Digital Watch Vs Quartz – What’s the Difference?

In this article we are going to explain what the difference is between a digital watch vs quartz watch. A lot of people get mixed up a little here. Sometimes the terminology used when describing watches can be pretty confusing. This is especially true when it comes to those who may not be familiar with the details of how watches work.

Even for people in the know, they sometimes get words and phrases pertaining to watches wrong as well. But that’s ok, because here, we are about to shed some light on this topic. The first thing that we need to do though, is explain the difference between a digital watch vs a quartz watch. After that, then we can start getting into some of the other stuff.

So, to begin, the truth is that a digital watch is a quartz watch! The term “quartz” here is used to describe the mechanism that controls how the watch is powered. These mechanisms are most commonly called the watch’s “movement”. So then, a digital watch is powered by quartz movement. Now in this next part, we will discuss more about the quartz movement in further detail.

About Quartz Movement

The very first thing that needs to be pointed out here is that there are two main movement types used in most watches. Those are mechanical, and quartz movements.

Now there are some other rarer hybrid movements, but for the most part, just simple quartz and mechanical movements are going to be used in most watches. Anyway, we are talking about quartz movements and how they pertain to digital watches.

First things first though, we need to define what a quartz movement actually is.

What is a Quartz Movement?

A quartz movement is basically a battery powered movement. This is in contrast to mechanical watches, which are powered by a wound up spring.

In a quartz movement, essentially what happens is a quartz crystal inside of a watch is made to vibrate. This vibration is then what goes on to power the watch.

The battery’s role in all of this is to send electricity into a circuit. That circuit then sends its energy into the quartz crystal. This in turn causes the quartz crystal to vibrate.

This is pretty much how both analog and digital quartz watches, including smartwatches, are powered. In addition to this, there are actually a myriad of other electronic devices which we use every day that are powered in this manner.

Ok, so now we know that a digital watch is actually a quartz watch, and we also know a little bit more about how quartz movements work. So, now the next question would be, is there a legitimate reason why someone would want to differentiate the terms “digital watch” from “quartz watch”? Well, yes, actually there is a reason for that!

Digital Watch Vs Quartz: Why and When to Distinguish the Terminology

Now we are going to get into when and why a person would use the words “digital” watch vs just calling it a “quartz” watch.

As we mentioned earlier in our explanation of quartz movements, there are 3 types of watches that use quartz movement. Quartz analog watches, digital watches, and smartwatches all use quartz movements.

Quartz Analog Watches

digital watch vs quartz analog watch

While you could technically call the, all 3 of them “quartz watches”, for the most part, when someone is talking about a quartz watch, they are referring to an analog quartz watch. An analog watch is a watch that traditionally uses hours, minutes, and seconds hands to display the time.

Quartz analog watches became popular in the 1970’s and 80’s. The introduction of quartz watches even shook up the industry as they threatened to displace the Swiss mechanical luxury watch industry. This period of time was known as the Quartz Crisis.

The Japanese company Seiko introduced quartz watches into the market. To this day the company maintains great power and influence as a watch manufacturer. They have plenty of amazing watches to choose from.

Digital Watches

digital quartz watch vs analog quartz watch

A digital watch is a watch that displays the time using a digital display. Digital watches may have some extra features, but nothing nearly as advanced as smartwatches.

Typically, you will find digital watches to be simple sports or outdoor watches. One of the main draws to digital watches is that they are pretty inexpensive a lot of times. Additionally, the tend to be pretty durable as well. The Japanese company Casio produces a lot of popular digital watches.


digital watch vs quartz smartwatch

A Smartwatch, on the other hand, while also utilizing a digital display, has many more features than a mere digital watch. Smartwatches are characterized by their advanced connectivity and compatibility. They can sync with smartphones, download apps, and track various aspects of your daily life and consolidate that data.

Smartwatches tend to be expensive, but they are the wave of the future. They are advancing alongside technology, and each year offer more and more exciting features. The sky is the limit when it comes to smartwatches. Currently Apple is leading the industry with their ever so popular line of smartwatches.

So, those are the main 3 types of quartz watches. Now that we have learned about those, we can finally start wrapping things up.

Final Thoughts

Digital quartz watches make up the majority of watches on the market today. And by the looks of things, this technology is here to stay, and will be with us for many years to come.

They are an important part of history, and have had a profound impact on the entire watch industry as a whole.

This concludes our look into digital vs quartz watches. Hopefully this article has been helpful and informative in answering any and all questions you may have had on the topic.

If you liked this one, please keep in mind that we have plenty of other articles that cover various interesting or lesser known topics about watches. If you want, feel free to browse through some of these informative articles. Those can be found here

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Comment