The quartz vs. mechanical watch debate rages on and on and will probably persist for the foreseeable future. What watch do you want: an automatic, manual or quartz watch?


The simple truth is, none of them are bad. Choosing between them is a matter of personal preference more than anything else.


Mechanical timepieces were a huge hit in the early part of the 20th century before the quartz craze of the 70s. Now, after being able to capture some of the advantages that were initially thought to be exclusive to their mechanical counterparts, most analogue watch movements today are quartz watch movements. In short, quartz is back and here to stay.

 

Here is a rundown of some of the advantages that a quartz watch may afford you.

Quartz watch accuracy is exceptional

A non-certified modern quartz watch has an accuracy of about 99.9998%. A certified one is 99.9999% accurate.


To put this into perspective, a non-certified quartz watch will lose only around a second per day while a certified one generally won’t lose any. A vintage mechanical watch can lose up to 60 seconds a day, and a modern one between 3-5 seconds.


Over the course of a month, the lost seconds can pile up and become significant.


People might peg you for a lunatic for wanting your watch to be accurate to the minute, but what if you’re broadcaster, an astronomer or a global navigator? Is an accurate watch too much to ask even if you’re just an average person living a typical life?


Quartz watches are more accurate than any mechanical watch, whether automatic or manual. However, regardless of the type, always go with reputable brands to ensure your watch is at least accurate enough for everyday/normal use.

Quartz can also be complicated

The world’s most complicated timepieces are mechanical - no argument about that. But quartz has caught up, and now modern quartz watches can offer the same sophisticated, aristocratic look as manual or automatic watches.

 

Take Davosa’s Nautic Star Chrono line for instance. For the considerably affordable price range of under $500, you get a durable, polished stainless steel watch whose dial shows not only hours, minutes and seconds but also chronograph and date.

Since the movement is quartz, the chronograph is usually more accurate than that of a mechanical watch and measures up to one-tenth of a second. In the end, you have a beautiful dial whose 12-hour, 30-minute and 60-second counters give it a stylish, elaborate look similar to that of a pilot’s cockpit.

 

Some others, like the sports versions, feature a tachymeter scale and even allow you to compute the speed of travel in kilometres per hour.

Quartz is slim, sleek and stylish

Quartz watch movements, since they don’t have the mainspring that powers mechanical movements, are usually very thin - sometimes even thinner than a millimetre. This has allowed manufacturers to come up with light, elegant yet powerful timepieces.

This is again a matter of personal choice. The modern minimalist watch is a style borrowed from the popular pocket-watch design of the 1800s. The duty of such a watch is just one - to tell you the time while looking fabulous and subtly tucking under the sleeve of your designer suit’s jacket.

 

You can still have a large quartz watch with a large case and dial but whose thickness is no more than a centimetre. If this is your style, then quartz is your best bet.

No winding, minimal maintenance

If you’re not one for winding your watch every now and then, a quartz watch is a great option. As long as the watch’s battery has power, you can rest assured that you’ll always have the time.

 

Automatic mechanical watches are the next best thing since they don’t have to be wound by hand. However, since they rely on arm movements to generate power, the watch may stop if left unused for a long period of time.

 

Quartz timepieces are almost maintenance-free, especially compared to manual mechanical watches. The battery usually lasts two years or even three on some modern models. As long as you replace the battery when needed, you won’t have to keep re-setting the time.

 

 

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