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Quartz vs. Mechanical in the long run
March 13, 2018 07:55AM
As I look down at today's Seiko with the 7S26, I am reminded it's 17 years old. Any day now, it'll start running badly and be due for the dreaded service. What happens then? I'm not sure the watch is worth servicing to me, even though it is my first. Would servicing with a new movement be reasonable? It would need to be a NOS 7S26, since they're not made any more. Are 7S36s (or something else) a drop-in replacement, so that it could be "serviced with a new movement" as quartzes are?

Then, I thought: "What if I had bought this in a quartz?" Assuming a battery would last 2 years, I'd have gone through 8 batteries by now. Probably a new O-ring for the back, as it would be exposed to air and would be aged more. But maybe it wouldn't need a new movement. Good quality quartz movements last pretty much forever.

Here's my grandpa's old Seiko quartz, which he got for retirement in 1983:

I changed the battery in it a couple months ago, but it didn't fire up again as usual. I was careful, as always, not to nick the inductor coil, so maybe it was a bad battery. I'll check the voltage, and if good, I'll try another new one. If that doesn't work, I may have to assume the movement has finally died.

It had me thinking: "What will the state of this Seiko be when it is 35 years old?" It could be serviced, I assume, for probably double or triple the cost of a similar new watch. Will there be drop-in replacement movements available? I presume not, as it would not be good for Seiko's watch business.

So while it is theoretically true that mechanical watches can be handed down from one generation to the next, it is a lot less practical than handing down a good quality quartz.

I remember Reto preferred mechanicals just for the reason that in his large collection, oftentimes, whenever a quartz came up in rotation, its battery would be dead, making them far less practical than a mechanical.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/13/2018 08:11AM by Smaug.
Subject Author Views Posted
Quartz vs. Mechanical in the long run Jpeg Attachments Smaug 360 March 13, 2018 07:55AM
My preference is mechanical just because I hate changing batteries, but... Mike D 211 March 13, 2018 03:34PM
Re: I tend to shy away from Eco-Drives and Solar watches as they require being in light... James T. Kirk© 169 March 13, 2018 04:34PM
Top of my watch box is glass and it sits by a window. BF Hammer 180 March 13, 2018 04:47PM
It's worthy of discussion Hemel 220 March 13, 2018 01:21PM
I'd love the best of both worlds" A high beat (like a Bulova Precisonist) and eco drive/solar... James T. Kirk© 200 March 13, 2018 02:42PM
Not that I know of Hemel 184 March 13, 2018 06:00PM
That may be a dream for a while. BF Hammer 209 March 13, 2018 03:15PM
Re: They blow through a large coin-size 2016 cell every 2 years. James T. Kirk© 158 March 13, 2018 03:19PM
Honestly, I consider almost all my watches disposable. They will most likely last the rest of my life Zeb 176 March 13, 2018 12:40PM
To make anything last it has to be taken care of .......... Robmks 204 March 13, 2018 12:40PM
Is it worth the cost to save the watch. Jpeg Attachments JohnSNY 263 March 13, 2018 10:14AM
I wasn't really talking about heirlooms though Smaug 226 March 13, 2018 10:24AM
Well, the calculations apply to all watches though >> Dre 218 March 13, 2018 11:36AM
Agreed. (n/t) Smaug 183 March 13, 2018 07:36PM
Two different kinds of watch. KentBetts 226 March 13, 2018 11:10AM
Thumbs Up good advice (n/t) Smaug 185 March 13, 2018 07:36PM

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