This video will explain how to quickly tell the difference between a quartz watch and a mechanical watch. A quartz watch runs on a battery while a mechanical movement gets its energy from a wound-up mainspring. Mechanical watches are traditionally more expensive than quartz watches, but do you know how to tell the difference by just looking at them?
A quartz crystal oscillates precisely at a frequency rate of 32,768 times each second. A microchip circuit inside a quartz movement serves to regulate that frequency rate into one-per-second electric pulses or 3,600 beats per hour. So, if you look at the dial of a typical quartz watch, you will see that the second hand “jumps” to its next position once every one second. The jump to the next second is usually accompanied by a loud “tick” sound.
On the other hand, the most common frequency for modern mechanical watch movements is 28,800 beats per hour. This translates to 8 times a second. So, if you look at the dial of a mechanical watch, you will see that the seconds hand “sweeps” around the dial by moving eight times a second or 480 times a minute. Some mechanical movements have a higher frequency rate of 36,000 beats per hour, which is 10 times a second. Some older vintage mechanical movements have a lower frequency rate of 18,800 beats per hour, which is 5 times a second.
In short, the quickest way to differentiate between a quartz watch and a mechanical watch is that the first has a seconds hand that “ticks” once every second around the dial while the latter has a seconds hand that “sweeps” 5 to 10 times a second around the dial.