If you are interested in buying a new wristwatch, one of the most important decisions that you will have to make is regarding whether you are going to buy a quartz watch or one with automatic movement. We have been enamored by stylish-looking timepieces since the dawn of time, and companies such as Rolex have been producing delicate and beautiful timepieces that retail for thousands of dollars.
However, you might have asked yourself every now and then about the difference between an automatic movement and a quartz movement. Which one is the better choice? While there are several fundamental differences, it is important to discuss each in detail so that you have a clear idea about which one you should choose.
Also known as the “caliber,” the movement is essentially the “engine” that’s powering all of the functions within the watch. Quartz and automatic are two of the movements that are most commonly found on modern watches.
Automatic Movement Versus Quartz
The quartz watch movement is perhaps the most common one. It’s the electronic movement, powered by a tiny cell. As you can well imagine, the quartz movement is powered by a tiny mineral inside the watch, known as quartz.
Any watch build needs a constant measure when giving the time. Scientists discovered that when electrical current was run through a small quartz crystal, it began to vibrate at a specific frequency. That is one of the main reasons why the accuracy of a quartz watch is incredibly high.
In fact, there are several quartz watchmakers that boast that their watches are accurate to a mere few seconds each year. A vast majority of the quartz watches that you will find in the market are powered by a tiny cell. Depending on the size and performance of the cell, they are usually going to last you between one and five years.
However, that’s just about all the maintenance that these watches require. Apart from replacing the battery every now and then, there’s not a lot else to do. Most quartz watches don’t just tell the time. They also come with a host of additional features, such as a built-in stopwatch, a compass, and they even provide electric illumination.
As a result, their battery life is likely to be lesser than watches that are mechanical and simply tell time. But, you should know that not all of the quartz watches out there come with a replaceable battery. For instance, Citizen, a major watchmaker, has created their Eco-Drive watch line, that simply uses solar energy to charge.
The battery has the ability to charge even in indoor light and can easily last for several months on a full charge without being exposed to light. Companies such as Casio have introduced similar technology, labeling it as “Tough Solar.” The movement is quite popular on their G-Shock watches.
Due to the mechanical nature of these watches, they are generally quite easy to assemble.
The automatic watch, on the other hand, is quite different. These watches don’t require a lot of effort. You don’t have to manually wind it up, unlike the mechanical watches. There is a risk of damaging the watch due to the manual winding, so the automatic movement was created.
Using ball bearings and a weighted ear, the automatic watch simply harnesses the energy from the wearer’s natural movements, and then uses those to charge the watch. They have a whole lot of parts inside, and it’s one of the reasons why their value is considerably higher.
All of the gears that are installed within the watch are carefully crafted and laid in by hand, so it is by far one of the best choices if you have the money. The problem with this kind of watch is that if you don’t wear it for several days consecutively, it’s going to stop keeping time.
They are more expensive than the quartz watch, primarily because of the craftsmanship that goes into the watches. If you don’t wear watches regularly, this one might not be suitable for you.
Automatic Versus Quartz Watch – Durability
Durability is a major concern for many people when buying a watch. Automatic watches are finely crafted by experts who know what they are doing. Each gear is finely laid and screwed into position, and they are unparalleled in terms of performance.
If you charge them on a regular basis, these watches are going to last you a long time without requiring any kind of care or maintenance. They are made from more expensive parts and are designed to last much longer, which easily makes them some of the most durable timepieces out there.
Many people own Rolexes or Patek Philippe watches that are considered family heirlooms, and have been around for centuries. The use of high-caliber materials and the prowess of the automatic machinery makes it an ideal choice for many people. If you are interested in buying a watch that’s going to last you a long while, you simply can’t go wrong with the automatic ones.
Automatic Versus Quartz Watch Reliability
When buying a watch, reliability is a major concern for many people. You want a watch that is able to tell the time and tell it right. What’s the point of having a watch if you constantly have to update the time on your own after every few days?
As such, reliability is a major concern. In this regard, you simply can’t go wrong with the high-end quartz movements. They are incredibly precise and tailored to perfection, and will only lose a few seconds in a year.
You don’t have to charge them or do anything. They will continue running smoothly as long as they receive electrical supply. These watches can easily last you for years without requiring any kind of repairs or tinkering.
Automatic watches, on the other hand, need to be charged. If you don’t wear it for a few days, you have to put it on and shake it around for it to show the time properly.