Understand the differences between the quartz and automatic watches, how to tell them apart, and get help deciding which one to choose.

Understand the differences between the quartz and automatic watches, how to tell them apart, and get help deciding which one to choose.


Jess Chow, Founder of VIEREN Watches

January 2022


Jess Chow, Founder of VIEREN Watches

January 2022

Watch movements - explained

Watches are defined by the movement or mechanism inside powering the watch. Similar to car engines, watch movements determine the functionality and quality of the timepiece. There are three types of watch movements: Mechanical or manual, Automatic or self-winding, and Quartz or battery-operated.

Watch movements - explained

Watches are defined by the movement or mechanism inside powering the watch. Similar to car engines, watch movements determine the functionality and quality of the timepiece. There are three types of watch movements: Mechanical or manual, Automatic or self-winding, and Quartz or battery-operated.

Quartz watches - how do they work

Quartz watches are powered by a quartz crystal and an electronic battery. The battery creates electrical impulses that vibrates the quartz crystal, turning the seconds hand at time intervals as it releases. First introduced in Japan in 1969, the Seiko Quartz Astron is an iconic timepiece that almost caused the entire Swiss watchmaking industry to collapse.

Quartz watches - how do they work

Quartz watches are powered by a quartz crystal and an electronic battery. The battery creates electrical impulses that vibrates the quartz crystal, turning the seconds hand at time intervals as it releases. First introduced in Japan in 1969, the Seiko Quartz Astron is an iconic timepiece that almost caused the entire Swiss watchmaking industry to collapse.

Quartz watches - pros and cons

These battery-operated devices are super accurate and offer a range of affordable options. Many modern day watches are quartz watches that offer unlimited styles, but the battery will need to be replaced every few years.

Because quartz watches are much cheaper and easier to make, there has been an influx of manufacturers making counterfeits and replicas, focusing more on style than quality. These quartz watches are made with plastic parts that degrade over time and damage the planet, so be sure to understand where and how the watch was made before purchasing.

Quartz watches - pros and cons

These battery-operated devices are super accurate and offer a range of affordable options. Many modern day watches are quartz watches that offer unlimited styles, but the battery will need to be replaced every few years.

Because quartz watches are much cheaper and easier to make, there has been an influx of manufacturers making counterfeits and replicas, focusing more on style than quality. These quartz watches are made with plastic parts that degrade over time and damage the planet, so be sure to understand where and how the watch was made before purchasing.

Automatic watches - how do they work

Automatic watches are the original watch movement. First created in 1770 by Swiss watchmaker Abraham-Louis Perrelet, the modern automatic watch movement has 160+ microscopic pieces working together perfectly to tell time. The rotor (weighted semi-circular disc) swings back and forth from the wrist of the wearer, winding the mainspring inside the watch mechanism. When worn every day, an automatic watch can tell time forever without a battery.

Automatic watches - how do they work

Automatic watches are the original watch movement. First created in 1770 by Swiss watchmaker Abraham-Louis Perrelet, the modern automatic watch movement has 160+ microscopic pieces working together perfectly to tell time. The rotor (weighted semi-circular disc) swings back and forth from the wrist of the wearer, winding the mainspring inside the watch mechanism. When worn every day, an automatic watch can tell time forever without a battery.

Automatic watches - pros and cons

Quality automatic watch movement is made entirely with metal gears, which means it can be serviced or repaired when required. It's recommended to service an automatic watch every 3-5 years. This is where a skilled watchmaker takes apart the entire automatic watch movement to be cleaned, lubricated, and then fully re-assembled again. With regular maintenance, an automatic watch can keep accurate timekeeping for decades.

Swiss Made automatic movements are coveted in the industry as they are beautiful, precise, and rare. Because automatic watches require a much higher level of skill and craftsmanship to create, they are often more expensive and covetable. If an automatic watch has not been more for a day or two, it will require manual winding to power the watch again.

Automatic watches - pros and cons

Quality automatic watch movement is made entirely with metal gears, which means it can be serviced or repaired when required. It's recommended to service an automatic watch every 3-5 years. This is where a skilled watchmaker takes apart the entire automatic watch movement to be cleaned, lubricated, and then fully re-assembled again. With regular maintenance, an automatic watch can keep accurate timekeeping for decades.

Swiss Made automatic movements are coveted in the industry as they are beautiful, precise, and rare. Because automatic watches require a much higher level of skill and craftsmanship to create, they are often more expensive and covetable. If an automatic watch has not been more for a day or two, it will require manual winding to power the watch again.
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