The Accurate Choice: Quartz Movement Watches

Discover what makes quartz movement wathces become one of the most accurate and reliable timepieces technology.
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Grand Seiko SBGX355 Quartz Movement
Image of Grand Seiko SBGX355 Quartz Movement (Source)

As you look at the many different watches on the market, you might wonder which one is the most accurate and reliable. Look no further than quartz movement watches. While some may consider them to be a more “common” choice, the precision and dependability of quartz movements cannot be denied. With its unassuming yet steadfast nature, a quartz movement watch is the perfect choice for those seeking a timepiece that will never let them down. So why not give quartz movements a chance and discover the true power of accurate timekeeping?

The Basics Of A Quartz Watch Movement

Quartz Movement Grand Seiko Watch
Image of 9F Quartz Movement Grand Seiko Watch (Source)

Quartz watches are a type of watch that uses the accuracy of quartz crystals to keep track of time. 

Unlike mechanical watches, which rely on the winding of a mainspring to power their movement, quartz watches are powered by a battery. The quartz crystal and the stepping motor, which are also part of the movement, get their power from this battery.

When electricity is put through the quartz crystal, which is a small but powerful part, it vibrates at a very high frequency. This vibration is used to control the watch’s movement and make sure it tells the right time. The vibration of the quartz crystal is turned into the movement of the watch hands by the stepping motor, which is another important part. This shows the time on the watch face.

How A Quartz Crystal Powers A Quartz Watch Movement

The oscillating movement at the heart of a quartz watch is powered by a tiny quartz crystal. When an electric current is passed through the crystal, it vibrates at a specific frequency, usually around 32,768 times per second. This rapid vibration drives the movement of the watch, ensuring its accuracy and stability.

For the quartz crystal to keep its oscillation frequency, it is carefully cut and shaped using modern manufacturing techniques. This allows the watch to keep time with a deviation of only a few seconds per day. The use of a quartz crystal offers several advantages over other types of oscillators, including its high precision, low cost, and compact size.

The quartz crystal not only controls how the watch moves, but it is also the heart of the electronic circuit inside the watch. It is linked to other parts, like the battery and stepping motor, by a delicate network of wires and contacts. The microprocessor sends electrical signals to the quartz crystal. The quartz crystal uses these signals to control the movement of the watch hands.

The high-frequency vibration of the quartz crystal also makes it useful in other applications, such as radio transmitters and receivers. In fact, the invention of quartz crystal technology was a big step forward in the field of electronics. It made it possible for quartz watches to become very popular in the 1970s and 1980s. Today, quartz watches are the most common type of timepiece, with millions produced and sold annually.

The Role Of The Stepping Motor In A Quartz Watch Movement

The stepping motor is a crucial element of a quartz watch movement. It is a small electric motor that translates the oscillation of the quartz crystal into the movement of the watch hands. A tiny microprocessor controls the stepping motor. It gets signals from the quartz crystal and uses those signals to move the watch hands.

The use of a stepping motor in a quartz watch movement offers several benefits, including precision, speed, and low power consumption. In a mechanical watch, the power from the mainspring is sent to the escapement through a series of gears. In a quartz watch, the oscillation of the quartz crystal is directly turned into movement by a stepping motor. This allows for a more efficient and accurate movement of the watch hands.

The stepping motor is typically a brushless DC motor, which means that it uses permanent magnets to generate the rotational force, rather than brushes and a commutator. This design has several advantages, including low friction, high efficiency, and a long lifespan. The stepping motor is also small and lightweight, making it ideal for use in a quartz watch movement.

Most of the time, a small microprocessor controls the movement of the motor and the watch hands. This is called a “stepping motor.” The quartz crystal sends signals to the microprocessor, which uses those signals to figure out exactly where the watch hands are. It then sends signals to the stepping motor, which moves the rotor and causes the watch hands to move.

The Battery And Other Components Of A Quartz Watch Movement

A quartz watch movement has a lot more parts than just the battery, quartz crystal, and stepping motor. These include gears, a balance wheel, and an escapement. 

The gears are used to transmit power from the stepping motor to the balance wheel and escapement, which in turn regulate the movement of the watch hands. 

The balance wheel is a small, weighted wheel that keeps time by moving back and forth at regular intervals. 

The escapement is a part that controls how energy is released from the movement. This keeps the watch accurate.

The battery is a vital component of a quartz watch movement. It gives the movement the electricity it needs to work, and it usually lasts for a few years before it needs to be changed. 

The battery is connected to the movement by a series of fine wires and contacts, and it is usually in the middle of the movement. When the battery starts to run low on power, the watch may begin to lose accuracy or stop working altogether. In this case, the battery can be replaced by a watchmaker or a jeweler.


In conclusion, understanding the inner mechanics of a quartz watch movement can help us appreciate the complex engineering and technology that goes into these timepieces. A quartz watch is a marvel of modern horology, from the accuracy of the quartz crystal to the efficiency of the stepping motor. Whether you are a seasoned collector or just starting to learn about quartz watches, I hope this guide has given you useful information and ideas.

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