Quartz vs. Mechanical Clock Movement

There is no universal right or wrong when choosing a type of clock movement. The choice comes down to picking a mantel clock that suits your tastes and lifestyle. Several differences exist between quartz and mechanical mantel clocks. Below is a list of factors you should consider when deciding between the two.

Clock Movement (Internal Mechanism)

Queensway Walnut Mechanical Hermle Mantel Clock

28” Queensway Walnut Mechanical Hermle Mantel Clock – $1,501.00

Mechanical Clock Movement

: Powered by a wound spring. The main spring stores energy and transfers it through a series of gears and springs, which regulate release of energy to power the clock.

Buffalo I Brass Quartz Hermle Mantel Clock

7” Buffalo I Brass Quartz Hermle Mantel Clock – $295.00

Quartz Clock Movement

: Powered by a battery. The battery sends the current through a quartz crystal. The crystal then creates vibrations that drive the motor, which moves the clock hands. Hermle clocks have been touted for their superior movement and stand as the gold-standard of quartz movement.


Mechanical Clock Maintenance

: High maintenance. Mechanical mantel clocks must be physically operated by winding a key or pulling a string (cuckoo clock) about once every eight days, depending on the clock. Clock aficionados often savor this routine. These clocks need periodic maintenance, including oiling, cleaning, and adjustment of the pendulum to keep the timing accurate.

Quartz Clock Maintenance

: Low maintenance. Typically, it simply needs a battery change every few years. Because it has few moving parts, a quartz mantel clocks usually do not require maintenance.


Mechanical Clock Accuracy

: Over time, mechanical mantel clocks will lose some accuracy in its timekeeping, necessitating maintenance more often than their quartz counterparts.

Quartz Clock Accuracy

: Quartz clocks are extremely accurate because the current running through a quartz crystal oscillates at an almost perfect frequency.


Tellurium III Walnut Mechanical Hermle Mantel Clock

12.5” Tellurium III Walnut Mechanical Hermle Mantel Clock – $6,711.00


: Mechanical clocks employ centuries old technical craftsmanship and engineering that clock enthusiasts love.

Astrolabium Mahogany Quartz Hermle Mantel Clock

8” Astrolabium Mahogany Quartz Hermle Mantel Clock – $2,225.00


: These modern designs do not feature the same level of detailed craftsmanship that is a staple of mechanical mantel clocks. If you enjoy the art behind mantel clocks, you may want to consider a mantel clock.


Mechanical Clock Sound

: Mechanical mantel clocks have a real ticking noise that is not digitally created. Many clock owners find it soothing and relaxing. Although the ticking sound is natural, it’s not uncommon to find mechanical clocks that also offer additional sounds, such as music boxes and hammers that strike gongs or bells.

Quartz Clock Sound

: Sounds come from digital recordings, which can be adjusted for volumes and chime sounds. They can also be silenced if you want a little peace and quiet.



: Purchase costs are higher, due to the many moving parts and the expertise and time needed to assemble them. Repairs are higher due to the intricate work involved.


: Because there are so few parts to the mechanism, purchase prices for quartz clocks are generally less expensive. Non-working mechanisms typically are not repaired, but are replaced.

Long Term Value


: With proper care, a mechanical clock can last forever. It often gains in value, and becomes a family heirloom passed through generations.


: Because the movement cannot be rebuilt or repaired one it fails, the lifespan of a quartz clock will eventually reach it’s end and will need to be replaced.


A mantel clock can be lovely centerpiece for a home. Depending on your preferences, you can select either a mechanical clock or a quartz mantel clock. You can get an idea of what kind of mantel clock you’d like by visiting this page to view the latest mantel clocks from the most popular brands including Hermle.

Related Topics

  1. Mantel Clock Buyers Guide
  2. Add Beauty to Your Hearth with a Mantel Shelf and Mantel Clock
  3. Quartz Movement Explained