Difference between Quartz and Automated Movement in Watches

Quartz watch movements are powered by a battery, while automated watch movements are powered by a complex system of gears, springs, and other mechanical components used to keep time.

Read this article to find out more about Quartz and Automated Movement in Watches and how they are different from each other.

What is Quartz Movement in Watches?

Quartz-movement watches are powered by a battery-operated quartz crystal oscillator. It was first developed in 1960. Quartz watches are the most popular because of their accuracy and low cost. One of the main advantages of quartz-movement watches is their great accuracy.

A tiny piece of quartz called a quartz crystal oscillator vibrates at an extremely high frequency when an electric current is sent through it. The watch's timekeeping signals are controlled by these extraordinarily regular and exact vibrations. These impulses are then processed by a tiny integrated circuit and sent to a stepping motor, which precisely and smoothly moves the watch's hands.

Compared to mechanical watches, which can fluctuate in accuracy depending on a number of variables like temperature, humidity, and positional errors, quartz watches are normally accurate to within a few seconds per month.

Quartz watches only need to have their batteries changed every few years, as opposed to mechanical watches, which need to be serviced and oiled frequently to keep their accuracy.

The second hand movement is one of the distinguishing features of quartz movement watches. The second hand on a quartz watch moves continuously and smoothly as opposed to mechanical watches' second hands, which move in a sequence of brief, abrupt motions. This is due to the stepping motor in a quartz watch, which gives the impression of a smooth sweep by moving the hands in extremely small increments.

Quartz watches provide a dependable and practical alternative for individuals who value precision and convenience more than the traditional artistry and heritage found in mechanical watches.

What is Automated Movement in Watches?

Automated movement Watches are powered by a series of gears, springs, and a balancing wheel to maintain their time. It is also called mechanical movement. It was first developed in 1923.

The mainspring, a coiled spring that stores energy when wound by the wearer's wrist motion or by hand, is the essential part of timepieces with automated movements. The mainspring releases energy as it unwinds, which is then transported through a number of gears and used to move the watch's hands. The balancing wheel controls the pace at which the gears rotate, providing precise timekeeping. It oscillates back and forth at a steady rate.

The second-hand movement is one of the distinctive characteristics of timepieces with automatic movements. Automated movement watches have a second hand that moves in a series of brief, jerky motions known as "ticks," as opposed to quartz watches that have a continuous, smooth motion. This is due to the balance wheel's continual back-and-forth oscillation, which causes the second hand to move in tiny, exact steps and controls the rate at which the watch keeps time.

Automatic-motion watches need routine upkeep and servicing to maintain accuracy and durability. This usually entails taking the watch apart, cleaning and lubricating all of the parts, and adjusting the movement as needed. An automated movement watch can live for decades or even centuries with proper care, turning it into a treasure that can be handed down through the generations.

Automatic movement watches are available in a wide range of designs and degrees of complexity, from straightforward time-only watches to extremely sophisticated timepieces with numerous features including moon phases, chronographs, and perpetual calendars. These watches can be fairly expensive depending on the complexity and quality of the craftsmanship, and they are frequently linked with traditional craftsmanship and luxury.

Difference between Quartz and Automated Movement in Watches

The following table highlights the major differences between Quartz and Automated Movement in Watches −


Quartz Movement in Watches

Automated Movement in Watches


A quartz movement watch requires batteries.

An automated movement watch does not require batteries.


Quartz watches are affordable. Automated watches are expensive compared to quartz watches.

But automated watches are also available at an affordable cost; it depends on the complexity and craftsmanship of the watch movements.


Every few years, the battery must be replaced.

Regular service and oiling are required to maintain accuracy.

Power Source

Quartz watch movements are powered by batteries.

Automated watch movements are powered by the motion of the wearer's wrist.


Quartz watches are more compact.

Automated movement watches are larger compared to quartz watches.


Quartz-movement watches can last for several years.

Watches with automatic movements can last for decades or centuries.


In conclusion, quartz and automatic movement watches are two different categories of timepieces that function differently. Quartz watches are noted for their high accuracy, low cost, and minimal upkeep needs. They are powered by a battery-operated quartz crystal oscillator. Conversely, watches with automated movements, which are renowned for their fine craftsmanship, long histories, and durability, use a series of gears, springs, and a balancing wheel to power the watch's timekeeping.

It is important to consider factors such as accuracy, power source, cost, second-hand movement, heritage, and longevity when we are deciding between quartz and automated movement watches.