Mechanical watches are some of the most beautifully designed and intricate time pieces we have the pleasure of appreciating. Though most of the world use battery-powered watches called quartz watches, there is something breathtaking in seeing the inner mechanisms of a mechanical watch. However, if you want to buy one, you’ll probably pay a pretty penny, which is why accuracy is so important.
The most accurate mechanical watches include watches made by Zenith, TAG Heuer, Rolex, Seiko, and Omega. Each of these companies has a couple of watch models at the top of the spectrum for being the most accurate mechanical watches available, and some also have quartz watches.
Though I mentioned the companies known for making accurate mechanical watches above, below, I will give you the top watches by these brands and explain why they get ranked so highly. Though the watches may have differences in accuracy, there is no denying that buying any of these for their accuracy will keep you happy for a long time, though it may also cost you.
The Best Mechanical Watches For Accuracy
If you’re looking to buy a new mechanical watch but want it to be as accurate as possible, the suggestions below will help you get on the right track. For the sake of keeping things simple, it is good to know that the accuracy of a watch, especially in this case, means it does not lose a lot of time while running, which usually gets calculated in seconds.
Additionally, this may seem easy to achieve with a digital or quartz watch, but it is much harder to accomplish with a mechanical watch due to how it works and keeps time. Below are the best mechanical watches for accuracy by brand.
Zenith is a watch manufacturer that has been around since its founding in 1865 and has made quite a reputation. Not only has Zenith been a brand used by many legends throughout history, but it is also constantly seeking to improve itself and its previous watch models. That is where the Zenith Defy Collection comes into play.
The Zenith Defy Collection is a collection of watches made by Zenith to be top-of-the-range, modern-looking, and accurate timepieces for men and women looking for the best. Since the start of this collection, Zenith has been working on improving every model, and with recent claims following the release of one of their newest watches, they seem to do an excellent job with it.
The Zenith Defy Lab
The Zenith Defy Lab is currently one of the world leaders in the category of the most accurate mechanical watches the world has ever seen. Though this watch may look slightly different from previous watches made by Zenith, they have released a bold claim that this is the most accurate mechanical watch ever.
However, until they rerelease this watch, you will have to wait or choose a different one since the Zenith Defy Lab got released as a limited edition with only ten watches available. Additionally, these watches have been sold out for a while now.
The Zenith Defy Lab claims to lose as little as 0.3 seconds per day and will stay within a 95% accuracy range during its power reserve. This feat is unheard of for the makers of a mechanical watch, but Zenith has done it by changing the way the mechanism works on a fundamental level that has managed to amaze many people.
To create this watch, Zenith decided to do away with around 30 individual pieces that make up the core of how a mechanical watch works and replaced them with a single piece to do the same job. Creating this watch was no easy task, with some details as small as a single human hair.
Additionally, this watch also changes a mechanical watch’s care routine by removing the need for lubrication and being able to withstand a range of temperatures that would usually negatively affect a watch of this caliber.
TAG Heuer is at the top of the list of well-known names in the watch-making business, and there is an excellent explanation for that. TAG Heuer has been around since 1860 and has been working on making accurate and innovative watches since its founding. However, not only is TAG Heuer a manufacturer of remarkably accurate watches, but it is also a very luxurious brand.
TAG Heuer is also connected to the sport of motor car racing, which is one of the reasons the brand works so hard to create fast and accurate timepieces. Because of TAG Heuer’s goal of consistently achieving greatness, all of their collections have received a lot of praise. They are held in high regard in the watch-enthusiast community worldwide.
TAG Heuer Mikrogirder
The TAG Heuer Mikrogirder is one of the most well-developed and accurate timepieces TAG Heuer has ever created, being precise to 1/2000th of a second. This achievement is another unheard-of feat for mechanical watches, which is why this watch is also costly.
In 2012 when the Mikrogirder first got shown, it was roughly 250 times faster than most other watches, which for the most part is unnecessary since it is still human-operated but does show off the manufacturing skills. This watch can also switch between two modes that allow you to switch between the fast mode that lasts 4 minutes or the usual way with a higher power reserve.
It is essential to mention that this watch got created with time keeping in mind, much like a stopwatch. However, the innovative ways of creation have allowed the watch to take much less wear and tear than previous models since the faster mode is now on-demand instead of running constantly.
If you’ve never heard of the legendary watch brand Rolex, you should probably do some reading before buying a mechanical watch. The Rolex label is one of the most well-known in the world, and even non-watch-enthusiasts would likely know about the brand, even if they know nothing specific.
Rolex was founded in 1905 and became very well known for the watch and collection called the oyster. The oyster was one of the first, if not the first, waterproof wristwatch and was an integral part of the Rolex name and fame. Since the start of Rolex, it has been worn worldwide by some of the most adventurous, artistic, and sporty influential people.
Insert Your Favorite Rolex Here
The nice thing about Rolex is that they guarantee that none of their watches will add or lose more than 2 seconds in a day. And though this is quite a long way from the incredible 0.3 seconds the Zenith watch earlier claims, it is an excellent standard.
The fact is that Rolex has a considerable reputation to keep up, and that means they work very hard to ensure their watches are both reliable and accurate as much as they can be. Therefore, if you are looking at buying a mechanical watch, there is little chance of your Rolex disappointing you, though, like all other mechanical watches, it will need to get fine-tuned every once in a while.
Since Rolex has such a high standard, it doesn’t matter which Rolex you say is the most accurate since they all are, at least if you take good care of them.
Seiko is a world-renowned brand of watchmakers that originated in Japan, and the first Seiko brander watch got produced in 1924. Though the brand name first appeared on a watch in 1924, the business had initially been started in 1881 and had created the first wristwatch made in Japan. Japan’s first wristwatch, created by the founder of this company, was called the Laurel.
Though Seiko is known today for various watches, including digital and quartz ones, the company produced some mechanical watches, some of which grew very popular. One of the most popular and well-known mechanical watches Seiko produces and has made since the 1960s is the Grand Seiko.
Grand Seiko Spring Drive
The Grand Seiko Spring Drive is a mechanical watch that shows the expertise of Seiko by combining both mechanical and quartz features to make it one of the most accurate mechanical watches in the world. Though some may think this is a quartz watch due to the quartz features used in this watch, as a mainspring still powers it, I believe it deserves to be a mechanical watch.
The quartz system in the Grand Seiko Spring Drive gets used to regulate and keep the hands of the mechanical watch from moving too much or too little. Though the watch gets powered by the usual mainspring mechanism you find in most mechanical chronographs, it uses quartz to help keep the watch movements precise and accurate.
Omega is another watch manufacturing group that has gained a lot of influence, popularity, and reputation around the globe. The original workshop that would become Omega first got opened in 1848 in Switzerland. After a few years of making some of the most accurate and highest quality watches, the influence of the workshop and its owner spread to greater Europe.
Throughout the years, Omega has formed a strong bond with the Olympics and other significant historical events. It has become known as a manufacturer of some of the more precise timepieces ever. Some of the most important parts of history that Omega has been a part of include the exploration of space as it got cleared by NASA to accompany astronauts in 1962.
Since the Omega brand is so well-known and has a reputation for making excellent and accurate watches, it is no surprise that they would sell some of the most accurate mechanical watches on the market.
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch
Though it doesn’t boast the best accuracy in the world or on this list, sitting around 5 seconds per day, plenty of aspects make this watch an absolute piece of art and a beauty to behold. This watch passes a series of tests set by COSC and METAS to allow it the honor of being called a “Master” chronometer.
Though this watch is not the most accurate, it is still one of the best mechanical timepieces, and 5 seconds a day is good enough to get it certified. However, this timepiece is not only an amazingly accurate piece of work but also features shock-resistant technology and water resistance. Additionally, it stays accurate even if there is some magnetic interference like that from everyday items.
This watch is also a part of history and continues the legacy of its predecessors that accompanied the participants of all six moon landings. The role it played in the moon landings also gives it the name the Moonwatch.
Why Are Mechanical Watches So Expensive?
Mechanical watches are so expensive due to the technology used to make them and the fact that they are usually handcrafted. The modern mechanical timepiece gets created on principles created hundreds of years ago and required a delicate touch to assemble. Even with the new advances in watch manufacturing, many mechanisms stay the same.
Since mechanical watches are known for being less accurate, when the change to quartz started developing, most of the world began switching to quartz watches which were easier to make and more accurate. The before mentioned fact is another reason why mechanical watches are so expensive; they have become more of a statement and status symbol than quartz watches.
Are More Expensive Mechanical Watches Always More Accurate?
No, pricier mechanical watches aren’t always more accurate. The price of a watch does not control how accurate it is, though more prominent brands tend to take more pride in their effort and charge more money for it. As an example, you can buy a mechanical watch online that works very well, and you can also buy a Rolex coated in diamonds which is less accurate than the cheaper, online-bought version.
If the accuracy of your mechanical watch is a big concern, you should always research the brand you wish to buy, especially if you buy a more expensive model. One last thing that is essential to note is that no two mechanical watches will ever be the same. Because these watches are hand-made, they will always have a difference, even if the difference is minimal.
There are a lot of watches made by many manufacturers, and they can all be very accurate. However, there are no two mechanical watches that get built precisely equal, even if the manufacturer may try. Due to the process of assembly, and the precise and delicate nature of this hand-made process, the same watch, and model, can differ drastically in accuracy.