What is Quartz? As in Quartz Watch..The Definition
Chemically, quartz is a compound called silicon dioxide. The actual material is elastic and durable. Quartz, fortunately, is one of the most abundant materials in the world. You can find this stuff from the Americas to the Swiss Alps. When subjected to an electric current, the material takes on a different shape and, more importantly, vibrates. This phenomenon is called piezoelectric. The most well-known quartz is clear rock, and the best quality crystal is from Brazil. However, the source or location of natural quartz makes no difference today. The quartz used in watches is grown synthetically for quality and control purposes. The crystal can be cut in various sizes and made to give off specific frequencies. The crystal vibrates when it is ‘electrified.’
The process goes something like this. A small slice of quartz is put into a huge kettle to sterilize it. Above the kettle or autoclave are tiny kernels or particles of quartz with the preferred crystalline formations. An alkaline chemical is then driven into the autoclave and heated to a very high temperature. This process dissolves the quartz in the hot liquid, evaporating it into a salt-like material deposited on the kernels or seeds. After about 75 days, the chamber is opened. Inside you will find newly grown quartz. The quartz can be sliced and diced into the exact proportions necessary for the desired oscillations. All of this sounds like a bit of medieval chemistry. But remember, instead of trying to change one metal into another, we are dealing with crystal, a material in which the properties allow for this kind of Dark Age manipulation.
The standard quartz watch today probably vibrates about 32,768 times per second. Some crystals can power up to 50 million times per second. Wow!
The balance wheel in a mechanical watch will vibrate anywhere from 2.5 to 5 times per second. The accuracy of a quartz watch far surpasses the automatic watch. Most quartz watches could lose or gain a few minutes over a year, depending on the quality. The mechanical could lose or gain minutes in just a week.
However, with the advent of newer and more sensitive mechanical movements like our mechanicals, automatics have improved the ability to store more energy from your wrist and hand motion.
The choice, of course, is yours, and either way, whether you decide on one of our slick art quartz watches or our unique automatics, you will wear and enjoy a unique and different kind of timepiece.
Is this Vincent with one of our Art Watches?