Quartz, Manual Wound or Automatic?
How many times have you held a great watch in your hands, but ended up putting it down after knowing it’s Quartz? Well, I certainly fell victim to that some time ago. Without a doubt, the movement still factors into the decision-making process. But more so in a way where there’s no negative association with the word Quartz anymore. And if I’m being honest, with some watches, I would rather have their seconds hand tick than sweep.
As the age-old question goes, which watch engine should you buy? Quartz, manual wound or an automatic? Instead of giving you the answer, which I believe doesn’t exist, this write-up leans towards a personal perspective. So, take everything with a pinch of salt. Because when it comes to the three movements, to know whether the latter options make a “better” purchase really depends on the lifestyle that you live and the preferences that you have.
Just like how we enjoy car engines for what they are, watches can and should be viewed through the same lens. Whether it be a V6, a boxer or an electric motor, they all have an aspect in which they shine the brightest. Watches wise, taking a quartz movement to start with, it has the qualifications to be a truly ready-to-go watch. One that is hassle free and will always be ticking until the battery runs out. Yes, the idea of it seems to be tailored for an everyday watch but an alternative approach might be to go against the grain by getting a quartz dress watch. At least to me, I find that having a quartz dress piece has an interesting vibe to it. Think about it, if you’re not wearing your dress watches often, it might be cool to approach it in a different way!
Then there’s the manual wound movement, the OG. A movement that requires you to first put in effort before having it to work for you. Something that I find to be very charming just like a manual car with a clutch pedal on it. Imagine this, you’re winding your vintage Rolex after spraying on your favorite cologne while some good lo-fi music is playing in the background. Brand aside, that to me is the ideal scene that I can picture a manually wound watch in.
Lastly, there’s the automatic, a movement that has the ability to keep running as long as you keep wearing it but will also require some manual work when you neglect it for a period of time. Put it this way, it’s the literal middle ground between two ends of the spectrum in terms of the amount of work needed to keep it running. It can be convenient when you want it to be, and can also be engaging when you crave the experience.
As you can see, each movement has a character of its own. At the end of the day, your ideal watch might not be what the mass market perceives as ideal. And that’s completely fine! What’s important is that you enjoy what you wear. Nothing else matters.