I have a strange dilemma with watches. I’m by no means an expert but I do love them. I’ve been trying to figure out why I dislike quartz movements so much.
I own a handful of watches and all but one are quartz, but not by choice. Automatic watches are significantly more expensive. Which brings me to my point, a quartz watch is more accurate, runs consistently (meaning you don’t have to wind it up and if you don’t wear it for a week it will still keep time), can look identical to an automatic and are much, much cheaper. Seems like a pretty good deal then right? Yes, it probably is, but I just don’t like them.
A somewhat obvious answer for detail oriented people would be the movement of the hands. Quartz watches can only “tick” their second hands along, but with a manual or automatic movement you can get a nice smooth gliding hand. That is a big pro for me, because I do appreciate the details.
I think it only really dawned on me once I started taking watches apart. I have plans to build my own, so to get started I bought some tools are started taking my own watches apart. That is when I realized that all quartz watches look the same inside. It’s a little tiny circuit with a little battery all held together by a big plastic ring to take up the space of the watch cavity.
So basically it’s a sham, just a facade. The favorite watch that I own is a Braun. It’s beautiful and was designed by Dieter Rams. It was so disappointing for me when I opened it up and the guts looked identical to the $15 Casio I wear to climb in.
And I’m still torn, because the watch I want next has a quartz movement… Lots of the smaller, contemporary brands only make quartz movements because it’s easy to get started. It’s nice to see a few starting to offer automatic options (that I can’t afford).
What do you think? Does it matter what the inside of a watch looks like?
NOTE: The gold watch is not the Braun (obviously) but a loaner Nixon that @todd gave me. So far the watches I put back together don't work very well... so I only take the backs off my nicer watches.