Quartz watches by good makers

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by radicaldog, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. radicaldog

    radicaldog Senior member

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    A Cartier, say. With an in-house movement, but quartz. On the relatively cheap side -- under 5k, say. Yay or nay, and more importantly, why?
     


  2. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    Your choice.
     


  3. ter1413

    ter1413 Senior member

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    Why not ask in the watch thread where very knowledgable members post/comment/update every day?
     


  4. Galix

    Galix Senior member

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    Grand Seiko. Movement 9F is probably the best quartz movement that exists.
     


  5. 12345Michael54321

    12345Michael54321 Senior member

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    Or better still, ask on a watch website, with numerous watch-related forums, one or more of which may even focus specifically on high end quartz.

    Someplace like watchuseek.com or timezone.com.

    Sometimes, there's value in going to a specialist for advice. SF may have a watch thread, but SF certainly doesn't pretend to specialize in wristwatches.

    All this having been said, I'll offer that I don't care to spend thousands of dollars for a quartz watch, myself. I just feel that if I'm going to be spending that much on a watch, it's got to be because the watch is as much an exquisite piece of art, or example mechanical ingenuity, or of the culmination of centuries of tradition in the horological field, as it is a timekeeping device. Since if all I care about is reliability and precise timekeeping, I could get a Chinese made quartz watch for under $100 at Walmart, which would likely be more durable, reliable, and accurate, than a $20,000 Patek Philippe mechanical wristwatch.

    To me, a quartz watch is simply a workaday tool. A handy electronic gadget. Functionally, it's probably superior to its mechanical counterpart in almost every way. But it's simply not all about functionality.

    To me, it's the difference between owning a medieval illuminated manuscript, and having a high resolution .jpg of such a book on my computer. The scanned version may be far more convenient (since there's no need to keep it at constant temperature and humidity, out of direct sunlight, and to touch it only with the greatest of care), but it lacks... soul. And yes, I get that this is a purely subjective, and quite possibly irrational bias on my part. But I'm not sure there's anything wrong, when spending thousands of dollars on a luxury, to give in to subjective and irrational biases. You think all sports cars are purchased solely on the basis of utility? Every boat? Every vacation? Every house? Of course not. When it comes to significant decisions, the subjective and irrational are often major factors entering into the decision-making process.

    But as I say, go to a site specializing in watch-related discussion.
     


  6. starro

    starro Senior member

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    Not to nitpick or anything: agree on the accurate, disagree on the durable and reliable parts. A Walmart quartz watch is a throwaway item; its movement is largely made of plastic. A PP on the other hand is made to last generations. Having little interest in battery watches myself, I don't know if the high end Swiss quartzes have movements made to the same standards as their mechanicals. If so, then that movement would need regular servicing, same as a mechanical, if you want the watch to last over a decade (and that on top of battery changes).
     


  7. dapperdoctor

    dapperdoctor Senior member

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    If you're in it for the finishing and the overall looks, then yes. If it's about the intricate complex automatic movement, then no. A high end watch with a quartz movement will likely be very well-finished, so it could be worth it for some people who don't care much about movements and sweeping second hands.
     


  8. 12345Michael54321

    12345Michael54321 Senior member

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    You're right, in a way.

    A PP can last for generations, but to do so it really ought to be serviced every so often. Let's say once per decade, more or less. (I honestly don't know, offhand, what the recommended service interval is for, say, a PP Grand Complication Perpetual.)

    The cheap, highly accurate, Wally World Special might only last a decade, more or less, before it dies. At which point, one would have to buy a replacement.

    But the replacement might well cost considerably less than does servicing the PP. :)

    So yeah, if you want to always have a reliable wristwatch, I would still maintain that an inexpensive "solid state" watch wins out over an expensive mechanical. But I will admit that if you want the same watch to last through the generations, the expensive mechanical could potentially be kept functional for centuries. Whereas nobody bothers keeping cheap, outdated quartz wristwatches functional. It just wouldn't make any financial sense to do so.

    That having been said, most of my wristwatches are mechanical. Not for any functional reasons; I'm just a bit of a dinosaur and like mechanical movements (and, in some cases, the aesthetics of watches from the 1950's and 1960's). I do own one inexpensive quartz watch which might be available from Walmart - it's a Casio Waveceptor WVA470DJ-1ACF (pictured, below). Powered by light. Syncs with the atomic clock signal out of Colorado. More accurate than I've ever needed. Etc. Cost me under $100. When it eventually dies - probably because its solar power system gives up after 15 or 20 years - I'll probably go online and replace it with something similar.

    [​IMG]
     


  9. starro

    starro Senior member

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    Of course, all good things need maintenance. To expect any machine to continue to operate at the same level year after year is to defy the laws of physics.


    Again, I have to push back on the "reliable" part (it could be possible we have different definitions of the word). A quartz is no more reliable than a mechanical; I would argue it's less. With a quartz (especially a cheap disposable one), it could stop at any minute for a variety of reasons: dead battery, movement issues, etc. Similarly a mechanical could stop for a bunch of reasons: did not wind, watch in need of service etc. The difference is that the mechanical's reasons are all salvageable, whereas if the quartz movement dies, then it's off to the landfill.


    I would just wrap up with a word or two on the financial incentives. (And I should add that nothing I say is directed at you personally. I too own mostly mechanicals--manual winds, to be really old school--and we probably agree 90% here.) No question that the lifetime ownership costs of quartz are (way) lower than those of mechanical, although all things considered it'd be even cheaper to forgo the watch and just rely on your cellphone/tablet. But I think that narrow-minded financial calculation proves to be short-sighted. I'm not a tree hugger in the slightest, but I think it's undeniable that the substitution of cheap disposables (a la Walmart) for costlier "endurables" is the main cause of landfill shortage, battery fluids contaminating our water supply, not to mention the economic devastation for high-skill blue collars. Quartz watches are largely throwaway baubles, and I think we should all think through the consequences before buying them, especially when better made alternatives exist.
     


  10. papa kot

    papa kot Senior member

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    Grand Seiko is on the high end.

    Citizen Eco drive on the cheaper end. Durable and you never need to replace a battery.
     


  11. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    Yes, they will last for ever, I have five OMEGA Constellations, the oldest of which is 40 years old and still keeps perfect time and which the manufacturer continues to service. The only down side is a minor one that the case is not as good as it was. That said it is perfectly satisfactory for day to day use leaving the better ones for better occasions - were I to be bothered about that.
     


  12. Marsay

    Marsay Senior member

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    Before the internet, when a watchmaker serviced your Patek, he used a quartz clock to set it by.
     


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