Quartz vs Automatic Movement
Quartz vs Automatic Movement: Which Suits You Best?
For those of you reading this & are new to the watch industry- Welcome!
In this article we'll be guiding you through the different types of movements available in the market today. And at the end we'll be giving you a surprise gift, so be sure to stick around, you won't want to miss it.
Now, many of you may be wondering: What is the difference between a quartz movement, automatic movement & mechanical movement. As a beginner, this information can be valuable to you depending on the lifestyle you live.
We want to ensure you're given the best value before making a decision. So in this article, we'll be comparing each movement, the pros & cons, and in our opinion which is best.
WHAT IS A QUARTZ MOVEMENT?
Here are the different ways a quartz movement operates:
- The battery in the watch send electricity from an electronic circuit to the quartz crystal
- This results in the crystal to vibrate 32 768 times/second
- the circuit then counts the vibrations and generates electric pulses of one per second
- The pulse drives the motor and moves the watch's hands to accurately display time
Why Choose A Watch With A Quartz Movement?
A quartz watch is a great choice for beginners and even watch enthusiasts. One of the many
qualities of the quartz timepiece is its accuracy.
It's deemed to be the most accurate watch in the world.
It's durability has made it one of the most reliable watches you can wear today. Also,
Quartz watches don't require much maintenance other than changing the battery.
And Quartz watches are cheaper compared to automatic watches because of the less labour
As a first time buyer, it can be difficult to
distinguish between a quartz vs automatic movement.
Here is some background information on the history of quartz watches.
Quartz watches were first introduced in the 1960s and caused a massive uproar in the Swiss
watch industry, forcing some Swiss brands to close forever.
The Japanese have made an excellent innovation that was the most accurate timepiece
available on the market, required less maintenance, and able to mass produce for a cheaper
price. They called it the quartz movement.
This time period was known as the Quartz crisis.
What happened during the Quartz Crisis?
During the 1970s, the entire watch making industry had changed forever, especially for the Swiss.
The Japanese had created one of the most desirable timepiece on the market. The watch company seiko introduced the Astron, which was the first battery powered watch. They released a battery powered watch which completely eliminated the use of an automatic movement. With this simple innovation, the quartz watches have gained massive appeal for their cost and durability.
Not only were they cheaper than automatic and mechanical movements, but they were incredibly accurate and sturdy compared to their competitors.
With this innovation , the watchmaking industry had started to take a major hit. The Swiss watch industry and other companies have struggled to keep up with price, precision and production of the quartz watches. This was because they refused to use innovation to their advantage to uphold centuries of traditional watchmaking.
Today, mechanical, automatic and quartz movements have figured out a way to coexist in the same marketplace.
The quartz crisis has helped the watch industry to implement more creative and innovative technology into their timepieces to best serve watch enthusiasts.
Why Choose Quartz over Automatic?
- Quartz movements are cheaper than automatic movements. Quartz watches are less labour intensive and can be mass produced at a cheaper cost.
- Quartz watches require less maintenance. The battery needs to be replaced every few years. Automatic watches don't need a battery but require servicing every 2-5 years.
- Quartz watches are extremely accurate and reliable. A good quartz watch may only run a few seconds off on a monthly basis, while automatic watches may be few minutes off per month.
HOW DO AUTOMATIC WATCHES AND MECHANICAL WATCH WORK?
In 1923 the first mechanical watch was introduced. A creative innovation in the watch making
industry. This watch movement required manual winding to power the timepiece. This was done by twisting the crown until the watch's mainspring tightened.
Then, the automatic movement (also known as self-winding watch) was introduced. But this
time it was different.
A new piece was introduced, it was called the rotor.
The rotor is mounted on the back of the mechanical watch, connected to the mainspring
through a series of gears.
And with the motion of the wearer’s wrist, the rotor spins on an axial and winds the mainspring
which powers the watch movement. This is how an automatic movement works.
The mainspring is the power source for all mechanical watches. Once it's wound through a series of
gears called an escapement, the mainspring tightens. Then the tension is then incrementally
released which powers the automatic watch, this is shown with the sweeping hand motion.
WHAT IS A POWER RESERVE?
A power reserve is the total time a fully wound watch takes to unwind. Most automatic
and mechanical timepieces have a power reserve between 36 to 42 hours. Once the power reserve reaches zero
you will have to rewind your automatic watch.
To fully power your automatic watch you must begin with winding the crown about 20 to 40
times to fully tighten the main spring. Once the mainspring is fully wound, the motion of your
wrist will continually wind the main spring.
Why Choose Automatic over Quartz?
You may be wondering? if automatic watches are more expensive, less accurate, AND require more maintenance over the years, why in the world would anyone want an automatic watch??
For many reasons:
- mechanical movements have deep history and heritage
- Majority of automatic watches have sapphire crystals as the case back. This shows the automatic movement gently oscillating while the gears are fully wound. It's an admirable sight.
- An automatic movement watch has lots of history, and artistry behind the complications of each timepiece.
- Many people admire the sweeping second hand on automatic watches. The second hand on a mechanical watch moves multiple times per second giving it an illusion of a sweeping motion, while on the quartz watch it moves once per second.
CAN YOU OVERWIND AN AUTOMATIC WATCH?
No. Once an automatic watch is fully wound, there is a mechanism that disengages the winding
gear from the mainspring. So you never need to worry about over winding your timepiece.
WHY CHOOSE AN AUTOMATIC MOVEMENT?
Automatic timepieces are known to be
superior in quality and craftsmanship
compared to its competitors. every
automatic mechanical watch has a unique design leaving you with a luxury feeling on
Many people admire the sweeping hand on an automatic movement, moving multiple times per second. Where the quartz watch moves once per second. The result of the sweeping second hand is the
quality of craftsmanship and engineering put into the automatic mechanical movement.
What is better Quartz or Automatic watches?
This depends on the lifestyle you live. Both Quartz and automatic watches are reliable for everyday use.
Quartz watch movements are reliable for everyday use and you don't have to worry about winding the watch over and over again.
On the other hand, many automatic watches are suitable for casual and elegant events. Whether you choose a mechanical or automatic watch you can feel confident that it's the right decision on a night out.
Why are automatic watches more expensive than quartz?
Here are a list of reasons why automatic watches are more expensive than quartz:
- Quality of materials
- Labour factor
- Testing and quality control
When it comes to choosing an automatic or quartz movement, there is no right or wrong choice. The final decision comes down to personal preference and the demands of your lifestyle.
If you're interested in browsing Leberti's automatic luxury watches, you can check out our product page. Here, you'll be presented with timepieces that have a transparent sapphire crystal case back to allow for admiration of the Swiss movement. Our movements vary from Ronda and Swiss ETA 2824, these movements are known to be robust and have power reserves that range from 38-42 hours. We have affordable swiss watches and our collection is unique that can't be found anywhere on the market (around $500 USD).
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