Thursday, June 13, 2013

What's Wrong with a Quartz Watch?

Top: Rolex Daytona stainless stell Ref 116520
Bottom: Rolex OysterQuartz Day Date Ref 19018 Yellow Gold

What is wrong with a Quartz Watch?

When I was working on a merchant vessels in 1980-1983; time keeping was solely done by a manual Winding maritime clock, Nardin, Zenith, Seiko and PateK Philippe. The second or Third officer had to take record on the watch every day on a log book to track the time. The Watch has 7 days power reserve and there is a big wing-nut key to do the winding.

I have noticed that it was within the range of +6 to – 4 seconds every day. Do not forget the watch does not have tourbillon and had to experience cold and hot weather. It was -25 degrees in Dalian and +36 degrees at Bangkok. That is a real chronometer.

The time is important to be used to check the position of the Ship through Sextant through some logarithm table. Of course the ship has been equipped with some other positional finding system Like Loran C, Omega, and the latest Satellite navigator system after 1986. Still there must equip a Chronometer and I can see all the Chronometers was Quartz driven after 90s.

The beauty of Quartz is accuracy that no mechanical watch can beat them, as it carry a 32,000 Hz (Cycle per second) Vibration frequency Quartz whereas mechanical watch movements used by Rolex, Breitling, and Omega, the movement calibers that obtain most of the COSC certificates are the Rolex 3135 (since 1988) (and variants 3155, 3175, 3185, 4130) and 2235, the ETA 2892A2 (and variants) and Valjoux 7750, each of which operates at 28,800 beats per hour.

Grand Seiko and Zenith El Primero has a higher frequency of 36,000 beats per hour. Even though, comparing with the Rolex OysterQuartz is 32,000x3,600/36,000=115,200 times Higher in beats per second.,

A Rolex OysterQuartz has a 115,200 times better in time keeping than ordinary mechanical Watch.

look at the COSC standard here, mechanical watch which is built to certify the Standard of COSC has an accuracy of +6 and -4 degrees every day, whereas a OysterQuartz watch is in the range of an average 0.07 second a day.

Don't forget we are talking about Chronometers that has been built with jewel bearings and precision parts to achieve that accuracy, most of the non COSC watch may have an accuracy of +15 -12 seconds a day. That can be 5 minutes a month!

COSC aka C.O.S.C. is Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres, the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute, which is the institute responsible for certifying the accuracy and precision of wristwatches in Switzerland. There are about 1,000,000 watches submitted for certification each year, large portion is from Rolex,, Omega, Breitling, Tag Huer and Panerai.

These are about 3% of the total watches Swiss made a year.

COSC not just serve mechanical Watch, but also Quartz Watch, refer to the following table.


Considering the fact that mechanical watches are almost never used for real timekeeping and navigation anymore, and that practically any quartz watch is vastly better in accuracy, certification may be considered a historic relic by some, but it verifies the accuracy and quality of a mechanical movement.
Though quartz is almost always more accurate, mechanical movements are preferred by some watch collectors and enthusiasts.

To me, sometimes it is easier to wear a watch that is very accurate and very reliable, besides, the Watch MUST be very beautiful!

The Choice is Rolex OysterQuartz Day Date Ref 19018 and Ref 19019.

But the Ref 19019 is very hard to get nowaday, and it very expensive, it is in the range of HKD$80,000 to HKD$100,000 depending on condition and type of dial.

As for Yellow Gold, it is more friendly in pirce, it is in the Range of HKD$65,000 to HKD$85,000 depending on condition and type of dial.

Of course, if that is a Tiger Eye, or Lapis Azuli dial, it will be very very Expensive no matter yellow gold or white gold, as the dial itself is already a piece of art!

Did Rolex ever made some QysterQuartz Day Date with these gemstones?
HK Snob

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