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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When it comes to movements, there are groups who love automatics and those who love quartz. Some in each group will have both. You can find automatics and quartz from the most affordable all they way to high end brands. Case in point, Rolex and Omega have quartz models in their collection. Probably the most popular Omega would be the Aqua Terra.

Personally, the majority of my collection will be automatic with exception to my G-Shock and Luminox. However, there is one high end brand that has been piquing my interest lately that has some very appealing quartz models. The brand is Alpina, especially the Startimer collection. They have a chronograph big date with a camouflage grey dial that is super sexy. The grey dial with vintage lume, and all the hands are rose gold encased in a stainless case with a sand or khaki color cordura strap. But, the timepiece is a quartz. I understand that if it were an automatic chronograph, the price would be much higher.

The question for F71 is... When is it ok to buy a quartz? When you are looking at high end, would you buy the quartz model, or would you buy the same model in automatic. Do you believe that high end should be automatic only? Taking everything into consideration, especially the state of the world economy, is your belief that high end timepieces should be automatic only, or would you consider buying the quartz model?

The reason for my thread is to generate friendly discussion of the matter, and to help me understand the differences. Your participation/thoughts/impressions on the subject will be very much appreciated.
 
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I think it's "ok" whenever you want. I bought a Breitling Colt Chronograph Superquartz specifically because it was a quartz. I wanted a high accuracy quartz, and I like Breitlings, so it was a no brainer for me. I use it often as a grab and go. It is also the time standard for all of my other watches. I don't buy into the Automatics > Quartz arguments. Both have their charms to me. Automatics/Mechanical are like living machines; a classic. However a quartz (High accuracy, in particular) is a precision instrument and a product of mankind's quest for the most accurate time.

I have quite a few quartz models, and I like them all.
 

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In all honesty, for me, the novelty of Automatics has waned. As I've been doing more and more things where an Auto would be in danger of needing a heart transplant, I've grown more and more comfortable having a quartz on the wrist instead. I've set myself a firm limit of $1,000 on an individual piece, and within that price range IMHO you don't get anything more "special" between a stock auto and a stock quartz. YMMV obviously, but I'm beginning to have a hard time choosing my Autos in the morning.

That's a roundabout way of saying that incoming is a TSAR, instead of a GSAR...... ;-)
 

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My biggest qualm with quartz watches is the lack of quality time I spend with them. With my mechanical watches I tend to spend time each day winding them or setting the date/time before wearing them, especially my hand-winders. I tend to never really bond with quartz watches due to this.
I think a quartz is perfect for a grab and go, or a beater for work out wear. I find that I prefer chronographs for quartz watches, due to the smaller running seconds hand, as I dislike the ticking seconds hand on quartz watches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Interesting comments, thanks for your participation. The only downside is the more quartz you have, the more batteries will have to be replaced. IIRC, in our area the cost of replacing a battery is about $10. That could get expensive. Alpina's quartz models have a battery life of 4 years, which is not too bad. I would still like to get thoughts/impressions from the rest of the group.
 

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After owning a reasonable number of both auto and quartz watches I've come to the conclusion that, for me, the power supply of the watch isn't much of a concern. I'm more interested in the design, style and wearability of the watch. If it strikes the right chords in those areas I'm a happy guy.
 

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Quartz doesn't bother me and I don't necessarily think they don't belong in "high-end" watches. I own a few automatics and a few quartz watches and they each have their pros and cons. I like quartz because of their grab it and go functionality. My two go-to weekend watches/beaters are quartz. And I think it's great that I could go without wearing them for a week and they'll still be ticking and the time will be relatively accurate.
 

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The right time is whenever you want, and because every thread needs pictures:


I have no fear of banging this one around. It has been beaten and abused, and it will continue to tick on.


Sent from my SM-N920P using Tapatalk
 

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Interesting comments, thanks for your participation. The only downside is the more quartz you have, the more batteries will have to be replaced. IIRC, in our area the cost of replacing a battery is about $10. That could get expensive. Alpina's quartz models have a battery life of 4 years, which is not too bad. I would still like to get thoughts/impressions from the rest of the group.
True. However, having to service a mechanical watch far exceeds the price of batteries. I take into consideration the future cost of maintenance of a watch when purchasing. I love mechanical watches but I know that when the time comes I'm going to have to fork out a pretty penny to overhaul my automatics. That's one of the reasons a bit more of half of my collection is quartz.
 

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Interesting comments, thanks for your participation. The only downside is the more quartz you have, the more batteries will have to be replaced. IIRC, in our area the cost of replacing a battery is about $10. That could get expensive. Alpina's quartz models have a battery life of 4 years, which is not too bad. I would still like to get thoughts/impressions from the rest of the group.
The same could be said of the more mechanicals you have the more servicing they will need, now that will get expensive!! I said in another thread that i can't understand why people say that it's such a hassle to get a 10 minute $10 battery swap every 4 years but have no problems getting an expensive service which could take months!!

ps the startimer your talking about is one i would love to get someday the grey dial and beige numerals look amazing
 

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Quartz is perfectly OK IMO. Any rational, practical argument is the reason to buy a quartz. There is significantly better accuracy from just about any quartz watch, battery replacement is inexpensive compared to a service and you can easily set it down without worrying about winding down or positional accuracy.

Automatics are interesting for sure and I enjoy them for the lack of battery. There is no real rational, practical reason to buy an auto IMO. I don't mind the lack of accuracy, but always having to spend time setting them. When I grab one I have to wake it and set it. Even if you keep it on a winder, you'll likely still need to set it because it's still going to do it's mechanical thing. This totally defeats the purpose IMO and winders are kind of pointless. I like mechanical watches because they make me feel good about myself. There is something nice about this mechanical device, powered only by kinetic energy. I usually choose autos that fit this aesthetic of classic looks, refinement and/or luxury.

People say you can pass down an auto. You're also going to pass down a pricey repair bill, and being an auto still doesn't ensure that it will always be serviceable. Are you really going to pass down a watch that cost more to service in a decade than it cost to buy a new watch? There is also the assumption that all quartz watches will eventually be obsolete to the point that they cannot be serviced. This happens, but is a 1K watch considered to be a family heirloom regardless of it being quartz, auto or hand winding?
My biggest qualm with quartz watches is the lack of quality time I spend with them.
This is exactly what I like about quartz watches. Just pick it up and go. Even better IMO than a regular battery powered quartz is a Kinetic or Solar.
 

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Short version? If it's okay for you to be buying a watch, it's okay for you to be buying quartz.

Long version? Quartz is just another option, and I think it's one that has a lot of stuff going for it. Are mechanical watches (hand wind or automatic) cooler in their way? Absolutely. There's no quartz equivalent to watching a balance wheel tick away or putting your wrist to your ear and hearing a tiny little geared mechanism chattering away, and that is a bit of a problem for the hobbyist or collector, since we tend to get into the hobby for the difficult-to-quantify joy that watching balance wheels or hand-winding movements brings us.

So what recommends quartz watches? Part of it (especially for those of us trying to keep our costs in check) is cost. Mechanical movements can do many things quartz watches can, but not at the same cost. Want a wafer-thin dress watch? You could spend thousands of dollars on some brilliant bit of Swiss confectionery, or you could go quartz. Want a chronograph? Quartz won't look as pretty in motion, but it'll save you a bundle of cash, both now and when maintenance costs roll around. Quartz stretches the budget, and allows the thrifty watch collector to dip into complications or brands that would otherwise remain beyond their grasp.

It's not all sunshine and roses, obviously. A great many quartz watches out there are unremarkable to look at or handle, especially since the rise of quartz watches seems to have coincided with a truly drab period in the history of wristwatch design. But amidst all of the dullness and monotony there are real gems out there, waiting to be found by the collector with the patience to dig through the midden-heaps of poor design choice and look past the orthodoxy held in some circles that only mechanical watches are worthy of notice. There's a big world of watches out there, and there's room for all of us.
 

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After owning a reasonable number of both auto and quartz watches I've come to the conclusion that, for me, the power supply of the watch isn't much of a concern. I'm more interested in the design, style and wearability of the watch. If it strikes the right chords in those areas I'm a happy guy.
I echo this sentiment. In addition, as far as mechanicals go, i've got one manual wind (nothing fancy) that has given me a soft spot for manual winds -its simplicity compared to an automatic has a certain charm for me.
 

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When it comes to movements, there are groups who love automatics and those who love quartz. Some in each group will have both. You can find automatics and quartz from the most affordable all they way to high end brands. Case in point, Rolex and Omega have quartz models in their collection. Probably the most popular Omega would be the Aqua Terra.

Personally, the majority of my collection will be automatic with exception to my G-Shock and Luminox. However, there is one high end brand that has been piquing my interest lately that has some very appealing quartz models. The brand is Alpina, especially the Startimer collection. They have a chronograph big date with a camouflage grey dial that is super sexy. The grey dial with vintage lume, and all the hands are rose gold encased in a stainless case with a sand or khaki color cordura strap. But, the timepiece is a quartz. I understand that if it were an automatic chronograph, the price would be much higher.

The question for F71 is... When is it ok to buy a quartz? When you are looking at high end, would you buy the quartz model, or would you buy the same model in automatic. Do you believe that high end should be automatic only? Taking everything into consideration, especially the state of the world economy, is your belief that high end timepieces should be automatic only, or would you consider buying the quartz model?

The reason for my thread is to generate friendly discussion of the matter, and to help me understand the differences. Your participation/thoughts/impressions on the subject will be very much appreciated.
Quartz watches are excellent time pieces and there shouldn't be a stigma to owning one if you are a "watch person". Mechanical / automatic watches require the commitment of keeping them going, and servicing them from time to time. This is not something that is to be taken lightly because wrist time, winders (which I hate), and servicing each bring a physical or financial toll. Having said that, I think it makes no sense to buy a high end quartz watch. If you are putting out thousands of dollars to buy a watch, you should expect a well crafted, sophisticated movement that is made by the finest watch makers, not a robot.

In my quest to find four watches that satisfy all my my watch needs, two are automatics (one high-end and one beater), another is a mechanical hand wind, and the fourth is an eco-drive (which is basically a light operated quartz). Secretly, the eco-drive is my favorite because of its grab and go accuracy.
 

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To me, buying a watch over 1k for its accuracy, ease of wear or hassle free maintenance is like buying a Ferrari for its fuel consumption. Sure, you could get it but that is not its main purpose. A radio controlled Citizen ecodrive would satisfy all the above criteria for half the price.

For me, watches are comparable to pieces of art. There is no rational reason to pay such prices for them but if you fall in love with one it is hard to resist.
 
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