Most quartz watches and clocks utilize a unique method called inhibitors compensation. The crystal is intentionally set to run a little faster than standard to compensate for the movement of the clock spring. Once manufacturing, each individual module is adjusted to maintain an accurate time by implementing the electronic logic to randomly skip a specific number of crystal cycles at random intervals. This provides an extremely secure and accurate time-keeping system.
Inhibitors are added to the quartz crystals in order to provide a smooth transition from frequency to frequency, as well as a linear increase in accuracy. Certain parameters must be adjusted such as the spring constant, the maximum and minimum temperatures and the length of the quartz crystals used. These are factors that will greatly alter the performance of the movements and need to be studied very carefully.
A quartz clock or watch should have an accurate resonator. The resonator is the constant variable that controls the frequency output of the quartz crystal. An overly strong resonator will cause a high frequency that is overly sensitive to temperature changes and will require a quartz crystal that operates at a lower frequency.
A properly adjusted resonator must be able to change rapidly without causing an error in the time measurement. The quartz crystals are placed within their own crystal plane. The crystal plane contains numerous planes that are connected to one another. Any interference, whether it be electromagnetic or optical, will cause an error in the measurement. The quartz crystal plane must remain perfectly spherical in order to provide an accurate resonator and must not move at a faster than a speed of 1.3 rotations per second.
The high precision and accuracy required by quartz watch manufacturers require the use of extremely precise machinery. These machines consist of quartz crystals that are perfectly aligned. In order for the quartz crystals to measure time correctly they must be perfectly smooth. Any bumps, ridges, or even vibrations can throw off the measurement. Because of this extremely precise nature, these specific watches often require a minimum thickness of 0.15mm. In order for these exacting requirements to be met, many precision quartz watch manufacturers place the majority of their production into a single national plant.
With modern quartz watches being powered by mechanical movements, the mechanics of the watch provides an accurate reference frame that adjusts to the passage of seconds hand and hour hand. Because the precision of these movements is so exact, there is an added precision to the minute, second and hour hands as well. The introduction of quartz watches has revolutionized the face of time keeping.