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Quartz Watches, Why Are They Not More Accurate?


aesmith
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Hi,

I've been turned off quartz a little recently, but it would probably still make sense for my day to day watch. One thing that's been bugging me is why watches in the say £150-£1500 mark should have such a poor level of accuracy. If you can get a £12.99 Lorus like my "emergency watch" that runs to within a couple of seconds a month, then why should someone who's shelled out for an Omega be expected to accept -15 or +21 seconds per month?

Is true accuracy not high on peoples list of requirements? I don't fully believe that's always the case, for example on another forum there's a long thread of people comparing accuracy of their own Tissot watches, and deploring the few that aren't within a few seconds a month. How they got those accurate watches they don't say, as Tissot also only guarantees -0.5/+0.7 per day so presumable Tissot wouldn't accept a warranty return for a watch that's within those limits. My point is that those people do care, and expect that by choosing a decent make they get decent performance.

I'd be interested in peoples thoughts. I understand that there are some high-accuracy special quartz model ranges, but I am referring to the industry in general where it seems that there's no particular drive to get the best performance from the technology in use.

Tony S

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Hi,

I've been turned off quartz a little recently, but it would probably still make sense for my day to day watch. One thing that's been bugging me is why watches in the say £150-£1500 mark should have such a poor level of accuracy. If you can get a £12.99 Lorus like my "emergency watch" that runs to within a couple of seconds a month, then why should someone who's shelled out for an Omega be expected to accept -15 or +21 seconds per month?

Is true accuracy not high on peoples list of requirements? I don't fully believe that's always the case, for example on another forum there's a long thread of people comparing accuracy of their own Tissot watches, and deploring the few that aren't within a few seconds a month. How they got those accurate watches they don't say, as Tissot also only guarantees -0.5/+0.7 per day so presumable Tissot wouldn't accept a warranty return for a watch that's within those limits. My point is that those people do care, and expect that by choosing a decent make they get decent performance.

I'd be interested in peoples thoughts. I understand that there are some high-accuracy special quartz model ranges, but I am referring to the industry in general where it seems that there's no particular drive to get the best performance from the technology in use.

Tony S

Hi

I think a lot of the quartz watches at the mid range price are capable of higher accuracy but this would mean them being adjusted in the factory which would add cost, and I think they like to reserve the adjusted calibers for the really high end quartz offerings.

wookie

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Quality of the components, quality control and importantly the shape of the crystal. Cheap quartz can be accurate but the same model can also be inaccurate (relatively speaking).

High end quartz movements are well engineered and many are thermally compensated and in general are more consistent in quality.

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I agree with walnuts - although they only correct themselves once a day (I think) which does not mean it will be accurate during the day. My old citizen was bang on though (miss that one actually).

As for normal quartz, my tag 2000 pro is pretty bad ass for accuracy.

They do only update once a day, but would lose no more than a tiny fraction of a second each day if that at all.

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My Seiko Alpinist GMT has the 8F56 movement 196khz and is very accurate, if worn regularly to maintain temps it pretty much gains only 1 sec per month ...

Do you think that was the luck of the draw, or typical of that range?

Well Seiko say it should be good for 20 seconds per year if worn regularly so mine seems to be a bit better than normal spec for that calibre, obviously I'm not complaining ;)

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I have several high end quartz and a a couple of super quartz as well.....the best of those is within 20-25 seconds a year, on the other hand I have a £35 Sieko 200M Tacho watch bought from Roy here that looses 2 seconds a year :thumbup: , I am sure it is truly luck with the cheaper quartz watches as I think the spec on the Sieko is something like +-20 month.

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Hi

I think a lot of the quartz watches at the mid range price are capable of higher accuracy but this would mean them being adjusted in the factory which would add cost, and I think they like to reserve the adjusted calibers for the really high end quartz offerings.

wookie

Were you thinking of any particular make? In general the makers that I have seen who quote tolerances for quartz timekeeping just quote a single figure applicable to all their quartz models.

The fact that some cheap watches keep pretty good time shows that its not an issue of component stability or quality, but one of adjustment or selection. In fact the best timekeeper for £150 would be to buy 10 cheap watches and keep the best one. Clearly Omega etc could do the equivalent with the timekeeping electronics, with only a trivial effect on the final price.

Seiko 8F56 sounds good, but I don't think any models with that movement are offered in the UK. Worth a look though.

By the way, honourable mention to Dreyfuss. When I asked them what accuracy they'd guarantee they replied "The expected tolerance of an automatic timepiece is +/- 20/30 seconds a day. With reference to a quartz model, this should keep perfect time." Perfect time! Can't say fairer than that, but I wonder if they'd really accept a warranty return on a watch that's out by 5 sec/month.

Regarding other makes, it would be sickening to splash out on a high end watch only to find it keeps worse time than my cheapie, with no come-back. Especially if it was slow which is much more of a pain to reset.

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Well, you all know I'm an "affordables" man - any watch designed to be worn by the ordinary guy, and at a price that represents not very much of a week's earnings - so I'm a bit biased :yes:

But let me ask you all this - -

You're in the car, and a nutter overtakes (or even undertakes :lol: ) taking a chance, and carves you up a bit, but 1400 yards further on, he's sat at the lights whilst you roll gently to a halt just in time to drop a gear and start driving again when the lights change. :yes:

- - so what's he done with the six seconds he gained by screaming past you? Only to lose it all by being caught out at the next set of lights. :eek:

Think about it, do you need - repeat NEED a watch that's got to be accurate to 5 seconds or less a day, or is there a bit of OCD creeping in there? :lookaround:

Most any mechanical 40 plus years old Timex will run happily to within +/- 1 min per day after a clean and service, a lot even better than that. And that's a cheap throwaway pin pallet type movement intended to fill a gap in the market for an affordable watch :notworthy:

So you gather, I don't worry too much about fractions of a minute accuracy - - but then I'm not timing anything that needs any more accuracy than that? What is it that you're timing that needs such accuracy? :rofl2: Mrs Mel says three minutes is enough for anyone :bash:

Edited by mel
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Think about it, do you need - repeat NEED a watch that's got to be accurate to 5 seconds or less a day, or is there a bit of OCD creeping in there? :lookaround:

I'm not sure what OCD is, but I can well believe I'm suffering from it.

Its a good question though, and the answer is that I'm not looking for accuracy in itself, what I'm looking for is freedom from the hassle of having to reset the watch every few days or weeks. Ideally it would not need setting other than at the GMT/BST changeovers.

I think, to be honest its a matter of principle as well. To me there's something wrong with paying more for a watch, and getting no more (or even less) quality in its primary purpose.

I don't mind resetting a mechanical watch, that's part of the game. However, speaking very roughly I would expect a higher quality mechanical movement will keep better time than a low quality one.

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Think about it, do you need - repeat NEED a watch that's got to be accurate to 5 seconds or less a day, or is there a bit of OCD creeping in there? :lookaround:

I'm not sure what OCD is, but I can well believe I'm suffering from it.

If your a registered member on here there's a fair chance that you have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder :shocking: there is no treatment :rolleyes:

My life has been spent obsessing over many things now it's watches, I've always been trying to find that majical watch that cost not a lot and keeps time ACCURATELY, still looking . :derisive:

Most recent watch is running pretty much as I want, and the one before was good too, after me spending an inordinate amount of time in back fiddling with the adjustment.

OCD si a funny thing if it's not watches it'll be something else :whistle: count yourself lucky it could be loose women or fast cars. :naughty:

regards from

beach bum whose watch this AM was 2secs faster than my radio controlled clock(s) :to_become_senile:

Edited by beach bum
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That's very true Mel but you're missing something very important ... there's only 31,556,926 seconds in a year and some of us need to know exactly where all those seconds are and where they went !! :scared: :taz:

:naughty:

So it was YOU who carved me up three days ago then ? :lol: So a leap year must throw you out completely :to_become_senile:

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there are those bulova precisionist watches that are quartz with a sweeping second hand and claim to be the more accurate watches in the world - not sure if thats the truth tho. Never knew they did quartz with sweeping second hands, a very smooth movement aswell

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So you gather, I don't worry too much about fractions of a minute accuracy - - but then I'm not timing anything that needs any more accuracy than that? What is it that you're timing that needs such accuracy? :rofl2: Mrs Mel says three minutes is enough for anyone :bash:

Agree, Mel. In the WIS world seconds count. But the average watch user will probably be "tickled pink" with a watch that is within +/- a couple of minutes (of whatever measure he uses) everytime he checks it. How much one wants to spend, be it on quartz or mechanical, is a whole different subject, IMHO. :cheers:

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oh god, I just checked on my cheap £4.99 quartz digital watch that I got from Argos last year...would you believe it...its only gone and lost 4 nano seconds..thats the last time I shop at Argos..next time I go there I'll be giving them a piece of my mind I'll tell ya...I don't care about the 16 day refund policy, I've got consumer rights and I will be demanding a full refund. No wonder I keep being late for work.

Edited by whatwatch
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