There are a few different types of watches: mechanical, automatic, and quartz. The most prevalent watches for centuries was mechanical watches, but more recently, the quartz watch has taken center stage. These timekeepers have come to dominate the watch industry in the past few decades.
The ideas that enabled a quartz oscillator to work were discovered in 1880. The oscillator is driven by a chemical reaction with a quartz crystal, thus the name. The first quartz time pieces were built in the late 1920’s.
Following that development, the next three decades saw a growth and development in the quartz industry. By the end of the 1960s, the first commercially produced and sold wristwatch was created by Seiko. Since the 1980s, this movement has come to dominate the watch industry and surpass mechanical watches in production and usage.
What’s in a Quartz Movement?
A quartz watch movement is the powerhouse of the watch. The movement works with a battery to power your watch. Unlike a mechanical watch, a quartz watch movement does not require hand winding to create energy for the mainspring of the watch. The movement relies on an electronic oscillator to keep time. This oscillator Is regulated by the crystal. So long as the battery is replaced once it’s depleted, the movement will continue to work.
How’s the Accuracy?
Quartz movements only lose approximately 15 seconds every 30 days! This is less than other types of watch movements. The accuracy is due to the specialty of the quartz oscillator. Some quartz timepieces can even internally adjust to changes in time caused by external pressures such as temperature change and movement.
The Future of Quartz?
Quartz watches blew up in popularity for the past couple of decades due to the wide increase in production. Because Quartz watches rely on batteries, they were easier to mass-produce than mechanical watches. Quartz will be sticking around for a long time, as more and more innovative subsegments of quartz watches continue to come out.
However, the rise of Quartz doesn’t imply the death of all other types of watches. For instance, digital watches have blown up in popularity more recently than quartz. Moreover, mechanical watches are seeing a resurgence in popularity. While quartz watches are mass-produced easily, people are once again appreciating the craftsmanship that goes into a small batch mechanical watch movement.
Of course, the Rotate Watches team loves the allure of mechanical movements and we won’t be getting tired of it anytime soon! Learn more about mechanical watches by assembling one yourself – view our available watchmaking kits here.