Quartz watches are among the most accurate on the market, as they use the properties of this mineral to generate constant and unchanging impulses and vibrations. This is because it generates electrical pulses when subjected to physical pressure and also physically vibrates when an electrical current passes through it. This property, called piezoelectric, allows this vibration to be electronically captured, maintaining a constant vibration.
In watches like the Rolex datejust (โร เล็ก ซ์ เดท จั ส ท์ which is the term), the quartz crystal is cut in the shape of a tuning fork to vibrate precisely 32,768 times per second. Thus, these pulses are transmitted to an electronic circuit, which relies on them to form the numbers on the digital display, or, if the watch is analog, divide the vibration to just one pulse per second. This impulse regulates a small motor that moves the pointer gears.
This watch became popular in the 70s and almost wholly replaced the mechanical ones, regulated by spring and winding. Its big difference is its precision. While ancient mechanical clocks lost a tenth of a second a day, quartz clocks miss no more than a thousandth. In a month, it’s only 10 seconds late!
A Bit Of History
In 1880, with the discovery of a particular property of certain crystals, by the brothers Pierre and Jacques Curie, it was scientifically demonstrated that some crystals, such as quartz, topaz, tourmaline, and others, could produce electricity when deformed by the action of mechanical charges. Through the piezoelectric property. The inverse effect was also valid: when subjected to electricity, these crystals suffer deformations, however small, changing their shape. This makes it able to vibrate at known and predictable frequencies.
In 1927, telecommunications engineer Warren Marrison, searching for a reliable frequency source, applied the fundamentals of piezoelectricity to build a clock based on a quartz crystal in conjunction with an electrical circuit. Then came the first quartz watch!