Thread: "High" End Quartz Accuracy

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  1. #1
    Member Drez's Avatar
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    "High" End Quartz Accuracy

    Just wondering if swiss quartz watches that are NOT thermo-compensated are any more accurate that other quartz watches. My understanding is not.

    I ask because it has me questioning the rational of some of the mid - high end quartz watches, id est a Quartz SMP or a Tag Aquaracer. Would these be any more accurate that say a Citizen or Seiko?

    Of course these watches have lots of other non-time keeping reasons to own them or everyone would own a G-Shock but I'm just curious if a swiss quartz is actually superior in any way.

    cheers
    Collection:

    *Tag Heuer Carrera Automatic Twin Time (WV2115)
    *Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra (2503.33.00)
    *Sinn U1 (1010.2585)
    *Burberry Automatic Chronograph Valjoux 7753 (BU1210)


    *Vintage 1956 Junghans Chronometer Cal. 82/1 (682.73)

    *Vintage Movado Sub-Sea Kingmatic HA360 Cal. 405

    *Casio Super Illuminator (MDV102-7a)
    *Vintage 1983 Seiko SQ (6923-7009)

    *Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos Cal 528-8 Mantle Clock


  2. #2
    Moderator Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: "High" End Quartz Accuracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Drez View Post
    Just wondering if swiss quartz watches that are NOT thermo-compensated are any more accurate that other quartz watches. My understanding is not.

    I ask because it has me questioning the rational of some of the mid - high end quartz watches, id est a Quartz SMP or a Tag Aquaracer. Would these be any more accurate that say a Citizen or Seiko?

    Of course these watches have lots of other non-time keeping reasons to own them or everyone would own a G-Shock but I'm just curious if a swiss quartz is actually superior in any way.

    cheers
    Watches have multiple ways to achieve accuracy. Let me see if I can do a list..

    1. thermocompensation
    2. crystal selection
    3. crystal construction
    4. factory adjustments
    5. after sale adjustments

    1 we know about. 2 involves aging your crystals then picking the most accurate ones. 3 involves making crystals that are more stable over normal operating conditions. 4 involves having the microprocessor correct for individual crystal error. 5 involves being able to program the microprocessor to correct for observed error.

    Most makers do one or more of these. Seiko 8F's are high frequency crystals that come under 3. All modern Eta movements have 4. Some have 5.

    Generally, expensive movements try several of these. Cheap movements try none. But this is a generalization. It is hard to tell about a specific movement unless you examine it directly.
    "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!

  3. #3
    Member Drez's Avatar
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    Re: "High" End Quartz Accuracy

    Thanks thats helpful.

    Would it be fair to say that: A cheap cereal box watch or walmart special might have 0-1 of these, a Timex 1-2, a Seiko 2-3, an Omega 3-4. That sort of thing?

    OR

    Will a higher end quartz watch not have more of these things but do one or two of them very well.
    Collection:

    *Tag Heuer Carrera Automatic Twin Time (WV2115)
    *Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra (2503.33.00)
    *Sinn U1 (1010.2585)
    *Burberry Automatic Chronograph Valjoux 7753 (BU1210)


    *Vintage 1956 Junghans Chronometer Cal. 82/1 (682.73)

    *Vintage Movado Sub-Sea Kingmatic HA360 Cal. 405

    *Casio Super Illuminator (MDV102-7a)
    *Vintage 1983 Seiko SQ (6923-7009)

    *Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos Cal 528-8 Mantle Clock


  4. #4
    Moderator Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: "High" End Quartz Accuracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Drez View Post
    Thanks thats helpful.

    Would it be fair to say that: A cheap cereal box watch or walmart special might have 0-1 of these, a Timex 1-2, a Seiko 2-3, an Omega 3-4. That sort of thing?

    OR

    Will a higher end quartz watch not have more of these things but do one or two of them very well.
    The first assumption on low quality watches is probably good. In general a watch that is prized for it's accuracy will only employ 1 or 2 methods but will do them well.

    I am not sure I would rank brands as you have in a hierarchy. In the high end, variations between brands tend to become less and less. They become quite 'bunched' if that terminology is understandable.
    "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!

  5. #5
    Member Drez's Avatar
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    Re: "High" End Quartz Accuracy

    Quite understandable, I think.

    I get the impression that like most things, cost, quality and performance in this regard are nicely correlated, but not linear. As you pay more your likely to get better quality and performance, but not in a dollar/increment fashion

    For example, $10 to $100 will be a much bigger improvement than $100-$200, similarly picking a good crystal or modifying a crystal to be a good crystal both accomplish the same goal, picking a good crystal and then modifying it probably only adds a little extra benefit, if any)

    Makes a lot of sense that you would only need to do 1 or 2 of those things well rather than use many. If you construct/select a consistant crystal thats either consistantly fast/slow then adjust it accordingly, your where you need to be regardless of the steps you chose. Many roads lead to Rome (or Geneva :P). Doing another step in addition might not put you any further ahead or the difference might be negligible, although I imagine thermo-compensation is always icing on the cake as it will

    Thanks for the clarification.

    In what order of magnitude can I expect the increments to increase per usual price point?

    I understand entry level watches from reputable companies (i.e. Citizen) have tolerance of around +/- 15 seconds a month with practice often being much better. On the other end, a real high end quartz with thermo-compensation I understand to be around +/- 15 year.

    Where might I expect the mid point of a luxury quartz like an aquaracer/seamaster?
    Collection:

    *Tag Heuer Carrera Automatic Twin Time (WV2115)
    *Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra (2503.33.00)
    *Sinn U1 (1010.2585)
    *Burberry Automatic Chronograph Valjoux 7753 (BU1210)


    *Vintage 1956 Junghans Chronometer Cal. 82/1 (682.73)

    *Vintage Movado Sub-Sea Kingmatic HA360 Cal. 405

    *Casio Super Illuminator (MDV102-7a)
    *Vintage 1983 Seiko SQ (6923-7009)

    *Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos Cal 528-8 Mantle Clock


  6. #6
    Moderator Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: "High" End Quartz Accuracy

    Quote Originally Posted by Drez View Post
    ...
    I understand entry level watches from reputable companies (i.e. Citizen) have tolerance of around +/- 15 seconds a month with practice often being much better. On the other end, a real high end quartz with thermo-compensation I understand to be around +/- 15 year.

    Where might I expect the mid point of a luxury quartz like an aquaracer/seamaster?
    Probably closer to the monthly rate than the yearly rate... Less emphasis is placed on accuracy than on fit and finish on most higher priced quartz... I just bought a Seamaster autoquartz... amazing finish... about the best of all my autoquartz.
    "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!

  7. #7
    Member Drez's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
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    Re: "High" End Quartz Accuracy

    Thanks, hugely informative.
    Collection:

    *Tag Heuer Carrera Automatic Twin Time (WV2115)
    *Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra (2503.33.00)
    *Sinn U1 (1010.2585)
    *Burberry Automatic Chronograph Valjoux 7753 (BU1210)


    *Vintage 1956 Junghans Chronometer Cal. 82/1 (682.73)

    *Vintage Movado Sub-Sea Kingmatic HA360 Cal. 405

    *Casio Super Illuminator (MDV102-7a)
    *Vintage 1983 Seiko SQ (6923-7009)

    *Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos Cal 528-8 Mantle Clock


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