Why did the electric watch die?
Like Tree8Likes

Thread: Why did the electric watch die?

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17
  1. #1
    Member Uatu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    135

    Why did the electric watch die?

    A recent thread about Quartz watches with smooth sweeping seconds hands also had some discussion regarding tuning fork and tuning fork/Quartz hybrid movements. This got me thinking, why did the electric watch die? I have a Boluva Accuquartz which has a Quartz regulated, but tuning fork driven movement. It has all the accuracy of a Quartz watch, but with a sweeping seconds hand that is arguably smoother than any mechanical watch. While I understand that the electric movements were/are more expensive than a comparable Quartz movement, I can't image them being more expensive than a mechanical to produce.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    534

    Re: Why did the electric watch die?

    I don't think the ever recovered from the "cheap" stereotype introduced by all the quartz watches. These days it seems like only mechanical watches are considered premium, but I also like those old tuning fork Bulovas, or the original Hamilton Venturas mechanical/electric hybrid types.

  3. #3
    Moderator Public Forum GlennO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    10,279

    Re: Why did the electric watch die?

    Quote Originally Posted by windupp View Post
    I don't think the ever recovered from the "cheap" stereotype introduced by all the quartz watches. These days it seems like only mechanical watches are considered premium, but I also like those old tuning fork Bulovas, or the original Hamilton Venturas mechanical/electric hybrid types.
    No, electric watches were superseded quite early at a time when quartz watches were more exclusive and generally more expensive than mechanicals. The Accuquartz was a late attempt by Bulova to jump on the quartz bandwagon and they used their existing tuning fork movement as a base to cut costs and time. But in the end quartz proved cheaper to produce and was more power efficient, accurate and reliable.

  4. Remove Advertisements
    WatchUSeek.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    4,993

    Re: Why did the electric watch die?

    Quote Originally Posted by Uatu View Post
    A recent thread about Quartz watches with smooth sweeping seconds hands also had some discussion regarding tuning fork and tuning fork/Quartz hybrid movements. This got me thinking, why did the electric watch die?
    Electric watches predate tuning fork watches. One problem was battery life. Early electrics could also be quite difficult to regulate. instead of a more trouble free watch the opposite was true. The watches improved rapidly, but the combination of a bad rep, high cost, and the advent of quartz movements did them in. (For a really interesting hybrid, Google ESA 9150 and 9151,9152)

    Quote Originally Posted by Uatu View Post
    I have a Boluva Accuquartz which has a Quartz regulated, but tuning fork driven movement. It has all the accuracy of a Quartz watch, but with a sweeping seconds hand that is arguably smoother than any mechanical watch.
    This sweeping seconds hand stuff is only important to the online watch community. And not all of them, by any measure. And they don't buy many watches compared to the whole world.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uatu View Post
    While I understand that the electric movements were/are more expensive than a comparable Quartz movement, I can't image them being more expensive than a mechanical to produce.
    Considering that there were no low priced electrics something is either wrong with all the companies who made them or your imagination. and remember - everybody working on them had to be trained from the manufactrers to watchmakers. In fact, because of low production, they were more than a comparable mechanical. The Bulova tuning Fork models, the Accutrons, really appealed to the techy crowd but after an initial burst in sales, gradually slowed down. What killed them? Yep - multi function quartz watches - which naturally appealed to the techy crowd!
    John MS likes this.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  6. #5
    Member Uatu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    135
    I guess I just find them to be retro 50s and 60s cool. With today's modern tech and manufacturing, I wonder how difficult it would be to produce an updated version today, especially if you went the original Hamilton balance wheel route?

  7. #6
    Member do335's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    266

    Re: Why did the electric watch die?

    Wish there was a greater knowledge base for keeping them running. I have my grandfather's Waltham Electrodyne, and it does run. But not having been serviced since who knows when (if ever), I'm terrified the damage I'd do putting a fresh battery in. If anybody knows someone who can work on these watches, I'd love a PM.

  8. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    southern New Mexico
    Posts
    8,299

    Re: Why did the electric watch die?

    Quote Originally Posted by Uatu View Post
    I guess I just find them to be retro 50s and 60s cool. With today's modern tech and manufacturing, I wonder how difficult it would be to produce an updated version today, especially if you went the original Hamilton balance wheel route?
    The cost of movement #2 might be manageable...question would be, how much for #1? Then, is it really justifiable anyway? It seems very unlikely you could sell one for much more than a comparably finished quartz, and let's face it...at every price point through, say, $300 (retail), the quartz market already has a plethora of choices. Above that, and you're getting into chronos and complications, and in the last couple years from Seiko, HAQs (E510-based) and solar radio-sync (7B24-based). And, of course, there are very good mechanicals now.

    I can't see how one could recoup the development and setup costs in any reasonable time frame.

  9. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    2,249

    Re: Why did the electric watch die?

    Quote Originally Posted by Uatu View Post
    A recent thread about Quartz watches with smooth sweeping seconds hands also had some discussion regarding tuning fork and tuning fork/Quartz hybrid movements. This got me thinking, why did the electric watch die? I have a Boluva Accuquartz which has a Quartz regulated, but tuning fork driven movement. It has all the accuracy of a Quartz watch, but with a sweeping seconds hand that is arguably smoother than any mechanical watch. While I understand that the electric movements were/are more expensive than a comparable Quartz movement, I can't image them being more expensive than a mechanical to produce.
    WHAT IF the electric watch lived? (sorry, distracted by your avatar)
    WatchUSee is WatchIGot
    Casio - G-Shock GW-5000-1jf |
    Garmin - Forerunner 245 Music | Grand Seiko - Snowflake (SBGA011) | Longines - Master Collection (L2.673) | | MeisterSinger - Panagaea Day Date|Monta -Triumph | Nomos Glashutte - Club Datum | Orient - Mako mod | Rolex - Explorer I (214270 mk2) | Seiko - SKX007/09 mods | Stowa- Klassik Flieger

  10. #9
    Moderator Public Forum GlennO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    10,279

    Re: Why did the electric watch die?

    It dehydrated because it ran out of juice?

  11. #10
    Member Uric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    169

    Re: Why did the electric watch die?

    Quote Originally Posted by windupp View Post
    I don't think the ever recovered from the "cheap" stereotype introduced by all the quartz watches. These days it seems like only mechanical watches are considered premium, but I also like those old tuning fork Bulovas, or the original Hamilton Venturas mechanical/electric hybrid types.
    Since I am a newer watch enthusiast I always felt quartz watches were cheap because of that stereotype. And then I look at more expensive quartz watches I know I'll never be able to justify spending more than $50 on one. I know they are high quality but once I bought a mechanical watch I feel I can never go back.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

    Similar Threads

    1. Let a watch die?
      By Coykoicarp in forum Vintage & Pocket watches
      Replies: 28
      Last Post: June 26th, 2014, 05:46
    2. die-hard watch
      By cronos in forum Public Forum
      Replies: 84
      Last Post: January 5th, 2013, 17:20
    3. Long weekend, which watch will DIE?!?
      By Doom in forum Affordable watches
      Replies: 7
      Last Post: May 28th, 2012, 04:01
    4. Replies: 9
      Last Post: December 29th, 2010, 11:59
    5. Is my watch gonna die??
      By crash_x in forum Public Forum
      Replies: 4
      Last Post: April 8th, 2008, 20:07

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •