Why would a true "tool" watch use a mechanical movement?
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  1. #1
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    Why would a true "tool" watch use a mechanical movement?

    Just curious since there is often discussion about whether this watch or that is a "tool" watch and it often involves a watch with a mechanical movement (high-end divers, for instance). Is there a situation when a mechanical movement is really more practical as a tool? Seems like the few (not having to replace the battery?) are far outweighed by the many (cost, durability, accuracy). A $20 Casio seems like the ultimate basic "tool" watch.
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    Re: Why would a true "tool" watch use a mechanical movement?

    It's a worthy topic for discussion, but let me ask if you're able to imagine a more complete answer to the question than just "battery replacement" (which isn't necessarily wrong even if it's your only one). Why do you think people would feel that mechanical watches make better "tools" than quartz watches?

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    Re: Why would a true "tool" watch use a mechanical movement?

    i believe they use mechanical watches in space because it is less susceptible to be affected by radiation and extreme temperatures.

    Quote Originally Posted by ljb187 View Post
    It's a worthy topic for discussion, but let me ask if you're able to imagine a more complete answer to the question than just "battery replacement" (which isn't necessarily wrong even if it's your only one). Why do you think people would feel that mechanical watches make better "tools" than quartz watches?
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    Re: Why would a true "tool" watch use a mechanical movement?

    Maybe it's just a case of wanting the best of both worlds, not that there's anything wrong with quartz. What's the use of spending more on a mechanical piece n yet can't wear it for this n that?

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    Re: Why would a true "tool" watch use a mechanical movement?

    I am fairly sure the only reason is marketing.

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    Re: Why would a true "tool" watch use a mechanical movement?

    That's easy it will never run out of battery,
    no matter where you are.
    28 years more then 50 patents
    Yoshikazu Akahane

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    Re: Why would a true "tool" watch use a mechanical movement?

    Quote Originally Posted by ljb187 View Post
    It's a worthy topic for discussion, but let me ask if you're able to imagine a more complete answer to the question than just "battery replacement" (which isn't necessarily wrong even if it's your only one). Why do you think people would feel that mechanical watches make better "tools" than quartz watches?
    If you buy a good quartz movement, it won't need battery replacements for a good 20 years or so. Most mechanicals will break down if not serviced given long enough, or just perform poorly otherwise (accuracy and power reserve wise), and service can often take a month, as opposed to a day for a lot of battery replacements anyway. Even if you're using an antiquated non-Citizen/Seiko quartz movement, you can get 10 year batteries.

    I'm not sure people affirmatively believe that mechanicals are better​ tool watches, but you see a lot of WUSers referring to a good tool watch, which is often a mechanical.

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    Moderator Public Forum GlennO's Avatar
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    Re: Why would a true "tool" watch use a mechanical movement?

    Some people prefer mechanicals, so the short answer is because there is a market for them.
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    Re: Why would a true "tool" watch use a mechanical movement?

    From WUS and other archives, apparently batteries can seize up in extreme temperatures.

    But 901L is more resistive to corrosion in highly acidic environments..

    So yeah....all about marketing.

    The most practical , tactical, tool watch is probably like a digital quartz in a low-impact rubber case, with a high-impact plastic crystal, on a nato
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    Re: Why would a true "tool" watch use a mechanical movement?

    Quote Originally Posted by ed21x View Post
    i believe they use mechanical watches in space because it is less susceptible to be affected by radiation and extreme temperatures.
    I'd like to hear more about this. I'm by no means an authority on how radiation will affect a quartz movement. What I can tell you is that a MM of steel (or gold if you're willing to go hardcore) will block virtually all high-frequency radiation that one would experience even in space. If you take an ordinary lead lined jacket you can find at any hospital, throw it on an x-ray table and turn the dial up to 11, you'll barely penetrate it. And that's a refined, targeted, high frequency beam. Portable x-ray machines have serious trouble making it through both sides of a fat patient even without lead lining.

    So, while this may very well be a real advantage (I can't say), I just would think that any "tool" watch would be so thick and protected that I can't imagine it being an issue. If it becomes an issue in those circumstances, you will be well on your way to death, so I don't think the watch's toughness will be very practical.

    The temperature argument might be the better way to go. Someone correct me on this if I'm wrong, but I'd think that the heat that would damage a quartz watch would be so unbearable to humans that humans just wouldn't go there or be in it for more than a few minutes. Cold temperatures probably pose a bigger problem in that humans can dress quite warmly and chemical batteries don't perform well there. But I'm not sure what temperature that would be--if it's sufficiently low that it would just kill a human to be exposed to it for a little while, it's probably irrelevant, but I just don't know what temperature it is that would have the relevant effect on the battery.

    I'm glad you mentioned those things. I'm pretty confident that radiation is a non-issue in a well designed watch, but I'd like to hear more about temperatures and their effects on quartz.
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