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This is a fantastic article that can be found at http://www.timecafe.com/Mechanical_Quartz.htm. Great watch learning information.

Mechanical Vs. Quartz

So many watches can definitely make you confused as to which kind of watch to go for! There are two main types of watches- the mechanical watch and the quartz watch. Lets look at them in detail.

A mechanical watch is a device for keeping time, which uses the energy from a wound spring, and keeps time through the highly regulated release of that energy through a set of gears (the wheel train) and an escapement. It uses purely mechanical components to keep time. Mechanical watches typically can run for about 40 hours on one full winding of the mainspring. Some newer designs in the market today can run up to 8 days, or even 10 days, of power reserve.

The basic design of a mechanical watch has not changed in the past decades. But the use of materials and new technology in the manufacture and designing of watches has developed over the ages. The fusion of CAD/CAM, electro spark erosion in the manufacturing, and titanium nitride cases; the watch making industry is still an expression of elegance of design, attention-to-detail in finishing and assembly, and the art of hand-tweaking movements for optimum performance.

Mechanical watches are of two types: manual and self-winding. In a manual watch, the wearer must turn the crown (button on the outside of the watch's case) to wind the mechanism. In a self-winding or automatic watch, the movement is activated by a rotor, which turns by the force of gravity with the regular movements of the wearer's wrist.

In Quartz watches, a specially designed battery activates a Quartz crystal inside the movement that vibrates approximately 33 times per second. These vibrations are then translated into impulses by a computer chip that drives an electronic motor, which moves the watch's hands. The first electronic watch movement was tested and designed by the Swiss research group in the late 1960s.

So here comes the question… which one is better? Well, we at Timecafé certainly have an opinion, but we are here to present you the facts.

A quartz watch is cheaper and more accurate than a mechanical watch. A good mechanical watch can typically be made no more accurate than 2-3 seconds per day. Your typical inexpensive quartz is usually good to 0.5 seconds per day or better. But when you talk of mechanical watches, craftsmanship, aesthetic and tradition are the key attractions, rather than just accuracy! Because the wheel train of an analog quartz watch is not under constant stress from a wound mainspring, it does not need to be as finely finished, nor does it require painstaking skill and precision in assembly.

In respect to durability, a quartz watch is much better on shock resistance over the mechanical, but it is certainly not invulnerable. Low mass of the vital components helps protect them from shocks. The balance wheel's cap jewels, the balance staff, the rotor bearing (in an automatic) and various other parts of the escapement, especially cap jewels are the vulnerable parts in a mechanical watch. Moreover, a quartz watch has few moving parts, which implies, lesser friction and lesser wear and tear. Mechanical watches need to be maintained in good condition.

In terms of reliability, the mechanical watch has a history attached to its name and make. Though, this can be true of a quartz, the battery is a slip. Battery life is not predictable. A mechanical watch can withstand extreme temperatures, unlike a quartz watch.

Replacement parts for mechanical watches are available; you just need to make sure that they are original. But when it comes to age-old quartz watches, the batteries would have become obsolete, which means, that old quartz watches are just matter of memories.

Apparently, mechanical watches can last longer, provided they are taken care of and serviced well. Also, if in good condition, a mechanical watch has a lot of resale value, it is an asset. A quartz watch on the other hand features electronic circuitry that has a limited lifespan.

Bottom line — for just accuracy, go for a quartz, for quality, class, precision and historic value, go for a mechanical watch! And for some of you, who cannot decide, buy what you like to wear.

Source - http://www.timecafe.com/Mechanical_Quartz.htm
 

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Interesting article. I have both types of watches and I prefer quartz just for the ease of use, you know, grab it and go!I do however, like my mechanical watches and have about 7 of them but they don't get as much wrist time as my quartz do.
 

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TV -great article -this is kinda why i consider myself somewhat of a purist - i prefer automatic mechanical's over quartz as they are a REAL watch as opposed to another piece of technology -but the quartz beats the mechanical in design

case in point -you can get a chrono quartz for a good price
an auto quartz is gonna cost some serious money and may be out of reach budget-wise to alot of us

a 3 hand auto is limited to just that but -you can get creative with dial colors & textures etc

whereas the quartz can do this as well as use their chrono complications which are so popular to us and the buying public

still - i have a mechanical Rolex given to my circa 1976 by my dad and hasnt been serviced in well over 12-15 yrs
that runs excellent when wound -only thing is its about 36-38mm and has no bracelet so its in my watch box but it is my oldest and most precious watch

great article
 

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So George you are saying that if you had the exact same watch, literally everything the same, with the exception that one is a Quartz and the other is Mechanical, you would not view the Quartz one as highly?
I completely understand the difference between the 2 types of watches, but I would say that a Quartz watch is every bit as technologicaly amazing as a mechanical movement. From the actual battery, to how its power is used to make the watch movements "go".
 

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George is a purist and he likes what it takes to make a mechanical watch and then for it to actually work and I can respect that. I'm into the history and the love of the craftsmanship and the art that is watchmaking! I'm just into the ability to pick up a watch and go rather than have many on winders or having to wind them all the time, that's all.
 

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That I agree with and I am not disagreeing with George at all. I am honestly interested in his response. I have many friends who are mechanical ONLY purists who are literally angry anti-quartz to a fault.


Now I know George is not like that and owns Quartz watches also, but I would love to hear the opnion of someone I respect like George.
 

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yeah i have about a 50/50 split between quartz & autos

i got my 1st SAN III in the quartz simply because of price and LUST or LOVE - shortly thereafter i got a 3 hand SAN III Auto - i love them both --the quartz has a BIG date & BIG DAY complication that i absolutely love -the 3 hand has a date window - i consider every watch i buy Special so i dont think i would p/u the same exact style in both Q & A - i would probably choose the auto dependant on price point

all of the quartz's i own i value as much as any watch but i do think that some of the auto's will outlive the quartz's by years so its hard to distinguish the difference

also you gotta know my dad was a watchmaker for rolex so i grew up watching him repair and make some great mechanical watches -that probably has alot to do with my "purist" attitude

like everyone else i buy what i like -i do have a preference for the auto's but if a great looking quartz comes out and it sings to me -it'll sing just as loud as any other watch i've bought!!
 

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gjimenez wrote:
yeah i have about a 50/50 split between quartz & autos

i got my 1st SAN III in the quartz simply because of price and LUST or LOVE - shortly thereafter i got a 3 hand SAN III Auto - i love them both --the quartz has a BIG date & BIG DAY complication that i absolutely love -the 3 hand has a date window - i consider every watch i buy Special so i dont think i would p/u the same exact style in both Q & A - i would probably choose the auto dependant on price point

all of the quartz's i own i value as much as any watch but i do think that some of the auto's will outlive the quartz's by years so its hard to distinguish the difference

also you gotta know my dad was a watchmaker for rolex so i grew up watching him repair and make some great mechanical watches -that probably has alot to do with my "purist" attitude

like everyone else i buy what i like -i do have a preference for the auto's but if a great looking quartz comes out and it sings to me -it'll sing just as loud as any other watch i've bought!!
That's cool your Dad was a watchmaker for Rolex!! You have a rich history of watches in your house then. Awesome!
 

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Yeah i was really young so my love of watches was dormant until this year with the Invicta Craze - but i have learned alot and remembered alot from what my dad used to do - i'm just the guy next door -no special know how

thx


sheraortho wrote:
That's cool your Dad was a watchmaker for Rolex!! You have a rich history of watches in your house then. Awesome!
 

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same reason fixing a BMW or JAG is more expensive then fixing a Toyota or Ford.
 

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I know TAG uses an ETA G10 in their entry level models, it uses the same 394 battery that a G10 in the Invicta Venom and many other less expensive offerings. You go figure.

Old Neil
 

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My collection consists mainly of Mechanical/Automatics, but I do own about a dozen or more quartz models. I prefer automatics hands down b/c they seem to fascinate me much more then a quartz does. They both have there pro's and con's however. I very rarely buy quartz anymore. Every once in a while I see one that intrigues me so I buy it.
 

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Too each is own I can appeciate ones love for Mechanical, as well as Automatics, but for me it is simple Technology will always outperform Mechanics.

Is there a single piston powered aircraft that will outperform a Turbine aircraft?

Is there a single mid 80 carb run car that will get better fuel mileage then a comp Fuel injected car?

Is there a single computer from the 80's that will out perform a low end computer of today.

There are certain things that a are from a older generation that might very well bring more value, but they will not out perform as a whole.

Case in point would be the fastest production car of the 60's, will not out perform the even the Top 10 fastest production vehicles of today.

Quartz,Quartz,Quartz!!!

I do have 5 mechanical Auto's and I appreciate the design, but they are nowhere near as accurate, as functional and cost more to keep running then the quartz watch.
 

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delaney21 wrote:
WHY ARE tAG WATCH BATTERIES SO EXPENSIVE?
If you purchase a Tag from an authorized dealer they will usually replace the battery free of charge every 3-4 years. You may pay more up front, but in the long run it saves you much more money. In addition to that you don't void your warranty by having an unauthorized dealer replace the battery. Just my 2 cents.
 

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What really got me started on collecting was "the art of the movement". So obviously I am an automatic / mechanical enthusiast. Although I don't get that involved in the intracies of the mechanicals anymore, I really do appreciate the work that goes into these babies. The high dollar watches with "one of a kind" movements are really something to behold. When I go through a watch catalog, I just love looking at "what makes'em tick"! JMHO. To each his own, but it will always be the autos and mechanicals that I prefer.
 

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I have many quartz watches and mechanicals, about 50/50. Usually I prefer a watch with a ETA mechanical, however, today many of the real forward looking watch models come only in quartz versions. I prefer the ETA 251.272, it's very accurate, has splt hand movement and it's gears are supported by 22 jeweled bearings verses the G10's 3. The 251.272 can be repaired, not so with the G10. I have nice watches with the G10 movements, they are very accurate and have served me well over the years. I am only trying to point out that all quartz movements are not created equally, some are of a better grade than others. Just do your home work when becoming enamored with a certain watch and be aware of what you are getting in a quartz movement.

Old Neil
 

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I find it hard to excited about a quartz movement. Typically the watches I own that have a quartz movement in them, do so because there was no automatic choice available. I can't say that I don't like quartz watches (because I own a few), but if given a choice (all other things being equal), I will choose a mechanical automatic 99% of the time.

I have my cell phone for accurate time, so I don't care that my watch is 5-10 seconds fast or slow. It only takes me a minute to reset the watch, just in case the time gets too out of whack.

The joy I get out of a watch driven by a mechanical automatic is irreplaceable by a quartz watch. I actually tear watch movements apart for educational purposes and for repair. Mechanical movement are fascinating to watch in action.

I don't doubt the superior accuracy of a quartz movement over the typical mechanical automatic. There is a lot of innovation that continues today. And this is cool!

And not for me! :)


I'll take a COSC grade mechanical automatic chronograph over a quartz movement any day! :)
 

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TVDinner wrote:
And for some of you, who cannot decide, buy what you like to wear.


The most important part of the article.
 
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