Different Types of Watch Technology

What are the different ways to power a watch?

There are basically two kind of technology that works in a watch: Quartz and Mechanical.

Quartz Watches have 3 general types:

  • Battery

  • Kinetic

  • Solar

Mechanical Watches have two general types:

  • Manual

  • Automatic

What is the difference between Quartz and Mechanical watches?

Quartz watches utilize a battery to move the components, and Mechanical watches do not have a battery, instead relying on the parts inside being wound.

Quartz Watches

What’s the difference between the types of Quartz watches?

Quartz watches have a battery which is used to vibrate a quartz crystal. The way that the battery is charged (or not) is what differentiates quartz watches. These vibrations are transmitted via electronics, and the frequency of the vibrating quartz is then used to dictate the time (digital) or power the movement (analog).

What actually powers that quartz crystal’s vibration is what differentiates the types of quartz watches. Battery powered is powered solely by a battery, which is not recharged but instead is replaced after it is worn out. Kinetic watches have a battery that is charged by movement, and that battery powers the quartz vibration. Eventually the Kinetic watch will need a battery change. Solar watches have a battery that is charged by sun or artificial light. Similar to a Kinetic watch, the battery needs to be changed occasionally.

Mechanical Watches

What is the difference between the types of Mechanical Watches?

Mechanical watches have no batteries. What powers the watch is either winding from an automatic movement (with a weight inside that spins when the watch is worn), or from literally winding the watch from the crown.

Which kind of watch is better between a Quartz watch and a Mechanical watch?

This is purely down to personal preference. Mechanical watches are more traditional and intricate, and often this means they are more expensive. Quartz watches are reliable and often more flexible from the perspective of supporting new technology – and the battery powered quartz watches are usually less expensive than a comparable model with other movement.

How do I know what kind of watch I have?

If you take off the case back and look inside, if you see anything resembling electronics, and if you see a battery, that watch is a Quartz watch. If it has springs, moving parts, and otherwise looks like it only relies on some really old-school technology, that is a Mechanical watch.

There’s a lot that goes into these little timekeepers we have on our wrists, isn’t there? Check out our Quartz and Solar Quartz, as well as our Automatic Mechanical watches!

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