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Thread: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

  1. #1
    Master Routers's Avatar
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    Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Maybe this doesn't bother most people, but it sure annoys the hell out of me when I see the second hand on quartz watches hitting some intermediate position, and not landing on the minute markers.

    In town today I was looking in a jeweller's window and was dismayed to see almost all the Seiko quartz watches on display showing this characteristic. This included the Pulsars.
    However the Citizen Eco-drives seemed to be pretty much spot on.

    Really don't get this. The Seiko kinetics I have are all spot on, whereas the Seiko Sawtooths I used to have were not. The tuna I used to have was also spot on.
    I understand that often it is potluck as to whether they are spot on or not, but seeing all those Seikos today made me wonder.

    Anyone else seen this?
    Maybe I'm just over-sensitive.

  2. #2
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    I wouldn't buy a quartz that missed the second hand sweet spot appreciably.

  3. #3
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    It's even more annoying on £1500 Omega SMP quartz or even Diamond and Ceramic Ladies Tag Heuer's.

    If I was buying from a jeweller I would demand them to hit the markers - cant really be so fussy when they are preowned. Only 1 of my 3 SMP quartz have actually hit the marks bang on :roll:

  4. #4
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    i don't think it matters on the quality of the watch, isn't to something to do with the hand juddering slightly every time it ticks, and drifting slightly?
    i thought all quartz were prone to this over time.
    ktmog6uk
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  5. #5
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    My 18Q does this, the second hand seems to drift. You can look at it and it is bang on the money, look 15 minutes later and it is hitting the mid point. Yet the minute/hour hand timekeeping is almost perfect, maybe a second a month out.

    I wondered if the dial was slightly off center, but it's just random, as if some ticks are just over a second in movement and some are just under. Anyway, I've got an 18A coming this week, so problem solved. :)

  6. #6
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Doesn't bother me in the slightest.......

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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    It's one reason I don't like buying quartz watches online. There's so much variability.

    I know they're not going to be perfect but I like to eyeball them to make sure. Value seems immaterial. Either that or buy off SC from someone trusted who describes how the second hand performs.

    There's a shocking Omega display in a jewellers in Ipswich. Mesmerisingly innacurate - I can't take my eyes of it :lol:

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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inspector71
    It's one reason I don't like buying quartz watches online. There's so much variability.

    I know they're not going to be perfect but I like to eyeball them to make sure. Value seems immaterial. Either that or buy off SC from someone trusted who describes how the second hand performs.

    There's a shocking Omega display in a jewellers in Ipswich. Mesmerisingly innacurate - I can't take my eyes of it :lol:

    Just made me check mine...........the TAG seems very slightly off but the De Ville looks to be spot on, no doubt this will change in the next few days :(

  9. #9
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Quote Originally Posted by monogroover
    I wouldn't buy a quartz that missed the second hand sweet spot appreciably.
    And I would not buy a fake - go figure :wink:
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  10. #10

    Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    My SM120 is off, the aerospace is bang on (arf). Does not bother me, but I have no reason to suspect autos are any better aligned, they just have 8 times more opportunity to appear so.
    "Bite my shiny metal ass."
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  11. #11
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Quote Originally Posted by stooo
    ...they just have 8 times more opportunity to appear so.
    Good point.

  12. #12
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    My most accurate watch is an issued 1984 CWC G10, and the second hand hits the marker exactly, every single time.

  13. #13

    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Quote Originally Posted by ktmog6uk
    i thought all quartz were prone to this over time.
    I think you're right which is why certain G-Shocks (and no doubt other radio controlled watches) have a feature that re-aligns the hands every so often.
    Andy

  14. #14
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Both my GS quartz watches with 9F62 movements hit them bang on. My tunas always did too. My g-shock does as well.

    It does annoy me a bit when they miss tbh and I've had a few that have.

    Of course, the only way to really judge it is with one eye, or a loupe, from directly above an individual marker, otherwise parallax comes in to play, which will combine with whatever inherent bias you have to give you an erroneous answer to the question.

  15. #15

    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    That used to drive me nuts when I had quartz watches.

  16. #16
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Quote Originally Posted by andy tims
    Quote Originally Posted by ktmog6uk
    i thought all quartz were prone to this over time.
    I think you're right which is why certain G-Shocks (and no doubt other radio controlled watches) have a feature that re-aligns the hands every so often.
    Maybe that's why this Citizen is so impressive in this respect.



    Ian.

  17. #17
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    i like that citizen Ian!
    Quote Originally Posted by Routers
    Quote Originally Posted by andy tims
    Quote Originally Posted by ktmog6uk
    i thought all quartz were prone to this over time.
    I think you're right which is why certain G-Shocks (and no doubt other radio controlled watches) have a feature that re-aligns the hands every so often.
    Maybe that's why this Citizen is so impressive in this respect.



    Ian.
    ktmog6uk
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  18. #18
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    I had a tag 2000 in the 1980's that never hit the mark. I wrote to Tag and they said that there would always be some drigt but that the tolerances they worked to was that it should hit the markers around once very ten minutes...it never did as far as I could see. I did, however, follow it up and notify them that I had bought a watch in a market in Italy for around £2 that hit the markers bang on all the time, no drift, no excuses... :roll:

  19. #19
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Can`t understand all the angst about this.

    Either the dial is fractionally off-centre or the second hand is slightly off.

    If anyone's ever tried fitting a second hand to a quartz watch to get it bang on the markers, maybe they'll understand why they're usually slightly out!

    If anyone wants their second hand refitting to get it bang on, I`ll be pleased to oblige......at a price :wink:

    Paul

  20. #20

    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    I have 2 x SMP quartz bought BNIB from Ebay. This was one of my questions to the seller. I see lots of these watches in ADs where the second hand hits the gap.
    Luckily, both watches are fine. I also have 10 CWC/Precista G10, about 75% are OK.

  21. #21

    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    The first semi-decent watch I ever bought did this... drove me mad!

  22. #22

    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.


  23. #23
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Yes, this drives me absolutely nuts. I just can't keep a watch where the second hand is substantially off the markers (except for a few exceptions, such as an old Poljot quartz, where it doesn't bother me).

    I have found Ronda quartz movements to be least troublesome in this regard as compared to both Seiko and Citizen movements. I've not had anough ETA quartz movements to have an opinion about them yet.



    **edit**
    Fixed typo.

  24. #24
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Don't know if there's any truth in this but I read somewhere this is a problem with Swiss quartz movements, Ronda ?

    It certainly affected the CWC I had. Infuriatingly on some passes of the 2nd hand it didn't do it, then would.

    My £20 Pulsar is bang on. :) PRS-18Q is on the way :)

  25. #25
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958
    If anyone's ever tried fitting a second hand to a quartz watch to get it bang on the markers, maybe they'll understand why they're usually slightly out!

    If anyone wants their second hand refitting to get it bang on, I`ll be pleased to oblige......at a price :wink:
    One of the annoyances is that very often it's not a constant mismatch. Quite often the second hand can be behind the markers on one side of the dial (12-6) and in front of the markers (or spot on) on the other side of the dial (6-12). This means that it must be a variance in the stepper motor.

  26. #26
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tickeros
    Don't know if there's any truth in this but I read somewhere this is a problem with Swiss quartz movements, Ronda ?
    Hehe, as in the message of mine above I've found Ronda to be amongst the best (compared to Seiko and Citizen). ;-)

    It really does seem that YMMV, as they say.



    **edit**
    Fixed confusing text.

  27. #27
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    I've observed thousands of quartz watches as I shipped them and most of them, if not all, drift in and out of indexing. Usually the seconds hand will hit the markers within a minute or so of setting the watch only to drift out an hour later. It doesn't seem to make any difference whether it's a cheap or expensive movement.

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  28. #28
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958
    Can`t understand all the angst about this.

    Either the dial is fractionally off-centre or the second hand is slightly off.

    If anyone's ever tried fitting a second hand to a quartz watch to get it bang on the markers, maybe they'll understand why they're usually slightly out!
    The problem seems to be with the inconsistency of the error; a misaligned or misprinted dial or an inaccurately fitted second hand would result (if the movement operated perfectly) in the same "drift" all the way around. I had a B&R whose second hand routinely and reliably stopped a hand's-width in front of each marker all the way around the dial, and yes, it's tricky to install the second hand just so if you don't know exactly where the movement has stopped.

    What the OP is referring to is a second hand that stops at random place around the dial because of backlash in the movement, something that ETAs seem to suffer more than Japanese movements. I am sure it's not the stepper motor whizzing forward a random number of rotations; that's what the quartz oscillator is supposed to control.

    I've seen this behaviour in Breitlings, Omega and TAG Heuers. It doesn't affect the accuracy or longevity of the movement, but it does look a bit sloppy.
    ...but what do I know; I don't even like watches!

  29. #29
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    I don't really have a problem with it myself - the key question for me is whether the thing keeps accurate time and I don't have a day-to-day need to know the time to the second. None of my quartz watches hits the minute markers reliably except the Omega, which is precisely on the money, every time. Given its age I find this quite impressive, but I don't avoid using the others because of the alignment.

    Interestingly my battered old Seiko chrono is probably the next best, but the newer Seiko solar I have is as bad as my Tag 1500.

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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Get a life :D

    Daddel.
    Got a new watch, divers watch it is, had to drown the bastard to get it!

  31. #31
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Bulova have an easy fix:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiarEZ1k0M4

    :)

  32. #32
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Quote Originally Posted by magirus
    My most accurate watch is an issued 1984 CWC G10, and the second hand hits the marker exactly, every single time.
    My 1981 CWC is the same; my SMP 2264 was about a half second out most of the way round. I took it to a watchmaker, who refitted the second hand and pressure tested it for $50 and it's now as good as the 30 year old cheap, issued, CWC....spot on all the way around.

  33. #33
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Quote Originally Posted by markrlondon
    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958
    If anyone's ever tried fitting a second hand to a quartz watch to get it bang on the markers, maybe they'll understand why they're usually slightly out!

    If anyone wants their second hand refitting to get it bang on, I`ll be pleased to oblige......at a price :wink:
    One of the annoyances is that very often it's not a constant mismatch. Quite often the second hand can be behind the markers on one side of the dial (12-6) and in front of the markers (or spot on) on the other side of the dial (6-12). This means that it must be a variance in the stepper motor.
    My watchmaker told me this was sometimes due to slack in the gears and gravity - the second hand lags on the uphill run to 12, and gets ahead of itself heading downhill to 6.

  34. #34
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Quote Originally Posted by HappyJack
    My watchmaker told me this was sometimes due to slack in the gears and gravity - the second hand lags on the uphill run to 12, and gets ahead of itself heading downhill to 6.
    I've heard this but I can only say that in my experience it doesn't seem to be related to the orientation of the watch, so gravity seems unlikely to be related. Also it doesn't seem to be related to backlash, again in my experience.

    It's possible that there can be a variety of causes of course, so one should probably not generalise.

  35. #35

    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Yes it does bug me a little. My B-1 is spot on with all hands hitting their marks but my Emergency is fractionally out. Although it doesn't have a second hand, the minute hand moves every 30 seconds, so should sit either on an index or bang in the middle of two. I'll ask them to sort it as and when it needs a battery change.

  36. #36

    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    That's one of the reasons I don't like quartz watches. That and the fact that it can take up to a second to determine whether the battery has died. A second can take a looong time.

  37. #37
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_in_the_UK
    Quote Originally Posted by monogroover
    I wouldn't buy a quartz that missed the second hand sweet spot appreciably.
    And I would not buy a fake - go figure :wink:
    Yep - each to their own :)

  38. #38
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Quote Originally Posted by MurrayMint
    That's one of the reasons I don't like quartz watches.
    1. quite a few analogue quartzes dó hit the dot
    2. digital quartzes álways jump on the second
    3. only dead second mechanicals with the hand correctly fitted are on the dot; most do a jitterbug
    4. the only truély smooth sweeping hand is ´a quartz´
    When the going gets tough, the DAF gets going.

  39. #39

    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Quote Originally Posted by MurrayMint
    That's one of the reasons I don't like quartz watches. That and the fact that it can take up to a second to determine whether the battery has died. A second can take a looong time.
    It's worse than that, if it has an EOL indicator it can take upto 5 seconds. In those 5 seconds I could have nearly decided whether to check if a mechanical watch is actually showing the correct time or is 'exactly hitting the markers' of the wrong second entirely!

    It's a nightmare.
    "Bite my shiny metal ass."
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  40. #40
    Master pashmolean's Avatar
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    Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Quote Originally Posted by HappyJack
    Quote Originally Posted by markrlondon
    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958
    If anyone's ever tried fitting a second hand to a quartz watch to get it bang on the markers, maybe they'll understand why they're usually slightly out!

    If anyone wants their second hand refitting to get it bang on, I`ll be pleased to oblige......at a price :wink:
    One of the annoyances is that very often it's not a constant mismatch. Quite often the second hand can be behind the markers on one side of the dial (12-6) and in front of the markers (or spot on) on the other side of the dial (6-12). This means that it must be a variance in the stepper motor.
    My watchmaker told me this was sometimes due to slack in the gears and gravity - the second hand lags on the uphill run to 12, and gets ahead of itself heading downhill to 6.
    That's exactly the behaviour of my PRS 10.

  41. #41

    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Quote Originally Posted by markrlondon
    Quote Originally Posted by HappyJack
    My watchmaker told me this was sometimes due to slack in the gears and gravity - the second hand lags on the uphill run to 12, and gets ahead of itself heading downhill to 6.
    I've heard this but I can only say that in my experience it doesn't seem to be related to the orientation of the watch, so gravity seems unlikely to be related. Also it doesn't seem to be related to backlash, again in my experience.

    It's possible that there can be a variety of causes of course, so one should probably not generalise.
    Interesting, but a bit of a shame - I was briefly visualising a quartz tourbillon there :)

  42. #42
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    I look on drift as a fact of life with many quartz movements. Of my quartz purchases a Tag 1500, a Seiko BFK and Seiko SBCM023 were all bang on, whereas my-former PRS-10 and Ray Wong diver both had some drift. I suppose ones annoyance depends on how much you pay for the watch and your level of expectation. I was looking at some Omegas in WOS on Princes Street and the majority of the Aqua Terras and Seamasters displayed drift. For the price Omega are charging for those new, I would want (and expect) one where the second hand hit the markers.

  43. #43

    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Didn't worry about it: until I joined here.

    Incidentally, my SBCM023 isn't spot on, but I love it none the less. Meanwhile my SBQJ019 is on the dot: I did wonder (briefly) if the diver's larger/heavier hands make a difference.

  44. #44
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Quote Originally Posted by simoscribbler
    Meanwhile my SBQJ019 is on the dot
    Many SBQJs are not on the markers. I recall back when the SBQJs were selling out there were suggestions that when ordering from Seiya one should ask him to specifically select one that was definitely on the markers.

    I've had four 8F56 movement watches (no SBQJs though) and all but one have been considerably off the markers. The only one that is on is a 8F56-0060 from 2000.

  45. #45
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Quote Originally Posted by simoscribbler
    Didn't worry about it: until I joined here.

    Incidentally, my SBCM023 isn't spot on, but I love it none the less. Meanwhile my SBQJ019 is on the dot: I did wonder (briefly) if the diver's larger/heavier hands make a difference.
    They do say the Tunas' movements are especially geared to cope with the hands and IIRC the water pressure.

  46. #46
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Quote Originally Posted by stooo
    Quote Originally Posted by MurrayMint
    That's one of the reasons I don't like quartz watches. That and the fact that it can take up to a second to determine whether the battery has died. A second can take a looong time.
    It's worse than that, if it has an EOL indicator it can take upto 5 seconds. In those 5 seconds I could have nearly decided whether to check if a mechanical watch is actually showing the correct time or is 'exactly hitting the markers' of the wrong second entirely!

    It's a nightmare.
    If there is no tick in one second, it needs a battery. A few euros and all 5 minutes work later it is ready again. What a drama :D
    Also there are automatics with a qc; p.e. with the only true gliding seconds hand, and solar charged ones.
    Wearing an automatic with digital display now. Hadn´t for a month or so. It was quietly asleep but jumped to the spot on action when I picked it up. It does not only run automatic, but it will do the date automatically correct next month too.
    When the going gets tough, the DAF gets going.

  47. #47
    Grand Master Daddelvirks's Avatar
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Wearing an automatic with digital display now. Hadn´t for a month or so. It was quietly asleep but jumped to the spot on action when I picked it up. It does not only run automatic, but it will do the date automatically correct next month too.

    Where's the fun in that, If you can't even fondle your watches? :)

    Daddel.
    Got a new watch, divers watch it is, had to drown the bastard to get it!

  48. #48
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Quote Originally Posted by HappyJack
    Quote Originally Posted by markrlondon
    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958
    If anyone's ever tried fitting a second hand to a quartz watch to get it bang on the markers, maybe they'll understand why they're usually slightly out!

    If anyone wants their second hand refitting to get it bang on, I`ll be pleased to oblige......at a price :wink:
    One of the annoyances is that very often it's not a constant mismatch. Quite often the second hand can be behind the markers on one side of the dial (12-6) and in front of the markers (or spot on) on the other side of the dial (6-12). This means that it must be a variance in the stepper motor.
    My watchmaker told me this was sometimes due to slack in the gears and gravity - the second hand lags on the uphill run to 12, and gets ahead of itself heading downhill to 6.
    I have also heard the same. Also heard that removing the slack might shorten the life of the movement.

    Omega has apparently worked on this and the latest Seamasters are pretty good in this regards; mine is pretty much spot on.. I wonder how long the movement will last. ;)

  49. #49
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddelvirks
    Wearing an automatic with digital display now. Hadn´t for a month or so. It was quietly asleep but jumped to the spot on action when I picked it up. It does not only run automatic, but it will do the date automatically correct next month too.

    Where's the fun in that, If you can't even fondle your watches? :)

    Daddel.
    There is tinkering for fun when you wánt to and obligatory fiddling to keep it on the boil. I don´t see the fun in the latter; is more like a job.
    The thing with the above is that I cán still handwind it and swirl the big crown to get the date but it will be simply no worries ready if/when needed.

    This morning I have been wearing the automatic electronic digital while fondling a handfull of beautifully finished chaton jeweled Monijas with micro adjustment movements.

    As to the topic, those pleasing mechanicals are jitterbugging all over the marks...
    When the going gets tough, the DAF gets going.

  50. #50
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    Re: Second hands not hitting their markers on quartz.

    Wearing Eddie's Sewills quartz as we speak.
    The seconds hand is all over the place :)
    It's got a very decent ETA upmarket quartz movement though, with a ten year battery life, so an ideal grab and go as well, so to speak. Not much fondling for me as well today.

    Daddel.
    Got a new watch, divers watch it is, had to drown the bastard to get it!

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