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meca quartz movement

Meca-Quartz Movement: What It Is and The Advantages

Meca-quartz movement is a hybrid movement that combines quartz and mechanical technologies. Explore how it works and the advantages here!
May 14, 2024

In the realm of horology, where the art and science of timekeeping converge, innovations constantly push the boundaries of what is possible. One such innovation that has garnered attention and admiration is the meca-quartz movement. 

This movement represents a fascinating fusion of traditional mechanical horology with modern quartz technology, combining the best of both worlds to create accurate, reliable, and aesthetically pleasing timepieces.

In this article, we’re going to delve deeper into the intricacy of the meca-quartz movement and how it differs from other types of movements.

What is a Meca-Quartz Movement?

The Meca-Quartz movement is a hybrid movement that combines mechanical and quartz technologies. In other words, the watch with a meca-quartz movement consists of two different mechanisms. 

In many cases, meca-quartz movements are used to drive a chronograph. The timekeeping function is controlled by a quartz movement whereas the stopwatch features of the chronograph are managed by a mechanical component. These functions are sustained by a shared power source in a single battery.

With that said, the watch would have the accuracy and reliability of quartz watches and the intricacy of mechanical elements in its chronograph function. 

In the past, only renowned watch brands produced timepieces with meca-quartz movements. But these days, both small and big watch manufacturers, such as Seiko and the recent offering from Dan Henry, utilize meca-quartz movements to drive their chronograph watches.

So, how does the meca-quartz movement work? Both the mechanical and quartz modules work in harmony to create a seamless timekeeping experience. The mechanical module powers the watch’s aesthetic aspects, including the sweeping motion of the seconds hand and the retrograde display of certain meca-quartz watches

On the other hand, the quartz module ensures the watch’s accuracy by regulating the timekeeping. It counts the seconds, minutes, and hours precisely, ensuring the watch remains consistently on time.

Read also: What is a Quartz Watch and How Does it Work?

Advantages of the Meca-Quartz Movement

The Meca-Quartz movement offers several notable advantages that have contributed to its rising popularity:

Accuracy

Meca-quartz watches are renowned for their accuracy, thanks to the quartz module’s precision timekeeping. The integration of quartz technology ensures that the watch maintains accurate time over extended periods.

Reliability

By incorporating a quartz module for timekeeping, meca-quartz movement is highly reliable and requires minimal maintenance. They do not need the frequent winding associated with purely mechanical movements.

Aesthetics

The mechanical module in the meca-quartz movement preserves the classic aesthetics and the pleasing sweep of the seconds hand, reminiscent of traditional mechanical watches. This appeals to those who appreciate the traditional charm of mechanical timepieces.

Affordable

Compared to fully mechanical watches, meca-quartz watches are often more affordable, making them accessible to a broader range of watch enthusiasts.

Disadvantages of the Meca-Quartz Movement

Speaking of the cons of the meca-quartz movement, the use of batteries is the first one. It’s a battery-powered timepiece that needs to be replaced within a certain period of time when it is depleted. 

Another significant drawback of Meca-Quartz chronograph timepieces is the absence of a concealed feature to reset the stopwatch hand to its starting position. 

Unlike quartz chronograph movements, which allow resetting the chronograph hand to zero following a battery replacement, Meca-Quartz movements lack this capability. 

Due to the mechanical nature of the stopwatch functionality, the associated hands cannot be easily reset through programmed button sequences on the circuit board.

Read also: Seiko Spring Drive Movement: The Advanced Art of Horology

Watches with Meca-Quartz Movements

As mentioned above, the use of the meca-quartz movement has been increasing. Below are our top picks of meca-quartz watches. Let’s dive in!

Yema Rallygraf Meca-Quartz Chronograph Red – Leather

Movement Seiko VK64
Dimensions 39mm in diameter, 48mm lug to lug, 11mm thick
Water resistance 100m

The Yema Rallygraf is a collection that draws inspiration from the 1960s Yema racing chronograph. The Rallygraf Meca-Quartz Chronograph Red flaunts a vintage look that celebrates racing with a tachymeter scale. The dial features two racing red sub-dials which are the highlight of the watch. 

Powering this watch is a Meca-quartz movement which is Seiko’s VK64 hybrid movement. The result of this hybrid movement is a smooth sweeping second-hand movement. Moreover, the watch also boasts an impressive battery life of approximately 36 months.

Price: $332.00 USD

Dan Henry 1964

The next meca-quartz watch that should be under your radar comes from an independent watch brand. The Dan Henry 1964 is definitely an exclusive item that is only made in limited numbers. The design pays homage to the great chronographs of racing’s daring age at Le Mans. 

The dial features two black sub-dials with a black tachymeter, a common feature in a racing chronograph. At the heart of the watch is the Seiko meca-quartz VK63 with a smooth motion for the center chrono hand and instant reset. 

Price: $280.00 USD

Autodromo Prototipo

Last but not least is the Autodromo Prototipo which also flaunts two sub-dials on the dial. This one is inspired by racing watches from the Prototype Era, an era where iconic drivers took on equally iconic vehicles. 

Wrapped in a compact package, the company boasts the watch carries a vintage feel with modern detail. It is driven by the Seiko meca-quartz VK63 and equipped with a 1/5 second sweep center-stop hand.

Price: $595.00 USD

Final Thought

As technology advances and consumer preferences evolve, the Meca-Quartz movement is expected to continue its growth and refinement. 

Watchmakers will likely push the boundaries further, enhancing the integration of mechanical and quartz components to create even more accurate, reliable, and aesthetically captivating timepieces.

Regardless, the Meca-Quartz movement stands as a shining example of how horology can seamlessly blend tradition with innovation. 

Read also: How to Charge Citizen Eco-Drive Watch – All You Need to Know

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