« Watch Obsessive's Quartz Dilemma |
| Morning Pics of the Ecozilla on Shark Mesh and Citizen Promaster Sky »
I get the strangest feeling you might be planning to sell some of those quartz pieces, based on the way you feel (or don't feel) about them.
I'm on the other side of the fence. I agree with all your points about quartz, but that makes it harder for me to justify purely mechanical watches. Ten times the cost for less convenience and accuracy? I'm quite anal about accuracy. Even as a kid, though I knew the "men" wore mechanicals like my father and grandfather etc, and even though I coveted them, I still found it irritating that the watch would be out by seconds per day.
It makes me wonder if there will ever be a quartz-based watch that can form a "bond" with the user, whatever that means. I have asked myself what constitutes that relationship. Is it energy independence? Something powered by the user alone? Well, the Kinetic watches are powered by the user too, but it doesn't seem like a good enough reason to fall in love with quartz. Is it because an automatic involves precision engineering? So do some high-end quartz timepieces - i'm thinking of mecaquartz-based watches that contain wholly mechanical modules to provide chronograph functions that are comparable to the modules used in fully automatic modular movements. Maybe we love the precision engineering that goes into automatics, but then just as much precision if not more so goes into crafting a complex quartz watch, when you consider the processor inside is made of microscopic components, and the quartz oscillator has to be cut and crafted with exacting precision to give it the perfect resonating properties. Maybe it's just because we can't see the effort that went into the quartz watch because it is a "black-box".
I have been thinking about how to make the quartz watch more appealing to customers for a while now. Some time ago I saw a project by a guy who recreated a quartz movement but without any chips - just passive discrete components (resistors, transistors etc).
The thing ended up being huge but it worked well enough. I imagined a watch where each component (which is often based on mineral substances such as graphite or silicon) could be constructed in a more beautiful way so that each component resembled precious stones, and yet all strung together in the right way could be made to tell the time. That way every part would be large enough for us to enjoy and appreciate - the black-box would be gone and we'd learn to appreciate what remains the superior time-telling technology available today.
Posted at 02:20 PM in Manly Watches | Permalink
| | Digg This
For the longest time, people stood by carburetors instead of giving in to the more modern and efficient fuel injection. Some people still prefer manual stick shifts even though a modern automatic transmission is supreme in most objective criteria. People still prefer buying things built by hand and hand painted or decorated----as opposed to products built in a factory by robotic machinery---even if the factory built items have closer seams, smoother finishes and better tolerances. In short, the mechanical watch appeals to certain personality types. It's very hard to argue that mechanical movements are "better." They aren't. A good modern quartz movement does the job of timekeeping better. About the only thing you can say in favor of a mechanical or automatic----is that you never need to replace batteries. Some of those watches have 10 year batteries, which hardly seems like much of an inconvenience. All that said: I have been considering getting a watch with the Valjoux 7750 movement----or some other well regarded automatic.
April 25, 2015 at 05:35 PM
I'm reminded of the difference between the more advanced and superior diesel engine train and the classic steam train. Train aficionados, of which my father is one, much prefer steam trains - they're just more interesting, more classic.
Another analogy would be vinyl LPs vs. CDs (or mp3s). Or a wooden violin vs. a synthesizer.
In all cases, there's an organic "analog" quality that is lost in the more advanced "digital" technology. And so it is with mechanical vs. quartz watches. Mechanical watches are organic, analogy, powered by hand-winding and/or human movement. Quartz are powered by a little lithium battery.
It isn't about better or worse, at least as far as utility goes because, let's face it, that goes out the window somewhere in the $50-100 range, and none of us really "need" a timekeeping device beyond what our smart phones can offer. It is about something else...a feeling, a quality, a vibe. To put it more simply, a mechanical watch has more soul than a quartz watch. This isn't quantifiable or measurable, but it is palpable and heuristically true for the vast majority of people who get into watches.
April 25, 2015 at 06:22 PM
Please excuse my lack of eloquence, as I'm just a lowly engineer for a utility. Inanimate objects don't have souls. It seems to be in our nature to want to give such objects a soul so we can substantiate emotion towards these objects. It's fine to have attachment due to memories or sacrifice associated with possessions, whether it be a watch, car, gun, house, or coffeemaker. Applying a soul to something you've purchased, and so easily willing to replace, is just silly. It's a tool designed to do a job, just get the one that works best for you.
April 26, 2015 at 01:03 PM
This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.
The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.
As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.
Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.
(URLs automatically linked.)
(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)
Name is required to post a comment
Please enter a valid email address