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Difference Between Quartz watch and Mechanical Watch
Mar 16, 2018

The Swiss watch industry mainly produces two types of watches: electronic quartz watches and mechanical watches.Three Of every four watches are electronic watches. Although the production of mechanical watches is relatively low, the value is extremely important. Mechanical watches account for 75% of the total value of the watch industry.

How to distinguish between quartz and mechanical watches? Do you understand the operating principle of them?

Quartz watch

The core of quartz watches contains integrated circuits. Under the action of battery power, the quartz oscillator vibrates and divides the time. The power supply is a small battery that lasts for several years. The quartz oscillator converts the energy of the battery into vibration to divide the time.Due to the high frequency vibration (32 kHz), the quartz watch is extremely accurate and the annual error is very low: less than one minute per year, that means less than one second per day.

There are two ways that quartz watches show time. The most common is the analog display, which shows the time as a pointer.The digital  watch has a liquid crystal inside and the liquid crystal receives the required pulses directly from the integrated circuit to display the time. Therefore, there is no mechanical energy conduction.

These two display modes can be combined to display different items such as time, short time, and measured time.

accurate mens watches.jpg


        1) Battery

        2) The integrated circuit operates on quartz and controls the pulses to the stepper motor

        3) Quartz

        4) Variable resistor controls frequency

        5) Stepper motors convert electrical impulses into mechanical forces

        6) Gear train running (hour, minute, second)

        7) Analog display

Mechanical watch

        A standard mechanical wristwatch has about 130 components assembled in three sub-assemblies, namely energy sources, control components and display parts. Watches with complex functions (timekeeping, calendar, moon phase, zero return, etc.) naturally have more components. The gear train conducts the energy supplied by the spring. The escapement device conducts the pulse while the balance wheel divides the time. The rotor tightens the spring either manually or automatically.

         automatic mechanical movement.jpg

         1) Main springQuartz Watch

            2) Gear train

         3) Escapement device

         4) Oscillating balance

         5) Upper stem/rotor for winding and setting time

         6) Analog display automatic quartz watch

         Swiss watchmakers overcome the challenges of combining these two technologies. They have created a watch movement that operates like a quartz movement but can be charged like a mechanical movement, thus successfully placing the accuracy of quartz into an automatic watch.Its principle of operation is simple, but it is revolutionary: the automatic charging mechanism (oscillating weight) tightens the main spring, and when the main spring is relaxed, the micro-generator is started and the mechanical energy is converted into electrical energy. Energy is stored in the capacitor. The system then operates like a traditional quartz watch, and the integrated circuit controls the energy distribution, providing the required pulse-driven stepper motors.

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