The only watch I wore for 14 years, until I got the watch sickness and became more inclined to mechanicals, was a TH 2000 quartz with an ETA 955.112. The watch is now nearly 20 years old and after three battery changes has continued to run +/- 1 SPM throughout the duration - not HAQ, but not bad. Over the years I have purchased other, relatively inexpensive quartz watches which I no longer own, including a Mondaine with a cheap Ronda movement that ran -10 SPM, a couple of Seikos that ran about -5 SPM and a couple of Bulova Precisionists which, contrary to the hype, performed no better than the others. To the point, the above-mentioned watches spent most of their time ticking in Florida or Virginia.
I understand that in order for a watch to be considered HAQ it should be, 1) Accurate to within 10 SPY, and 2) Thermo-compensated. However, given my positive experience with the Tag, I decided to seek an affordable watch with a 955.112, and take my chances, since it would be the only quartz in the stable. I bought a Certina Royal three hander over a month ago and it's been dead on since I set it against the atomic clock.
While I understand the "luck of the draw" concept, which certainly applies to mechanical watches, the HAQ performance of this non-HAQ watch has led me to wonder about the need to buy a watch with an HAQ movement in order to obtain the equivalent of HAQ performance, if the watch is not going to be exposed to wide temperature fluctuations. This is not to say that HAQ is hype, but like COSC certification, one can apparently obtain high accuracy in both quartz and mechanicals without the labels that certify such accuracy. The question is whether one can reliably obtain HAQ or near HAQ performance from a decent mid-grade quartz movement without having to invest top-dollar in ETA Flatline, Seiko 9F, Citizen A010 movements and the like, if temperature fluctuations are not an issue.
What has your experience been with non-HAQ watches compared to HAQ watches under relatively stable temperature conditions? The HAQ impostor is pictured below (incidentally, my dad who is 91, liked the look so much I bought him one for Christmas, so I'll check and see how well his performs when I see him soon. He too is in FLorida).