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What is the most accurate quartz movement?

Updated: Nov 7, 2021

Difference between quartz and mechanical/automatic movements.

There is a constant argument over which is the best movement in a watch. Most watch enthusiasts will agree the hand made precision of all the moving parts that make up a mechanical or automatic watch is above and beyond a quartz movement. And they would be correct to an extent and these movements do come with added cost. However, for all of the history watchmaking has and the skill of the makers, a quartz movement is still more accurate and keeps time better. Add to that, you do not need to wind them. You can just grab and go with the correct time. Back to the difference between both - a quartz watch uses a battery for power which sends signals to a quartz crystal causing it to vibrate. These vibrations go through a circuit that converts into an electric pulse once a second. A mechanical watch or hand wound movement needs you to wind it daily. This winding tightens the mainspring which powers an escapement which in turn releases power in intervals to give the time (a very basic description)

What does Accurate mean?

On a modern mechanical watch the accuracy can range from +/- 10 seconds per day to +/- 1 second per day. A quartz watch would range from +/- 2 seconds per day to +/- 0 seconds per day. Some High Accuracy Quartz (HAQ) watches are accurate up to +/- 10 seconds per year.

Why is it Accurate?

The accuracy of mechanical watches depends on a few variables. Due to the position of the watch, it may gain or lose time depending on the way it sits. The balance wheel should be adjusted to compensate for the losses or gains and when you are not wearing the watch, you should find the best position to store it, eg; facing up or down, crown up or down etc.... Temperature is another factor as changes can expand or contract parts which would affect performance. Modern watches use materials that are designed to regulate this so should not be an issue unless you are in extreme weather conditions.

In a quartz watch, quartz crystals generate an electrical charge when mechanical pressure is applied to them. This causes them to vibrate at thousands of times per second which gives a constant electronic signal for accurate timekeeping. Certain environments may cause quartz watches to lose time such as magnetic fields from x-rays or MRI machines in hospitals. In High Accuracy Quartz movements, a change in temperature which affects a quartz performance, is detected and adjusted by Thermo-compensation and this results in a guaranteed performance of +/- 10 seconds per year.

3 Examples of Accurate Quartz watches

One of the most accurate watches ever made is the Citizen CTQ57-0953 Chronomaster. It's A660 movement claims a rating of +/- 5 seconds per year, which means you'll probably never have to adjust it. It retails around €2000 depending on the rate exchange.

Citizen Watch
Citizen Quartz Watch

Another example is Tissot PR 100. They use the ETA F06.411 Precidrive movement. Listed at €400 and comes in a few different looks.

Tissot black watch
Tissot Watch

Finally, our high precision model, Broad & Swan Libertie High Precision. Available with a black and blue dial and retails at €249. Click to buy the Libertie Watch

Stainless Steel Swiss Made Quartz Watch
Libertie Stainless Steel Watch from Broad & Swan

So, in conclusion, what is the most accurate quartz movement? It would be the Citizen CTQ57-0953 Chronomaster aka "The Citizen". Although it does come with the additional price tag. I have purposely kept the list small, including the best and then more affordable best options.

I hope you found it informative and thanks for reading


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