Quartz watch is the most common watch type right now in the whole world. If you see someone wearing a watch, there’s a high chance that he/she might be wearing a quartz watch. But then again, should you get one for yourself?
So why should you buy a quartz watch? There are 10 good reasons why you should buy a quartz watch:
- It’s very accurate
- The most affordable watch type
- Easy to use
- Low maintenance needs
- Lightweight and thin
- Can be equipped with various functions
- Many movement innovations to choose from
- Used inside most fashion watches
- Generally more durable than automatic watch
- The best grab and go type of watch
1. High Accuracy
One of the main selling points of quartz watch a few decades ago when it was first invented was how accurate it is. Modern quartz watch has an accuracy of +/-10 seconds per month, which is much much more accurate than an automatic watch that can only attain +/-6 seconds per day at most.
The reason for this technical achievement lies with the electronic timekeeping consists of integrated circuit and an oscillating quartz crystal.
These components are not only accurate, but also can be manufactured with a good consistency so that each quartz watch will have almost exact accuracy like the other.
Without a doubt, not everyone do actually need such accuracy. I’ve been using automatic watches and its lower accuracy are not really that big of a deal to me as my watch will only lose or gain a few minutes every 1-2 weeks.
But if you’re someone that needs a perfect timekeeping for your work, then quartz watch is definitely the best option. And if +/-10 seconds per month are not good enough, there are plenty of other quartz watch options such as the Bulova Precisionist that delivers excellent accuracy. There’s also atomic clock synced watch that will reset the time to atomic clock every night – so that you can rest assured your watch is always correct (such as the Citizen Eco-Drive here).
I don’t think I need to say much about quartz watch’s affordability. Considering as you can get a Timex for $20 off Amazon (some other Chinese brands can be had for even $10), there’s no question about how affordable a quartz watch is.
In comparison, automatic watch usually starts around $100, though you can get one for less than that by sacrificing build quality and material. The affordability of quartz watch is the major factor why many people can wear a watch nowadays. In the past, only the well-to-do can wear a watch (of automatic movement).
So how does quartz watch become so affordable? It’s all thanks to cheap materials and mass production.
If you notice, most of the cheaper watches are all made from plastics, which are very cheap. And this relates back to the use of quartz movement: as it’s a lightweight movement, even plastics can be used as the case for the watch (in comparison an automatic watch needs a steel case to house its heavy movement). The huge amount of plastics used in the watch drives the cost down.
In addition, these watches are often mass-produced using robots with less human intervention. This greatly speed up production and lowers costs. Not to mention they usually produced it in China or some other third-world country where labor cost is much cheaper than in the US.
But of course, you get what you paid for. A $20 Timex would not be something that can last for a lifetime. But it’s definitely a good choice if you’re looking for a cheap, disposable watch that you will change with something else few years later.
3. Easy To Use
Another reason why you should get a quartz watch is how easy it is to use. Quartz watch is basically a very basic watch – just pop in a battery, set the time and you’re good to go.
This makes the watch a much easier one to be use compared to other types of watches that can be quite hard to be used. Automatic watch are not as easy as it involves some knowledge about the watch movement and there are some manual winding and power reserve that need to be considered. But with quartz watch, everything is so simple even kids can use it.
Of course, there are some quartz watches with extra functions that can be quite hard to be used (the G-Shock comes to mind) with its various display indicators, pushers and all.
But in general, the 3-hands analog type of quartz watch is fairly easy to be used and if you’re someone that just wants to know what time it is without all the technicalities, this is the perfect choice for you.
4. Low Maintenance Needs
The next reason why a quartz watch is a good buy is the low maintenance needs. Although some people say that quartz watch don’t need any maintenance, in truth it also needs some maintenance especially if you have a more expensive watch that you want to be able to last your lifetime.
But the service interval of a quartz watch is significantly lesser than an automatic watch. If an automatic watch requires a service every 3 to 5 years (depending on the manufacturer), a quartz watch will need one every 10 years or so.
The reason for this is that there are many moving parts in an automatic watch so much so it will degrade over time through the wear and tear of running the watch.
But for a quartz watch, the number of moving parts is small since it depends on electronic timekeeping and a motor to move the watch. This low number of moving parts also makes the watch easier to be serviced resulting in low service costs.
(read more about servicing a quartz watch in my previous post here)
5. Lightweight And Thin
Another great characteristics of quartz watch is how lightweight it is. Since the quartz movement only requires minimal parts, it has a much lower weight and thinner profile compared to automatic movement.
What entails is the watch using quartz movement can be made lightweight, especially if the manufacturer opts to use plastics for the case. This causes the watch to be very comfortable to be used and is suitable for all age and gender.
The same cannot be said of automatic watch as it’s usually much heavier and not everyone can wear it. I’m actually bemoaning the trend of bigger sized watches nowadays as it causes automatic watches to be heavier than ever. My Seiko Sumo for instance, has a 44 mm diameter case and a substantial weight. Sure enough, the heft makes wearing it feels real good but I found that it can be fatiguing to be worn for long time.
If you’re in the market for a watch that’s light, comfortable on the wrist and has thin stylish design, your best bet is a quartz watch.
6. Can Be Equipped With Various Functions
Thanks to its electronic circuit, quartz watch is a good choice if you want a watch with more functions in addition to the normal time-keeping.
There’s so many functions that can be added onto a quartz watch such as:
- Chronograph (or stopwatch)
- Alarm clock
- LED back light
- Other timezones
- and many others
Some watch manufacturers even went as far as incorporating calculator, radio, TV even computer into their watches! All of these culminates into the advent of smartwatches that’s popular currently. Frankly, the combination is endless and there’s so many options that you can choose from.
7. Many Movement Innovations To Choose From
One of the great things that quartz watch invention had brought us is the many innovations that stem from it. From it, there are many types of watch movements that was invented by using ideas from quartz watch.
For instance, there are solar and automatic-quartz watches that seek to add a self-generating power unit into the watch, so that the battery don’t need to be changed frequently. With solar watch, there are photo voltaic cells on its dial that will convert light into electricity and stored inside the watch.
With automatic-quartz watch, there is a self-winding rotor mechanism connected to a small dynamo that generates electricity as the watch moves following wrist motions. These are exciting innovations that seeks to improve upon the basic quartz watch.
In addition, there’s also the smartwatch, the very popular type of watch currently thanks to the likes of Apple watch, Samsung Gear and others. Do you know that smartwatch was also born out of the innovations done on quartz watch?
Initially, watchmakers started adding many functions into the watch. These functions are related to time and wrist watch usage such as chronograph, alarm clock, back light, etc.
Thanks to the vast improvement in semi-conductor, there’s more powerful chips being released with the same footprint that was utilized by watchmakers to add more functions into the watch such as calculator, TV and computer.
And with the boom of smartphones, smartwatches (or wearable) were shoved into the spotlight. Although it was initially designed as an extension of smartphones, there are smartwatches that can now be used independently much like a phone. This kind of innovation is only made possible from the invention of quartz watch 50 years ago.
8. Used Inside Most Fashion Watches
Thanks to its affordability and lightweight characteristics, quartz watch is the main type of watch movements to be used by designer houses for their fashion watch line up.
Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Hugo Boss and others are some fashion brands that have ventured into watchmaking. I personally prefer true watchmakers (such as Seiko, Tissot, Hamilton, etc.) as I like to buy into their wealth of histories and quality but these fashion brands do produce some nice designs that looks really good. Well, they are fashion brands after all so no surprises there.
One of the common thing with these fashion watches is it’s most likely using a quartz watch because its cheaper and has small footprint. The fashion watch can then be made into various dimensions based on the designers. With these fashion watches, there’s much more options of quartz watches to choose from in the market.
9. More Durable Than Automatic Watch
The next reason why you should buy a quartz watch is that of its durability. To be precise, I’m talking about the ability of the watch to be used daily and subjected to some impact or shocks due to sports activity for instance.
In a direct comparison, a quartz watch is more durable than automatic watch due to the lower number of parts inside it. Because of this, there’s less chance that something will screw up when the watch is being impacted.
But for an automatic watch, there is a higher probability there will be something wrong with the movement if the impact is high. There’s a lot of small moving parts that’s quite sensitive to sudden shock – so that’s a quartz watch is more suitable for sports.
But one common thing with these 2 watches is the quality of the watch (which also corresponds to its price) will dictate how durable it is. Although a quartz watch is generally durable and robust, don’t expect the same with a cheap $10 watch. The cheap watch will always use lesser quality material and I don’t think it will last as long as a $50 watch.
The same is also true with automatic watch – there are diver watches that can be used to dive up to hundreds of feet below sea level and these are much more durable than a cheap $50 watch. You will get what you paid for.
But for dollar to dollar comparison, there no question that a quartz watch will be able to last longer than the same priced automatic watch. So if durability is at the top of your list, then you should seriously consider quartz watch.
10. The Best Grab And Go Type Of Watch
Although I’m an automatic watch kind of guy, I still feel that no automatic watch can never beat quartz watch in terms of being easy to use – so called the grab and go type of watch.
With my automatics, I always have to check whether it’s moving or not (sign of depleted power reserve) or if the time is correct or not by comparing it with my smartphone. Even though some of my watches have extended power reserve, I still do this just to be sure. This is the habit that I’ve gotten after having my watches die on me only to have me realized it later on.
But with a quartz watch, there’s no need to do such things. As long as the watch is ticking, its time is always as accurate as you’d like it to be (it will only gain or lose 2 minutes every year after all). I can see that if my life is much more hectic than now, I’d wear quartz watches more often instead.
But within the realms of quartz watch, there is also the type of watch that I can say is the best grab & go type of watch and that is the solar watch. As solar watch converts light into electric, it’s basically self-sufficient without the need to change its battery frequently (you only need to change its capacitor every 10-years or so).
Just bask the watch under light and you’re good to go. In fact, modern solar watch can even work with indoor lights as long as it’s bright enough which makes it very easy charge it simply by wearing it and go on doing your normal lives. And since you’re basically recharging it daily, you can use any functions that the watch has (chronograph, back light, etc.) and don’t have to worry about depleting the battery.
With such a great technical and real-life advantages, I’d say that solar quartz watch is the best grab & go type of watch.
Do quartz watches need batteries? Quartz watches need batteries to run; the battery will supply electricity which will be used by the timekeeping mechanism of the watch. (if you want to learn more about how quartz watch works, read my previous post here).
Why are some quartz watches so expensive? Some quartz watches can be expensive due it having better materials used (precious metals such as gold for instance), gems, better craftsmanship and better movement.
Do quartz watches need servicing? Quartz watch also needs servicing to maintain its movement in perfect condition. (read my previous post here about servicing a quartz watch).
Do quartz watches need jewels? In general, quartz watches don’t require jewels as its moving parts is subjected to less stress than an automatic watch. But there are some quartz watches that utilize jewels in its movement and these watches are often of higher quality.
I hope this article about why buy a quartz watch is beneficial to you. Do let me know if there’re any questions or you have anything to add by commenting below.