Quartz or Mechanical...What Makes You Tick?

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Deciding which designer watch to display on your arm can be a struggle. There are so many choices of names and types of watches it can be mind boggling. Another big factor in choosing a watch is your budget, they range from ten dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars for luxury watches. With all of the different factors to consider when buying a watch, it can get quite confusing.

One way to narrow this down, and find a place to start, is deciding on which type of movement works best for your everyday lifestyle.

The movement (also called a caliber) is literally the engine that make this watch tick. It is important to have an understanding of these movements when looking for your dream watch.

In our modern day of watches there are two common types of movements, quartz and mechanical.

Quartz Movement

The quartz movement was first invented in the late 1960’s, and at that time this technology was incredibly expensive. In today’s world it is one of the least expensive movements, but also the most widely used. Mass manufacturing has brought the cost down considerably, but don’t let that fool you, this is still a great dependable movement. The quartz movement watch is very easy to spot, the second hand moves with a single tick for each second.

Most of the watches that you will see out on the street have a quartz movement, and they are some of the least expensive watches. This type of movement uses and oscillator, that is regulated by a piece of quartz, and relies on battery power. Even though these watches are very inexpensive to make, they are extremely accurate, to within a half a second per day.

The quartz movement is very low maintenance, just change the battery as needed. It is also very accurate and tends to be on the lower end of the price scale. Here is a fine example of a high quality, inexpensive, quartz movement watch. Click on the picture for more details.

Mechanical Movement

The person who labels himself as a watch “connoisseur”, in most cases will choose the mechanical movement watch over the quartz movement watch.

Mechanical movement watches use a wound spring incorporated with very tiny gears for a release of energy to make the “engine” purr. It is just pure metal working together, no batteries or crystals needed.

People who chose the mechanical movement watch, love the traditional construction, coupled with breath taking beauty.

If accuracy is your main focus, you will want to take a closer look at the quartz movement watches. A mechanical movement is accurate to 2-3 seconds per day at best, whereas a quartz movement is accurate within a half a second per day.

With a mechanical watch you have two choices—manual or self-winding (automatic).

The manual type has to be wound by hand approximately every thirty hours, some models claim a little less. It’s a little more “hands on” than a quartz movement watch, but by winding it yourself, you don’t have the expense of batteries either.

The self-winding watch works off the natural movement of your wrist. Now you might think to yourself, that makes sense! No winding, or having to remember to wind it every thirty hours. Keep in mind that when you take the watch off there is nothing rewinding it, and it’s still ticking.

Speaking of ticking, this is how you can see the difference between a quartz movement and a mechanical movement. The second hand on a mechanical watch gently sweeps around the face.

Here is a fine example of a mechanical movement watch. Click on the picture for more details.

Which One Makes You Tick?

When talking about affordability and accuracy, the quartz movement watch will win this battle every time. It is a mass produced watch that keeps very accurate time. You can certainly find very eye appealing watches with quartz movement, that won’t drain your savings account when you go to purchase one. The only required maintenance is changing the battery.

Mechanical watches have a lot more time and craftsmanship that go into each one. When it comes to luxury, and the high level of quality, the mechanical watch wins hands down. They do require a bit more maintenance, but they will also last for generations to come.

If you’re looking for a watch that is truly an item of beauty, that will get you some thumbs up in the next board meeting, and maybe even some credibility with the ladies, the mechanical watch may be the way to go for you.

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