaking” the watch , back and forth , for at least several minutes each morning …. That seems to work just fine …. Also , is my Seiko 7002-7001 a “Kinetic Watch” ? Mahalo (Thank you) for your expertise ….

    • buywatchwinders says:

      You watch is automatic and can be kept on a watch winder. you need 650-950 bi-directional turns per day. If you watch is not able to keep time overnight it may be time to service the watch.

  8. Mary says:

    I have a seiko 6139-6002. Sn105935
    I think it is kinetic

  9. Owen A says:

    I have bought a Tudor GMT, it says it needs 650 TPD which is bi directional. Does this mean 650 in each direction or 650 in total?
    Thank you for any advice.

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