Timekeeping is essential in human life since in the past. Before the era of smartphones and smartwatches, people are wearing watches to do timekeeping. Watches are generally separated between mechanical and quartz. In this article we will compare one type of mechanical watch, which is automatic watch to quartz watch.
In this article we will give you information about:
– What is Quartz and Automatic watches
– How the Quartz watch and Automatic Watch Works
– Quartz watch vs Automatic watch
About Quartz Watch
Quartz clock or watch is a clock or watch that regulated by quartz crystal using an electronic oscillator to keep time. The oscillator will creates signal in very precise frequency, this is why quartz clock are at least one magnitude more accurate compare to mechanical clocks or watch. In present days inside the quartz clock or watch you can find the resonator or oscillator used is commonly in a shape of a small tuning fork, the resonator is commonly laser trimmed or lapped to vibrate at 37 768 Hz, this frequency is the same or equal to 212 cycles per second.
Back in history, taken from Wikipedia, the first Quartz clock was made by Warren Morrison and J.W. Horton at Bell Telephone Laboratories in 1927. The Quartz clock begin to be accepted as the world’s most used timekeeping technology and used in most clock and watches since the 1980, when the advent of solid state digital electronics happening. Aside used in clocks, this technology is also used in computers and other appliances that also keeps time.
Quartz may sound unusual or unique, but in fact this crystal is one of the most common minerals you can find on Earth. The quartz crystal is made from a chemical compound called silicon dioxide that you can found in sand and most type of rocks. One most interesting about Quartz crystal is if you try to squeeze it you will feel a tiny electric current.
How it works
Quartz watches or clocks are powered by battery and since they consume very little energy, the battery inside a quartz watch or clock usually will last several years before you need to replace it with the new ones. Compare to the old time pendulum clock or mechanical watch Quartz is much more accurate. There are gears inside the Quartz watch that regulated by a small crystal of quartz and keep the “hands” moving.
The battery inside a quartz watch will sends electricity through electronic circuit to the Quartz crystal, the crystal then oscillates at precise frequency, which is 32768 times per second as mentioned above. The circuit then counts the number of vibrations and uses them to generate regular electronic pulses exactly one per second. This pulse then can power an LCD or will drive a small electric motor that will turn gear wheels to move the second, minute and hour “hands”.
About Automatic Watch
Automatic watch is a mechanical watch that doesn’t need to be wound manually. The gears inside the watch are moved by the motion provided by the wearer. Mechanical watches that are manufactured today are mostly automatic. Mechanical watches that are not powered by electricity or automatic can be categorized as manual watch.
Back in history, the first man who invented the automatic watch is a Swiss watchmaker called Abraham-Louis Perrelet in late 1776 or early 1777. Perrelet made a pocket watch using an oscillating weight inside the watch that moved up and down. The first automatic watch will need to be walked 15 minutes before it is fully wound. After Perrelet there are also several inventor making automatic watches. In between 1776 and 1810, there are four different types of weigh were used to make automatic watch. They are side weight, center weight, rotor weight, and movement weight.
How it Works
Inside a mechanical watch there are gears that turned by a spiral spring called mainspring. While in manual watch the energy is stored in the mainspring by turning the crown at the side of the watch to wound the mainspring. In automatic watch this process is unnecessary, because the natural motion of the wearers body will wind the mainspring. The movement by the wearer will cause the rotor inside the watch to pivot on its staff, which is attached to a ratcheted winding mechanism. This motion then translated by the gears, which in the end will wind the mainspring.
Even though the name is automatic, it doesn’t mean that the watch can’t be wound manually. Many people are thinking that automatic watches can’t be manually wound, while in fact there is a crown at the side of the watch to wound it manually. Professional said that automatic watch need to be wound manually first about 30-40 times to bring it to its fullest capacity.
Quartz Watch vs Automatic Watch
|Quartz Watch||Automatic Watch|
|- Powered by electricity||- Powered by the wearers natural motion|
|- In present days common quartz watches are design more casually||- In present days common automatic watches are design more elegantly|
|- The battery will eventually runs out and need to be changed||- There will be no need to change the inside except when there are broken parts|
Now we know what differs Quartz watch and Automatic watch. The main difference is located at how the watch was run. Automatic is using a mainspring, which needs to be wound to run the watch. While Quartz watches are electrically run watches. In present days, many automatic watches are designed elegantly, while quartz commonly has casual or sporty appearance. When choosing which one to wear, it is better to follow your own taste and style. If you want simpler design and more accurate time without the worry about winding your watch, we will recommend you the Quartz watch.