The Best Quartz Watches for EDC

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A watch doesn’t need a fancy mechanical movement to be worthy of your wrist. Quartz-powered watches represent some of the best value in everyday timepieces out there. Instead of the complex mechanical movement in an automatic watch, quartzes tick thanks to a PC board, battery, and gears. Watch purists may look down on quartz, but that shouldn’t stop you from considering one for your EDC. These watches are dependable, reliable, and at the end of the day tell the time more accurately than even the best mechanical watches.

The Best Quartz Watches

Bertucci A2T
Citizen BM8180
Timex Expedition Scout
Maratac Mid Pilot
G-Shock GA-100
★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★
Case Size: 40 mm Case Size: 37 mm Case Size: 40 mm Case Size: 39 mm Case Size: 55 mm
Water Resistance: 100M Water Resistance: 100M Water Resistance: 50M Water Resistance: 100M Water Resistance: 200M
Origin: USA Origin: Japan Origin: USA Origin: USA Origin: Japan
Pro: Unique case material Pro: Eco-Drive recharging Pro: Affordability Pro: Classic pilot design Pro: Shock resistance
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How Does a Quartz Watch Work?

Quartz watches get their name from the tiny quartz crystal within the movement. When electricity from the watch battery passes through the quartz, it vibrates at an exact frequency. The circuit counts the amount of vibrations per second and converts them to an electric pulse, which in turn drives the small electric motors within that turn the hands.

Benefits of a Quartz Watch:

  • No Need To Wear Daily: Since a quartz watch runs on batteries, there’s no need to charge it up on the daily like you would an automatic. This makes quartz watches ideal for those who may not wear a watch every day, or those who just like to switch it up more often.
  • Robust Movements: Since there are less moving parts, there’s less inside to break. Quartz watches can stand up to more physical abuse than a mechanical watch due to the robustness of the movement inside.
  • Price Point: Since quartz movements are less complex, they can be mass manufactured to keep the price point down. You may find that you get more bang for your buck out of a quartz watch than a mechanical watch in the same price bracket.

Here are some of our favorite quartz watches for EDC.

Bertucci A2T Titanium Field Watch

Bertucci’s A2T draws inspiration from classic military field watches with some modern updates that make the watch a tremendous value. It’s not often that you see a titanium case on a watch at this price point. The one-piece case with integrated spring bars reduce two of the most common failure points on a watch. Since the titanium case is so light, you’ll hardly notice it on your wrist. The watch includes one of Bertucci’s popular two-ply NATO straps for extra durability and comfort.

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Citizen BM8180

This take on the field watch features Citizen’s Eco Drive technology. The BM8180 recharges itself by way of tiny solar panels mounted on the watch’s face. This tech is ideal for those who never want to worry about their watch dying or needing its battery replaced. In addition to the self-charging capability, the BM8180 has a stainless steel case, stitched canvas band, and a durable mineral glass crystal.

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Timex Expedition Scout

Timex’s Expedition Scout is an easy-wearing watch, measuring in at 40mm. This case size is the sweet spot for any sized wrist, having enough presence to be easily read, while not looking oversized. Inside the watch is also Timex’s Indiglo technology. With a press of the crown, the entire face lights up in a cool green color. It makes the watch extra easy to read throughout the night. The Scout represents one of the best values in watches, coming in at under 40 bucks.

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Maratac Mid Pilot

Maratac is a brand that makes watches for law enforcement and military contracts, so you know they’re built to withstand a beating. The Mid Pilot is a handsome, sterile pilots watch packed with a ton of features that make it a worthy EDC. This is an excellent example of how a quartz movement can bring the price down on an otherwise feature-packed watch. The case is made from surgical grade 316L stainless steel that’s cut from a solid block. The hands are treated with Super Luminova paint that will glow long into the night. It also features a sapphire crystal for added durability and shock resistance. The quartz version is practically identical to the automatic version, except it’s $200 cheaper!


Casio G-Shock GA-100

It’s hard to mention quartz watches without including something from GSHOCK. The GA-100 is one of the most popular watches on the site, and for good reason. It’s ultra resistant to shock and can be worn during practically any activity you can throw at it. The rugged, oversized case has an impressive wrist presence, while the rubber strap keeps it comfortable to wear. The GA-100 features an analog display by way of two contrasting white hands on the dial. Since this watch is a digital hybrid, there’s plenty of useful features like multiple time zone display, stop watch, and a fully programmed automatic calendar.

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What’s your favorite budget quartz watch tough enough for EDC duty? Let us know in a comment below!

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