While among the most desirable watches are those from luxury brands such as ladies Armani watches, it is in fact the cheapest wrist watches that can be the most accurate. The most accurate mass produced wrist watches utilise a quartz motion, which works by gently stimulating a quartz crystal inside of the wrist watch with an electric current provided by the wrist watch’s internal battery. The piezoelectric quartz crystal vibrates at a frequency of thirty two thousand, seven hundred and sixty eight oscillations per second, keeping track of the time with an accuracy such that it will drift fifteen seconds either way per month, meaning that by the time it is reset to account for the change of clocks for daylight savings it will have only drifted by at most a minute and a half on average. By comparison, the purely mechanical workings of more expensive luxury watches tend to drift much more.
However, most people who own mechanical watches do not mind. People buy premium luxury watch brands such as Michael Kors watches as jewellery, primarily for their aesthetic properties, and as a signal of status. Most people are now able to obtain the accurate time from their mobile phone in any situation, in any case, so watches now serve much more of a decorative function than they did in the past. The first quartz watch was manufactured in 1969, but at the high end of the market people still appreciate the crafting and skill that goes into making a premium mechanical watch, even if it does not tell time quite as accurately as its cheaper cousins. For applications where accuracy of timing is critical, such as time keeping in sporting events, a piezoelectric quartz based timer will often be used, but for personal wear, a premium mechanical watch is often much more satisfying for the consumer. An elegant watch can impart an air of gravitas and dignity.
The principal watch producing nations in the world today are Switzerland, home to premium mechanical watches such as Tissot watches, Japan, which produces many more mid range piezoelectric quartz based consumer fashion watches, and China, which produces the bulk of the world’s children’s novelty and digital watches. Earlier along in its development Hong Kong was also a major world centre for the manufacture of time pieces, and today many watch making companies from other countries, such as Japan, will manufacture the products they have designed either partially or wholly in China due to the cheaper labour costs and well developed manufacturing infrastructure there. Some watches will have relatively non precision components such as the outer casing, bezel, and other aesthetic components manufactured in a low labour cost economy, and then have the clockwork and time keeping components of the watch manufactured to precision standards in Japan, Switzerland, or another country with a well developed capability for precision machining.