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Automatic vs. quartz

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Stu, Jul 9, 2002.

  1. zippyh

    zippyh Senior member

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    Getting back to the original topic (and yes I realize that this thread has been dead for six years), but I anyways, I digress.

    I know that on Rolex automatic models (I don't even know if they even produce any quartz models) that the second hand has a "sweeping" motion as opposed to a more standard "ticking" motion. Is the sweeping motion fairly common among automatic watches, or is this just a Rolex thing?

    Are there watch makers out there who make a quartz watch that also has a sweeping motion?

    LK, I know that you've been active on this thread once, here's hoping that you see this and can impart some of your wisdom on me.


    Rolex no longer produces their "Oysterquartz" movement.
    They stopped production a few years ago. You can still sometimes find NOS pieces as it wasn't a very popular product.

    Actually, automatic watches are "ticking" much like quartz, only at a faster rate. Most are 8 ticks per second. It's more obvious when you look at some of the slower beat movements in a big case like the IWC Big Pilot.

    There have been some automatics with a stepping second like a quartz.
    One that I can think of off hand is a Panerai special edition from several years ago.
    http://www.panerai.com/s_special_edi...d_categoria=46

    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.
     
  2. Dakota rube

    Dakota rube Senior member

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    I know that on Rolex automatic models (I don't even know if they even produce any quartz models) that the second hand has a "sweeping" motion as opposed to a more standard "ticking" motion. Is the sweeping motion fairly common among automatic watches, or is this just a Rolex thing?
    My late father owned a Rolex Oysterquartz, which has made its way into my possession. It's second hand "ticks". On the rare occasion when I wear it, the ticking second hand leads many to comment, "nice fake".
     
  3. Tarmac

    Tarmac Senior member

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    My $250 Seiko automatic sweeps. I'm not sure but I think it is 8bps

    My friend's $1500 breitling quartz diver does not sweep, it ticks once per second.
     
  4. 0b5cur1ty

    0b5cur1ty Senior member

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    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.
    Seiko actually used to make a quartz wristwatch movement with a smooth-sweeping second hand, though it's out of production now. Their current Spring Drive movements (a mechanically-powered, quartz regulated hybrid) also have a totally smooth second-hand sweep.
     
  5. TCN

    TCN Senior member

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    Spending more than $150 on a quartz watch is profligacy.
     
  6. Tarmac

    Tarmac Senior member

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    Didn't the quartz Accutrons sweep?
     
  7. zippyh

    zippyh Senior member

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    Didn't the quartz Accutrons sweep?

    The tuning fork ones did.
     
  8. Azure

    Azure Senior member

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    Quartz?

    You won´t see any serious bussinessman on Europe wearing quartz watches man!

    That is one of the basic visual test about style!!

    ( some cheapo salesmen from big markets on a fat suits and a black plastic Casio from th 80´s...)

    IWC,Vacheron,Zenith,Longines.. etc That is the daily menu
     
  9. iridium7777

    iridium7777 Senior member

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    i feel as automatic and especially manual pieces are way out of touch in current, modern days. quartz movements present technological breakthrough that, by far, surpasses even mechanical perpetual calendars and sonneirie complications.

    may i suggest that you go with a timeless elegance of a gold movado? any knowledgeable salesman will agree.





    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.
     
  10. iridium7777

    iridium7777 Senior member

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    I realize that this thread has been dead for six years


    i wish i could ban you. i can't believe you can get on the internets in ohio.
     
  11. manouche

    manouche Senior member

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    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
     
  12. lovejones

    lovejones New Member

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    I have to agree with above poster. Auto is the way to go!!!!
     
  13. CARNIVORE

    CARNIVORE New Member

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  14. Kyoung05

    Kyoung05 Senior member

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    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:

    [​IMG]

    Automatic movement:

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Macallan

    Macallan Senior member

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    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.
     
  16. godofcoffee

    godofcoffee Senior member

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    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.
     
  17. godofcoffee

    godofcoffee Senior member

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    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:

    [​IMG]

    Automatic movement:

    [​IMG]


    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.
     
  18. obiter dictum

    obiter dictum Senior member

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    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.
     
  19. ktrp

    ktrp Senior member

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    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.
     
  20. FidelCashflow

    FidelCashflow Senior member

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    Automatic is nice because you get to tell yourself "I'm wearing an automatic watch." [​IMG]

    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.
     

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