This little article is based upon my 15 or so years of hands on experience with HAQ quartz watches without any form of calibration terminal.
More specifically, I'm talking about watches like the Seiko 8J fitted ones, the latest ETA offerings of HAQ and all of the Citizen HAQ watches (after the days of the trimmer) but for making it simple, let's focus on the Citizen offerings as most of my watches of the past 15 or so years have been Citizen-made. It is important to note that these watches were specified accuracy-wise as either 10 SPY (the majority of them) or 5 SPY (the minority of them).
We can forget the caveats that part of the specifications as my observation has based upon normal life-like condition/environment and wearing habit and because the caveats were worded similarly (remember, we are talking about Citizen-made HAQ watches).
That article will also underline the importance of applied technology vs specifications (accuracy/perecision related) and what really matter and what does not really matter of the two.
Please, note that Citizen never bothered to explain whether the 5 SPY specified watches offer any technological advance over the 10 SPY specified models. Remember, all these watches use a 32kHz quartz crystal and a thermocompensation scheme. Futhermore, it was easy to observe that some movements looked identical apart from their ID numbers still they were specified differently (5 SPY vs 10 SPY). Now, we know that just because the hardware are identical the software/firmware that run them might be different and that might result a different performance (accuracy/precision-wise).
Not to mention that not every 32kHz quartz crystals perform alike and very small differences might result noticeably better performance. But as you will see Citizen did not use better selection of 32kHz quartz nor better firmware in the 5 SPY watches vs 10 SPY watches... Why? Because my observation of 60 or so watches over the years could not highlight significant performance differences (accuracy/precision-wise) between the 5 SPY and the 10 SPY models. Actually, the best performing top 3 of the 60 or so are specified 10 SPY. While it is also true that the worst performing bottom 3 watches were also from the 10 SPY basket. It is true that the 10 SPY models outnumbered the 5 SPY about 10:1 but that should not be a problem if the 5 SPY models were outstanding performers but they were not!
The conclusion of the above:
- Citizen won't offer advanced technologies with the 5 SPY specified watches over the 10 SPY specified models however it might give peace of mind in the form of a generous warranty in case of these 5 SPY watches. So you might get more generous warranty but definitely not necessarily a better (accuracy/precision-wise) performing watch if you happen to pick a 5 SPY model instead of the 10 SPY model!
- Not the manufacturers' specifications but rather the applied technologies that set watches apart and our forum should appreciate that fact when we try to give a meaning of HAQ!
And just for the record: my best performing Citizen is among the very few of my watches that perform within 1 SPY and the only one that does it without calibration after it left the factory (I'm very conservative with accuracy performances and officially would not award 1 SPY to any of my watches as the best award in my book is 2 SPY but unofficially I can declare that a very few indeed perform to 1 SPY)! It is a limited edition Citizen Exceed (Cal.A715) in a mono-block housing, rated for 10 SPY, 100m WR, with date (but not perpetual), Eco-Drive, bicolor titanium, it was manufactured in around 1997-98: