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Quartz vs Mechanical Watch Movements
“What’s the difference between an automatic and a quartz watch?”
Out of the different questions that you’ll eventually ask as you dive into the world of watchmaking, this is the one that’s bound to persist until you know the answer.
Among the different parts of a watch that you’ll learn more about, the movements of a timepiece bear the most significant need for familiarity because of how pivotal they are for the pieces’ function. While the movements bear a relatively complex body of knowledge, the quartz and mechanical options also have their own levels of knowledge.
As you continue to grow your watch collection, you’re guaranteed to end up facing the need to learn more about these two types of movements.
A guide to each watch movement in further detail
When you look at any timepiece today, you’ll quickly notice that most of them come in manual or quartz movements. Although watch manufacturers have attempted to push the boundaries with newer models and technological systems, the two options in question still remain as the mainstays because of how well they work.
Admittedly, the idea of dealing with quartz and mechanical movements can seem quite complicated at first because it’s easy to mix them both up. However, the truth is that both these movements have significant differences between them that are far from being mistakable for one another.
If you’ve grown curious about watches and want to know more about the quartz and mechanical movements in further detail, let’s go over both of them in further detail:
The quartz assembly is a type of watch movement that primarily relies on the power supplied by an internal battery that powers the watch through a steady supply of charges.
Through the use of a quartz crystal, microchip, motor, and battery, the famed quartz assembly was made popular by Seiko in the latter half of the 20th century. Over time, this movement managed to rake in more acclaim because of its ability to attain and maintain accuracy even when it isn’t worn (as opposed to mechanical set-ups).
When you look at the quartz crystal itself that powers the whole movement, it’s essential to note that it isn’t just a regular gemstone. Essentially, it is responsible for creating the electrical charges that help power a watch’s microchip. Once everything is up and running, a constant vibration is sent right into the crystal, which then reverberates out to the rest of the watch assembly!
Compared to quartz movements, mechanical movements do not use electrical charges to help watches display time because they rely more on traditional means.
A primary characteristic that sets a mechanical movement apart from its automatic counterpart is that it uses a tightly-wound hairspring that tightens up and gradually releases. As a result, the gradual release of wound energy causes watch parts to rotate based on slow and gradual movement so that the timepiece itself powers up!
Although mechanical movements allow timepieces to work without a battery, the main drawback is that they lose accuracy over time and need to be worn regularly to work!
In the watch world, one of the most prominent or critical parts that any wearer will need to get acquainted with is the movements in their timepieces. Through this guide’s help, you’ll be able to easily tell the difference between a quartz and a mechanical movement so that you can easily find the best timepiece for your needs!
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