What is a quartz watch? Of the three watch mechanisms – mechanical, automatic, and quartz – quartz is by far the most popular in 2021. We’re all familiar with the vintage appeal of mechanical watches and the low maintenance of automatics, but what makes quartz so popular in the watch industry? Read our guide all about quartz watches to find the answer.
What Is A Quartz Movement In A Watch?
Quartz watches are battery-powered. The battery sends an electrical signal through a small quartz crystal, making it vibrate at a constant speed. This vibration allows for accurate timekeeping.
The History Of Quartz Watches
Before quartz watches, the Swiss watchmaking industry was thriving with their beloved mechanical timepieces. However, in the 60s, there was talk of electronic watches becoming popular, which posed a significant threat to Swiss watchmakers.
Eventually, in 1969, the first quartz watch was released. It was a Seiko product named the Astron, and it was seriously impressive. The creation of this timepiece signified the start of the quartz revolution. For years to come, brands like Seiko gained success with their quartz watches, while the stubborn Swiss watchmakers refused to join in and instead watched their industry decline.
Nowadays, quartz watches are as popular as ever. However, the Swiss industry is thankfully successful again as watch enthusiasts still adore mechanical timepieces.
Quartz Watch Mechanism
We won’t bore you with a detailed description of the quartz mechanism, but it may be helpful to be aware of the main parts.
First, we have the battery, which is the powerhouse of the mechanism. Then we have the quartz crystal that is responsible for timekeeping. As in all timepieces, the gears are used to turn the hour, minutes and seconds hands.
Finally, the trusty crown can be adjusted to change the time displayed on the dial. As you can see, the mechanism of a quartz watch is much simpler than that of a mechanical or automatic.
Why Do Some Quartz Watches Have Jewels?
Jewels can be found in many quartz and mechanical watches. The main reason for jewels is that they reduce friction in the movement. Less friction means more accuracy, and we all know how important accuracy is for manufacturers of quartz watches.
Jewels also have the purpose of keeping a quartz watch durable. The reduced friction means that the watch parts don’t get worn down as quickly, so the mechanism stays robust for longer. If you’d like to know more about the purpose of jewels in watches, have a look at our expert guide.
Pros & Cons Of Quartz Watches
Now that we have established what quartz watches are, let’s go over the pros and cons.
Pros Of Quartz Watches
Firstly, quartz watches last longer than any other type of watch. Owing to the simple mechanism, there are less watch parts to repair. This means the mechanism tends to stay sturdy for a long time, so you get your money’s worth with a quartz watch.
Secondly, quartz watches are low-maintenance. They do not require any winding as the battery and quartz crystal do everything for you. This means you don’t have to worry about manual winding (mechanical timepieces) or wearing the watch all the time to keep it wound (automatic timepieces).
Finally, you pay less for a quartz watch than you do for a mechanical or automatic. Again, as there are less watch parts, there is less to pay for. Theoretically, this means you could save lots of money on one timepiece. However, we like to say you could buy two for the price of one mechanical or automatic!
Cons Of Quartz Watches
Firstly, quartz watches can be quite loud due to the electronic ticking sound. This is not a problem for everyone, particularly if you enjoy the sound of a ticking watch, but some people may find it irritating.
Secondly, certain watch enthusiasts would argue that quartz watches lack tradition. With a mechanical timepiece, you can look history in the face when you observe the charming vintage features. On the other hand, owing to the modernity of quartz watches, they do not have a historical appeal yet.
Our Final Thoughts On Quartz Watches
What’s not to love about a quartz watch? They’re highly accurate, durable, and affordable. We highly recommend that you purchase a quartz watch in the future, as they possess benefits that automatic and mechanical watches do not have.
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