Quartz Movements, What are they?

Published on Saturday 19th of February 2022
Watchmaking Watch

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A watch movement or calibre is often considered the heart of the watch, the engine to the machine. Within all watches there are a complex network of parts that power the hands of the watch and any further instruments that need powering including chronographs, tachymeters etc.

Quartz movement watches primarily use a battery as a power source, providing the energy needed to move the hands and complications on the watch. It does this by sending a electrical current through a quartz crystal that becomes electrified and creates small vibrations. These vibrations oscillate and provide the power to the motor that moves the hands. Unlike mechanical movements that are often smooth, a quartz watch powers the second hand in an stepping motion that is portrayed as the ticks of the hand.

A Quartz watch works initially by the battery sending a electrical pulse through its circuit and into a quartz crystal. The crystal then uses that electrical current and changes it into vibrations that vibrate at a rate of 32768 times per second. These vibrations are called oscillations and are detected by the circuit and turned into electrical pulses, which are then sent further through the circuit and into the stepping motor. This motor then covers the electrical energy into the mechanical power that turns the gears. These gears are then sent to the train wheel, which is what powers the hands of the watch and is displayed by the second hand pulsing and moving at a rate of one pulse per second, giving the second hand that distinct ticking movement.

Around 90% of all watches in the world use a battery as a power source, this could be because these movements are considered to be very reliable, require a minimal amount of maintenance and are cheaper to buy compared to mechanical movements. Due to the watch having less moving parts there are significantly less things that can go wrong with it compared to a mechanical watch. A quartz watch is considered to be very durable and could last a lifetime if looked after and the battery is changed when required.

Your local Time-Piece Watch Repairs Shop will be happy to advise you should you have any problems with your watch. Find your closest Time-Piece Watch Repairs shop. 

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