Quartz VS Automatic Watch Movement – What Are The Differences?

Here at Bonds of Brentwood, we believe that to fully appreciate your watch, you should know the full ins and outs of the watch, starting with the movement.

For that reason, the team at Bonds Of Brentwood have created this guide covering the two most popular watch movement types, quartz and automatic, by explaining what they are and the most notable differences. 

A brief overview of watch movements

For those that are unaware, the watch movement is the primary mechanism used to make the watch tick. This is through either a quartz or automatic watch movement, which will drive the hands on the watch face, as well as enabling it to power it’s complications such as calendars, chronograph and dual time zone. 

What are quartz movement watches?

The first, and most popular of the two solutions are quartz movement watches, which are implemented into over 90% of the watches made around the world. When they were first introduced, in 1969, they were very rare primarily because they were designed as a limited edition option. Fortunately, they have become much cheaper, where many notable brands including Tag Heuer and Omega use them for most of their watches. 

What are automatic watch movement watches?

Automatic watch movement is in fact older than it’s alternative, where the initial idea came from the same idea of how the mechanical watch was created. As you can imagine, this technique is much more complicated to create and maintain, hence the increase in cost, where it is required to cover the cost to build. 

Notable differences

  • How it’s powered

Something that we haven’t mentioned above is how each watch movement is powered. In regards to the quartz movement, it will also have a very small battery within its system which will send electrical signals through the pieces of crystal to power the hands to move.

Whereas, with an automatic watch movement, the mechanism is in fact powered through movements of your wrist as an example. This is because the watch movement is made from hundreds of tiny and intricate parts, which cause the shifting energy to the power reserve so that it can power the watch. 

  • Maintenance

These two different watch movements also differ significantly in terms of maintenance requirements. Starting with quartz watches, they require little to no general maintenance on the system other than a battery change every few years. Just keep in mind, when changing a battery it’s always best to talk to a professional team such as Bonds Of Brentwood, where they will have the tools to carry out replacements safely. 

In regards to automatic watches, they will likely encounter additional wear and tear over time due to the mechanics involved. As a result, there is an increased chance that maintenance will be needed to guarantee a smooth running watch that doesn’t fall out of time. 

  • Accuracy

Although both movement options are very accurate, it’s been known that automative solutions are a little bit less accurate. This primarily occurs due to the environmental effect the watches movement has, for instance when you move your wrist too much, which will eventually lead to the watch syncing minorly out of time.  

  • Craftwork

For those that are unaware, a large factor in the price of a watch is based on the craftwork involved, which is where automated watch movements are much more of a purists game. As you can probably guess, this is because the work required to create an automated watch is much more dedicated and precise, where the engineers will spend hours to guarantee that every single mechanical aspect is functional but also looks good.

  • Cost

Linking back to the point above, you shouldn’t be surprised to hear that automated watch movements are more expensive. This is because watch collectors love to see the craftwork behind the watch, as this requires time, dedication and skills, making them much rarer and therefore more expensive. 

This differs compared to its counterpart, quartz watch movements, which are often found much cheaper on the market. This is simply because they are much cheaper to make, but also require a lot less time and dedicated, meaning most of these watches are mass-produced for ease. 

Bonds of Brentwood

Whether you are looking for quartz or automatic movement watch, you will be pleased to hear that we stock both on the Bonds Of Brentwood website. We have an ever-increasing selection from the world’s top brands, including both new and used watches, meaning we are certain you can find the ideal watch for your preferences.

For reference, if you prefer automatic movement watches, then we highly advise taking a look at our collection of Rolex’s, in particular, our Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona. That being said, if you are keen on viewing a variety of both watch movement types, then it’s suggested to take a look at the full Tag Heuer collection, where they feature watches made from both quartz and automatic movement systems.