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Mechanical watches vs Quartz watches vs Smart watches

If you are thinking of picking up a brand-new watch there are a number of factors to consider when judging the differences between quartz, mechanical and smart watches. Each one has their own advantages but knowing the difference between each one will help you to make an informed decision on the right type of watch for your lifestyle.

seiko skx 007 on vario ballistic nylon watch strap
Seiko SKX007 on Vario Ballistic Nylon strap

Quartz movement and mechanical watches are two of the main and most popular styles of watches available on the market before smart watches came along. A quartz watch is powered by a battery and mechanical watches are usually wound and designed to release energy throughout the day with a specifically crafted wound spring that keeps components moving over time. A smartwatch is a portable device that's designed to be worn on the wrist, just like a traditional watch. Smartwatches, however, like smartphones, have touchscreens, support apps, and often record heart rate and other vital signs but usually require a fresh battery or recharge more often than a quartz watch.

vario eclipse watch with zrc watch strap
Vario Eclipse Watch on ZRC watch strap

A mechanical watch has the wearer powering the watch via manual crown rotation or moving his wrist. In most cases watches will work for around 40 hours with a full winding but often they require the watch to be wound or worn daily to keep powering it. There are some high end manual watches that can last for around 10 days between windings but these are often very expensive. The beauty of these mechanical watches is that it doesn’t require any batteries and it will probably still be working decades later if you take good care of them through regular winding and servicing. My job is desk bound and sometimes I don’t move around enough to adequately power my automatic watches and hence I tend to prefer hand wound watches or automatic watches with winding features.

casio gshock with vario watch strap
Casio G-Shock on Vario Ballistic Nylon Strap

A quartz watch represents one of the favored style of watches in the world. A quartz watch is powered by an electronic oscillator synchronized by quartz crystal. The electric current causes the quartz inside to pulsate with a precise frequency and accurately tell time without any moving parts. Quartz watches are generally seen as being much more accurate as well as easier to maintain. They're a very popular watch and they're also quite easy and inexpensive to replace making many of these quartz watches some of the most reasonable to pick up and enjoy. I tend to favor quartz watch when I am in a rush. The important thing about quartz watch is to replace the battery when it runs out or remove the battery if you’re not intending to wear it in the short term so that there is no chance of any battery leaks that will damage the electronic part and it should last you a long time as well.

apple watch with vario silicone watch strap
Apple watch on Vario Soft Silicone strap

Smart watches are an extension of your digital connectivity. Users can synchronize their watches to access apps without touching their smart phones, allowing you to go nearly hands-free. They are designed to be wellness device as well to track fitness goals with heart rate sensors and step counts. The biggest downside of smart watches is the battery life. I stopped wearing an analog watch after owning my first mobile phone since it also tells time but over the years I noticed I am hooked on the smart phone and decided to use less smart phone and started wearing my analog watches again to tell time.

vario harris tweed strap
Titus watch with Vario Harris Tweed strap

I noticed there has been a renewed interest in mechanical watches as an alternative to quartz or smart watches and I think the reason that so many people are choosing mechanical watches is because they are a symbol of some of the best in watchmaking. In order for a mechanical watch to work accurately it needs to be engineered with precision. The design for mechanical watches are also more varied compared with smart watches. A good mechanical watch can last over generations with regular winding and care.

Whether you prefer a quartz, mechanical or smart watch, sometimes it’s a good idea to update your style by replacing your worn out strap to keep your watch looking fresh.


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