The Shontek brand has been imported by J Wells Importers from Taiwan since 1981. While the Shontek movements have been excellent and reliable products, the parent company no longer makes quartz movements as a major product line. While we still have Shontek stock available, we have taken the decision to start importing Young Town quartz movements from Tiawan.
Our Shontek quartz movements are guaranteed for 12 months, assuming reasonable care and usage.
The Quartz clock
A quartz clock is a clock that uses an electronic oscillator that is made of a quartz crystal to keep precise time. This crystal oscillator creates a signal with very precise frequency. Generally, some form of digital logic counts the cycles of this signal and provides a numeric time display, usually in units of hours, minutes, and seconds.
Chemically, quartz is a compound called silicon dioxide. When a crystal of quartz is properly cut and mounted, it can be made to bend in an electric field. When the field is removed, the quartz will generate an electric field as it returns to its previous shape. This property is known as piezoelectricity. Such crystals were once used in low-end phonograph cartridges: the movement of the stylus (needle) would flex a quartz crystal, which would produce a small voltage, which was amplified and played through speakers. Many materials can be formed into plates that will resonate. However, since quartz can be directly driven by an electric signal, no additional speaker or microphone is required. Quartz has the further advantage that it does not change size much as temperature changes. Fused quartz is often used for laboratory equipment that must not change shape as the temperature changes. This means that a quartz plate's size will not change much with temperature. Therefore, the resonance frequency of the plate, which depends on the plate's size, will not change much, either. This means that a quartz clock will be relatively accurate as the temperature changes.
In modern quartz clocks, the resonator is tuning fork shaped, laser-trimmed or precision lapped to vibrate at 32,768 Hz. This frequency is equal to 215Hz. A very simple electronic circuit can be built with a series of 15 divide-by-2 stages cascaded to get the base time of 1 second. In most clocks, the resonator is in a small can or flat package, about 4mm long. The reason the 32,768-Hz resonator has become so common is due to a compromise between the large physical size of low frequency crystals for watches and the large current drain high frequency resonators demand from watch batteries. During the 1970s, the introduction of Metal Oxide Semiconductor (MOS) integrated circuits allowed a 12-month battery life from a single coin cell when driving either a mechanical stepper motor, indexing the second hand (Quartz Analog), or a liquid crystal display (LCD Digital). Light-emitting diode (LED) displays for watches have become rare due to their very high battery consumption: few people have the patience to change a watch battery every month.
The relative stability of the resonator and its driving circuit is much better than its absolute accuracy. Standard-quality resonators of this type are warranted to have a long-term accuracy of about 6 parts per million at 31 °C: that is, a typical quartz wristwatch will gain or lose less than a half second per day at body temperature.