When it comes to jewels in watches, you might already know that it is common for mechanical watches have jewels in them. But what about quartz watches? Do quartz watches have jewels in them as well? Well the answer is yes! Some quartz watches do have jewels in them!
So then the next question would be, why would a quartz watch need jewels anyway? What is their function? And is the purpose of jewels the same for a quartz watch as it is for a mechanical watch?
We are going to answer those questions and explain everything you need to know about jewels in quartz watches. The very first thing that we need to look at though, is the actual purpose jewels serve inside of a watch.
The Purpose Of Jewels In A Watch
Now we already know that many models of mechanical and automatic watches are known to have jewels in them. So what is their function here, exactly?
The purpose of jewels in a watch is to increase the accuracy and lifespan of a watch by reducing the friction between moving parts. Obviously, mechanical, and automatic watches are intricately designed, and have many moving parts. Well quartz watches have moving parts as well, provided they are not purely digital.
Before quartz watches were introduced into the market, all watches were mechanical. Most mechanical watches at the time typically used between 5 and 7 jewels. Quartz watches are going to have far less moving parts than their mechanical counterparts, of course, but they are still there. A motor will still have to control the seconds, minute, and hour hands, right?
So assuming you have a quartz watch with moving parts, there would actually be a relevant purpose for jewels in a quartz watch as well. But the thing is, you are going to have different jewels in a quartz watch than you would have in a mechanical watch? We will get more into that in the next part.
What Kinds Of Jewels Are Used In Watches?
First of all, when talking about jewels in watches, it usually means synthetic jewels. Now back in the early days, such as in the 1700’s, watches were made out of actual real jewels that you would mine for. By the early 1900’s, however, a method for creating synthetic jewels was created. This made jeweled watches far less expensive.
Now, knowing this, there are certain types of jewels that are used in mechanical and quartz watches. These are: roller jewels, pallet jewels, cap jewels, and hole jewels. Each of these types of jewels serve different purposes in a watch.
Now here is where we differentiate the types of jewels used in mechanical vs quartz watches. You will only find roller and pallet jewels in mechanical and automatic watches. These types of jewels are never used in quartz watches. Quartz watches will, however, use cap jewels and hole jewels.
Next, I will provide a brief explanation of each of these types of jewels.
Jewel Functions In A Watch
In Mechanical And Automatic Watches
- Pallet Jewel: These are the jewels that go on the pallet fork of a watch. The pallet fork holds the escape wheel, and releases it one click at a time for every swing of the balance wheel.
- Roller Jewel: The roller jewel is located inside of the pallet fork. It serves as a link between the escape wheel, and the pallets inside of a watch.
In Quartz Watches
- Hole Jewel: A hole jewel, as the name suggests, is a jewel that has a hole in it. This allows it to be placed on the pivot of the wheel. This jewel, combined with the cap jewel creates the pivot bearing.
- Cap Jewel: A cap jewel is a type of jewel that does not have a hole in it. It may also have a spring at the end of it, as the purpose of this jewel is to serve as shock protection for the watch against being dropped. The pivot bearing gives the axle the ability to spin and gives the balance staff shock protection.
That is the short, simple explanation for what these jewels are used for. Now, since not all quartz watches have jewels in them, then you may be wondering what types of quartz watches will have jewels in them.
What Types Of Quartz Watches Will Have Jewels In Them?
Usually you will find jewels in higher quality quartz watches, as these are intended to last longer than your typical quartz watch. That being said, keep in mind that a higher number of jewels, does not necessarily correlate to a higher quality watch.
In fact, most quartz watches that contain jewels will usually have somewhere between 1 and 5 jewels. That’s about all that is really necessary. Any more jewels than that, and you could probably start questioning whether or not they are even necessary.
This brings us to our next point.
Are Jewels Really Necessary In A Quartz Watch?
Unlike mechanical watches which have many moving parts, jewels do not improve the accuracy if a quartz watch. A quartz watch will already have a high degree of accuracy. But, as stated before, adding jewels to a quartz watch can extend its lifespan by reducing the friction in the few moving parts that it does have contained within it.
Well hopefully now you have a better understanding of the role of jewels in quartz watches. While it is uncommon for quartz watches to have jewels, you may come across them at some point, especially if you are into high end quartz watches.
But jewels or no jewels, quartz watches are great to have in your collection, especially when you consider that they have a higher degree of accuracy than mechanical watches.
Anyway, that concludes our look into quartz watches. I hope that you have enjoyed this article and the information provided within it. If you want to see more of our interesting and informative articles, then you can check those out here