This is one of the key issues in the watch world. What is the difference? and which one is better? These questions will be answered in this article so read on and find out the answers to your queries.
Quartz watches swept the mechanical watch industry into near submission in the late 1970’s and 80’s. Since Hamilton created the first electric watch, the Ventura, in the late 1950’s the battery or Quartz revolution changed the way in which people viewed the time. Before Quartz watches it was the part of the daily routine to reset your timepiece by the TV or radio, the Quartz movement accuracy and longevity of charge made this little routine a thing of the past. Quartz movements have become so ingrained in peoples everyday lives, that automatic watches almost became a distant memory. Brands like Omega, Tissot, and Oris tried to fight head on with the Japanese and American Quartz watch manufacturers such as Casio and Timex, but the late 90’s and in the 00’s the Swiss watch companies have fought back against the Quartz revolution. Swiss watch companies are creating luxury watches, quality timepieces that are desirable and aspirational to everyone who see them.
But as a dive watch, what is the difference between a cheap quartz dive watch and a Swiss automatic dive watch? For instance what is the difference between a Timex Expedition Diver and Oris Pro Diver, other than the obvious £2200 price difference? They both offer the wearer the same basic dive functionality on the surface but is there more to it that makes the automatic watches so much more expensive? Here are some key differences between the automatic watch and the quartz watch.
- The Timex Expedition Diver timekeeping will be more accurate that the Oris Pro Diver over a period of 1 month. The reason for this is that the Timex watch uses battery power to charge a capacitor which then powers the movement of the watch, where as an automatic watch uses motion to charge a spring which the releases energy to the watch movement. A top quality automatic watch movement has a margin of error of + or – 1 second per day compared with a Quartz watch variance which is less than 1 second per year. Should this be the same?
- The Oris watch uses Swiss mechanical engineering to produce each movement by hand and every movement is quality tested before it can be dispatched to retailers and sold to the general public. The Timex is machine produced in a factory in China and one watch in every 100 units are tested.
- All of the Swiss manufacturers like Oris use a unique serial number which allows the watch to be identified and makes it possible to trace every watch to the point of sale and manufacture. Companies like Timex and Casio do not provide unique serial numbers due to the mass quantities which are created of each item daily.
- The automatic watch only requires servicing every 3 to 5 years. The Quartz watch will need a new battery every 2 to 5 years depending on the use of its functions.
- The automatic watch will stop and need manually re-setting if it is left off the wrist for any longer than 40 hours. The Quartz watch will continue to work until the battery fails or there is a mechanical fault.
- There are minimal gadgets on the mechanical watch. There will be no onboard dive computer or dive recording facility, these functions can be found on the Quartz watches companies like Casio, Citizen and Tissot make watches which have the ability to recorded data from your dives to use at a later date.
The key thing to think about is will this divers watch be a functional addition to diving kit already owned, to give you diving data without having to buy a dive computer? If yes then a digital watch will give the much of the information on it digital display, key men’s watches for this are the likes of the Sea Touch and the Citizen Pro master
Or this watch to be more than just diving, should this diver’s watch be timeless and have the possiblity of being able to be worn outside of diving? If it is yes to this question well an automatic divers watch is a perfect addition to a watch collection and it is a great status symbol as well as a useful piece of kit for diving.
Kris headland is an avid follower of mens watch fashion and likes to write about new developments in the industry in his spare time, with a special interest in diver’s watches.