Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Quartz and Chronometer

Quartz vs Chronometer

Watches and clocks come in various forms. Of the various watches and clocks, quartz and chronometer are the most preferred.

A quartz clock or watch uses electronic oscillators, which uses quartz to regulate the time. These quartz watches and clocks give precise or accurate frequency, which gives them an added advantage over other mechanical clocks and watches.

Chronometer watches and clocks are considered to be more accurate than the other mechanical watches and clocks, including even quartz watches and clocks. Chronometer is a designation given to clocks and watches that have this accurate precision. This designation is not given to quartz watches but is applied to all other mechanical watches and clocks. The Swiss Official Chronometer Control gives the designation of chronometer.
Quartz watches and clocks were introduced in 1969, which was a great revolution in technology. In quartz watches and clocks, the quartz crystal resonator vibrates at 8,192 Hz. It is driven by a battery powered oscillator. Instead of the wheel train, digital counters are used in quartz watches and clocks.
Though Jeremy Thacker coined the term chronometer in 1714, it was only in the recent times that the word was used as a certification for watches and clocks. Each chronometer watch or clock is unique and has an identification and a certification number. All the watches and clocks are tested for several days at three temperatures in five positions before the certification is issued.
As chronometer watches and clocks keep accurate time, they come at a high price. The quartz watches and clocks are less pricey because are not considered to be as sophisticated.
Summary

1. Chronometer watches and clocks are considered to be more accurate than the other mechanical watches and clocks, including even quartz watches and clocks.
2. A quartz clock or watch uses electronic oscillators, which uses quartz to regulate the time.
3. Chronometer is a designation given to clocks and watches that have this accurate precision. This designation is not given to quartz watches, but is applied to all other mechanical watches and clocks.
4. As chronometer watches and clocks keep very accurate time, they comes at a high price. The quartz watches and clocks are less pricey because they are not considered to be as sophisticated.
5. Quartz watches and clocks were introduced in 1969. Though Jeremy Thacker coined the term chronometer in 1714, it was only in the recent times that the word was used as a certification for watches and clocks


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1 Comment

  1. I have just stumbled upon this page and thought it needed quite a bit of correction.

    First of all, the difference between ‘quartz’ and ‘chronometer’ (when used in relation to watches and clocks) is simply that ‘quartz’ is a type of timing technology whereas ‘chronometer’ is a certification standard.

    ‘Chronometer’ certification may be conferred upon a mechanical watch movement when it has been assessed as meeting ISO standard 3159. This equates, roughly, to -4/+6 seconds per day or -120/+180 seconds per month. Even the cheapest quartz watch will be spec’d to no worse than +/-30 seconds per month, which means quartz watches will always be more accurate than even the tightest-spec’d mechanical chronometer.

    Further, quartz watches may also have ‘chronometer’ status conferred upon them. Whilst there is no ISO standard for quartz chronometer status, the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC), which conducts the vast majority of chronometer certification tests, sets the standard for a quartz chronometer at approximately +/-25 seconds per year (or approximately +/-0.07 seconds per day).

    COSC certification of a watch movement does add a bit to the cost of producing a chronometer, but plenty of certified chronometer watches can be bought for around $500-1,500, including watches from brands such as Tissot, Christopher Ward, Mido and Stowa. At these prices chronometer watches are cheaper than the myriad non-chronometer-certified watches from luxury brands (including luxury quartz watches), which can sell for tens of thousands (or even hundreds of thousands) of dollars.

    Finally, having chronometer status does not mean that a watch is the most accurate around, or that another watch that hasn’t got chronometer status will necessarily be less accurate. COSC (which, as mentioned above, is the world’s primary tester and certifier of chronometer watch movements) will accept for testing only those watch movements which have been made in Switzerland. This means that movements made in Austria, Germany, England, Japan, China, the U.S. or elsewhere typically cannot be put forward for chronometer testing. Taking Japan as just one example, Grand Seiko’s in-house standard for their top movements is -2/+4 seconds per day, which is significantly superior to the ISO 3159 standard of -4/+6 and yet they cannot bear the label ‘chronometer’.

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