The world of watches can be vast due to the incredible number of watch styles and models. But if you’re looking for a timepiece that’s worth your money and affection, it will come down to these two types — automatic watches and quartz watches.
It’s likely that you’ve come across the terms – quartz and automatic. Both have their own pros, cons, similarities, and differences. But regardless of a watch’s style its accuracy, longevity, performance, design, features, and functionality should be on your checklist before your purchase.
So the obvious question is which type is best? Well, we, the timergeeks, believe automatic watches are the better ones. And we’re about to put forward our arguments for automatic watches’ superiority over quartz watches – so, let’s check it out!
The History Behind Automatic Watches
Automatic watches have been around since the 1700s when watchmakers developed them as a way to make watches more reliable and accurate. Many watchmakers in that period tried hard to invent a timekeeper that can keep its own time without the need for manual winding. Thus, the idea for automatic watches originated with self-winding pocket watches designed by Abraham-Louis Perrelet (a Swiss watchmaker) in 1770. His pocket watch could self-spring with 15 minutes of walking.
For over a century, there was no notable development for automatic watches. By the early 19th century there were some well-known watchmakers who had automatic pocket watches (note: not wristwatches) for sale.
In the early 1920s, after the 1st World War, the automatic wristwatch began to gain significant momentum. In 1923, British watchmaker John Harwood invented an automatic watch system that reportedly ran for 12 hours on kinetic movement. This began a revolution of advancement not only for automatic watches but also for the watch industry as a whole. Rolex also began to experiment with different weights to come out with their own automatic wristwatches.
While these early models were crude and unreliable, modern automatic watches are much more precise, thanks to advancements in technology over the centuries.
Quartz Watches: Invention & Development
The first quartz-operated watch movement was invented in 1927 by Canadian engineer Warren Marrison. Issac Koga, a Japanese scientist and inventor created the very first Japanese Quartz watch in 1937. He used quartz’s property of oscillating at a precise frequency when electricity was applied to it. This technology significantly improved the watches’ accuracy.
Seiko was the first one to begin working relentlessly on reducing the size of a quartz clock’s movement.
In 1958, Seiko developed a quartz clock specifically for a broadcast station. It had the size of a large locker. But only in 1962, Seiko debuted their quartz-powered table clock – the well-known Seiko Quartz Crystal Chronometer. They next released a table clock which was used during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
After the Olympics, the Seiko brand accelerated the quartz movement’s miniaturization, unveiling a pocket watch in 1966 and a wristwatch in 1967.
The Mechanics of an Automatic Watch
An automatic watch is powered by a winding mechanism that works by converting the natural motion of your wrist into energy which powers the watch’s movement. This means that all you need to do is wear it every day and it will stay ticking without needing any manual winding or battery changes. This makes it very convenient and thus very popular among watch enthusiasts who appreciate its reliability and accuracy.
The inner workings of an automatic watch consist of several key components including a balance wheel with a hairspring (which regulates the speed at which the hands move) as well as gears, jewels (which reduce friction between moving parts), and other components made from carefully chosen materials like gold or stainless steel alloys.
All these parts work together in perfect harmony to ensure accurate timekeeping for years, making an automatic watch a great investment for those who value quality over quantity.
Accuracy and Precision in an Automatic Watch
An automatic watch is considered more accurate than its quartz counterpart due to its intricate design and mechanics. An automatic watch must be precise to keep time accurate, something that quartz watches have difficulty with due to battery changes or outside interference from magnets or electronics. As such, an automatic watch will typically require less maintenance than a quartz watch and will remain more accurate over time.
When it comes to durability, automatic watches are far superior to quartz watches. Automatic watch movements are made from intricate coils and gears that are designed to last for many years with proper care and maintenance. On the other hand, quartz watch movements contain delicate electronic components that require regular servicing and battery replacement every few years. So if you’re looking for a watch that will last a lifetime, an automatic watch is your best bet.
Style & Design
Another reason why many people prefer automatic watches is that they are aesthetically pleasing. Automatic watches come in all shapes and sizes, so there is sure to be something out there that suits your style preference. Furthermore, they often feature intricate designs and decorations on their faces which add depth and character. This makes them perfect for special occasions or as a statement piece in any outfit!
The Benefits of Automatic Watches
In addition to their reliability and accuracy, there are several other advantages associated with owning an automatic watch. For starters, they tend to be more aesthetically pleasing than quartz models due to their intricate design elements like skeletonized dials (where you can see gears through cutouts) or engraving on the case back or bezel—all features that you won’t find on quartz models.
Additionally, many luxury brands produce limited edition pieces featuring unique designs and materials like titanium or carbon fiber that can add real value to your collection over time. Finally, wearing an automatic watch also has sentimental value because it allows you to connect with history through its traditional mechanisms—making it truly special compared to quartz alternatives which tend not to last as long nor require such care in maintenance.
Automatic VS. Quartz: Reliability, Accuracy, & Performance
Both automatic and quartz watches are widely considered to be accurate. Some watch experts argue that quartz watches are more accurate because they’re accurate within 0.5 seconds while automatic timepieces can be off by a few seconds.
Let’s begin with the battery replacement issue first. Automatic watches need to be worn daily or manually wound daily. Modern automatic watches do require less and less manual winding as well. The winding and kinetic energy from the wearer’s movements is good enough for automatic watches.
On the other hand, quartz watches need a separate battery. This is a nuisance. But you might need to change that every few years. Other than that, quartz-powered watches are very low maintenance.
Both of these movements are also reliably accurate. Quartz crystals swing at a constant frequency with the help of electric current. This allows them to maintain astonishing accuracy, losing only a few seconds per year.
Please note that the automatic watch manufacturers have really been able to hone the accuracy of their calibers. As a result, modern automatic watches, particularly those that have chronometers, deviate only just 4-6 seconds per day.
In terms of appeal, heritage, and aesthetics, automatic watches hold more to watch enthusiasts. Automatic watches do come with intricate details that turn them into exclusive items.
Quartz watches have made themselves less expensive than automatic watches. They have also enabled luxury watch models to become much more accessible due to them being more cost-effective to manufacturers.
When shopping for a new timepiece, there are plenty of options available—from digital sports watches to smartwatches—but if you’re looking for something classic yet reliable then an automatic watch should be top of your list. Not only are they more accurate than quartz models but they also offer additional benefits like aesthetics and sentimental value that make them worth considering if you’re searching for something timelessly stylish yet still functional enough for everyday use! With all this in mind, it’s easy to see why so many people prefer automatic watches over quartz models when selecting their next timepiece!