automatic vs. quartz

Thread: automatic vs. quartz

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  1. #1

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    automatic vs. quartz

    I am still researching the debate on automatic vs. quartz. but I am considering a TSAR vs. SAR. These watches have the same case.

    The TSAR has an off the shelf ISA 1198 quartz movement, and the SAR has an off the shelf 2824-2 movement.
    In the case of failure on either would it not be cheaper to just have a good watchmaker replace the movement. From what I have been able to find, an ISA 1198 is roughly $2-8 on the internet and a 2824 is about $50-80, I could be wrong.

    I figure with about labor going from $50-80 for service respectively for a quartz-automatic, you are looking at about $160 at the most. This is the starting rate for service. I am not sure if it includes parts replacement. More expensive movements that are in house, I am sure would cost more.

    If you service your automatic every 4 years on this model, as compared to changing a battery every 4 years or servicing your quartz. What would the life span really be for a quartz. I have heard of automatics lasting decades, and I have also heard stories of people picking up quartz watches decades old, installing a new battery and the watch is fine.

    So really what watch would be more durable. Just from the standpoint of reliability and longetivity. If you service both about the same as above.

    Also, can't certain watch movements be replace with different movements, that are the same size. I was reading the 1198 can be replaced with a ETA quartz, I do not remember the number though, but they were the same size.

    Does anyone know how long the ISA 1198 has been around and how about the 2824?

  2. #2
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    Re: automatic vs. quartz

    Quote Originally Posted by anubisathletics View Post
    I am still researching the debate on automatic vs. quartz. but I am considering a TSAR vs. SAR. These watches have the same case.

    The TSAR has an off the shelf ISA 1198 quartz movement, and the SAR has an off the shelf 2824-2 movement.
    In the case of failure on either would it not be cheaper to just have a good watchmaker replace the movement. From what I have been able to find, an ISA 1198 is roughly $2-8 on the internet and a 2824 is about $50-80, I could be wrong.

    I figure with about labor going from $50-80 for service respectively for a quartz-automatic, you are looking at about $160 at the most. This is the starting rate for service. I am not sure if it includes parts replacement. More expensive movements that are in house, I am sure would cost more.

    If you service your automatic every 4 years on this model, as compared to changing a battery every 4 years or servicing your quartz. What would the life span really be for a quartz. I have heard of automatics lasting decades, and I have also heard stories of people picking up quartz watches decades old, installing a new battery and the watch is fine.

    So really what watch would be more durable. Just from the standpoint of reliability and longetivity. If you service both about the same as above.

    Also, can't certain watch movements be replace with different movements, that are the same size. I was reading the 1198 can be replaced with a ETA quartz, I do not remember the number though, but they were the same size.

    Does anyone know how long the ISA 1198 has been around and how about the 2824?
    I don't think you can generalize...... and I don't think anyone can answer your question directly. There are simply too many un-known elements and too many un-controllable variables. It comes down to your evaluation of the known variables, ie accuracy versus the need to replace batteries, and your evaluation of whether mechanical appeals to you more than quartz. I think it's a bit like the comparison between the "soul-less" efficiency of German cars versus the romance and drama of Italian ones.
    In other words, the choice can only be personal and subjective.

  3. #3
    Member lysanderxiii's Avatar
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    Re: automatic vs. quartz

    The 2824 has been around since the seventies, basically unchanged.

    The basic, -1 and -2 variants only differ in parts of the setting mechanism, all of the timekeeping parts are interchangable.

    And the servive cost for something as generic as a 2824 is around half of your estimate. ($75-80)

    The problem with old battery powered watches is usually the battery pops and leaks corrosive chemicals inside and mess up the inards of the watch. Over half of the battery powered watches I have seen have been unusable due to internal corrosion caused by battery leakage.

    And, the ISA 1198 cannot be interchanged directly by any current production ETA quartz I know of, almost all of the ETA quartzs hav a stem height of 1 mm to 1.5 mm. The ISA 1198 has a stem height of 1.8 mm and can be changed out with an ETA 2824.
    Last edited by lysanderxiii; June 7th, 2007 at 20:09.

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  5. #4
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    Re: automatic vs. quartz

    Quote Originally Posted by lysanderxiii View Post
    The 2824 has been around since the seventies, basically unchanged.

    The basic, -1 and -2 variants only differ in parts of the setting mechanism, all of the timekeeping parts are interchangable.

    And the servive cost for something as generic as a 2824 is around half of your estimate. ($75-80)

    The problem with old battery powered watches is usually the battery pops and leaks corrosive chemicals inside and mess up the inards of the watch. Over half of the battery powered watches I have seen have been unusable due to internal corrosion caused by battery leakage.

    And, the ISA 1198 cannot be interchanged directly by any current production ETA quartz I know of, almost all of the ETA quartzs hav a stem height of 1 mm to 1.5 mm. The ISA 1198 has a stem height of 1.8 mm and can be changed out with an ETA 2824.
    Batteries leak and cause corrosion because they aren't removed when they have gone flat. I've never known one to leak while it was still alive. So if that does happen, it's the owner's fault, not the watch's or the battery's.

  6. #5

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    Re: automatic vs. quartz

    I was considering if work was to be done to just buy a new 1198 or 2824, as it probably would be cheaper to just swap out an old unit, as compared to breaking down a movement, cleaning it, replacing parts etc.. This was using the cost of the movements that I saw on the internet. How long has the 1198 been around?

  7. #6
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    Re: automatic vs. quartz

    Quote Originally Posted by artec View Post
    Batteries leak and cause corrosion because they aren't removed when they have gone flat. I've never known one to leak while it was still alive. So if that does happen, it's the owner's fault, not the watch's or the battery's.
    The leaky battery comment was aimed at this statement:
    I have also heard stories of people picking up quartz watches decades old, installing a new battery and the watch is fine.
    Most people, when the battery dies, don't bother to open the case and remove the battery, (if they went to that much trouble, they would have replaced the battery.)

    I shall restate to in order to be more clear: Over half the battery powered watches I have seen that were "decades old" were unusable due to corrosion due to battery leakage. However, about 80-90% of the mechanicals movement twenty years old or older, I have managed to get working. (The exception are the Accutrons, they seem to have been taken care of by their owners.)

    **********

    I was considering if work was to be done to just buy a new 1198 or 2824, as it probably would be cheaper to just swap out an old unit, as compared to breaking down a movement, cleaning it, replacing parts etc.. This was using the cost of the movements that I saw on the internet. How long has the 1198 been around?
    Given this point of view, it would be more logical to use the watch until failure. I do not know how long a quartz will last, but a 2824 should easily go at least 10-15 years before failing, maybe more. Accuracy might be degraded.

    But, you must remember, analog quartz movements have a mechanical gear train very similar to a pure mechanical, these are also oiled. Over time these too, will gum up and require cleaning or the accuracy and/or battery life will suffer.

    As to the age of the ISA 1198 design, it dates to the late eighties, early ninties, it is about 15 to 20 years old as a design.

  8. #7
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    Re: automatic vs. quartz

    Quote Originally Posted by anubisathletics View Post
    I am still researching the debate on automatic vs. quartz. but I am considering a TSAR vs. SAR. These watches have the same case.

    The TSAR has an off the shelf ISA 1198 quartz movement, and the SAR has an off the shelf 2824-2 movement.
    In the case of failure on either would it not be cheaper to just have a good watchmaker replace the movement. From what I have been able to find, an ISA 1198 is roughly $2-8 on the internet and a 2824 is about $50-80, I could be wrong.

    I figure with about labor going from $50-80 for service respectively for a quartz-automatic, you are looking at about $160 at the most. This is the starting rate for service. I am not sure if it includes parts replacement. More expensive movements that are in house, I am sure would cost more.

    If you service your automatic every 4 years on this model, as compared to changing a battery every 4 years or servicing your quartz. What would the life span really be for a quartz. I have heard of automatics lasting decades, and I have also heard stories of people picking up quartz watches decades old, installing a new battery and the watch is fine.

    So really what watch would be more durable. Just from the standpoint of reliability and longetivity. If you service both about the same as above.

    Also, can't certain watch movements be replace with different movements, that are the same size. I was reading the 1198 can be replaced with a ETA quartz, I do not remember the number though, but they were the same size.

    Does anyone know how long the ISA 1198 has been around and how about the 2824?
    I love mechanical watches.

    With that said…quartz are generally going to be much cheaper to buy and maintain. In addition, a quartz movement is generally going to more consistently accurate…notice I said generally. There are some very accurate mechanical movements and some inaccurate quartz movements on the market. Durability is often a function of the case, however, mechanical watches are more complicated, logically the more complicated something is the more things can go wrong.

    If you are “in to” mechanical watches you’ll know it. From your post, I take it that watches really might not be your thing. People like me who like mechanical watches like them for more then just their durability and accuracy. If you just want something to tell time, get a quartz watch.

  9. #8
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    Re: automatic vs. quartz

    Quote Originally Posted by lysanderxiii View Post
    The problem with old battery powered watches is usually the battery pops and leaks corrosive chemicals inside and mess up the inards of the watch. Over half of the battery powered watches I have seen have been unusable due to internal corrosion caused by battery leakage.
    I recently had the opposite situation with a Tag. When it first showed signs of needing a new battery I removed the back and found the battery had leaked into the movement. This may be just the exception to the rule, but it's the only time I've had any leakage with a quartz watch.

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