Quartz watches vs mechanical watches

What is the difference between a mechanical watch and a quartz watch? Although the answer is obvious to connoisseurs, many people fail to distinguish the two types of mechanisms, nor do they know their advantages and disadvantages. That is why we will try to briefly present the history, the way of functioning and other important things about each of them.

Quartz watches vs mechanical


The quartz watch

Quartz mechanisms work with a battery. A fine quartz blade oscillates at a stable frequency under the electric impulse of the battery, thus bringing the watch on the move.


Precision: very good (more about precision)
Maintenance: changing the battery once every few years
Display: analogue or digital
Functions: altimeter, compass, barometer, thermometer, illumination etc. (see also watches with multiple functions)
Thickness / weight: reduced, easier to miniaturize
Price: they are cheaper than mechanical watches

Sustainability: Lower life expectancy due to faster wear and lower reliability of electronic components

The mechanical watch

There are two categories of mechanical watches: manual and automatic. The manual watches require periodic turning. Although they do not require turning, automatic watches do not work with a battery, but also with a mechanical system. They have a disc which, by simply moving the hand, rotates around its own axes.


Case: Mechanical watches often leave the inside of the mechanism visible through the transparent dorsal lid or through the openings on the dial

Display: These watches can be very easy to distinguish due to the fluidity of the secondary pointer movement, to the detriment of those with quartz that move slowly.

Sustainability: A well maintained quality watch can work for decades without problems.

Personality: Mechanical watches have a special charm.


Maintenance: For most mechanical watches, revisions are required every 5 years and they must be carried out by an authorized watchmaker.

Precision: Less accurate than quartz (more about precision)

Price: higher because they are more difficult to manufacture and require more expensive materials

Resistance: they are more susceptible to shocks due to which they can stop functioning

In conclusion, if mechanical clocks are more noble by the style of mechanism, technology and complications, quartz watches are more practical and have other clear advantages.

The lower cost of quartz mechanisms allows manufacturers to focus more on the look, valuing in different styles the quadrant, case or strap. In fact, most fashion watches produced by famous designers have a quartz mechanism, while traditional watches produce mechanical watches with entry-level series quartz watches.

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