Quartz or automatic?

As we offer the Holton in quartz and automatic versions, we thought we should explain a little about the pros and cons of each.

The two watches are actually identical. Same case, same X1 C3 luminous, same style of hands, etc etc. But the cases are machined differently during production because the crowns are at different heights, and the caseback is deeper on the automatic to accommodate the rotor. But apart from that there's nothing to choose visually apart from the Automatic or the Crow's Foot above 6.

The quartz version is the OG - the original model we designed for the military. Specifically the 101-001-R06. The automatic versions came later, because we were asked for them by customers who wanted the look of the quartz but preferred a sweeping seconds hand.

In some ways, the quartz version is the obvious choice, because it's zero maintenance and just shrugs off any amount of rough handling. Its Swiss made Ronda quartz movement means it's always ready to go - just pick it up and wear it and when the battery runs low the seconds hand will jump in 4 second intervals so it'll never leave you stuck. Just use and abuse it.

The automatic version uses the Japanese-made version of the Seiko NH35 because they're incredibly well regarded and don't need as much babying like some other movements. 'Tractors', they're often called.

However, if you leave it sitting around for a couple of days you'll need to wind it and set the date before you can wear it, and being a mechanical watch with dozens of moving parts, it won't tolerate quite the same level of rough handling as its quartz equivalent.

The big upside of the automatic version is there's something inherently pleasing about watching the sweeping seconds hand on the automatic and knowing that your watch will continue to run pretty much indefinitely as long as you're wearing it - no battery changes. Just keep wearing it and it'll keep running.

Finally, if accuracy's important, the quartz takes the prize: the Ronda movement is expected to be within -10/ +20 sec/month, whereas Seiko expect their NH35 automatic -20 to +40 seconds per day.

We can usually improve on that once it's settled down and you're able to give us accurate timekeeping readings so we can adjust it to your specific wear, but even so, as a rule, an automatic isn't as consistently accurate as a quartz.

We don't offer every version in every colour, so if you'd like a NIVO, it'll be the quartz version and if you like the beadblasted finish, that will always be the automatic.

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