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I've noticed in my perusing of watches since I began collecting that quartz versions are typically less expensive than their automatic counterparts.
My most recent discovery of this phenomenon was the certina ds action diver, in which the quartz version, while appearing aesthetically identical to its automatic counterpart, was several hundred dollars cheaper.

My "amateur-at-best" experience would lead me to believe that the more complicated automatic movement accounts for the higher price tag, but part of me wonders if there are not other, less tangible reasons for the price discrepancy.

For instance...
Is an automatic movement considered more prestigious than a quartz?
Is there some bit of distaste or disdain for requiring the use of a battery?
Is it simply a matter of traditional methods holding a higher place on the timepiece hierarchy?

Has anyone looked at a watch and been really interested in buying it, only to cancel the decision upon finding out the watch had a quartz movement?

Is it just perpetuating watch snobbery to only want automatic movements?
 

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Is an automatic movement considered more prestigious than a quartz?
ABSOLUTELY.

Is there some bit of distaste or disdain for requiring the use of a battery?
Some, yes, altho I think this is way overplayed. "You can't pass on a quartz because the battery won't be replaceable!" Yeah, well, 98% of the watches sold are never gonna be heirlooms. "Autos work forever!" With trips back for maintenance, which they usually ignore.

Is it simply a matter of traditional methods holding a higher place on the timepiece hierarchy?
No. It's the perception that a mechanical is a hand-made product, and a quartz is machine-made. That any doofus can make a quartz, but a mechanical requires skill. Essentially, it's very similar to the in-house movement vs. generic auto (ETA, Miyota, or Sellita) argument...the in-house shows "more skill."

Has anyone looked at a watch and been really interested in buying it, only to cancel the decision upon finding out the watch had a quartz movement?
Not me, but from comments here...oh heck yeah.

Is it just perpetuating watch snobbery to only want automatic movements?
Mostly, yes. That said...there are darn few quartz watches that exhibit higher levels of finish. There is GS, and The Citizen, but their visual languages are fairly similar, and fairly narrow. There are artistic quartz, but I believe most of them are ladies' watches. This wasn't always the case, but in terms of current production, I believe it is generally true. There are some nice mid-level models; I believe some of the Rado ceramic cases may have quartz options.
 

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Moved to our Public forum (The Cafe is for non-watch talk).

Do a quick search and you'll find lots of threads with answers and opinions on this.
 

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I'm usually an automatic wearer, but have been digging the quartz Alpina I have been wearing lately, and I think it is because it does not have a second hand. It's weird that it always tells the correct time. Trying to set and wind my Linde Werdelin takes me about 5 minutes by contrast.


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i have as many quartz as i do mechanical or auto and thats a lot of watches - now a retired 'pensioner ' i find quartz more suitable to my lifestyle and daily wear without the financial upkeep - they are certainly more accurate -generally i would guess unless it says quartz on the dial 99.9 % of people would not know what was in it [or care ] -
one of my high end quartz is the one you see here -certainly qualifies as an heirloom and probably had more technology applied to it than any other rolex of its time or since Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery
Watch accessory Watch Analog watch Strap Jewellery
- certainly better built than any rolex auto counterparts and with the best bracelet rolex have ever produced without question then or now -also have the B1 which i would match against most watches on every level Watch Watch accessory Wrist Analog watch Fashion accessory
 

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Basically the more you get into watches the more you appreciate a mechanical movement be it hand wind or automatic. That being said, I love watches so I own hand winders, automatics, quartz and solar and think they are all great. Quartz are generally more accurate but I'm not going to dive into the which one is better argument as I appreciate all of them for what they are. So my point is, it comes down to personal preference.
 

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I've gone full circle - at least twice! Started out in the 1950s with manual wind then eagerly adopted quartz watches as soon as they became available. Eventually moved to some digital watches too.
Then in the 1990s I got into automatic watches and built quite a collection and treasured each one. Then along came a few mid-price quartz watches that i liked the look of and I came to realise that sometimes you need to grab a watch that is reliable, accurate and doesn't require you to be saving up for expensive maintenance.
Nowadays I'm retired, I have no need to flash expensive watches around because I realised nobody cares, and my grab-and-go is a Citizen Eco-Drive................. close to perfect timing, sturdy, reliable and inexpensive.
 

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Mechanical is not more prestigious or valuable than quartz. It really depends on which watches you're comparing. It's a favorite activity of watch noobs on the forums to bash quartz, Invicta, and Tag Heuer in an attempt to appear more knowledgeable. In the case of quartz, they usually make vague arguments about how mechanicals have "soul" and are "handmade." They then post a picture of a Datograph movement to justify their Seiko Monster purchase.

The fact of the matter is that most mechanical watches are mass produced and machine made, just like most quartzes. There are some quartzes that have far more handwork and craftsmanship invested in them than the majority of mechanicals. To make an absolute statement on quartz vs mechanical just doesn't make sense.
 

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It comes down to on what you want, automatic = watch, quartz = timepiece.
+1
There is no need for the o.p. to over think the choice of movement. Just decide which features are more appealing and pick a watch. I'm more focused on how the watch looks and fits and keeps time. Whether the movement is quartz or mechanical is secondary.
 

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I don't think there is a more subjective topic than this.... loaded with personal variables. Simply ... buy what you like. I happen to much prefer autos for the usual reasons and only have 2 quartz watches in a collection of 22. One is sentimental. One is a style I absolutely love (my only Invicta). If I see another quartz I REALLY like, I would buy it.
 

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For all the reasons others have stated and IMO, the Autos/Handwinders are more prestigious than the Quartz. It takes but one look at the innards of each to justify a price difference also.

For what it's worth, I've always felt the reverse of your feeling about pricing. That the Quartz version of a nicer automatic watch benefitted from the association and its pricing has been inflated well beyond its raw materials, production costs, etc, relative to its Auto counterpart.
Said a different way- I think the margin on a Quartz watch (when it has an Automatic counterpart) is higher than on the Auto.
 

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Well, you should buy the watch you want with the features that suit you. You don't have control over perceptions, but *generally* an automatic is going to be perceived by others as better but only if they know the differences. Very few people will even know.

The cost difference is partially justified (depending on movement) but the price difference might include some extra inflation, too...

I tend to prefer automatic/mechanical watches for 3-hand watches and quartz for watches that include chronograph or other features. I'm flexible, though and it's hard to state an absolute preference.
 
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