What is a Quartz Watch? 3 Interesting Facts about Quartz Watch

In the past, one would have had to shell out hundreds or even thousands of dollars to buy a new Quartz watch. Quartz watches are so common today that you can find them everywhere. 

A Quartz watch is a battery-powered or solar-powered watch that controls the time by means of a crystal oscillator that oscillates at a specific frequency. Quartz watches are more accurate and tend to last 12 months or more, unlike mechanical watches.

To thoroughly understand a Quartz watch, you must first understand how it is driven. There are three types of movements or energy types used in watches that we see in the market today. This article only covers the movement mechanism of a Quartz watch.

A movement (also known as a “caliber”) is the engine of a watch, acting as the driving force that makes the watch and its functions work. This internal mechanism moves the hands and drives complications such as chronographs, annual calendars and dual time zones. The movement drives all timing functions and is essential for keeping accurate time. Without them, the clock will not work.

Quartz Movement

Quartz Watch Movement

The Quartz movement is highly accurate and requires minimal maintenance other than battery replacement. They are usually cheaper because they are battery operated and have fewer moving parts. Quartz watches are not desirable for most watch lovers because they lack the technical craftsmanship and engineering of mechanical watches.

Quartz from luxury Swiss watch brands like Patek Philippe, its movements are of strict quality. Designed to meet standards.

How does a quartz watch movement work?

A Quartz movement uses a battery as the main power source and is the type of movement typically found in standard no-frills watches. To generate electricity in a Quartz watch movement, a battery sends current to a tiny quartz crystal, causing it to vibrate. These vibrations keep the movement vibrating, driving the motor and moving the hands of the watch.

Now we know about Quartz Movement. The next thing is “How does a Quartz watch work?”

Working of Quartz Watch

Quartz watch explained

While mechanical watches derive their energy from a wound mainspring that transfers energy through a gear system, Quartz watches are quite different in some respects. The current comes from the battery (or solar charge cell), through the circuit board, into the “crystal oscillator”, back to the microchip, and then all the relevant parts including hands. Most modern watches use Quartz movement.

The most important thing to remember about Quartz is that it is piezoelectric. When you turn it on, it vibrates, and when you vibrate it, it turns on. Quartz crystals use piezoelectricity in both directions, exactly at the same time that makes Quartz an incredibly efficient energy source. So watch batteries actually last quite a while.

Interesting Facts about Quartz Watch

  1. Quartz naturally vibrates at precise frequencies and contains piezoelectric properties, so it generates tiny volts of electricity when pressure is applied. The converse is also true, when a current is passed through a Quartz it typically oscillates 32,768 times per second or with a frequency of 32.768 KHz.
  2. Most watches with Quartz movements are guaranteed to be accurate to about 15 seconds plus or a month or so, much better than even the best mechanical watches.
  3. The only enemy of a Quartz watch is Temperature. Fluctuations in temperature can affect watch components and their functions, causing them to behave differently and degrade watch performance.
Benefits of Quartz Watch

Pros of a Quartz Watch

Ease of Use

The most obvious advantage of Quartz watches is that you don’t have to do anything to make them work. Mechanical watches such as self-winding watches and manual-winding watches need to be wound. If you don’t wind the watch, time will stop. Quartz watches rely on electricity, not user input, to keep time ticking, so they never need to be wound.

Power Reserve

The pure utility of Quartz is that these watches have a power reserve that literally lasts a lifetime. So once you set the clock, you rarely need to touch it again. Leave your Quartz watch on your counter and receive it 6 months later, it’s ticking and ready to wear.


Quartz watches are more accurate than their mechanical predecessors. This is because in a mechanical watch, gravity has a lot to do with the inner workings. Also, different heights have different gravitational effects.

As a result, mechanical watches run at different speeds than they do on high mountain tops. Gravity affects Quartz watches much less, helping them maintain accuracy.


It takes a lot of skill and craftsmanship to properly make a mechanical watch. And that skill doesn’t come cheap! Quartz watches are generally cheaper than mechanical watches because Quartz is plentiful and less technology is required to make a Quartz watch.

In fact, it’s not uncommon for a Quartz watch to be a “free bonus” for things like a child’s cereal box.


Size is a BIG factor. Due to the smaller movement, Quartz watches are slimmer and smaller than automatic watches. If you have thin wrists, a small watch case is essential. Quartz watches tend to fit flatter than mechanical watches. This is because the parts do not take up space. That means it’s easier to slip under cuffs and sleeves.


It should be noted that Quartz movements generally last longer than mechanical watches. If you do manual work or simply enjoy the great outdoors and the potential dangers that come with it, then a Quartz watch is the perfect choice for you.

Cons of a Quartz Watch

Battery Replacement

Quartz watches use battery power to electrically stimulate a Quartz crystal. This is not the case for manual and automatic watches that store user-supplied energy.

So, one of the drawback of a quartz watch as compared to a mechanical watch is that the batteries will eventually need to be replaced after every 12 to 36 months.

Battery Leakage

If not worn for a long time, the battery can leak and damage the watch.


Some watch collectors prefer manual or automatic watches to Quartz watches simply because of their craftsmanship.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, these watches need batteries to transfer charge to the Quartz crystal. This type of battery usually has a lifespan of several years because the watch does not need a lot of energy to run.

The jewels in any watch serves only one purpose; to reduce friction. In the world of watchmaking, jewels are used to immobilize gears, rotating parts and other places of high friction in order to reduce the heat caused by this friction. This ensures the overall longevity of the watch.

In these watches, a small electrical charge is applied to the Quartz crystal. Because Quartz is piezoelectric, it oscillates in the presence of electricity. Quartz crystals oscillate at a rate of 32,768 times per second. On the last 32,768 oscillation, a chip circuit triggers an electrical pulse that is used to rotate the clock hands.

It’s rare, but it happens. Quartz watches will usually lose time under 3 conditions, but technically all 3 can be avoided.

The most obvious is shock; If you drop and bump the watch, the watch may move the hands out of place and display the incorrect time. Some watches, such as the G-Shock, are specifically designed to prevent this, and some even have manual correction if this is the case.

The next thing is also somewhat obvious, that all things battery powered sometimes need a new battery. Some watches run slow when the battery runs out, others have a “low power mode” where the watch pauses the seconds hand for 1, 2, or 3 seconds to indicate that the battery is low and needs to be replaced.

Finally, the rarest and most confusing is heat. Fluctuating temperatures can affect the watch’s components and their ability to function, causing them to behave differently than they should, which can slow down the watch’s performance.

Quartz watches last longer (if you replace the battery when it runs out). Quartz is hard to deteriorate, so if you use it carefully, you can use it for many years!

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