During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the watchmaking industry went through an economic upheaval known as the Quartz Crisis where the introduction of battery powered watches threatened the craft of mechanical timepieces. The highly reliable, low cost and little maintenance watches were accessible to a wide audience with many choosing quartz timepieces over traditional Swiss watchmaking.
Today, there is much more of a balance with watch brands producing both types of movements to please customer’s preferences. There are many who admire the artistry and complex craftsmanship behind mechanical movements whereas others prefer the battery powered alternative.
Let’s delve deeper into the world of quartz watches and how they work.
How Does a Quartz Watch Work?
Quartz watches are essentially powered by a battery, which sends an electric current through a small quartz crystal causing vibrations at a rate of 32768 times per second creating an accurate frequency signal. The vibrations are then measured by the circuit and converted into a single pulse every second, which causes for the hands to move at a precise time.
How Much Does a Quartz Watch Movement Cost?
Quartz watches are relatively inexpensive depending on the brand you choose and the design you fall for. They are much more affordable to a wider market offering reliability, precision and low maintenance.
The low cost is a result of fewer parts, which makes quartz watches cheaper to produce. Fashion brands can keep their costs down by choosing to use a quartz movement. That said many luxury brands manufacture quartz timepieces that sit at a lower price point than their mechanical designs. Grand Seiko, Hamilton, Certina and Bell & Ross are amongst the brands that also produce quartz movements.
Another factor that keeps the cost low is that the service is very affordable with the battery needing replacing approximately every 2-3 years. It is easy for the watch specialist to carry out the service and therefore, does not get too pricey.
How Long Do Quartz Watches Last?
Quartz watches can last a lifetime when kept in great condition. The battery will need replacing every 2-3 years, with some lasting five, however, if looked after the case, dial and strap will continue to be your trusty companion for decades.
Of course, if you drop your watch the design will become damaged and may need repairing. Also, quartz watches are at risk of battery damage and moisture but can be protected from these factors, which will enhance its longevity. Look after your watch and your watch will look after you!