second hand on quartz watch ticking instead of running contiously?
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  1. #1
    Banned picard's Avatar
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    Question second hand on quartz watch ticking instead of running contiously?

    I have a strange question to ask you guys. Why does the second hand of quartz watch goes ticking compare to the continous movement of second hand in automatic watch? I am not sure if I phrase the question correctly.

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    Member AdamC's Avatar
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    Re: second hand on quartz watch ticking instead of running contiously?

    I think it's simply because a quartz counts 'seconds' rather than 'beats' as in an automatic. I just view it as one of those little nuances that make them different. In fact, having always only had quartz, I was initially surprised to see an auto ticking 1/6-second beats.

    Cheers,
    Adam

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    Re: second hand on quartz watch ticking instead of running contiously?

    A mechanical watch doesn't have a continuously moving second hand. The hand actually moves 5, six or even eight times a second, thus giving the impression of continuity but look closely and you will see what I mean.

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    Re: second hand on quartz watch ticking instead of running contiously?

    Hi Picard,

    I have read some of your other posts, and I realize that you are new to watches. There is so much to learn and luckily we have the internet which gives us a wonderul resource to exchange information. I have liked watches ever since I was a kid, but I never really knew how they worked.

    Over the past 5 years, I have read many books and visited hundreds of web pages. These web sites are very helpful.

    http://web.telia.com/~u47026218/BOOK...rologysite.htm

    http://www.awci.com/

    http://www.timezone.com/

    http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/quartz-watch.htm

    http://www.archive.org/details/HowaWatc1949 The best movie I have found yet!!!!!

    The only watch that truly sweeps is the Seiko Spring Drive series. SD does not use a traditional ecapement and its wheel moves only in one direction. All other traditional watches have a balance wheel that oscillates back and forth via a hairspring thus making the Tick/Tock sound.

    I hope this helps.
    nicedream and watermanxxl like this.
    "Some people work for a living, me, I'd rather fly!"

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    Re: second hand on quartz watch ticking instead of running contiously?

    Quote Originally Posted by TimeOnTarget
    The only watch that truly sweeps is the Seiko Spring Drive series. SD does not use a traditional ecapement and its wheel moves only in one direction. All other traditional watches have a balance wheel that oscillates back and forth via a hairspring thus making the Tick/Tock sound.
    Well, not quite - at 360Hz, the Bulova Accutron also sweeps. Also with the Zenith "El Primero", at 5Hz with a small permanent second hand, you hardly notice the difference.

    Hartmut Richter

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    Re: second hand on quartz watch ticking instead of running contiously?

    The reason why a quartz watch ticks only once a second is to save energy. The quartz crystal is shaped like a tuning fork and is sized to vibrate at 32 768 Hz which number is exactly 2 to the power 15. The signal is then halved 15 times by the microchip to produce one signal a second which is then passed on to the gear train. Since the main power drain is the magnetization of the coiled wire that drives the gear train, you only do it once per second - in fact, quartz watches without second hand only do it once every six or so seconds to save even more power. This is also the reason why, once the battery strats to run out, a lot of quartz watches only give a double beat every two seconds - it saves power! With the kinetic watch, it might be possible to produce enough power to produce a more even sweep, but noone has got round to it yet except Seiko in their Spring drive which uses a different technology (a balance wheel which is controlled by a electromagnetic system to make it run one way only at about 8Hz, without the rest of the escapement so that the power is transmitted directly to the gear train).

    Hartmut Richter
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    Banned picard's Avatar
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    Re: second hand on quartz watch ticking instead of running contiously?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmut Richter
    The reason why a quartz watch ticks only once a second is to save energy. The quartz crystal is shaped like a tuning fork and is sized to vibrate at 32 768 Hz which number is exactly 2 to the power 15. The signal is then halved 15 times by the microchip to produce one signal a second which is then passed on to the gear train. Since the main power drain is the magnetization of the coiled wire that drives the gear train, you only do it once per second - in fact, quartz watches without second hand only do it once every six or so seconds to save even more power. This is also the reason why, once the battery strats to run out, a lot of quartz watches only give a double beat every two seconds - it saves power! With the kinetic watch, it might be possible to produce enough power to produce a more even sweep, but noone has got round to it yet except Seiko in their Spring drive which uses a different technology (a balance wheel which is controlled by a electromagnetic system to make it run one way only at about 8Hz, without the rest of the escapement so that the power is transmitted directly to the gear train).

    Hartmut Richter

    thanks for the info hartmut. I had no idea about the exact quartz frequency relating to the movement of second hand.

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    Thumbs Up Re: second hand on quartz watch ticking instead of running contiously?

    i love reading posts like these. a well-done explanation! :gold


    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmut Richter
    The reason why a quartz watch ticks only once a second is to save energy. The quartz crystal is shaped like a tuning fork and is sized to vibrate at 32 768 Hz which number is exactly 2 to the power 15. The signal is then halved 15 times by the microchip to produce one signal a second which is then passed on to the gear train. Since the main power drain is the magnetization of the coiled wire that drives the gear train, you only do it once per second - in fact, quartz watches without second hand only do it once every six or so seconds to save even more power. This is also the reason why, once the battery strats to run out, a lot of quartz watches only give a double beat every two seconds - it saves power! With the kinetic watch, it might be possible to produce enough power to produce a more even sweep, but noone has got round to it yet except Seiko in their Spring drive which uses a different technology (a balance wheel which is controlled by a electromagnetic system to make it run one way only at about 8Hz, without the rest of the escapement so that the power is transmitted directly to the gear train).

    Hartmut Richter

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    Re: second hand on quartz watch ticking instead of running contiously?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmut Richter
    The reason why a quartz watch ticks only once a second is to save energy. The quartz crystal is shaped like a tuning fork and is sized to vibrate at 32 768 Hz which number is exactly 2 to the power 15. The signal is then halved 15 times by the microchip to produce one signal a second which is then passed on to the gear train. Since the main power drain is the magnetization of the coiled wire that drives the gear train, you only do it once per second - in fact, quartz watches without second hand only do it once every six or so seconds to save even more power. This is also the reason why, once the battery strats to run out, a lot of quartz watches only give a double beat every two seconds - it saves power! With the kinetic watch, it might be possible to produce enough power to produce a more even sweep, but noone has got round to it yet except Seiko in their Spring drive which uses a different technology (a balance wheel which is controlled by a electromagnetic system to make it run one way only at about 8Hz, without the rest of the escapement so that the power is transmitted directly to the gear train).

    Hartmut Richter
    Speaking of saving power, if you observe one of the Casio G-Shock's with an analog dial (they have hour and minute hands but no second hand), you'll see the minute hand advance only every 20 seconds-- in order to save power.

    Seiko has a quartz chronograph movement (7T62?) where the chronograph second hand ticks 5 times per second, which not only gives you a 1/5 second reading, but also does a good imitation of a more expensive mechanical chronograph movement. However this is obviously a big power drain since the constant second sub-dial hand still ticks only once per second.

    I've heard the Chinese have developed quartz movements for clocks that have sweep second hands-- but since clocks can be plugged into walls rather than run on batteries, the power drain is not an issue.

    The best watch is the one that makes you happiest... and tells the time.

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    Re: second hand on quartz watch ticking instead of running contiously?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmut Richter
    Well, not quite - at 360Hz, the Bulova Accutron also sweeps. Also with the Zenith "El Primero", at 5Hz with a small permanent second hand, you hardly notice the difference.

    Hartmut Richter
    'Spring-Drive' is a poor description for what the Seiko movement is about, but I guess it sounds less technical than 'flywheel escapement'.

    Fashion is a funny thing. In the years before the step-motor was invented, a watch with a second hand that 'jumped' once a second, was considered the epitome of 'precision' (i.e. it delivered the 'exact' time in whole units). Rolex and a couple of other companies developed jumping complications added to conventional movements to create this illusion. But now with quartz so 'common' and mechanical becoming 'exotic', a watch with a smoother secnd hand is more desirable. Seiko even claims that the Spring-Drive is the first watch to truly represent the passage of time because it is continuous rather than incremental.

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