What Is A Quartz Watch

inside a man's quartz watch

For a man looking to build a watch collection, or invest in a key wrist piece to enhance his day-to-day outfits, then it is imperative to know the inner workings of a watch. How do you know if you are buying the right kind of watch for you, or even if the watch catching your eye is worth the price tag? Understanding the basics of watch movements and different styles will enable you to make a clear and concise decision on the right one for you.

Quartz is a reference you may have heard of in conjunction to watches in the past. But what does it exactly mean and what effect could it have on your choice?


If you want to know the bygone history of watches, then you need to start with mechanical movements. These were around long before quartz, but for the purpose of this article, we won’t dwell on this. The revolutionary quartz watch wasn’t around till 1969 heralding a new age in cheaper more affordable timepieces for men.

When we start talking about quartz crystals, the mind starts thinking of diamonds, and those the size of ones you might see in an engagement ring. Ignore that, the quartz crystal in a watch movement is about the size of a grain of sand and shaped like a double pronged fork.

Why Is It Shaped Like A Fork?

Well, the quartz movement works by applying pressure to the crystal. Known as the “Piezeoelectric Effect”, this can generate an electric current on the crystal’s surface. By having a fork shaped crystal, it easier for the watch circuits to measure the crystal’s oscillations, about 32,000 per second.

It is 32, 768 to be precise and if we were to half this number 15 times in a row, you would end up with 1. This is exactly what the electronics in the watch do to accurately convert the pulses into 1 second.


The level of technology that goes into a quartz movement, makes it more shock-resistant and highly accurate when compared to mechanical alternatives. But the quartz price tag is dwarfed by mechanical watches due to the heritage and man-made technology feats associated with their predecessors. The quartz has less man hours associated and can be mass produced to keep prices down.


Sam Brady is a menswear expert, having worked in or around the field for the past 14 years. He has built up a keen eye for detail when it comes to the production of clothing, and is happy showcasing the craftsmanship of Savile Row and Jermyn St. But he understands the need for an interchangeable modern man’s wardrobe that mixes high street and luxury clothing.

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