The difference between quartz and mechanical watch

There are two types of watches, one is mechanical watches and the other is quartz watches. However,there are many people who do not know what is a mechanical watch and what is a quartz watch. so today watchessy will tell you what the difference between quartz and mechanical watch is to help you to make your decision.

What is a quartz watch

Quartz watches are watches made with quartz resonators. Quartz watches all have 3 types of analog, digital and double display.

a quartz watch

How does quartz watch work

The quartz watch is battery powered.To power the quartz movement, the battery sends an electric current into a small quartz crystal, which vibrates when energized.  These vibrations keep the movement oscillating and drive the motor to move the watch’s hands.

And for more detail,you can check this article to know what is a quartz watches and how does quartz watch work.

What is a mechanical watch

A mechanical watch is a watch that is powered by the internal movement’s clockwork, which drives the gears and pushes the hands to move the time.Mechanical watches are usually divided into the following two types: manual mechanical(hand-winding) and automatic watches (AUTOMATIC).Mechanical watch dominate today’s world of luxury watch such as Patek Philippe.

a mechanical watch

How do mechanical watches work

A manual mechanical watch is powered by tightening the winding in the movement, driving the gears to push the seconds and minutes hand

The automatic movement is powered by the weight of the oscillating weight inside the movement. When the watch wearer’s arm swings, it drives the oscillating weight to turn and at the same time drives the mainspring inside the watch to wind the watch and drive the time.Self-winding watches usually have a power reserve of at least 40 as long as the wear’s wrist is always wearing the watch, this rotor all but eliminates the need for daily manual winding.

How do I know if my watch is mechanical or quartz?

First,look at the text on dial or case cover

Mechanical vs quartz watchesGenerally the dial or the cover of the watch have text, you can observe the dial or the cover of the watch text.The text can tell your a lot information including type of movement,water resistant,brand etc.if it is engraved with AUTOMATIC, then it’s automatic mechanical watch,.if it is engraved with QUARTZ,it’s a quartz watch.

Second, see if there is a flywheel on the dial

mechanical watchesIf the flywheel is on the face, then it is a mechanical watch.

If not, then see the other watch parts to check whether it is a mechanical or quartz watch.

Third, look at the hands

By watching the second hand moving can also determine which is a quartz watch, which is a mechanical watch.If the second hand moves tick-tick, it is a quartz watch; if it is smoothly moving,then it’s mechanical watches.

If you find that the second hand travels for two or four seconds at a time, this model is still a quartz watch.

The difference between quartz watch and a mechanical watch

Fourth,look at the watch cover

transparent case coverIf the watch cover is made of glass .and you can see the mechanical movement through the glass, then it is a mechanical watch.When you find yourself walking with the second hand in such a gait, that’s when it’s alerting you to change the battery.if you would like know how to change the battery,you can check this article.

The difference between quartz and mechanical watch

Accuracy(are quartz watches more durable than mechanical?)

People will wonder quartz watch are more durable than mechanical.

The quartz watch has a daily error of 0.5 seconds and keeps very accurate time.

The error of mechanical watches is a few seconds or even tens of seconds per day.

Hence the error of the quartz watch is a few tenths of the mechanical watch.

The accuracy of quartz watches is much higher than that of mechanical watches.

Movement Structure

The inside of a quartz watch is an electronic integrated board, while the inside of a mechanical watch is made up of various mechanical parts.This is why watch enthusiasts prefer mechanical watches.A well-made mechanical watch can be a feast for the eyes and show the owner’s taste  .

So The internal structure of a quartz watch is much simpler than a mechanical watch movement.

Battery(do quartz watches need batteries)

According to the different power sources of quartz watches and mechanical watches, we can know that quartz watches have batteries, while mechanical watches do not need batteries.


Quartz watches are easy to use and do not need to be wound, and a battery is generally available for 2-3 years. But some quartz watches with lithium batteries, long life, available for about 7-8 years.

The lifetime of the mechanical watch depends mainly on the maintenance work.

Generally well maintained mechanical watches can be used for ten years or even decades without problems.


The battery in a quartz watch needs to be replaced every 2 to 5 years. Other than that, it has very few moving parts, which means it requires less maintenance than a mechanical watch.

Taking care of a mechanical watch is a lifetime commitment. Mechanical watches generally need to be serviced in 2 to 3 years, replacing water resistant components, testing the timekeeping performance and power consumption of the movement, cleaning the movement and maintaining the appearance.


Generally speaking, the price of mechanical watches is much higher than quartz watches. This is because mechanical movements are more complicated to make and require a lot of labor and material resources.

For instance,an ordinary quartz watch is about 50~60 parts in total, and the process required is about 500~600 steps.

For a mechanical watch without complications, the total number of parts is about 130, so the process is about 1300, which is double that of a quartz watch.


Generally speaking,based on the same size,mechanical watch are heavier than quartz watch.

This is because quartz movement are generally composed of very light objects such as resistors and capacitors.On the other hand,the mechanical watch movement have to be composed of metal.and the complex movement structure is difficult to miniaturize.

Final Conclusion

By reading this article, you have a better understanding of quartz and mechanical watch’s and can make your choice. If you want to treat your watch as a piece of art or even a luxury, then a mechanical watch is a better choice. If you are on a budget and don’t mind replacing the battery, then a quartz watch is also a good choice.

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