Why is a Swiss-made automatic watch worth the money?

If you’re new to the world of watches, you might be wondering why are they often so expensive?

Well first of all, it’s important to understand the type of watch you’re buying. There are three main types of watch mechanisms - called the movement.

The oldest type is mechanical - or to be more accurate, hand-wound. As it sounds, there are no batteries, so the watch needs to be regularly wound. A coiled spring inside the watch is wound using the crown on the side of the watch - usually around 30s of winding each day will be enough to keep it ticking. In days gone by, this was a regular part of a person’s morning routine.

Another type is a quartz movement. These are battery powered, and work thanks to a wonderful understanding of the natural vibration that a quartz crystal makes when an electronic charge passes through it. The vibrating quartz crystal is connected to a small circuit that causes the watch to tick forward precisely every 32,868th vibration - one second.

Quartz movements are generally found on cheaper watches as there are significantly less precise moving parts on them. But there are still some incredibly beautiful timepieces to be found in this category.

Finally is automatic movements - or self-winding. The movement is still entirely mechanical, and there are no electronic components or batteries. But unlike a simpler hand-wound mechanical movement, a metal weight, called a rotor - that can be seen inside the reverse of a CuleM - spins around throughout the course of the day while being worn. This captures the kinetic energy of the wearer, keeping the watch wound and ticking.

So the automatic movement is actually the most complex in engineering terms of the three. Which brings us nicely to our next key word…


A complication on a watch is anything that goes beyond the basic function of a 3-hand watch: seconds, minutes and hours. The most common complication you’re likely to find on an automatic watch is the date - this indeed features on a CuleM.

The second complication that CuleM also features is the GMT hand. Sometimes this is also known as the 24-hour hand, because it corresponds to the 24hr time shown on the outer bezel of our watches. The red-tipped fourth hand on a CuleM - inspired by the Welsh dragon - shows the time in a separate timezone from that which you have already set the main hands to.

Historically, this was designed for pilots, so they knew the time in both their origin and destination. In the era of globalisation, it can be useful simply to keep an eye on the time in another part of the world - whether you’re travelling there or perhaps because someone special to you lives in another timezone, and you want to feel more connected to them through your watch.

We also feature a quick-reference guide to the time offsets around the world on the reverse of our watch cases, so you’ll always know the time zone differences wherever you are.

Precision jewellery, made by experts in Switzerland

In 2021 you can find watches for any price you can name, from £1 to £100,000. In the era of smartphones, a watch is certainly no longer purely about telling the time. A CuleM is a fine piece of jewellery, and as such is made by experts in the watch-making capital of the world: Biel/Bienne in Switzerland.

At its best, a watch is a living piece of art, with a mechanical heart fluttering at its core: the perfect blend of craftsmanship, design, engineering and artistic vision. It is something precious, but also practical, that can be with you through some of your most important life moments. This is why so many are presented as gifts to celebrate coming of age, marriage or a new child. The meaning in every watch will be as special, unique and individual to every owner as the watch itself.

The movement features hundreds of precise, mechanical, parts, and includes 21 jewels that are designed to regulate the speed of the movement and ensure it tells the time precisely.

One thing a CuleM is not is taken from a factory line. Our first collection, the World GMT Collection, features unique designs which reflect our passion for protecting our beautiful planet.

No middle men

If you were previously of the view that a Swiss automatic watch was unnecessarily expensive, then I hope this blog has persuaded you otherwise. We believe that while automatic men’s watches can be expensive, they should not be unaffordable. That’s why we have priced ours extremely fairly, starting at £995/$1100.

We’re able to do this because we only sell directly to you, our customers, through our website - meaning there are less overheads, and no middlemen involved, taking their cut on top. You will struggle to find a genuine Swiss-made automatic GMT watch for a better price, with such a unique design. You’ll certainly struggle to find one that also grows trees.