Manual wind pocket watches and watches have been produced and distributed since the late 1700’s. Little has been added to the formula that makes up a fine timepiece since that era. Masters of watchmaking, such as Breguet, worked magic to produce their small machines that told time in the same manner it does today. Manual watches are mainspring driven pieces that use a series of gears, progressing to a balance (tick or heartbeat of the watch). No automatic wind unit is present. Manual wind watches typically are wound daily for use, hence Manual or wound by hand.
The automatic, perpetual, or self winding watch is the favorite timepiece amongst collectors. The Oscillator or weight in the movement spins in a circular pattern to feed the mainspring and then follows the gear train to the balance, so time is regulated. In short an added step to the manual wind, making life easier in days of old. The majority of fine timepieces fall into this category.
Nearly the downfall of the Swiss watch industry was and is the quartz movement. Loved by some and hated by others, the quartz movement uses just that a quartz crystal to create the vibrations needed to power a watch. More circuit than machine, quartz watches keep excellent time(within a second a year) for a often times a very cheap price and with little care needed.