Quartz Movement Vs Swiss – What’s The Difference?

This article is going to tackle the difference between quartz movement vs Swiss. This is definitely one of those topics that can be confusing. The terminology used here can have different meanings depending on the context being used.


About Watch Movements

We are going to clear things up a few things here in this article. First, the basics. What do we mean when we say “movement”? Well, simply put, a movement is the set of mechanisms that powers the watch.

There are two main types of watch movements used. They are quartz, and mechanical. Quartz watches are powered by a battery. Mechanical watches, on the other hand, are powered by a mainspring that must be wound up.

There are, of course variations to these movements, and even hybrid movements, but those are rare. Exceptions aside, most watch movements will be either quartz or mechanical.

What Is Meant by Quartz Vs Swiss Movement?

Next, we’ll get into the whole quartz movement vs Swiss topic. When people are asking about the difference between Swiss and quartz movement, they are usually talking about one of two things.

#1: They could be talking about the difference between Japanese quartz movement, and Swiss mechanical movement.

#2: They could be talking about the difference between Japanese quartz movement, and Swiss quartz movement.

The main thing to understand here, is that when people are comparing quartz movement to Swiss, they are almost always talking about Japanese quartz movement.

Yes, Swiss watches also have quartz movements. There are even watches from other countries that produce quartz movements as well. Japanese quartz movements are the industry standard though. So, the comparison is with Japanese quartz movements. In the next part, we are going to briefly discuss the history of Japanese and Swiss movements.


Quartz Movement Vs Swiss: A Brief History


Quartz Movement

There is a reason why Japanese quartz movement is the most common type of quartz movement used in watches. This is due to that fact that the Japanese created the quartz movement. The Seiko Astron was the watch that heralded the rise of the quartz watch era.

In addition to the fact that the Japanese created quartz watches, affordability was also a factor. Japanese quartz movements were easy to mass produce, and thus are very affordable compared to their mechanical counterparts.

This quickly led to a proliferation of these types of watches. They became so widespread; they crippled the market for mechanical watches in what became known as the “quartz crisis”.

Due to these factors, the Japanese were able to secure their position in the market and have become the most trusted source of mass produced quartz movements.

Swiss Movement

Swiss movements are known as the best in the industry. In fact, for a watch to even be labeled a true Swiss Made watch, it must meet strict quality standards. The quartz crisis mentioned before actually fueled the rise in high quality Swiss movements. Because of the popularity of Japanese quartz, Mechanical watches became somewhat displaced in the industry.

Due to this fact, the high end market sort of became the main market that the Swiss could dominate in. Watch enthusiasts and the upper class still held an appreciation for fine craftsmanship. It was a combination of these factors that ultimately benefited the Swiss luxury market.

Many of their mechanical watches are still handcrafted even today. The parts used in Swiss watches are almost always high grade components made out of high quality materials. Even Swiss quartz movements are crafted to the highest industry standards.

A downside to Swiss watches is that they are usually going to be pretty expensive. They do, however have entry level options that are more affordable to the average consumer. While not necessarily cheap, they are far less expensive than the bigger name brands.

Next, we will get into the comparisons between Japanese quartz and Swiss movements.


Quartz Movement Vs Swiss

In this part, we are going to talk about the differences between quartz movement and Swiss in the two possible instances that they would come up in.

Quartz Movement Vs Swiss Mechanical

In this case, we are looking at Japanese quartz movements as compared to Swiss mechanical. Even though quartz movements are technically more accurate than mechanical watch movements, mechanical movements are still held in high regard.

Watch enthusiasts admire the craftsmanship of mechanical movements. Unlike quartz watches, mechanical watches are powered by winding and therefore do not require a battery. Plus, Mechanical movements can arguably last much longer than quartz movements.

Add to that the fact that Swiss watches are heralded as being the most prestigious watches you can get. It is a no contest here that the Swiss mechanical movement is going to win over a Japanese quartz movement.

Quartz movement Vs Swiss Quartz

Here we have Japanese quartz Vs Swiss quartz. Now in this case, both movements are quartz movements. However, as we all know, the Swiss movements are going to be more refined, on average, using higher quality materials in their builds.

Swiss quartz movements are still going to be seen as a step down from Swiss mechanical movements. But, once again, the Swiss label is going to ensure that it beats out the Japanese quartz competition.


Final Thoughts

By now you should have a pretty good understanding of what is meant by quartz and Swiss movements, as well as the differences between the two.

While Swiss movements are always going to be thought of as superior, both movements have their place in the industry.

When you want an inexpensive, reliable watch, Japanese quartz movements are the current industry standard. If, however, you are searching for a true luxury watch, then you would want to look into Swiss watches for sure.

That’s it for this article. Hopefully it has been helpful in explaining this topic thoroughly. If you enjoyed this read and like learning new and interesting topics about watches, keep in mind that we do have many more informative articles like this one. Feel free to browse through some of them. They can be found here

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