What Is Swiss Quartz Movement?

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“Swiss quartz movement” refers to a clock or watch with a movement (the part of the watch that moves the hands) that is made in Switzerland and uses quartz. Quartz watches operate on batteries, rather than having to being wound. A watch with Swiss quartz movement may have been assembled in a country other than Switzerland.

Quartz watch movements work by passing electricity from a battery through a tiny piece of quartz (a mineral made from silicon dioxide), which oscillates at precisely 32,768 times per second. The oscillation moves the gears in the watch, which in turn move the hour, minute, and second hands. Quartz movements can keep time longer and more accurately than ordinary watches or pendulum clocks.

Because Swiss watches have a reputation for being well made, international agreements govern what watches may bear a “Swiss” label. To be advertised as “Swiss,” a watch must be assembled and undergo inspection in Switzerland; additionally, its Swiss-manufactured components must account for at least 50 percent of its value. If a watch does not meet these standards completely, the components that do meet the standards may use the “Swiss” label. In the case of the label “Swiss quartz movement,” the movement would meet the Swiss-made standards, but the watch may have been assembled in another country.