Are complicated quartz watches allowed here

Discussion in 'Complicated Watches' started by Dr. Jon, Jun 14, 2019.

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  1. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Moderator
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    I have and have seen some very complicated quartz watches. I call most of them manual watches because I usually need a manual to set them up and use them.

    Can we write about them here?
     
  2. Philip Poniz

    Philip Poniz Moderator
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    Why not, they are the future.
     
  3. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Moderator
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    I think the logical one to start with is the Shellman Grand Complication but I do not own one. Shellman is small Japanese boutique watch retailer. They specialize in boutique brands and vintage watches. When I was in Tokyo a few years ago they had just closed their shop and moved into a large Department store as a boutique.

    They commissioned Citizen to make a minute repeater for them in two flavors, a push button repeater as part of a perpetual calendar and complex chronograph and a simple but similarly priced slide repeater.

    Some time later Citizen offered their grand complication featuring a minute repeater perpetual calendar and hybrid chronograph. It is something like a split but operates a bit differently.

    The Citizen is a light recharged watch which may avoid the usual pitfal with battery powered watches leakage destroying the electronics. Mine is in a titanium case with an Ar coated sapphire window, a first class quartz watch. It's hard to photograph so interested people can simply check ebay or it there si interest I'll try to photograph mine. It makes a lto more sense for wear to me than a gear driven calendar. The gear calendars are marvelous creations but require very special handling and settling at only certain times to avoid breakage and extensive wiats and costs for repair. IMHO they are accidents waiting to happen. Much less a problem with quartz perpetuals.

    The Citizen repeater is a bit hard for me hear at my advanced age and it also sports very good hand luminance at night but the reaper will tell you the time at night, which was ithe original function of this complication.

    I have long believed that only complicated quartz watches are worth owning. The Citizen Grand Complication has been a very enjoyable to me and is quite rugged. I wear it while mowing my lawn with apower mower, something I rarely do with a balance wheel watch.
     
  4. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Moderator
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    Here is the Citizen Grand Complication.
    456491-b5ac1955c5e6d47f1e3be612ef327c06.jpg
    The dial above 6 o'clock shows December as the month because the watch is in chronograph mode.

    I consider this a true complicated watch because all of the indications are by hands or dials not screens.

    smalldial.jpg
     
    Bryan Eyring likes this.
  5. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Moderator
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    #5 Dr. Jon, Mar 17, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2020
    I recently became interested in the new Longines VHP quartz watches. These are all complicated in that the last two versions have a perpetual calendar indicated by an ordinary looking date window. The previous versions were adjustable for rate via contacts on the movement allowing adjustments in 1/3 second per month increments.

    My 1980 vintage example is about 5 seconds per year off. It has been rebuilt and was cleaned about 3 years ago but I set its rate about ten years ago. The later perpetual calendar version is but more difficult to rate adjust, I had to make a special tool and it's less stable, being just off 15 seconds per year not to shabby for a twenty year old quartz watch.

    Dealers were expected to run the previous versions and set them to rate. although I doubt many did so. The current versions leave the factory rated and set; and, so far, no instructions are available outside their service network to either rate adjust of reset the calendar.

    The latest differ from the last version in that there is no apparent way for the new owner to set up the calendar. This comes from a new approach to watchmaking, almost entirely counter to traditional complications. These watches have no gear train and hence no jewels. Each hand has a dedicated stepping motor and a position sensor.

    The watch, like other recent quartz complications operates as in inner and an outer watch. The computer brain is the inner watch. Typically the owner sets up the watch by methods that tell the inner watch where the hands are; and then synchronizes them. The new VHP's do this by means of position sensors.

    The base watch comes in power save mode, pendant out and when pushed in the hands go the time of the inner watch, set at the factory, to local, Swiss time. The calendar is already set up. The new owner adjusts the watch to time zone with a quick motion which lets the watch know to move only the hour hand. NOte to American buyers. To set teh watch to local US time you have to turn teh hands backward since Swiss tiem is ahead of ours, If you go forward the calendar will be wrong. It will not allow a user to change the date more than a day from the crown.

    I ma particularly impressed with the GMT version. This watch switches between a local and second time zone with a push if the crown. The GMT hand shows 24 hour time in the zone not being displayed by the other three hands. Thus the GMT hand can show real GMT by setting the second time zone to Greenwich Mean time.

    The other complication on the GMT version is an optical receiver. It works with a phone AP that gets atomic clock time and sends it to the watch via the flash lamp on the phone. I had a lot of trouble getting it to work, but since the watch does not need setting to time often, it's a 5 second per year watch so phone flash setting does not have to be used often.

    What surprised me was that when the AP set the watch, it reset the watch very precisely. I measure my VHP watches by taking 10 frame per second sequences to catch the moving seconds hand. The AP set the time to within about 1/100 second. In five weeks it looks like the watch will stay within 2 seconds per year.if the rate holds.

    When I got the watch it was off by about two seconds. If it has been running at the rate I recently measured, the watch was set at the factory about 14 months before I got it.

    The watches in this new series also have a well conceived end-of-battery system. As is typical, at the onset of low power the seconds hand makes large jumps. When the battery gets lower all hands go to 12 and the steppers stop. If a new battery is installed before final death, the hands go to inner watch time. This is not a novel feature since Seiko introduced it in a version of their kinetic watch.

    The claimed battery life is four years.

    For me this is a very good travel watch and a very well thought out complication in which the extra functions are actually useful. In addition its hands are bold and its lume is very effective making it easy to read at night even with my old eyes.

    I have not included photos since these watches are hrad to photograph and there are lots of picture on the web.
     

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