The Watch Site banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,405 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
What does the expression "high-end quartz movement" mean? A few thoughts...

Hi everybody,
This is some sort of a rant and I hope you won't find it too boring. I am interested in your thoughts and points of view too, so please comment.
This post is motivated in part by the interesting comments on the 9F61 Grand Seiko by HomoCaballus and others.
The 9F61 is a high-end analog quartz movement, for various reasons: its gear box is sealed and guaranteed maintenance free for 50 years, and it is accurate to +/-10s per year. Also it uses a dual-pulse (if I understood correctly the Google translation) high-torque low-power consumption motor to drive the mechanism.
I checked my quartz watch collection and it seems I have a few Seiko and Citizen high-end analog quartz movements too.
First is the 8F56 movement used in the quartz Seiko Alpinists, such as this one:



Imho it is a high-end quartz movement because of its +/-20s per year accuracy (it uses a 196kHz quartz), long battery life, perpetual calendar (which implies it has two separate ultrasonic motors) and last but not least, its 10-year battery life achieved by using a lithium battery (CR2412) and low-power consumption IC and motors. And it has a GMT complication.
So, what makes a great quartz movement? For me:

  • low power consumption i.e. long battery life.
    complexity of the mechanism (number of complications/ultrasonic motors).
    accuracy.
Here is another imho great quartz movement, this one by Citizen:



The E760 quartz movement is not particularly accurate, at +/-15s per month, but on the other hand it sports three separate microsonic motors (calendar, seconds, minutes+hour), it is of course solar powered like all Eco-Drive movements, and it is particularly smart in saving power, so a full charge should last it 5 years. Of course I wouldn't leave this watch 5 years in a drawer, but still, it's good to know that I can leave it in a watch box for a few months and not have to worry about resetting it when I pick it up.

Also by Citizen, I believe the calibre 2100 (or E210) is one of the best quartz movements available nowadays:



Like the E760, the E210 is not particularly accurate (+/-15s per month) and for this solar watch a full charge will "only" last 8 months. What makes this watch movement really special is its unique mix of mechanics and electronics; in particular the stopwatch function and buttons feel like a mechanical stopwatch; also the number of complications (note the alarm function) and the analog charge indicator.

And finally also by Citizen there is the U600 radio-synchronized movement, which has evolved into the U680 used in their latest high-end Attesa watches.

Where are high-end analog quartz movements headed? I guess what we'll see in the coming years is:

  • Solar power. Batteries are a pain to change, even once every 10 years.
    Generalized use of radio-controlled quartz movements. Seiko, Citizen and Casio are all headed in this direction.
    More complications and additional functions.
    Either continuous moving seconds hands (as in the Seiko Spring Drive movement) or smaller steps. The E210 chrono seconds hand moves in 1/5s increments, so why not generalize this to the usual seconds hand?
Thanks for reading through all this!
Cheers,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,319 Posts
Re: What does the expression "high-end quartz movement" mean? A few thoughts...

HEQ usually refers to the watch's accuracy for an extended period of time.
I believe (though not official) anything bellow +-20 seconds a year does not qualify for HEQ/HAQ, no natter how complicated the movement is.
It is also debatable whether thermocompensation is a must or not, but if the watch delivers the above mentioned accuracy, then the movement is HEQ.
The 8F is considered a HEQ movement, while the other Eco Drives above are not.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,179 Posts
Re: What does the expression "high-end quartz movement" mean? A few thoughts...

I think it's pretty well accepted that while Thermocompensation is a feature of high end quartz movements, it is not necessarily a requirement. General very high independent accuracy (read - not synced to an outside source) and often the ability of the movement to be serviced (as opposed to being encapsulated and disposable) are also traits of high grade quartz movements.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,919 Posts
Re: What does the expression "high-end quartz movement" mean? A few thoughts...

You must include in your list Spring Drive movements. In my 4 month experience of owning a Seiko Spring Drive watch, I can attest to the mind boggling HEQ like accuracy. So far +1 secs in 4 months. Incredible!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,405 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Re: What does the expression "high-end quartz movement" mean? A few thoughts...

minidriver said:
You must include in your list Spring Drive movements. In my 4 month experience of owning a Seiko Spring Drive watch, I can attest to the mind boggling HEQ like accuracy. So far +1 secs in 4 months. Incredible!
No doubt every Spring Drive movement is a high end movement, I just think they are in a class by themselves and would not call them quartz movements.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,919 Posts
Re: What does the expression "high-end quartz movement" mean? A few thoughts...

ADB said:
No doubt every Spring Drive movement is a high end movement, I just think they are in a class by themselves and would not call them quartz movements.

Indeed, they are neither quartz or mechanical movements. They are their very own beast ;) But..... Looks like Seiko "cherry picks" and carefully harvests the quartz crystals used in SD movements. I find that Seiko's official accuracy estimates for SD (-/+ 15 secs per month) are extremely conservative as real world accuracy follow up suggest much tighter regulation out of the box.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29,137 Posts
Re: What does the expression "high-end quartz movement" mean? A few thoughts...

Citizen E760's accurate enough for me. And, with PS modes, hasn't run down in 5 years so far. asleep
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,919 Posts
Re: What does the expression "high-end quartz movement" mean? A few thoughts...

These days Citizen Japan is completely moving away from high accuracy Eco-Drive movements and strictly converting to radio controlled calibers. This is very evident in new offerings from the Exceed and Attesa lines:


www.citizen.jp
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,869 Posts
Re: What does the expression "high-end quartz movement" mean? A few thoughts...

I couldn't tell you what a high end quartz might be, but I can sure tell you those are some wonderful photographs! Thanks!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,919 Posts
Re: What does the expression "high-end quartz movement" mean? A few thoughts...

It is also important to note the upcoming Citizen designed "HEQ" 3-prong and smooth sweeping seconds hand movements to be offered in the Bulova Precisionist range. In terms of high accuracy, I think these new Bulovas are a very significant development in the world of HEQ watches. Their accuracy specs will be -/+ 10 secs per year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
Re: What does the expression "high-end quartz movement" mean? A few thoughts...

High accuracy is generally seen as essential (certainly for watches made in the last 20-30 years) - without it any chinese knockoff could claim to be high end quartz ::)

Accuracy is generally also a good indication of the class of the movement and I know of no high-accuracy models which are cased with really poor workmanship/quality - even lowest-cost old 8F models designed for US tend to be acceptable made (even if the choice of colors is somehow debatable :p ) and most often have a seconds-hand which is better aligned than swiss models costing more than 10 times more !!! (those however might tend to 'drift' in time from their initial accuracy, I am waiting for an older JDM SBQL001 to arrive at me to see if the drift is also as big in JDM models).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,558 Posts
Re: What does the expression "high-end quartz movement" mean? A few thoughts...

For me it is quartz crystal clear.

1. It has nothing to do with the watch but applies to the movement!

2. A ´high end quartz´ is a generic term for any quartz movement which offers the quartz monthly rate per year.

Personally I think that temperature compensated quartz movements deserve their own class as they are anóther step more advanced and accurate.

Grand Seiko quartz models and The Citizen are examples of tc quartz movements in high end watches. Those thus offer the highest accuracy movements in the best finished cases.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,504 Posts
Re: What does the expression "high-end quartz movement" mean? A few thoughts...

HEQ is just forum jargon. There's no point in arguing what is and what isn't. I'm just happy to appreciate the magnificence of these creations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,558 Posts
Re: What does the expression "high-end quartz movement" mean? A few thoughts...

nhoJ said:
HEQ is just forum jargon. There's no point in arguing what is and what isn't. I'm just happy to appreciate the magnificence of these creations.
Yes, it is Wis jargon.
Being used to communicate the term still needs defining even if only to establish it´s generic and not specific. This way it is clear what is meant or not with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,504 Posts
Re: What does the expression "high-end quartz movement" mean? A few thoughts...

Bruce Reding's forum on WUS limits the scope of the HEQ forum there to thermocompensated movements, although I seem to recollect that certain exceptions are made for the models like Seiko 8F and 7C.



I can understand in the face of millions of garden variety quartz models, fans would want to try to differentiate the special from the generic, but I think Andrew's point is that hopefully current and future enthusiasts are not limited by a term or a label, but instead appreciate all the special quartz models that are with us.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,558 Posts
Re: What does the expression "high-end quartz movement" mean? A few thoughts...

Axel66 said:
I simply call them HEQ, if they fit this scheme:
If you need a sceme for a word, it needs defining :))

Itsasimple:
Heq according to HC = any quartz movement that delivers quartz monthly accuracy per year :-*


Petrus
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top