Are Quartz Watches Bad?

Watches: They tell more than just time. They’re an accessory, a statement, a tool. In the diverse world of horology, quartz watches hold a significant place, offering a blend of affordability, accuracy, and low maintenance. Yet, a common query among both novices and watch enthusiasts is: Are quartz watches bad?

Quartz watches are not inherently bad. In fact, they offer remarkable precision and require minimal upkeep compared to their mechanical counterparts. However, like any product, they come with their own set of pros and cons, which can sway one’s preference based on individual needs and tastes.

Let’s embark on an insightful journey into the world of quartz watches, dispelling myths, comparing them with other types, and finally, assisting you in deciding whether a quartz watch is a good fit for you. Prepare to delve deep into the intricacies of quartz timepieces as we address your queries head-on!

Are Quartz Watches Bad


What is a Quartz Watch?

How Quartz Watches Work

A quartz watch operates on a simple mechanism. It utilizes a tiny piece of quartz crystal, shaped as a tuning fork, and powered by a battery. The battery sends electricity through the quartz crystal, causing it to oscillate at a frequency of 32,768 times per second. This high-frequency oscillation helps in keeping remarkably accurate time.

History of Quartz Watches

The quartz watch technology was first introduced in the late 1960s by the Japanese company Seiko, a development that triggered the ‘Quartz Revolution’. This period witnessed the shift from manual and automatic watches to quartz watches, leading to a dramatic reshaping of the watch industry.

The Pros of Quartz Watches

Quartz watches offer several advantages that make them a popular choice among a wide range of users.


Quartz watches are generally more affordable than mechanical watches due to less complicated and less labor-intensive production processes.


One of the biggest selling points of quartz watches is their exceptional accuracy. The precision of a quartz mechanism is unrivaled, losing only a few seconds per month.

Low Maintenance

Unlike mechanical watches, quartz watches require minimal maintenance. Besides battery replacements every few years, they require little to no additional upkeep.


Quartz watches tend to be more durable than their mechanical counterparts. They are less prone to damage from shocks or movement, making them an ideal choice for everyday wear.

The Cons of Quartz Watches

Despite their benefits, quartz watches have certain drawbacks.

Lack of Craftsmanship

Mechanical watches are often admired for their intricate craftsmanship and the artistry involved in their making. Quartz watches, being machine-made, lack this human touch.

Lower Prestige

In the world of luxury watches, mechanical watches usually hold higher prestige. Quartz watches, despite their functionality, may not carry the same level of status.

Limited Lifespan of Quartz Crystals

Quartz crystals may lose their oscillation efficiency over time, affecting the watch’s accuracy. However, this generally occurs over a very long period.

Battery Replacements

Quartz watches require regular battery changes, typically every 2-3 years, which can be a slight inconvenience.

Debunking Myths About Quartz Watches

There are several misconceptions associated with quartz watches. Let’s set the record straight.

  1. Quartz watches are cheap: While quartz watches are generally more affordable, there are also luxury quartz watches that offer superior build quality, style, and brand value.
  2. Quartz watches lack longevity: Quartz watches can last for many years with proper care. The limited lifespan of quartz crystals is often misunderstood; they can function efficiently for decades.
  3. All quartz watches are alike: There’s a wide variety of quartz watches, from entry-level models to high-end luxury timepieces with advanced features.

Comparing Quartz Watches to Other Types

Understanding the differences between quartz and other types of watches can help discern their respective benefits and limitations.

Quartz vs Mechanical Watches

Mechanical watches operate on a complex system of gears and springs, a technology that dates back centuries. They are admired for their craftsmanship and tradition but tend to be less accurate and require more maintenance compared to quartz watches.

Quartz vs Automatic Watches

Automatic watches are a type of mechanical watch that harnesses kinetic energy from the wearer’s movement to the wind itself. They offer the intricacy of mechanical watches and remove the need for manual winding, but they still lag behind quartz watches in terms of accuracy and maintenance.

How to Choose the Right Watch for You

Choosing the right watch involves considering several factors, such as lifestyle, budget, aesthetics, and maintenance preference.

If accuracy and low maintenance are your top priorities, a quartz watch might be a perfect choice. However, if you are drawn to the artistry and tradition associated with watchmaking, you may prefer a mechanical or automatic watch.


Do quartz watches last a lifetime?

With proper care, quartz watches can last for many years. While the quartz crystal may lose efficiency over an extended period (several decades), regular battery replacements and general maintenance can keep your watch in excellent working condition.

Is quartz watches worth collecting?

Quartz watches can certainly be worth collecting, especially if you appreciate their technology, accuracy, and ease of use. Luxury quartz watches can also offer excellent build quality and design, making them a worthy addition to any collection.

Can a quartz watch become a family heirloom?

While mechanical watches are traditionally considered more suitable as heirlooms, there’s no reason a well-maintained, high-quality quartz watch can’t serve the same purpose. It’s ultimately about the value—both sentimental and material—that the watch holds for you and your family.


Navigating the world of watches can seem daunting, but it becomes simpler once we understand that each type serves a distinct purpose and appeals to different preferences.

Quartz watches, while sometimes underappreciated, offer impressive accuracy, low maintenance, and affordability. However, they might lack the prestige and craftsmanship associated with mechanical watches.

Remember, the ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in watches is often subjective, tied to individual needs, tastes, and perceptions.

With this comprehensive exploration of quartz watches, we hope to have cleared any doubts and helped you appreciate these marvels of modern horology a bit more. After all, in the realm of watches, variety is not just the spice of life—it’s the very essence of it.

Michael, an ardent horology enthusiast, brings his love for exquisite timepieces to life at WatchReflect. With a background in marketing and a penchant for luxury, he dives into the world of popular watch brands. His journey began during his years at a Swiss watch boutique, fueling his passion for precision craftsmanship. Through his words, Michael shares the allure and innovation that define the watch industry.

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