The differences between the two types of watches hardly stop at what’s said above, but before we go deeper (which we will in the next article), I’d like to clarify that Lengbeau is by no means discriminating against quartz watch brands/ manufacturers. In fact, Seiko (one of the absolute favorites in Lengbeau), the Japanese watchmaking giant, almost single-handedly upended the stronghold imposed on the international watch market by the various star manufacturers from Switzerland - think Rolex, Audemars Piguet, IWC and others which were crafting highly complex, labor-intensive and costly mechanical watches - with the introduction of the groundbreaking Seiko Quartz Astron 35SQ in December 1969, boasting unprecedented accuracy and retailing at a fraction of the premium called for by its Swiss counterparts, decidedly proving to be a massive hit. The few years after the winter in 1969 were often referred to as the “Quartz Crisis” and it has directly led to the closure/ mergers/ strategic adjustments amongst a significant number of traditional Swiss manufacturers. Big names such as Rolex and Patek Philippe rushed to develop and manufacture (though only for a short period of time) their own quartz references to combat the challenger from the East. So the bottom line is, quartz mechanism is nothing to frown upon. It has made time-keeping a much easier and affordable affair for all walks of life and if the Swiss watchmaking empire was at one point threatened by this little piece of mineral called Quartz, it has certainly earned Lengbeau’s respect as well.
So why would Lengbeau (and the larger watch community for that matter) rather study, appreciate and talk about mechanical watches which almost went obsolete, while a newer, badder, more disruptive (a cliche term but 100% applicable given the context) time-telling mechanism has come so close to total domination?
To explain that, we’d have to dig deeper into the insides of a mechanical watch. WARNING: it’s gonna get real nerdy. Stay tuned.