The Quartz Watch Demystified

How one tiny mineral works to be so accurate

Ever questions how the quartz watch got its name? It is in fact powered by the quartz crystal, a mineral most carefully looking like the composition of sand and which comes from the Earth’s continental crust.

The discovery of how a quartz crystal might precisely power a wrist watch altered portable timekeeping like no other innovation. When the first quartz watch was introduced in the United States in the early 1970s it was an expensive wrist watch priced at around $500. Not just that, it wasn’t the most beautiful face ever to adorn a wrist.

The LED (light releasing diode) that revealed digital time was bright red, and the innovation was just applied to digital watches. Later, the engineering behind quartz watches was transformed so the display screens could be displayed in digital format utilizing LCD (liquid crystal screen) or an hour and minute hand, similar to a mechanical watch’s face.

Shaping the Quartz Crystal

The quartz crystal obviously is at the heart of how a quartz watch works. Quartz crystals have long worked as transmitters. They were and still are utilized in transistor radios. This exact same theory, in order to be applied to powering a wrist watch, had only a number of barriers to overcome. One was to obtain the frequency to not release excessive power. When it is bent a specific method, Quartz in a strong form provides off a low voltage of power. The other challenge was to develop circuit boards, in mini, that might control the power given off by the crystal and work at low power.

One of the factors quartz is such a good material for the task of powering watches, or other device, is that quartz, remains in a strong kind at even incredibly high temperatures. Because of this, once it is formed, it will stay the very same shape and therefore give off the very same frequency and constant power. It is also unchanged by practically any solvent, so it can work well with other products needed to produce the inner functions of the watch.

Watchmakers soon figured out that a straight bar of quartz or one formed like a tuning fork could keep the power going indefinitely. When a piece of quartz is cut appropriately it supplies a starting frequency which then causes oscillation.

The specific technique utilized in a quartz watch includes using thin bars of quartz that are plated. Utilizing chemicals, it is etched into the optimum shape. This works just like an integrated circuit.

There are certainly various quality levels and precision levels within the general classification of “quartz watch.” This is since some quartz bars are cut better than others. The genuine goal is to have the exact relationship of the angle cut into the quartz bar associate with the crystalline axis. Another major distinction has to do with contamination of the elements of the watch. If the quartz bar and circuit are well encapsulated, they are less likely to get contaminated, which will adversely impact the accuracy of the watch.

Quartz for Powering Views with Hands

For a quartz watch with second, minute and hour hands the preliminary procedure is the same. Nevertheless, at the point where a screen would sign up on a digital watch, the oscillation rather activates an electric motor which then powers gears to move the hands at exact increments, or pulses that equal exactly one second, just like a mechanical watch.

Quartz watches have genuinely changed the method watches are made. There are still some people who choose the “art” of a watch made solely by mechanical means. However, in a world where exactness and precision in keeping time typically count, there is no alternative to the quartz watch.

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