Automatic Quartz is a collective term referring to various watch movements with self-winding mechanisms (often used in the Japanese automatic watch movement) to augment electricity in watches. Such movements are aimed to endow with the advantages of quartz sans its environmental impact of batteries.
Just like Swiss watch companies, Japan also produces their own movements that are rarely sold at an affordable price. Majority of Japanese watch movements are created by ETA – SA, a Swiss company famous for manufacturing a handful of models exported to other Swiss watch companies. The latter in turn will assemble these models for global distribution.
The Swiss Watch Industry is an authoritarian organization that has created a law on governing the use of Japanese automatic watches – particularly those with the “Swiss-made” logo. The law is based on the quality of Swiss watches that are carried out regardless of the amount of workforce.
The law states that 50% of the movement’s components must be produced in Switzerland while the other 50% will go to Japan. This is to:
- Ease the regulation requirements ensuring quality
- Create a further economic scale in driving down costs
The Japanese Watch Movement’s History
While Swiss watch companies were mired by the so-called Quartz Crisis, Japan was then benefiting a lot from the Quartz Revolution. Although Switzerland began developing automatic quartz watches in the early 1960s, Japan established Seiko which later became one of the world’s premier watch companies. Seiko beat several big-time Swiss companies by introducing the Seiko QC-951 Crystal Chronometer. In December 25, 1969, Japan unveiled its first commercial automatic quartz watch called “Astron”. Throughout the 70s decade, Japan became the largest manufacturer and exporter of automatic quartz watches.
Quartz Watches from the Japanese Automatic Watch Movement
Since the 1960s, Seiko has produced small yet reasonably priced automatic quartz watches. Japan replaced bulky watch cases and minimized its battery life by reducing power consumption. Japanese automatic quartz watches are shock and water-resistant, and some of them have automatic alarm options. Japanese quartz watches are known for their accuracy, as many of them were used as official timekeeper of the Olympic Games. Although both Japanese and Swiss automatic quartz watches are functional, the more quality ones make up the biggest exporter of watches in the world today. Banking on the success of brand new watches and investing on advanced equipment pushed Seiko to expand their sales in neighboring countries.