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The difference between an automatic and a quartz watch

Geplaatst op 16-05-2024 door Frank Andringa

Are you hesitating between a quartz watch and an automatic watch? Then it is important to know the difference. Because what is the difference between an automatic watch and quartz watch? We explain that to you in this Watch News.

Automatisch Citizen horloge

Citizen diving watch with automatic movement


We can be brief about quartz watches. They contain a battery. With it, you choose for reliability. In principle, the watch always runs on time. And if the battery runs out, you can have it replaced at a local jeweller (or do it yourself). Do you have a watch that needs to be quite waterproof because you will be swimming and snorkelling with it? Then it's a good idea to have a waterproofness test done at the same time after replacing the battery.

What is an automatic watch?

Automatic watches are the gems among watches. It is a marvel of technology. The watch does not possess a battery, but winds itself by the movement of your wrist. This builds up a so-called power reserve. This can vary per watch from 24 to 48 hours. It means that when the watch is fully wound, it can keep running for 24 to 48 hours without you wearing it.

Automatisch Philipp Plein horloge

Philipp Plein with skeleton movement

But that technology in the watch also needs care. For instance, an automatic watch is more sensitive to shocks. Falls, for instance, can damage the movement. Although it never needs a battery replacement, it is wise to give it an apk at a jeweller's once every two to three years to clean the movement. Want to know more about automatic watches?

Variation in automatic watches

Whereas a quartz watch always runs on time and has virtually no deviation, you do have to deal with this with an automatic watch. This can vary from a few seconds to almost a minute a day. The more expensive the timepiece, the more accurate it is. But no matter how expensive the timepieces are, there is still a deviation. Even with Rolex watches.

Are you a man or woman of the clock? Do you struggle with a watch that deviates by a few seconds every day? Then a quartz watch is more for you. Do you, on the other hand, love technology? And do you take those few seconds a day for granted? Then an automatic watch is just what you're looking for.

Versace Dylos automatisch horloge

In short, 5 important differences between quartz and automatic

  • An automatic watch you have to move: An automatic works by the movement of your wrist, your movement drives the watch, while a quartz watch works on a battery that provides the necessary energy.
  • Quartz is more accurate: Quartz watches are generally more accurate than automatic watches. This is because they are equipped with a quartz crystal that generates a stable frequency to drive the movement of the hands.
  • Automatic watches need maintenance: Automatic watches do require maintenance over time to keep functioning, while quartz watches generally require less maintenance.
  • Automatic watches are more expensive: Automatic watches tend to be more expensive than quartz watches. This is because the production of this type of timepiece is more complex and expensive.
  • Automatic watches have more status: Automatic watches often have a more classic look and are considered a status symbol, while quartz watches are often more sporty and focused more on functionality.

If you are looking for an automatic watch or a quartz watch,
WatchXL has a wide range of quartz watches and automatic watches.

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