Originally Posted by JaGWiRE
I've been hanging out on timezone a bit, and a lot of these guys are fascinated by good movements and complicated watches. I think it has to do more with the fact that when some people are spending a lot of money on an watch, they want to know they are getting something special, or what you may call "state of the art", not something that you can find in cheaper watches (the quartz movement that is. Although there are some cheaper watches that are automatic, I think it's safe to say most are quartz. I do not beleive the cheaper automatics have as good an power reserve as the more expensive ones) The omega speedmaster professional is the same watch that was worn on the moon more or less, and it is manual, which I consider crazy because I doubt I'de ever wind a watch everyday, but the watch seems to be very popular among watch enthusiasts. Kind of my reminds me of vintage recievers/amps on here. Plus, from my understanding, for timepieces, quartz is an rather new technology with the first R&D beginning somewhere in the '50s (I think, wikipedia says that Seiko created world's first quartz wristwatch in 1969.)
Bulova did them one better in 1959. They used a newly-developed IC to drive a coil on a tuning fork. The vibrations turned a pawl wheel, which then drove the hands. This is the famous Accutron. Great watches, very durable. Aside from the Speedmaster, they were the only other watch approved by NASA for the space program. Accutron 214 movements were also widely used in satellites as well as clock and timing panels inside spacecraft. The 214 is so good that the ones used in the space program were the same thing available to the public. Very durable, as well. My old watchmaker, Doc (wish he was still with us) used to keep a battered 214 under the counter. Every so often, he'd throw it across the room at the wall to demonstrate how tough they are. That watch was seriously abused, and it never stopped. Another cool thing about the Accutron is that you can hack them to be very, very accurate. More accurate than most quartz movements, even. The other nifty thing about Accutrons is that they hum at 360Hz.
Jag, if you like space-related watches, check out the Accutron Astronaut. No winding necessary, and they're great watches. I've had one for a few years and just love it. You might also want to look at the Fortis Cosmonaut line. Fortis supplies watches to the Russian space program. They're pretty nice, and they're automatics. If you really want to get into it, dig around for an old Poljot Shturmanskie chronograph. That's what Gagarin was wearing when he took his ride.