Automatic watch& quartz watch: what is the difference??

When buying a watch, the question always arises whether it should be an automatic watch or a watch with quartz movement. What are the differences?

automatic watch& quartz watch: what is the difference??

At a glance: how to tell the difference?

The quickest way to tell the difference is the second hand to examine. If the hand jumps to every second, it is in most cases a quartz watch. If the second hand never stops and runs through, then one can assume that it is an automatic watch. It only becomes difficult when the watch does not have a second hand. In this case you can see the dial on the inscription "quartz" (english) respectively "quartz" (german) or "automatic" (english) respectively "automatic" (german) examine. this information can also be found on the bottom of the watch.

A special extra with some automatic watches is, for example, the built-in glass caseback, the view of the work enables.

automatic watch& quartz watch: what is the difference??

In the 70s of the 20. at the beginning of the 20th century, electronic quartz watches spread worldwide (seiko quartz movement, left). Previously, it was exclusively mechanical movements that kept the clock in gear.

The main difference between automatic watch and quartz watch lies in the movement itself, more precisely, in the drive. In the quartz watch quartz crystals used, which an electrical circuit sets in oscillation.

The situation is different for the automatic watch off, which one mechanical movement owns. Here comes a watch spring to the use. For this reason, the clock is also given mechanically. The disadvantage, however, is that in contrast to the quartz watch, the frequency is only in the range between four and ten hertz. Thus, the accuracy of automatic watch is usually lower than quartz watches.

The quartz watch has the disadvantage, that it can be operated without battery, which must be exchanged after a certain time, does not get along. The automatic watch, on the other hand, does not need a battery at all, as it is powered by the movements of the watch with the help of a rotors winds itself. If the movement stops because the watch is not in use, it stops. With most models it is therefore necessary to turn the watch by the crown. Other models do not have this function and are reactivated by shaking movements.

The accuracy

automatic watch& quartz watch: what is the difference??

Through the glass bottom of many automatic watches, the complex mechanics can be seen. you can see the "inner life" of the watch and the beat of time.

The accuracy of an automatic watch thus varies depending on use of the wearer. If the watch moves a lot, it runs more accurately and is not in danger of stopping. As a preventive measure, the automatic watch can always be crown wind up. If the mainspring of the automatic watch is fully wound, the movement should not stop for the next 40 to 60 hours, depending on the model.

If you as a watch owner attach much importance to a second accurate display of the time, you should consider to choose a quartz watch battery operated quartz watch to decide. However, it should be remembered that the difference between the automatic watch and quartz watch is only about 10 – 30 seconds per day acts. Of course, the deviation is even lower with higher quality watches. It is approximately zero to seven seconds per day. In the best case, the automatic watch has a so-called chronometer testing. Models with this characteristic must not have a rate deviation outside the range of minus eight to plus ten seconds per day. However, these models are also a lot more expensive.

In summary, the minimum deviation of the automatic watch should not be the decisive point for the decision to buy a quartz watch.

automatic watch quartz watch movement glasses jewelry lifetime difference automatic quartz care price purchase decision robustness accuracy Bruno Sohnle

Quartz watch: bruno sohnle wrist watch armida chronograph 17-63115-951

Robustness& resilience of watches

The automatic watch has an extremely delicate movement, which should be protected. Therefore, sporting activities with such a watch are not recommended, because violent movements and vibrations could damage the movement.
For many, the automatic watch represents a luxurious prestige object for those who lovers of tradition and craftsmanship are. In contrast, the quartz watch is the perfect choice for the watch enthusiast due to its ease of use and robust movement everyday use and above all practical use.

The purchase decision: automatic and quartz in comparison

Purchase price

Automatic watches are due to their complex production and high quality standards in the higher price sector. Inexpensive automatic watches can be purchased for as little as 50 euro acquire. but these usually have defective movements. Higher-quality models are available from a price of about 150 euro. Quartz watches are often cheaper due to their nature and manufacturing costs. The price varies enormously depending on brand, quality and equipment.


In terms of accuracy are quartz watches have a clear advantage compared to mechanical movements. The rate deviation of automatic watches differs depending on the use of the owner and model.

watch with soul through tradition and craftsmanship

Although mechanical watches in the true sense of the word belong to an obsolete technology, for most people they are watch lovers still the only true watches. Because with a technical watch, the beat of the time can be observed exactly. It is besides the own movement no electricity necessary to keep them "alive.


With an automatic watch as well as with a quartz watch, one can for years have pleasure. Automatic watches are much more sensitive in handling, but with good care they can almost always be repaired again and therefore usually have a longer service life. Because the technology used has already proven itself for generations.

Use in everyday life

The automatic watch is usually used for special occasions and business activities. The robust quartz watch proves itself especially in sports and in everyday life.


In the case of a quartz movement, it is necessary to change approximately every two years count on the purchase of a new battery. The price for such a button cell battery ranges between one and three euros. For most automatic watches, the acquisition of a so-called watch winder useful. Particularly expensive luxury models should be serviced regularly about every 3 – 5 years be handed over to a watchmaker for maintenance.


although automatic watches are more complex and therefore sometimes more sensitive, they are essentially easy to repair. The repair of a quartz watch, on the other hand, often exceeds the replacement value. For this reason, the decision to repair a watch should be made on a case-by-case basis.

Value retention

Since mechanical watches are for most watch lovers the non-plus-ultra are, there also exists a large collector market. Due to the technology that has been proven for centuries, even older, used automatic watches are in high demand. However, a quartz watch will only very rarely (for very high quality quartz models) have a reasonable resale price resale price achieve.

Bottom line

Especially as a fashion accessory in the everyday use and in the leisure is the affordable and robust quartz watch to recommend. automatic watches are characterized above all by their elegant style and the proven mechanics from. They are witnesses centuries old tradition and craftsmanship. If you are looking for a watch that will accompany you for many years and possibly even be passed on, a high-quality mechanical automatic watch is recommended.

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