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Existential questions about mechanical watches

2489 Views 17 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  M_Milaguet
Why people buy watches with mechanical movement?
Quartz is mach cheaper and keeps better time.
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Probably because they've been around for hundreds of years and are pretty much "handmade" by highly skilled human beings, not machines.
It's the same as "Why buy a Jaguar, when a Toyota is cheaper?...they both will drive you to the same destinations."

In other words, it's what makes you happier.
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:glare: You'll never make 'WIS' with a question like that.
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Mechanical watches appeal to those who appreciate the traditional art and science of horology. Modern quartz movements are definitely more accurate, cheaper to manufacture and less expensive to maintain.

It's kind of like comparing digital/solid state stereo to analog/tube stereo or CDs/MP3s to a well-pressed vinyl LP. High quality 'old school technology' will always have a devoted following of its own.
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:glare: You'll never make 'WIS' with a question like that.
You have learned the lessons well, Padawan!
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:glare: You'll never make 'WIS' with a question like that.
I would like to believe there is still a glimpse of hope for me :)
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If all I wanted to do was keep time.....I'd look at my phone. If I just wanted wall coverings, I'd use posters. Some objects have a greater value than just the immediate function. Often the design is paramount. I can't tell what the time is on a Movado Museum unless it's twelve-o-clock, but it is a beautiful design. Mechanical movements are like this. I try to have all my watches with a display back so I can watch the watch. It's a feature that most people never see. It's purely for the enjoyment of the owner.
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I have both. I wear both. But I must admit I love the mechanical just because they are.
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I prefer mechanical and automatic watches because I enjoy watching smooth motion second hands vs. the hard ticks of quartz movements. Many quartz second hands also frequently land off-center from corresponding tick markers -- little imperfections like these make me hate looking at the time piece.
Mechanical watches are not logical, but don't have to be. Some of us have direct memories of the world before quartz (1968) when almost all watches were mechanical are drawn to the nostalgia. Others are attracted to the idea and history of a precision (relatively) timepiece powered by wound springs and tiny gears, not batteries and electronics. Some just like the snob appeal of owning something most will never have either because of cost or ignorance.

Digital and Quartz timepieces share the similar problems of being so accurate, common and inexpensive that few can see the value of spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a watch when your phone or a Timex works fine. If you love watches their are only a few high end quartz to be exited about.
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For me mechanical vs quartz watches is kind of like doodling something on a piece of paper vs a true artistical creation.
However I would like to point out that there are good, quality quartz movements out there (swiss,japanese) that are also pretty good themselves, just not as complicated as mechanical ones.
Mechanical watches are not logical, but don't have to be. Some of us have direct memories of the world before quartz (1968) when almost all watches were mechanical are drawn to the nostalgia. Others are attracted to the idea and history of a precision (relatively) timepiece powered by wound springs and tiny gears, not batteries and electronics. Some just like the snob appeal of owning something most will never have either because of cost or ignorance.

Digital and Quartz timepieces share the similar problems of being so accurate, common and inexpensive that few can see the value of spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a watch when your phone or a Timex works fine. If you love watches their are only a few high end quartz to be exited about.


Thank you for the most equitable reply :)
For me it depends entirely on the qualities of the individual watch and/or movement involved. Mechanical watches, new and vintage, range from cheap pin pallet escapements, through more mass market offerings all the way up to Patek and fully handmade from scratch inhouse pieces. These days quartz tends to be with a few exceptions all of similar quality. It was not always so. An early 1970's Beta 21 quartz movement was far more "handmade" than your average Swatch group ETA based automatic of today(and many times more expensive when new) and with a smoother seconds hand than any AP could manage. The 90's resurgence of the Swiss mechanical watch as a luxury item and the economies of scale and modern manufacturing of same means that they're mostly like any other mass market item rattled off production lines in their many thousands. Soul gets added later鈥

Watch collecting is a broad church and we collect and admire what we personally like, whether that be handwind, automatic, tuning fork or quartz. They can all have soul for the individual and long may that continue.
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How about the simple pleasure of looking at your watch's movement through a clear case back?
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