In this article, we are looking into the topic of a quartz watch with a sweeping second hand. First of all, does such a watch exist, and if so, where can you get one? To start off, we will answer the question of whether or not this type of watch even exists.
Yes, technically, there is such a thing as a quartz watch with a sweeping second hand, although it is pretty rare to find one. The Bulova Precisionist would be one of your better examples of a quartz watch with a sweeping second hand. Also, Seiko’s Spring Drive watches would be another example of this type of movement in a quartz watch. Although the latter does combine both mechanical and quartz movements into one watch.
So, with that out of the way, we can now get into a more detailed explanation of what a sweeping second hand is, and why it is such a big deal for a quartz watch to even possess that feature. The first thing we are going to cover though, is what a sweeping second hand even is, for those of you who may not already know.
What is a Sweeping Second Hand?
So just what is a sweeping second hand anyway? That is certainly quite a strange term. The basic, and straight forward definition of this is as follows. A sweeping second hand is basically a second hand that makes its rotation around the watch in a smooth motion, rather than the ticking motion, normally associated with this hand. This type of movement is mostly seen in mechanical watches, but rarely, it can also be found in a quartz watch.
So, it pretty much means that the second hand just moves around the watch without the jerky “ticking” that is normally associated with an analog watch. Now does this mean that the hand doesn’t “tick” at all? Not really!
The truth is that the sweeping second hand is actually ticking. In fact, it is ticking much faster than the average watch’s second hand. The sweeping second hand ticks at a speed that makes it appear as though it is gliding seamlessly around the dial.
So, it is not actually moving as fluidly as it appears, but rather ticking at a speed that is normally pretty much imperceptible to the naked eye. It appears as if it is “sweeping” across the dial. Hence the term, “sweeping second hand”.
Now that we know what a sweeping second hand is, why is it much rarer to find a quartz watch with a sweeping second hand than a mechanical one?
The Reason There Aren’t More Quartz Watches with Sweeping Second Hand
We mentioned early on that it is quite rare to find a quartz watch with a sweeping second hand movement, compared to a mechanical one. There is a major factor to why this is. It all comes down to energy consumption..
To create the “sweeping” effect, the second hand has to tick much faster than it would in an ordinary quartz watch. It therefore requires that much more energy to power the watch. In a mechanical watch, this is not going to be as much of an issue because the watch can simply be wound up to power it.
A quartz watch, however, uses a battery. This extra energy consumption would wear down the battery much faster. This would mean that the battery would need to be replaced much more often. Having a sweeping second hand in a quartz watch takes more battery consumption to keep up the speed required of the second hand to produce the sweeping effect.
It is just simply more tedious, and impractical to replace the battery in a quartz watch more often. Take the Bulova Precisionist watch that we mentioned earlier for example. This watch uses a larger battery to power it than you would find in your standard quartz watch. Even then, the battery will still need to be replaced more often than you would need to in a standard quartz watch.
So, overall, it is the practicality of powering the watch that makes sweeping second hand quartz watches much rarer than mechanical ones. Now that we know this, then the next logical question then would be why would you even want a watch with a sweeping second hand, let alone a quartz one?
Why Use a Sweeping Second Hand Watch In The First Place?
There are a couple of reasons as to why someone would want to wear a watch with a sweeping second hand movement. The first reason is simply for the aesthetics of it. The seemingly smooth motion of the second hand as it moves around the dial definitely has a different and unique look. It really does stand out. And this type of movement could even be considered more refined than the usual ticking second hand that we are all used to.
Another potential reason to get one would be accuracy. We already know that quartz watches are more accurate than mechanical ones. Some claim that the sweeping second hand is even more accurate. Then again others claim it to be less so. Not sure if there have been any studies to verify claims of greater accuracy. Regardless, some people are drawn to it because of these claims.
Wrapping Things Up
It is true that a quartz watch with a sweeping second hand may be hard to find. Any way you look at it though, the sweeping movement is certainly beautiful to look at.
This is yet another movement within horology that stands out from the crowd. Any sweeping second hand watch, quartz, or otherwise, would make a fine addition to an avid watch collector.
That wraps up our look into sweeping second hand movements in quartz watches. I hope that you found this article to be helpful and informative. If so, then please don’t hesitate to check out some more of our info articles. You will be sure to learn some interesting facts about watches. You can begin browsing through some of these articles here