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Quartz or Mechanical watches?

Posted on June 17 2020

Quartz or Mechanical watches?

Since 1969, when Seiko launched the first quartz watch, the Seiko Astron, the world has had this dilemma when it comes to watches. The rise of the quartz watch in the 1970s, as they grew cheaper and cheaper, almost put paid the entire mechanical watch industry that had existed for a couple of centuries. But what exactly is the dilemma? Let us consider the key points when it comes to choosing between a quartz and a mechanical watch.

 

(Photo: The Electricianz Dresscode by The Electricianz)

Quartz

  • Accurate to a few seconds a month up to a few seconds a year.
  • No winding required.
  • Require battery change every few years.
  • Ticking motion of seconds hand.
  • Can provide complications at a much lower price point.
  • Movement parts can become obsolete without replacement.
  • Less valued by collectors.

 

(Photo: The backcase of Laco Augsburg 39 by Laco 1925)

Mechanical

  • Accurate to a few seconds a day.
  • Winding required every few days (automatic watches require movement of arms to power up).
  • No batteries required.
  • Sweeping motion of seconds hand.
  • Complications done mechanically are expensive.
  • Manufacturers guarantee movement parts availability for a certain number of years but some parts may be replicated should the need arise.
  • Better valued by collectors.

Ultimately, the ball is not always in the court of mechanical watches. There have been significant quartz watches over the years that have garnered much respect from watch lovers over the years. While quartz watches may lack the snob factor that a mechanical watch may carry, they can be no less attractive or desirable especially since quartz watches allow for creative implementations of technology at a lower price point. It is this accessibility that lead people to love timepieces regardless of the movement within.

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