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  • Quartz..........proper watches?

    Hey guys,

    Just added to the collection and it occurred to me that two of my last three acquisitions have been quartz .

    Now I don't profess to knowing anything much about watches but when I first took an interest my thoughts were, if it aint auto it aint worthy.

    Just wondered what the consensus among wis might be.............are quartz watches considered "proper" timepieces or not.

    Jimmy

  • #2
    Hi Jim,Why not? they tell the time
    'Man Invented time, Cyma Perfected it.'

    Comment


    • #3
      So does a battery powered kitchen clock
      I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

      Nothing is fool-proof to a sufficiently talented fool.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Jimmy,

        I'm a sub-amateur WIS but IMHO, if you love 'em, you love 'em, plain and simple, nobody can remove it from you, like you, I collected quartz watches and solar powered G-shocks, etc. but when I started holding a fine automatic swiss-watch, I felt this strange bliss and started longing for them since then (around february this year when I bought my dad Speedy Pro-Reduced) and then met awesome friends like Nancy who introduced me to this forum and met equally awesome dudes like the doc, harlan, don, peter and everyone around that guided my path towards righteousness...

        I still keep a bunch of quartz and solar watches why? To check and compare the time with my automatics for they are more precise.

        This is as far as I can go though for I don't know any deeper than this...

        I shall let our cool mates add on to this, g'day mate! :D

        Cheers,
        Ryan

        PS to sword lovers, I acquired yet another new Wakizashi (short katana sword) yesterday, nice built, great!
        How come that the time we love the most having are among the shortest that we can cherish? ... and the most agonizing experiences that we face are the ones that last a lifetime?

        Comment


        • #5
          Hey guys,

          Just added to the collection and it occurred to me that two of my last three acquisitions have been quartz .

          Now I don't profess to knowing anything much about watches but when I first took an interest my thoughts were, if it aint auto it aint worthy.

          Just wondered what the consensus among wis might be.............are quartz watches considered "proper" timepieces or not.

          Jimmy

          Jimmy…

          Congratulations on your latest acquisitions, though we should make it a rule here that you must not tease us without posting photos.

          This is a really interesting thing to think about—and I’m not talking about the mechanical vs. quartz or about consensus among WIS. This is a Pacman vs Space Invaders question to which there won’t ever be an agreement, and most of us sit on the fence because we like playing both. No, the interesting thing is how people perceive mechanical and quartz to be.

          Actually, I was about to type something along the line of “quartz I’ve owned? …I can count on one hand!”, but then when I actually counted, the number is actually 12. Five of these, I’d owned when I was young and they served their purpose at the time (generally as beaters… 4 either broke or was destroyed). The last 7 were luxury/quality watches bought for their merits; three of these were high-end quartz that were bought for the quality of their movement. Only one remains with me today. To put it in perspective, though, I’ve lost count of how many watches I’ve owned. At last count it was over 70. :roll:

          Whether quartz watches are proper timepieces or not, I guess, depends on what you see a watch to be, and so is very subjective. Functionally, they all tell the time, as Pete said, but so does the kitchen clock, as The Doc pointed out. When quartz technology was introduced in the late 60s and gained acceptance in the 70s, it was a giant step for horology. The balance wheel was thrown out, along with all the unreliable things about it--inaccuracy, short power reserve, and positional errors. No wonder even the best of the Swiss manufactures speculated the end of mechanical movements.

          Gone were the old problems associated with the balance wheel, and in came the new ones relating to temperature errors and replacement of batteries. These were overcame, and improvement have been made with the passing years. Thermo-compensated quartz movement, Longine’s VHP quartz, Seiko Grand Quartz, along with meca-quartz chronograph movements of the 80s, until this day, continues to define high-end quartz, and there are certainly collectors, some of whom are reading this, who are very much into high-end quartz. With regards to the life-span of batteries, Seiko offers the Kinetic, while Citizen challenges that with its excellent solar-powered Eco-Drive. These are all evolutions of timekeeping device in ways that fulfill their intended purpose—to tell time. In a sense, the evolution of quartz is utilizing technology to solve a problem, without placing artificial restrictions on the solution. It is getting from A to B in the most efficient manner (B being accurate timekeeping).

          But if B were to be Sydney

          Then there’s two ways of getting there. The first is the most efficient and utilizing technology without imposing limits—flying on a passenger jet (i.e. until someone can perfect teleportation). The other is to impose an artificial limitation that the journey must not leave the earth’s surface. Why? Because it has been done this way for a long time prior to the introduction of flight, because it lets you enjoy the journey and not just the destination, and because it has a romantic notion about it that air travel can never replace. You go by a cruise ship or an ocean liner, and arrive at Sydney Cove in style.

          The modern mechanical movement is a solution derived with an artificial restriction that no electrical energy is to be involved in timekeeping. So we employed technology to come up with solutions like Parachrom hairspring, and dug up two-century-old ideas like the Tourbillion, all for the sake of abiding by artificial restrictions that we’ve imposed upon ourselves in the Mechanical Renaissance of the last two decades. Why? Because it has been done this way for a long time prior to the introduction of battery watches, because it lets you enjoy the process of timekeeping and not just the ultimate purpose of telling time, and because it has a romantic notion about it that slightly soulless quartz movements can never replace. You know the time, +/-30 sec maybe, but definitely in style.

          Perhaps us WIS are unable to reach a consensus purely because we don’t want to, and we still like to celebrate both Christmas and Chinese New Year, even though we are neither Christian nor Chinese .

          The important thing to realize is that just as some mechanical movements are better than others (and I did post about a 1 Jewel Swiss-made mechanical watch a few weeks ago), so too, some quartz movements are better than others. If the purpose of using a quartz movement in a watch was solely to cut cost, then it usually shows through the other aspects of the watch as well, and I guess these watches gets less admiration from me. However, if a quartz movement was chosen to serve a functional purpose (e.g. greater durability in a diver's watch), then I see no reason to think of it any less.
          On the instruments we entrust to pace our lives, to bear witness to our days, and to be the keepers of the most precious thing we have... time.

          Comment


          • #6
            Ahhh - the never ending 'question' - its a good'un Jimmy.

            Great Post Don - all so true as well..... and this is why hard core professional users do not in fact use mechanical (paticularly Automatics w/ the flapping weight) watches generally ALL prefering Quartz tools to keep time in battle, the depths and at altitude...... honestly, you have a gazilion times more chances of seeing a SINN Quartz or EcoZilla Quartz expeditioning near the North Pole than you have a Patek Aquanaut, Rolex Sea Dweller or Seiko Credor Sonniere. Of course, if a Rolex does happen to get there, it will definitely be videod, photographed, estolled, recorded, shouted all over the news and it'll also be on the wrist of someone attractive, titled or famous who's getting paid by Rolex. Fact.

            Since one needs a computer controlled timing machine even just to regulate a mechanical watch calibre then maybe it's all a mute point - I can say that all Seiko have done is shrink that timing machine taking it off of the bench and into the calibre.

            We all love arguing about this but lets face it, if Rolex (for instance) had been able to make a better quartz movement in time (theirs were all absolute and total crap) things would have been very different.



            JM2CW
            Harlan
            Timekeeper Watch Club
            Auckland, New Zealand, Pacific Ocean, Earth

            Comment


            • #7
              Don as usual I loved your input and I think you hit the nail squarely on the head when you compared A to B and used the travel example. If you want to get from point A to point B the most accurate fast and "I don't give a fat rats arse just get me there" method ,obviously, is the airliner. First class on said conveyance would be the Vacheron Constantine Quartz (do they make one?) business class is the omega Geneve and cattle is the timex or the fake rolex with the ticky hand .But ....if style is your gig, panache is your playmate and Bugger the expense, give the cat the other goldfish, Then numero uno or the Patek phillipe of travel is the private jet the G5 gulfstream Can't aford that ? few can..OK lets say Sydney to Perth one way, The Indian Pacific is fabulous darling, 3 days 4 nights food and wine supplied Two grand a head and you'll love evry second of it, thats the mechanical chronometre from switzerland a flash container and a wad of paperwork to go with it .On the flip side, book your ticket on virgin blue ( Sir Richard must have a warped sense of humour to come up with a name like that) or worse still Quaintarse, cost hmmm $129.95 one way, flying time, or should that be sardine style suffering time, 5 hours, the food makes Ronald Mcdonald look positively michelin star standard and the clock on the one class airborne cattle trucks bulkhead is powered by a similar battery to the one powering up your plastic fantastic personal time piece, does'nt matter though cos as stated before , you don't give a F R A just get the job done quickest cheapest available . A quartz and a mechanical watch both do the job and with various degrees of cost and quality for both of them. It just seems to this observer that , Just as some things seemed better 30 years ago than they are today, not all new things are superior and particulaly when the passage of time proves that the old ways were usually the best ways or, to put it differently..... Why reinvent the wheel it's going fine and I like wooden boats too they, like wind up watches are easier to fix when they break
              ‘Without ammunition, the Air Force is just an expensive flying club
              I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

              Nothing is fool-proof to a sufficiently talented fool.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for the input fellas, glad you took the time to post Don, always enjoy your thoughts and what a fantastic analogy.

                Harlan off on a tangent again.......love it, never misses an op to have a go at the marketing madness that is "rolix".

                Hey Ryan, the speedy reduced is a particular fav of mine too.....picked one up from H a year or two ago. Went to uplift a colt gmt (my first real watch) and Harlan had a couple in the safe, I just had to have one. It became my second real watch.

                I guess it would be a reasonable assumption to say that the Doc leans toward the negative side of the equation, no problem with that as it is exactly the attitude I had until recently. Not sure what happened to soften my approach to quartz, I suppose I now buy what appeals to me.

                I will do a little homework and try to figure out how to post pics, kinda nice to look at on a forum i think.

                K..... I'm off to work

                Comment


                • #9
                  Broad Idea - the more WISdom a WIS developes they more they accept micro-processors and quartz chips to continually regulate fine their timepieces......

                  Sound fair?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Broad Idea - the more WISdom a WIS developes they more they accept micro-processors and quartz chips to continually regulate fine their timepieces......

                    Sound fair?

                    This is how I see how WISdom among our generation (Baby-Boomers, Gen. X, and some Gen. Y coming along) goes through the rite-of-passage...

                    Quartz watches (for telling time and/or fashion, usually budget-range Japanese)

                    Appreciation of Swiss finer timepieces

                    Discovery of automatic watches (mainly Swiss)

                    Appreciation of all mechanical watches (including hand-winds)

                    Devotion to purely Swiss mechanical watches (and nothing else)

                    Rediscovery of Japanese value-for-money mechanical watches (usually starts with various current and vintage Seiko divers)

                    Discover of other Japanese mechanical watches besides divers.

                    Realization of the supremacy of Japanese high-grade mechanical (e.g. Grand Seiko)

                    Acceptance that horological value is not limited to just Swiss or to just mechanical watches and embrace all, but for what they are, and not what they try or what they pretend to be

                    ... (who knows? :? )


                    On the instruments we entrust to pace our lives, to bear witness to our days, and to be the keepers of the most precious thing we have... time.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Broad Idea - the more WISdom a WIS developes they more they accept micro-processors and quartz chips to continually regulate fine their timepieces......

                      Sound fair?

                      It makes sense. This is what I have noticed as well. I think the main problems arise when we start talking about fine time pieces. For many (myself included) they find it hard to justify spending thousands of dollars on a watch with a quartz movement.



                      This is how I see how WISdom among our generation (Baby-Boomers, Gen. X, and some Gen. Y coming along) goes through the rite-of-passage...

                      Quartz watches (for telling time and/or fashion, usually budget-range Japanese)

                      Appreciation of Swiss finer timepieces

                      Discovery of automatic watches (mainly Swiss)

                      Appreciation of all mechanical watches (including hand-winds)

                      Devotion to purely Swiss mechanical watches (and nothing else)

                      Rediscovery of Japanese value-for-money mechanical watches (usually starts with various current and vintage Seiko divers)

                      Discover of other Japanese mechanical watches besides divers.

                      Realization of the supremacy of Japanese high-grade mechanical (e.g. Grand Seiko)

                      Acceptance that horological value is not limited to just Swiss or to just mechanical watches and embrace all, but for what they are, and not what they try or what they pretend to be

                      ... (who knows? :? )


                      Nice break down Don :thumbup: I guess I'm at the beginning of step 9. I'm still leaning more towards the mechanical :D
                      The Way of a Warrior is based on humanity, love, and sincerity; the heart of martial valor is true bravery, wisdom, love, and friendship. Emphasis on the physical aspects of warriorship is futile, for the power of the body is always limited - Osensei

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My favorite bit.....



                        Realization of the supremacy of Japanese high-grade mechanical (e.g. Grand Seiko)
                        Harlan
                        Timekeeper Watch Club
                        Auckland, New Zealand, Pacific Ocean, Earth

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Very informative discussion for me, thanks. I believe this is the one enduring question that I find myself constantly getting faced with - (i.e. are quartz watches really that collectable?), since developing an enthusiasm for watches.

                          Having recently tried to buy a more expensive 18K brother to my SS Seamaster 200 quartz, I ended up bidding up a very slippery $2,000 hill, before deciding that it was just to much to pay for a 1980 quartz movement watch. Should I have kept going? probably. But then I could have purchased a truely interesting vintage automatic or entry level Rolex, for the same amount of money. (would you pay $2K plus for a quartz?? I just could not do it).

                          I do think asthetics count for alot, and in my youth I remember lusting over a Longines VPH quartz just because it looked so beautiful. I now own 2 of them, and whilst I still think they are beautiful - having seen behind their casings and into their flimsy quartz movements, I am less in love. It is ceratinly not like gazing on the automatic 564 in my Constellation.

                          I try to seperate watches into to groups. 1) those that I am going to seek, keep and treasure (for various reasons) AND 2) those that I am ultimately going to catch and release (so cost and opportunity are the main factors). The truth is that I do not see many of my quartz watches falling into the "keep and treasure", category.

                          Just my 2 cents. BUT damn, I really wanted that 18K Seamaster 200 quartz.
                          Give sarcasm a chance.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Jodster I can't help agreeing with you 100% When I was in the market for a James Bond S/M (I am a James Bond fan to the max) I couldn't justify the cursed expense for a S/M and settle for quartz, looks the same ,tells the time the same ,probably better but I would know even if no one else did . A little more and the chronometre version graced the wrist. I have never regretted the extra dosh and the watch is and probably always will be one of my favourites. A debt of thanks to the H man who got the piece for me .

                            Two guys at a bar one said "Did you know lions, in season, have sex between 12 to 15 times a night?"
                            "Bugger " says his mate " I just joined Rotary"
                            I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

                            Nothing is fool-proof to a sufficiently talented fool.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Jodster, interesting read and on reflection you've maybe hit the nail on the head with your "would you pay $2K plus for a quartz??" question.

                              Maybe that is the question I wanted to ask rather than "are quartz proper watches".

                              From my perspective, I tend not to buy watches on the premise they are collectible or otherwise, rather I buy what I like.

                              Lately I've picked up a few quartz pieces, one as a work watch (setting the time every Monday morning was a pain) the others because I liked the look.

                              Of my weekend wearers two tend to get the most wrist time at the moment, both are quartz. I just find them more fun and much lighter and more comfortable than a mechanical piece. (both are titanium which also helps the weight side of the equation).

                              Interestingly, if I were choosing a watch to wear on an evening out it would be mechanical every time. Not quite sure why that would be unless I am, in fact answering my original question in the negative.

                              Either way, there will always be room for both in my collection but, like you, jodster the ones I really treasure tend to be mechanical.

                              .

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