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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is there much of a difference between quartz movements in watches such as Omega, Rolex, Breitling, etc and quartz movements in brands like Junghans, Nomos, Hamilton, or even lower brackets like Victorinox, Bulova?

Is the hate for quartz on these forums due to the overpriced movement? Do you get your moneys worth if you’re buying a more luxury brand.

Very curious on the matter as I have my eye on a Junghans Max Bill quartz and even though I love my automatics, I’m never bothered by the quartz movement. After all, that’s all I wore for years and years.

Please enlighten me on this, thanks!


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The money supposedly goes to finer finishing of the watch, not the movement, as super accurate HAQ movements are inside $400 watches. (High Accuracy Quartz have temperature compensating circuits)

These DS-2 are under 10 seconds per year

 

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You want to compare the movement from a Rolex...with the movement from a Junghans ? Why would you do that? The price difference is not coming from there..
 

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In my mind a quartz is a quartz (except for the Bulova Accutron and the smooth second hand sweep). They are all very accurate. The price difference is in the rest of the watch. My son bought me a $20 no-name el-cheapo from a mall kiosk. That dang thing ran perfectly for about 2 years. I only wore it a couple of times, but every time I checked it out in the watch box the time was dead-on. Never had to reset it. However, I can't see me ever paying more than about $250-300 for any quartz. Don't know why anyone would buy a high end luxury quartz.
 

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You can't ask for a more convenient timekeeper than quartz. But if you're going to drop serious cash on a quartz (which I have), then it's HAQ or bust.
 

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Don't look at the brand, look at the movement (and for what it's worth, Nomos doesn't do quartz and Hamilton and VSA are pretty much in the same tier, and arguably Bulova as well.)

There are some that are in fact better than others, but you're looking at clear feature-set differentiation first (chrono features, high accuracy, radio/GPS time, smooth sweep, date/calendar etc. functions) and secondarily at stuff that's designed to be serviced at the high end, with better coatings, jeweled bearings etc-- often both. For Chronos and other higher function pieces, quartz makes a ton of sense.

That said, you'll see movements like the ETA 251.xxx series (a higher end 17 jewel movement that costs ~$100 on the open market in various configurations) in $500 Certinas, Midos and Victorinoxes, but you'll also see that same movement family in $1,500 TAG Heuers. The movement is not the differentiation there. What the price difference buys you, I leave as an exercise to the reader.
 

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Grand Seiko quartz is a good standard for quartz watches that make a difference:



Thermo-compensated: the movement samples the ambient temperature and adjusts the frequency

Dedicated spring for second hand: this eliminates the slight wobble most quartz hands have when they tick forward

High-speed motor for date: date will change in fraction of a second at midnight

Hermetic seal: inside parts will stay pristine for nearly 50 years

Hand-selected quartz crystal: Seiko grows their own crystal and selects only the best, which are then aged for further perfection

High accuracy: guaranteed 10 seconds +/- per year

If having an incredibly accurate watch excites you, I think the Citizen Chronomaster (5 seconds +/-) is currently the most accurate quartz in the world.

You also have a high-end quartz like F. P. Journe which can last 18 years without a battery change. Instead of making some uber-battery he just found a way to minimize energy consumption through redesigning the gears.

 

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Why would the folks willing to pay thousands for nice design and finishing on a mechanical watch suddenly not care about design and finishing on a quartz?
It’s all emotional. Somehow the image of a dime store quartz watch, the kind that you can buy off the peg at the cash register, gets blended with highly-engineered watches like those posted above.

The problem with trying to shop for high-quality quartz watches is a much greater lack of transparency about what features the movements have, which ones are shared between brands, or even from where they are sourced.

It doesn’t help that a watch like the Certina has a better movement than, say, a TAG Heuer despite costing a third as much. If a well-known brand like TAG does it, what other brands use cheap base movements in four-figure watches?

Maybe the worst aspect of quartz in luxury brands is, it exposes how overpriced they really are. When you realize that the same movement winds up in watches ranging from $200 to well over $2,000, and the cases and dials aren’t that much better, you start to wonder what other smoke n’ mirrors are being used by the marketing departments — and even how much it really costs to produce mechanical movements.

[edit]
I’m not saying that I don’t appreciate high-quality quartz movements. I think they can do some pretty incredible things. Programmed for each specific quartz crystal, and reprogrammable by a watchmaker? 5 seconds per year? On the wrist? That’s insane. Citizen does one with such specs and it’ll run on solar power with a perpetual calendar, and its dial is translucent paper.

Old John Harrison would totally flip his lid if he could see what’s been achieved today. There will always be a spot in my watch box for a good quartz watch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You want to compare the movement from a Rolex...with the movement from a Junghans ? Why would you do that? The price difference is not coming from there..
Yeah, I guess I wasn’t really talking about price but more of movement. Rolex is not a good example because to me their prices are too inflated(imho). So I shouldn’t have put that up there. Are quartz movements in higher end watches on par or above quartz movements in lower end watches when you put everything else aside is what I should have asked.


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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Grand Seiko quartz is a good standard for quartz watches that make a difference:



Thermo-compensated: the movement samples the ambient temperature and adjusts the frequency

Dedicated spring for second hand: this eliminates the slight wobble most quartz hands have when they tick forward

High-speed motor for date: date will change in fraction of a second at midnight

Hermetic seal: inside parts will stay pristine for nearly 50 years

Hand-selected quartz crystal: Seiko grows their own crystal and selects only the best, which are then aged for further perfection

High accuracy: guaranteed 10 seconds +/- per year

If having an incredibly accurate watch excites you, I think the Citizen Chronomaster (5 seconds +/-) is currently the most accurate quartz in the world.

You also have a high-end quartz like F. P. Journe which can last 18 years without a battery change. Instead of making some uber-battery he just found a way to minimize energy consumption through redesigning the gears.

Very interesting. Thanks!


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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I guess I need to do a little studying on different quartz movements. Thanks for all the reply’s and help!


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Movement matters, but so does the brand name, case, dial, bracelet, and design. Let's look at the other way, is an expensive watch that has a 2824-2 or 7750 overpriced since I can find these movements in a Hamilton?

Yep a Citizen, Seiko, or Breitling will be pricey with a HAQ movement, but a ladies Cartier with a somewhat pedestrian quartz movement will be pricey also, and will hold its value fairly well too.

A nice watch is the sum of a bunch of factors, and as far as price brand matters a lot. For example I think the Longines Hydroconquest quartz is a far nicer dive watch than a Certina DS Action even though the Certina has a more accurate movement and is half the price.
 

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High-speed motor for date: date will change in fraction of a second at midnight

If having an incredibly accurate watch excites you, I think the Citizen Chronomaster (5 seconds +/-) is currently the most accurate quartz in the world.
Just a couple of minor corrections. The Grand Seiko date does change very fast (1/2000th of a second) but it does not change at midnight. It varies from watch to watch but the date will change at some point between midnight and five minutes past midnight.

Besides Citizen's Chronomaster, Longines and Grand Seiko also offer watches rated to 5 seconds per year (only limited editions, in the case of Grand Seiko) and Morgenwerk offer a watch spec'd to 0.75 seconds per year.
 

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High-speed motor for date: date will change in fraction of a second at midnight

If having an incredibly accurate watch excites you, I think the Citizen Chronomaster (5 seconds +/-) is currently the most accurate quartz in the world.
Just a couple of minor corrections. The Grand Seiko date does change very fast (1/2000th of a second) but it does not change at midnight. It varies from watch to watch but the date will change at some point between midnight and five minutes past midnight.

Besides Citizen's Chronomaster, Longines and Grand Seiko also offer watches rated to 5 seconds per year (only limited editions, in the case of Grand Seiko) and Morgenwerk offer a watch spec'd to 0.75 seconds per year.
Citizen announced this year a movement accurate to +/-1s per year. I expect a wristwatch release next year.
 

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yea, I think it really depends on the brand,

Some really put effort into perfecting the quartz movement (ie Grand Seiko), or put a ton of technology into it (ie. Astron, Satellite Wave). Others... , probably you get a very good quartz movement, but nothing super special. I think Omega as part of the Swatch group uses some form of ETA quartz movement. The Rolex Oysterquartz was all in-house.
 

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Though I own several mechanical watches, my favorite one i still my SMP 2541.80 quartz. I like the finishing and the fact that I can expect the time to be right each time I take it out of the safe.
Besides, it seems to be extremely tough. My old one was dragged through a couple of years in the infantry, and 15 years of daily wear in all kind of situations without as much as a hiccup. Had it replaced for an identical one after it got stolen in what turned out to be a not so deserted beach...
 
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