Why are quartz watches said to be more accurate?« Back to Questions List

Quartz watches are known to be accurate compared to wind-up watches. Quartz is a chemical compound made of silicon. It is basically silicon dioxide. This mineral is found in abundance on earth. It is very hard, resistant to both chemicals and heat.


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The basic principle of working of watches depends on a device that oscillates at a particular frequency. Earlier pendulums and springs did the action of maintaining the fixed number of oscillations. Then the quartz crystals got widely used because of their property of piezoelectric effect. When quartz crystals are subjected to mechanical stress by bending or compressing, it produces electric charges that gets accumulated on its surface. This is called piezoelectric effect.


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The piezoelectric effect helps in electronic frequency generation and that is why quartz crystal is better choice as a timing element. The crystal is made tiny and is made to oscillate at a low frequency of 32,000Hz. These oscillations generate small electrical signals which are 'divided down' by the circuit within the watch to the required frequency (usually seconds) and translated into pulses which are sent to the watch display or a motor to move the seconds hand.


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