Like in any quartz mechanism watch, Rolex models that have this type of mechanism also tick. Unlike cheaper brands that use quartz mechanisms, Rolex uses new technology, so its hands have the sound/tick almost silent. Therefore, it is indeed a watchmaking myth that Rolex doesn’t tick. Further, in this blog, we will unravel all details behind this issue and clarify the difference between the mechanisms used by this famous watchmaker.
The myth that Rolex is silent and its hands do not produce sound is one of the most often known myths that circle the brand. It also sometimes evolves into a discussion between Rolex replica vs real. Generally, other watchmaker companies are the gossip that they tick overtime. This is mentioned because it correlates with the quartz mechanisms that are part of the hand movements. What is essential is that Rolex indeed sometimes uses them for their watches.
Many customers do not want to invest their money without certainty that their watch will be of the highest quality and the least possible damage over time. Quartz mechanisms are more often visible in cheap brands of watches and the audible tick sound, but this does not mean that Rolex avoids them.
To explain why this is a myth and what hides behind it, we need to elaborate on two collated processes. We need to understand that a ticking sound is made as the quartz mechanism moves hands (both hour and minute hands) 60 times in one minute, which produces the sound. In cheaper watches, it is usually louder. On the other note, Rolex uses new technology, so its hands move with 28,800 vibrations per hour which is eight ticks per second, leaving the sound/tick almost silent.
This leads us to conclude that Rolex indeed produces ticking sound but on a different scale, and the fact is that it no longer uses the quartz mechanisms for its watches.
What Makes Clocks Tick?
It is all about the watch’s movement! The engine behind the motion of hands in a watch is the main reason behind the ticking sound. The two most common categories of watch movements fall into two main categories:
- Mechanical (manual-winding & automatic-winding)
- Quartz (battery-powered)
Mechanical watches are without electric power sources, whereas batteries power quartz watches.
These mechanisms lay behind the movement of hands on a watch. Further on, the clock’s ticks are the sound of those hands moving on a dial. Depending on the mechanism used for the movement, the sound it produces can vary in its volume. Some clients consider that if the ticking sound is louder, the watch’s material and overall value is cheaper than those silent ones. This is where the origin of the ticking Rolex myth comes from.
Comparing the mechanical and quartz mechanism, usually, quartz watches produce louder ticking due to their electronic oscillator. However, the loudness that ticks in a clock depends on many other factors, but in essence, pieces of metal hit elements of synthetic rock, which makes a sound.
Besides mentioned factors, the hand’s pace also matters to the volume the watch produces. Many quartz watches have hands moving at 60 moves per minute. Quartz watches started their life on the market in the 70s during the economic upheavals when many watchmakers preferred cheaper manufacturing materials that were easily accessible. Even though quartz watches are more affordable, they are more accurate than mechanical watches. The reason is that the second hand precisely bears 1 time per second, unlike mechanical watches that we already discussed.
Mechanical or automatic watches have smooth seconds hand as they tick, but they do so beat, but they do so very fast, about (8–10 times per second), making it look like a sweep. More sophisticated watches have increased this pace so that we sometimes have around 8 movements per second that are not fully visible to the naked eye, leading to lower sound production and sweeping impression caused by uninterrupted rotation of the mechanism.
Here is where Rolex comes to the scene and their new approach to watchmaking. So let’s deal with the myth: Do Rolex Really Tick?
Rolex Quartz Watches vs Mechanical Watches
Let’s get things straight! It is up to the company when choosing the mechanism behind their watches, but so far, no mechanism does not produce sound. They might be compared as we saw by the level of sound their produce, but there is no chance that the watch is entirely silent.
This means that Rolex, as we know it, also has a ticking sound. Again, in some models, the sound is more silent than in others, but it is there. Also, Rolex has been in recent years using more and more mechanical or automatic mechanisms applying 8 ticks per second/28,000 per hour. Older models use 19,800 rates with less smoothness producing louder sounds when ticking.
As visible in the past, Rolex used quartz mechanisms, so the ticking was present indeed, meaning this claim is just a myth. One example of a model where Rolex uses a quartz mechanism with silent ticking is the Rolex Oyster quartz with Beta-12 movement.