Here we go geeks... its time. We are finally going to release some content to you all about quartz that is not going to be filled with hate. Yes, I am writing an article appreciating 3 quartz watches, at 3 different price ranges. This article will follow the same format as previous, 3 watches will be discussed, at 3 different prices: Affordable, mid-tier, and 'unobtanium'. And yes, I am going to see if I can find a crazy bonkers quartz watch that none of us could touch, challenge accepted!
Affordable: Dan Henry 1964 Chronograph
The caveat for an affordable quartz watch is that I feel it needs to be something respectable and worthwhile owning, and not just a 'cheap' quartz watch. With that being said, here is my choice. My choice is a watch that has been on my list for some years now. It is from a brand called Dan Henry. Now for those of you who know watches, the name Dan Henry may ring a bell. Dan Henry is one of the biggest collectors of wristwatches in the world, owning in excess of 1,500 watches. The watch website Time and Tide described him as one of the most knowledgeable collectors and watchmakers in the world. High praise indeed... The brand was started in September 2016, and every release pays tribute to a vintage watch from years gone by. The particular one I have chosen is this, the 1964 Gran Turismo. Now, this is cheating slightly, as this watch is a Mecca-Quartz, but frankly, this is my article so I make the rules. This watch for me screams vintage Breitling Top-Time and Omega Seamaster Chronograph to name a few. Coming in a gorgeous 38mm case on a gorgeous beads of rice bracelet, this watch is unbelievable. Coupled with the fact that it has a mechanical chronograph function and is priced at just £200 on the website, this watch is a knockout. It comes in 4 dial variations, and a choice of date or no date, which you can see below.
Photo credit: Worn and Wound
Mid-Tier: Grand Seiko SBGN005
Our good friend Adrian a.k.a Bark and Jack recently picked up the limited edition version of this piece, the Grand Seiko SGBN001, but for the purpose of this article, I am going to talk about the 005 variations. This part of the category is where it gets controversial I feel. There is a massive stigma about spending money on quartz watches. Something that is difficult when you come to a brand like Grand Seiko. Grand Seiko is a brand that struggles enough as it is. Grand Seiko is struggling to remove themselves from the 'affordable' sticker associated with Seiko. The second hurdle that they are trying to jump is there use of quartz. Now, Grand Seiko is slightly different in their use of quartz. They are not using 'normal quartz'. Seiko uses their proprietary quartz movement, which could not be any further from the cheap Chinese movements found in the Daniel Wellington's of the world. To give you a bit of background, a quartz movement operates in the following way: A battery is at the centre of any quartz movement, this battery provides electricity to a quartz oscillator, which vibrates at around 32,000 times per second. An integrated circuit board detects these vibrations and sends out an accurate time signal every second to a motor. The motor then accurately rotates a series of gears and in turn, the hands of the watch.
Photo Credit: Time and Tide Watches
'Unobtanium': FP Journe Elegante 48
Now, this watch may be somewhat difficult for some of you to get your heads around. It is a quartz watch from none other than FP Journe. So it is worth noting that for your £10,000 you are not getting a run of the mill quartz piece. It is an incredibly cool piece of kit, and I actually wrote a more in-depth article on it which you can find here! This watch has what is called an electro-mechanical movement. It is quartz at it's heart, but it has essentially a tiny oscillating weight which is visible at the 4 o'clock position. This notices when the watch has been inactive for a period of more than 30mins. At this point, the watch stops displaying time, but the movement is still tracking time. When the watch is picked up again the hands will automatically jump to the correct time. The beauty of this is that the battery life is massively increased. In 'standby' mode, the battery will apparently last for 18 years. This watch is expensive for a quartz watch, there is no getting around that. However it is a technically innovative piece that has charm, character, and awesomeness, id buy one!
Photo Credit: Phillips
Apologies for this being so late compared to the other installments of 3 at 3! However, this is a really interesting style of article to write. We would love to hear what you guys would like to see in this format, so let us know.
Editor & Co-founder
The Young Horologist