Advantages of quartz watches are their more precise and easy-to-use design, as well as their more imaginative style and functionality, with their smaller and thinner designs. These advantages have enabled the quartz watch to capture most of the wristwatch market.
The core of a quartz watch contains an integrated circuit that drives a quartz oscillator. The oscillator vibrates due to the electric energy supplied by a small button battery, which has a lifespan of several years. The high frequency of the quartz oscillator, which is typically 32,768 Hz per second (compared to the 21,600 vibrations per hour of a mechanical watch), makes quartz watches extremely accurate, with an annual error of less than one minute, which is less than one second per day.
There are two types of time displays for quartz watches. The most common is the analog display, which uses hands to show the time. The other type is the digital display, which has a liquid crystal display that receives pulses from the integrated circuit to show the time, with no mechanical energy transfer. These two display methods can also be combined to show different functions, such as time, countdowns, and timed measurements.
Currently, quartz watches account for about 80% of the wristwatch market, indicating their significant influence on the market. However, some people have misunderstandings about the accuracy and convenience of quartz watches. Here we analyze several issues related to quartz watches to help clear up any confusion.
Quartz wristwatches can be divided into two types: digital displays and analog displays.
For digital quartz watches, the movement does not need lubrication because there are no gears, only circuit boards. Therefore, only the battery and the waterproof ring or waterproof silicone grease need to be replaced. Since digital quartz watches are generally inexpensive, the cost of maintenance is usually higher than the value of the watch, so maintenance is not cost-effective.
For analog quartz watches, the movement contains mechanical gears that will require lubrication when the oil ages, making them similar to mechanical watches. However, since most analog quartz watches are also relatively inexpensive, many people consider it more cost-effective to let them run their course without maintenance.
The error range for first-rate quartz watches is ±15 seconds per month, which is more accurate than the ±15 seconds per day allowed for mechanical watches.
The lifespan of a quartz watch is determined by the complexity of its mechanism and usage. Quartz watches are powered by batteries, and different intigrated circuits determine their lifespan, which is typically around two years. However, some quartz watches use lithium batteries, which have a lifespan of 3-4 years. When the battery runs low, the second hand of the watch will jump every four seconds, indicating the battery must be replaced promptly. Failure to replace the battery on time may cause the battery to leak and damage the internal components of the wristwatch.
When not wearing the quartz watch, people can pull out the crown to stop it, which appears as the watch stopping. However, the battery will still discharge, albeit slowly, which saves battery life.