Do you know how a quartz watch works?

Do you know how a quartz watch works?

A quartz watch, also known as a "crystal oscillating electronic watch," operates on the 'oscillation phenomenon' of a crystal slice. When the crystal is subjected to an external voltage, it deforms and expands. Conversely, compressing the crystal generates electricity at its ends. This characteristic, known as the 'piezoelectric effect,' is also observed in many other crystals.

Quartz watches use a constantly 'oscillating' crystal to provide us with accurate time. First, electricity is applied to the crystal slice inside the quartz watch, causing it to vibrate at a correct frequency of 32768 hertz. Secondly, this frequency must be converted into a 1Hz signal (one change in current per second). Next, the amplitude of this signal is increased (as the current generated by the vibration is very weak), and this signal current then drives the rotor gear. The second hand on the watch then starts to move, followed by the minute hand, and then the hour hand. The movement of the minute and hour hands is based on mechanical principles, such as the minute hand moving once for every 60 movements of the second hand.

All quartz watches are equipped with a battery. It provides energy for an integrated circuit and a quartz oscillator, which vibrates 327678 times per second. Some even vibrate faster. The integrated circuit is the 'brain' of the watch. It controls the vibrations of the quartz oscillator and acts as a frequency divider. The 32768 vibrations are halved 15 times to generate a pulse every second. With this 'raw material' of one second, the display can be driven.

To convert the pulses from the integrated circuit into motion, an analog quartz watch is equipped with a step-up motor, which includes an electromagnetic rotor. Every time it receives a pulse, it rotates 180 degrees, i.e., once per second. The rotor is connected to a drag system consisting of three gears, which drives three hands (hour, minute, and second) to display the time on the dial.

A display screen can also be added to display the day of the week, date, and elapsed time. In solid-state quartz watches, the pulse in units of one second is sent to the second hand part of the integrated circuit. This part is responsible for organizing the liquid crystal lines of the liquid crystal display module to form a number. This type is common in watch objects. In the watchmaking industry, it is usually used to produce large quantities of extremely cheap products. Asian manufacturers have monopolized this field.

In more exquisite watch styles, the "solid state" has a lot of functions depending on the size of the memory installed inside, such as telephone numbers, appointment registration books, etc. Hybrid quartz watches have two display functions, i.e., analog pointer and digital. The latter provides additional information, such as the day of the week and date, precise timing function, time zone. This watch is equipped with an integrated circuit and a miniature engine.

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