FAQs - Technical information

Technical Information

What is a quartz movement?

A quartz watch uses an oscillation of quartz to define the time. All Swatch watches are made of quartz movements, except for our Automatic watches. The quartz has the property of oscillation with a precise frequency when it is stimulated electronically. A crystal oscillator is an electronic circuit that uses the mechanical resonance of a vibrating crystal of piezoelectric material to create an electrical signal with a very precise frequency. This frequency is commonly used to keep track of time (as in quartz wristwatches), to provide a stable clock signal for digital integrated circuits, and to stabilize frequencies for radio transmitters and receivers. The most common type of piezoelectric resonator used is the quartz crystal, so oscillator circuits designed around them were called "crystal oscillators".  In other words: quartz is a stable vibration that gives regular impulses. Through the “circuit integer” impulses are given to the wheels of the hands.

What is an automatic?

The Swatch Automatic is a self winding mechanical watch. The power it needs to keep running is not provided by a battery but by natural kinetic energy created by motions of the wearer's arm. Automatic watches react more sensitively to temperature fluctuations, knocks and the way they are worn. Therefore, an automatic watch does not run as precisely as a quartz watch and inaccuracies of -5 to +40 seconds per day arise. From experience we know that the mechanical watches tend towards inaccuracy as long as they are new. This usually regulates itself with the time.

What is Autoquartz?

The Swatch Autoquartz is a technology that combines the advantage of an automatic, battery-free movement with quartz precision and reliability. The kinetic energy generated by the oscillating weight in the Autoquartz is transformed into electricity. This is stored in a capacitor and monitored by a tiny electric circuit and quartz oscillator to produce the sort of precision typically associated with quartz. The capacitor holds enough power in reserve to keep the watch going for a full 100 days even when it is not being worn.

What is chronograph?

A chronograph is a watch with a stopwatch function. This additional
mechanism makes it possible to measure and record short times. By clicking on the push buttons, the hands of the chronograph (seconds, minutes, hours) can be started, stopped, or reset to zero.

What is a Chronometer?

A watch tested for accuracy and reliability at the official control centres.

What is GMT - Greenwich meridian time indicated on my Swatch?

Greenwich, England has been the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) since 1884. GMT is also called Greenwich Meridian Time because it is measured from the Greenwich Meridian Line at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. Greenwich is the place from where all time zones are measured.

What is UTC - Coordinated Universal Time indicated on my Swatch?

Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is a high-precision atomic time standard. UTC has uniform seconds defined by International Atomic Time (TAI), with leap seconds announced at irregular intervals to compensate for the earth's slowing rotation, and other discrepancies. The leap seconds allow UTC to closely track Universal Time (UT), which is a time standard based on the earth’s angular rotation, rather than a uniform passage of seconds.

Time zones around the world are expressed as positive or negative offsets from UTC. In this role as the zero-point reference, UTC is also referred to as Zulu time (Z). UTC is often referred to as Greenwich Mean Time when describing time zones, although strictly speaking UTC (atomic time scale) is only approximately the same as GMT

What is Shockproof?

The watches indicated as “Shock Resistant” are watches of which the residual effect on the precision after standardised shocks does not exceed 2 seconds per day for quartz watches and 60 seconds per day for the others, according to the standard ISO 1413 (based on the simulation of the shock received by a watch on falling accidentally from a height of 1 m on to a horizontal hardwood surface), or NIHS 91-10 which is the equivalent standard for the Swiss watch industry.

Are Swatch watches water-resistant?

We indicate that Swatch watches are water-resistant to an overpressure of 2, 3, 10 or 20 bar, depending on the model of the watch. These indications correspond to the pressure exercised during the water-resistant test according to the ISO norm 22810. The indicated values are equivalent to the hydrostatic pressure exercised in immersion at 20 m, 30 m, 100 m or 200 m in the water. Every Swatch watch will remain water-resistant provided that the crown, pushers, glass, case and gaskets remain intact. Crown and pushers must never be manipulated under water!

What is the telemeter function?

The function Telemeter (Stormeter) is noted on the dial or bezel of the Swatch models “Take Some Minutes - YCS481” and “Rosso Furore - YCS494G” (from the professional dictionary of watch-making) It is an instrument for measuring distances. In horology, it is a timer or chronograph with a graduated dial enabling distances to be read off on the basis of the speed of sound through the air at 0°C., v = 331.5 meters per second. The time that elapses between the flash of an explosion (firing of a gun, lightning) and the hearing of the noise makes it possible to read off on the dial the distance between the observer and the position of the flash.

What is the Swatch Access function?

The Swatch Access is a multifunctional, interactive Swatch with a built-in-memory.  The microchip contained in the watch can store a vast range of data, while the antenna is used to communicate with a terminal to read the contents of the microchip. A computer program drives the whole system. Swatch Access / Snowpass is easily integrated in systems with applications such as ticketing, keys, payment and network access.

What are Snowpass watches?

The Swatch Snowpass has time indication and a contactless chip card function (RFID) and is a functional alternative to contactless chip cards. There are 2 different Snowpass versions using different RFID chip technology: RFID 125 kHz (older version) or RFID 13.56 MHz.

What is the Swatch Tachometer function?

The dial on the face of a chronograph used to measure the speed in kilometres or metres per hour (and not miles). On the majority of the Swatch Chrono models, the tachometric scale on the dials or bezel allows the reading of a speed measurement, directly in kilometres per hour (km/h). The speed measurement must be carried out inside a time interval of maximum 60 seconds for distances of 10, 100 or 1000 metres. For a measurement on 1000 metres, the figure read on the tachometric scale corresponds directly to the speed in km/h. For a measurement on 100 meters, the figure read on the tachometric scale must be divided by 10 to obtain the speed in km/h. For a measurement on 10 metres, the figure read on the tachometric scale must be divided by 100 to obtain the speed in km/h.

What is the life span of my new battery?

Between 2- 3 years, depending on the size of the battery and the function. For example, watches with the Chronograph function may have a battery life that is less than, for example, a Swatch Original Gent watch.

What is the Swatch Internet time Function?

Internet Time is a new universal time created by Swatch. With this new way of timekeeping, there are no more time zones, as the entire world is happening at the same time, at the same moment. Internet Time divides the 24 hours of a day into 1000 units called beats. 1 beat represents 1 minute and 26.4 seconds. Internet Time is displayed by @ and three digits, ranging from @000 to@999. The internet day starts at midnight (@000) in Biel, the home of Swatch.

What is EOL?

The End of Life (EOL) indicates, by blinking screen or hands movements, that the battery is approaching its end. EOL function is shown mostly with products with a Lithium battery.On Swatch Touch: The numbers will start to blink. This will last for 3 hours and then the blinking will stop. Solar: The second hands will stop for a few seconds and then make a "jump" of a few seconds, so that the time is correct again. Of course when it is charged the EOL will also stop.

What does Jewels (Ruby) mean?

Swatch Automatic watches contain 23 Jewels and the Irony Automatic (as well as the Irony Diaphane Automatic) have 21 jewels, as indicated on the back of the movement.

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