Mechanical Watch versus Quartz Watch

Mechanical watches

Mechanical or self-winding watches owed their origin in the 14th century. Mechanical watches utilize either manual or self-winding method.

Quartz watches

Now, quartz watches are dominating the watch market with over 90% market share. There are many reasons lying behind it.

Mechanical Watches 

Self-Winding or Mechanical Movement

Mechanical or self-winding watches owed their origin in the 14th century. Mechanical watches utilize either manual or self-winding method. Here, a user needs to turn the crown or ‘winder’ to tighten the spring. Consequently, the mainspring or the wound receives power and transmits energy throughout the watch. The balance wheel regulates the time. One full winding can last for 40 hours. After that, you need to rewind it. However, there are some advanced mechanical watches using power reserve to run the watches up to 10 days with one full-winding. It is an undeniable fact that after the introduction of quartz watches in the 70s, the market of self-winding watches has reduced significantly.   

Self-WindingAutomatic Watches

Quartz Watches

Quartz Movement

Now, quartz watches are dominating the watch market with over 90% market share. There are many reasons lying behind it. Quartz watches are more accurate, cheaper, and more reliable. These need less maintenance cost. The watchmakers say that quartz watches are 60 times more accurate than mechanical watches. According to them, a quartz watch might hardly lose 1 second in weak, whereas a mechanical watch can lose 1 minute in a week. As the calculation goes, the former type (quartz) might lose 4 seconds in a month while a mechanical watch can lose up to 4 minutes in a month. Actually, the quartz watches use a crystal having high oscillation capacity up to 32,768 cps (cycles per second). It ensures accuracy in time measurement.

A comparative analysis

  • Mechanical watches need servicing after every three years to keep everything in good condition and maintain accuracy in time measurement. To be more precise, you need to spend some amount behind a self-winding watch to tell time accurately. On the other hand, the quartz watches do not need regular servicing after every three years. They have very low maintenance costs. As the battery supplies required power, these can run very smoothly and easily.
  • Quartz watches include a few moving parts. These moving parts create friction. Consequently, these are vulnerable and more prone to break down. On the other hand, mechanical watches are less vulnerable. The gear train of a monarchical watch stays under constant load generated from the mainspring while the gear train in a quartz watch is free. It does not need to undertake any load.
  • A mechanical watch needs winding up after every 40 hours (which does not provide reserve power) whereas a quartz watch receives power constantly from a battery that needs to change after two to three years. The former type works on a mechanical process and the latter type follows an electronic process. 
  • A mechanical watch has a longer lifespan than a quartz watch. The former can last long if a user takes a proper care for it. Moreover, the parts of self-winding watches are reusable and easily available in the market while there is no guarantee on a quartz watch.The former type offers a high resale value. The latter type never ensures this.