Mechanical Watch to Quartz Conversion

Written by kimberly hawthorne
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Mechanical Watch to Quartz Conversion
Pocket and wrist watches that need to be wound are mechanical. (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

A wrist or pocket watch that you really like, or that has great sentimental value but no longer keeps accurate time does not have to be thrown out or stuffed in a drawer. Have the watch converted to quartz and use it for many more years.


The hands on a mechanical watch are attached to a spring which tightens when it is wound. Over time, the spring loses its ability to stay taught, causing the watch to lose time throughout the day. In a quartz watch, the hands are attached to a paper thin synthetic quartz crystal that acts as an oscillator to move the hands. The quartz needs an electrical charge in order to move the hands and keep accurate time.


The paper thin quartz is electrically charged by battery, movement or solar energy. Converting a mechanical watch to quartz should be done by a professional. Attaching the hands to the quartz is very difficult without the use of specially designed tools.

Pros and Cons

Converting a mechanical watch to quartz can greatly extend the life of a cherished time piece. If the watch is a valuable antique, conversion can drastically reduce its monetary value, however. Have the watch appraised before making a decision.

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