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Automatic vs. quartz - Page 3

post #31 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu View Post
I'm looking at some nice Omega dress watches, but can't decide whether to get automatic or quartz. The price difference is significant, with quartz much cheaper. The salesmen have differing opinions. One thinks automatic is problematic and doesn't work as well. The other thinks automatic is better, because it requires more engineering than does a quartz and is thus a finer piece of jewelry.

What's the lowdown on this. Are automatic watches problematic, or are they more accurate than quartz?

BTW: I assume manual winding watches are another thing alltogether, correct?


I prefer automatic because :

- it has more work inside it (though most automatic movement are rather cheap in price and craftsmanship)
- the quartz will die sooner or later
- it makes a tic tac
- it resells better (quartz loses its values much more)
- no need to pay 80 euros for a 10 euros battery because the watch has been open and is not waterproof if you change the battery by yourself
- it is rarer
- it is a snobism
post #32 of 54
I have to agree with above poster. Auto is the way to go!!!!
post #33 of 54
religion bump!
post #34 of 54
As others have said, a quartz watch is (i) cheaper, (ii) more reliable/accurate, and (iii) requires less maintenance (except for the occasional battery change). As you have already said, the same Omega watch with a quartz movement is significantly cheaper than the one with an automatic movement. The quartz will also likely be more accurate, i.e. lose less seconds per day than the automatic. What other may not have mentioned is that automatics, due to the complexity of the movements, require regular maintenance (like a tune up) every few years, which, depending on where you get it serviced, can be quite expensive (think several hundred dollars). Also, unless you have a watch winder (and even with one) your automatic watch is likely to die every so often. meaning you'll have to shake it back up, reset the time/date, etc. This becomes more of an issue when you have several watches, and cannot possibly where them all at once (and don't have a watch winder for all of your automatic watches). So, from a purely pragmatic/logical standpoint, there is no reason NOT to get a quartz watch over an automatic or manual.

That being said, I'd take an automatic 10 times out of 10, all things being equal. As others have said, the movement is really the "heart" of any watch, and if I had the choice, I'd want the more elegant/complex movement that really showcases the skill of the watchmaker. Some automatics have clear backs which allow you to see the movement, and some watchmakers take the time to really make their movements gorgeous, i.e. blued screws, etc. So, to me, the choice is an emotional one. It doesn't really make a lot of "sense" to choose an automatic over a quartz, but I still would.

Maybe some pictures would help:

Quartz movement:



Automatic movement:

post #35 of 54
If just looking at movement then for me, automatic is preferred; however, taking all elements into account, an automatic watch may not be most desired option.

I have been looking for a new watch with a white dial, no chronograph or small seconds, no date feature and a black crocodile/alligator strap. With a £2k budget, I found B&M and Longines watches that fit the main criteria and they also have a gold case; however, both are quartz (I found a silver case Longines that is an automatic but can only purchase online). The Zenith Elite is £2.5k and I could get the price down to almost £2k; however, it does not tick as many boxes as the quartz watches do.

If my search finds no better options, I would go for one of the quartz watches.
post #36 of 54
I prefer quartzes - I received a Patek (!!!) as a gift a few years back, and literally never wear it. I can't resell it, and I'd hate to scratch it, so I just leave it lying around. I've found Omegas and Cartiers to just be annoying: if my watch loses more than 10 seconds a month, I cry foul.

The one red flag I would raise is that in the long run, quartz watches are much more difficult to service. I have a hand-me-down quartz Cartier tank from the 80s that is absolutely unserviceable, because the problem in its movement isn't something that you can pinpoint by taking it apart and oiling everything. So those kinds of watches might not be good for the next generation.

Still, I think that buying quartz watches and replacing the insides when they crap out would STILL be cheaper. It was an incredible (De Beers-calibre) marketing coup for watch people to convince yuppie suckers that automatic watches are cool.
post #37 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyoung05 View Post
As others have said, a quartz watch is (i) cheaper, (ii) more reliable/accurate, and (iii) requires less maintenance (except for the occasional battery change). As you have already said, the same Omega watch with a quartz movement is significantly cheaper than the one with an automatic movement. The quartz will also likely be more accurate, i.e. lose less seconds per day than the automatic. What other may not have mentioned is that automatics, due to the complexity of the movements, require regular maintenance (like a tune up) every few years, which, depending on where you get it serviced, can be quite expensive (think several hundred dollars). Also, unless you have a watch winder (and even with one) your automatic watch is likely to die every so often. meaning you'll have to shake it back up, reset the time/date, etc. This becomes more of an issue when you have several watches, and cannot possibly where them all at once (and don't have a watch winder for all of your automatic watches). So, from a purely pragmatic/logical standpoint, there is no reason NOT to get a quartz watch over an automatic or manual.

That being said, I'd take an automatic 10 times out of 10, all things being equal. As others have said, the movement is really the "heart" of any watch, and if I had the choice, I'd want the more elegant/complex movement that really showcases the skill of the watchmaker. Some automatics have clear backs which allow you to see the movement, and some watchmakers take the time to really make their movements gorgeous, i.e. blued screws, etc. So, to me, the choice is an emotional one. It doesn't really make a lot of "sense" to choose an automatic over a quartz, but I still would.

Maybe some pictures would help:

Quartz movement:



Automatic movement:


I don't know if it's fair to compare an automatic meant for display with a quartz movement that isn't. Also, if you understood how quartz movements work, they can be considerably more interesting than automatic movements.
post #38 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by zippyh View Post
I think there's no technical question as to whether they could make a quartz watch with a smooth sweeping seconds hand except that it would use the battery quicker.
I have a cheap seiko quartz alarm clock with a completely smooth sweeping seconds hand so it definitely isn't a technical question. I doubt it uses the battery quicker either, it's run on the same battery for over two years now.

When you acknowledge that wrist watches are basically jewelry, mechanical movements make a lot of sense even in 2011.
post #39 of 54
Why are you wearing a watch? When you know that, you'll know which type you want.

Macallan: you change the strap. A croc/gator band is what, $200? If that? Don't pick a £2k watch based on the strap it came with.
post #40 of 54
Automatic is nice because you get to tell yourself "I'm wearing an automatic watch."

I have an automatic seamaster, not sure if I would buy another automatic (not that I regret this, but that one is enough)

I banged it against the wall once when I was running to catch my train and it was jostled, luckily they backdated the repairs even though it was just out of warranty, otherwise it would have cost me $500 to fix it.

If I don't wear it for a weekend, I have to reset the time and wind it on Monday morning (I have no interest in getting a watch winder)

Accuracy is inferior to that of quartz even for a great automatic.
post #41 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by obiter dictum View Post
When you acknowledge that wrist watches are basically jewelry, mechanical movements make a lot of sense even in 2011.

Many people have done away with watches since they can find the time on their phone. In that situation watches are jewellery first, timekeepers second. This will surely affect the sales of cheap watches more than expensive watches. I'm from the generation that prefers phones over watches, but I will always wear a watch. It is so much easier to look at my wrist for the time than to take out a phone.
post #42 of 54
I have a quartz that I wear around the house, and it gets banged up a lot. My dress and sport watches are either automatic or manual however, I use my quartz to set the time for them.
post #43 of 54
C'mon guys, quartz?... seriously? I thought this was supposed to be the 'style' forum.

Unless the watch is for tactical use, you would have to question why you would wear a quartz. Even in cases where accuracy is paramount, you would surely sway toward digital.

As touched upon above; in a world of smartphones, PDAs, digital calendars, etc, watches have become more of an accoutrement than anything truly functional (even relatively serious divers will wear a Seamaster or Submariner merely as a backup to a purpose designed dive computer for instance).

A mechanical watch, particularly an automatic, is a true timepiece and could even be considered as a reflection of what was once one of mankind's greatest feats of engineering. It is almost organic - an extension of your body; it's heartbeat sustained by the mere movements of your wrist.

This is why I wear one anyway.



By the way, am I the only one who found it bizarre that this thread contains about a page worth of religious discussion for some reason???
post #44 of 54
In the end you should get the one that fits in your budget and the one you like the most. I have a mix of both. I do like my mechanical ones more, but that is just what I like. Both have plus and minuses. Service on mechanical watches can be expensive, much more than a battery change.
post #45 of 54
I myself prefer quartz watches now, after having to update the clock on the mechanical omega seamaster - they are heavy, so i have to let my wrist rest couple of days with other watches, and they have such a short power reserve that i constantly have to update them... this shortens their mechanical life and quite exhausting thing to do. and having just one mechanical watch doesnt justify buying a winding mechanism.
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