What's the record for the longest running quartz watch?

Thread: What's the record for the longest running quartz watch?

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  1. #1
    Member xevious's Avatar
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    Question What's the record for the longest running quartz watch?

    The several threads debating quartz vs. mechanical movements have me curious... because one of the claims made against quartz watches is that if the circuitry fails in any way, it's toast--you either replace the entire movement or get another watch. I do have to believe in very high end quartz watches that some electronics expert could solder in a replacement IC unit, but in the end it is probably cheaper just to replace the whole circuit board. On the other hand, the mechanical watch provides full access to all of its parts and the expert watch repair technician can virtually fix "any" mechanical watch.

    So, I'm sure many people here have witnessed quartz watches venturing into 50 year territory still working just fine... but I wonder. Is that more of the exception to the rule, or the norm? Do the higher quality quartz watches just keep on going?

    And ultimately, what's the longest running quartz watch known at this point?
    In rotation: Citizen Attesa ATV53-2834, Eco Drives | Seiko SKA-413 | Omega Seamaster DeVille | Casio GD-350, TW-7000, DW-5025D, G-7900MS, G-7800B, GW-9100MB, GW-2310, GL-110, G-2000

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    Member cbeeches's Avatar
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    Re: What's the record for the longest running quartz watch?

    Hmmmm. I know That my GUCCI from 1987 still runs like a champ. I do not wear it much anymore, but it has NEVER not had a functioning battery in it. It has been running over 20 years now and still strong. I have my Dad's old Seiko SQ from about 1980 still running strong as well.
    I know there are guys out there with old Quartz watches still running along, so it's likely you could find some running from the 70's. I think Quartz watches are like anything else. If you take reasonable care of it, it will last for a long time maybe even longer than a Mechanical and certainly with less trips for overhaul. Only time will tell in the long run, but there are plenty of Old Accutrons from the 60's still running out there and I consider them less hearty than most Quartz. I also think that most speculation on the extended life of Quartz watches is conjecture anyway, as I said, Time will tell.

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    Member KenC's Avatar
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    Re: What's the record for the longest running quartz watch?

    The mythical "high-end" quartz movements are still relatively cheap...therefore, it is my belief that it is still less costly to replace them than attempt to repair the micro-circuitry.
    "Find the little bastards......and then pile on!" Maj Gen George S Patton IV



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  4. #4
    Member xevious's Avatar
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    Re: What's the record for the longest running quartz watch?

    Quote Originally Posted by vandice View Post
    Well the oldest modern day quartz watch dates back to 1969, the Seiko Astron, which will celebrate it's 39th birthday this Christmas.

    One of the reasons mechanical afficiondaos dislike quartz is because of the difficulty in repair. It's not a simple matter of replacing a hairspring or worn-out gear. Some argue that it's always possible to fabricate a part for the movement so long one is willing to spend.

    Some quartz are repairable but it's usually cheaper to replace the module.

    As to the original question, quartz watches from the 70s regularly turn up on Ebay for sale. I figure a well made quartz watch can last at least 30 years.
    I know, from a purist standpoint the "disposable module" of quartz watches seems almost horological heresy. However, I don't think this is an issue from the perspective of overall cost.

    I've seen quotes of around $500 to service a Rolex every 3 years. If a quartz watch can easily run for about 30 years before needing a module replaced, that's $1500 of servicing saved (not counting battery changes).
    In rotation: Citizen Attesa ATV53-2834, Eco Drives | Seiko SKA-413 | Omega Seamaster DeVille | Casio GD-350, TW-7000, DW-5025D, G-7900MS, G-7800B, GW-9100MB, GW-2310, GL-110, G-2000

  5. #5
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    Re: What's the record for the longest running quartz watch?

    Quote Originally Posted by xevious View Post
    ....

    I've seen quotes of around $500 to service a Rolex every 3 years. If a quartz watch can easily run for about 30 years before needing a module replaced, that's $1500 of servicing saved (not counting battery changes).
    I wonder whats the service time and cost for the Rolex Oysterquartz? Do you service it every time it gets a battery change? And if so how much, and if they break down, can you still get genuine Rolex parts (quartz modules for it)....


    Yes, Quartz Rolex(es) - they do exist.
    http://www.oysterquartz.net/
    Last edited by eqdok2007; February 11th, 2008 at 07:59. Reason: typo

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    Re: What's the record for the longest running quartz watch?

    Not sure about service times and costs, but I had a OQ DJ (not the Day/Date OQ) last year. I traded/sold it for something (can't remember for what though) due to the very loud (quartz) tick..the thing was louder than a Swatch but I'll have to admit, it did have a very solid "tick" compared to other lesser quality/lesser known movements.

    Anyways, just for kicks, I called Ludwig (Bernicker) at 210 Post Street here in San Francisco (our Rolex "authorized" service center...as opposed to Authorized Rolex Service Center?..someone mentioned the distinction on TZ awhile back but wasn't able to confirm if there was a difference), and asked him 1) the cost of a new OQ movement and 2) how long they kept parts (or at least were able to obtain them) for this movement...He was somewhat busy at the time, but briefly commented 1) at least $1000-$2000 for new movement, and 2) at least 20 years for parts...

    Not sure if this helps, but just thought I'd chime in nonetheless.

    -Darin

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    Moderator Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: What's the record for the longest running quartz watch?

    Quote Originally Posted by vandice View Post
    The problem is two-fold. Not many watchmakers are trained to repair/replace quartz modules, precisely because of their low-cost, throw-away nature.

    The other problem is, I doubt one can find a replacement module 30 years down the road. There's a similar problem with vintage mechanicals too but most of them will still run with poorer accuracy on worn out parts.
    The skills involved in swapping quartz modules are included in the set any decent watchmaker would have. The only problem in most swaps is the case ring to hold the movement in place might be different... but the same problem presents itself in mechanical swaps.

    I admit HEQ folks are strange and actually dote over their quartz movements... but most folks with quartz love their cases, dials, and bracelets. Since quartz movements (Eta's at least) come in standard sizes finding a replacement in 30 years should be trivial.

    But I don't think 30 years is a reasonable estimate on the life of a decent quartz ... at least the good Eta Flatlines. My oldest quartz is running fine after 37 years and I have several others that are almost as old... and none are built as well as modern Eta Flatlines. Every part in a Flatline is capable of being replaced, down to swapping the electronic control module.

    I suspect the Flatlines to have a service (usable) life well in excess of 50 years... maybe in excess of 100. (Of course, I can't guarantee 100 years from now you will still be able to get batteries... ... in another 40 or so years I suspect they may become 'specialty items'.)
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

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    Re: What's the record for the longest running quartz watch?

    I asked the same question quite a while back see this link
    http://forums.watchuseek.com/showthr...79505#poststop

    Contains lots of photos from members here

    Seiko seems to be tops.

    If I maintain my quartz watch the way other people maintain their mechanical watches, I think it will last for ever. That would include battery changes, seal and gasket changes and occasional full servicing (oiling the gears etc etc)

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    Re: What's the record for the longest running quartz watch?

    Well... I still have my first watch. a Casio LCD, about 1979 or 1980.
    A real beater watch. Still runs strong. The only defect I see is that one LCD bar from the second counter is less black than the others.
    I have never pampered that watch (looks like a beater)... but runs

    Mike

  10. #10
    Member xevious's Avatar
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    Re: What's the record for the longest running quartz watch?

    Quote Originally Posted by siyexcalibur View Post
    I asked the same question quite a while back see this link
    http://forums.watchuseek.com/showthr...79505#poststop

    Contains lots of photos from members here

    Seiko seems to be tops.

    If I maintain my quartz watch the way other people maintain their mechanical watches, I think it will last for ever. That would include battery changes, seal and gasket changes and occasional full servicing (oiling the gears etc etc)
    Thanks for that link, Siy. I should have searched a little more carefully. But I think it's a good topic to revive now and then. I'm impressed to see so many testimonies of nearly 40 year quartz watches till going strong.

    Siy, where'd you get your info on this?
    Quote Originally Posted by siyexcalibur View Post
    As of NOW, the oldest digital quartz watch belongs to
    1) Joe H. SEIKO 1972 (an amazing 35 years)
    2&3) Heb Seiko and meenyc Omega 1976 (Tie)
    The oldest analog quartz watch belongs to
    1) four_of_diamonds Seiko 1979
    2) Obsidian Hamilton 1984
    3) Ed Rooney Seiko 1986

    Four out of six are Seikos, the other two are brands under the Swatch group. Seikos make great quartz watches !!!
    In rotation: Citizen Attesa ATV53-2834, Eco Drives | Seiko SKA-413 | Omega Seamaster DeVille | Casio GD-350, TW-7000, DW-5025D, G-7900MS, G-7800B, GW-9100MB, GW-2310, GL-110, G-2000

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