New Releases Watches

Hz Watches’ Debut HZ.01 Aims to Make Quartz Cool

HZ Watches HZ 01

A few months ago we took an in depth look at the world of Seiko Modding, an exciting part of the watch community full of creativity and interesting designs. Well, it was in the arena of Seiko Modding that the first steps towards the launch of a new microbrand and their debut timepiece were made. I’m talking about Hz Watches and their first launch, the HZ.01.

First off, it’s important to understand that the designer behind Hz Watches, Matthew Zillmann, had their start in watch modding, meaning that he is a true member of the watch community. Building custom watches provided an unparalleled level of insight into the types of watches real collectors actually want to buy and what enthusiasts think is cool – all of which is experience they have brought to Hz Watches.

HZ Watches HZ 01 Collection Burgundy

The name Hz Watches is inspired by the common frequency of quartz movements, 32,768 Hz. That’s relevant because Hz Watches is a specialist quartz microbrand aiming to change collectors’ perception of quartz one watch at a time, to prove that quartz watches have a place in collections of all sizes and price ranges. It’s an aim the HZ.01 is endeavouring to achieve with all its might.

HZ Watches HZ 01 Collection

Taking a look at the watch, it’s clearly designed to be an everyday beater style piece with a go anywhere, do anything attitude. That’s exactly what you want from a quartz watch because without the need to wind it, you can comfortably forget about it for a few days (or weeks) before throwing it on in a hurry as you leave the house. To that end, it has a titanium case that measures 38.5mm in diameter with a height of 9.85mm, slim and lightweight enough to be comfortable day after day.

HZ Watches HZ 01 Green

That same focus on daily practicality can also be seen across the watch’s dial, which is fairly reserved but also charming. It follows a sector style display with a central circular brushed disk encompassed by a coloured hour marker ring and peripheral minute track. There are a trio of colours available: blue, green and burgundy. The display also features a day indicator at 12 o’clock and a date window at 6. I really like the way the watch looks, it’s a cool blend of industrial utility and retro charm. It’s on the verge of being Art Deco without fully crossing that line.

HZ Watches HZ 01 Collection Blue

Then we come to the movement beneath the surface and just as promised, it’s a quartz calibre, the Swiss Ronda 507, operating at 32,768 Hz. It’s probably worth addressing how a quartz movement works and why they’re so controversial among watch collectors. First and foremost, they’re called quartz movements because they actually contain a piece of quartz crystal, a material with a useful property where it vibrates at a fixed rate when an electric current is passed across it – that rate being 32,768 Hz. Most mechanical watches have a rate of 4 Hz or less. The circuit inside the watch counts the number of vibrations and when it reaches 32,768, it moves the second hand forward by 1, which is what creates the characteristic stop/start motion of a quartz seconds hand.

HZ Watches HZ 01 Green

In timekeeping it’s a pretty universal truth that the higher frequency you operate at, the more accurate your device will be (a slight oversimplification as there are other considerations for accuracy) and on a simple mathematical level, a 4 Hz movement can never compete with a 32,768 Hz one.

That’s why quartz watches almost entirely obliterated the mechanical watch industry in the 1970s when they first became popular. It took a massive shift in perspective – that watches are to be loved because of their archaic operating systems, not despite them – to revive the industry after the so-called Quartz Crisis. So, collectors are generally pretty protective of mechanical watchmaking because we almost lost it, and that feeling often expresses itself through negativity towards quartz. Plus there’s the fact that many quartz watches are poorly made and disposable.

HZ Watches HZ 01 Collection Caseback

However, what the HZ.01 reminds us is that quartz is useful, it is practical and it’s also affordable. Speaking of, the Hz Watches HZ.01 is priced at £132 during the 48-hour pre-order window, which runs from January 27th 5pm, to January 29th. After this period it will be £185. On top of that, it shows that attention to detail and quality make all watches exciting, regardless of how they are powered.

Price and Specs:

Model: Hz Watches HZ.01
Case: 38.5mm diameter x 9.85mm thickness, titanium
Dial: 2 layer sunburst dial with green, burgundy or blue circle
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Ronda calibre 507, quartz
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, day, date
Strap: Leather with titanium buckle
Price: Pre-order from Saturday 27th January 2024 at 05:00PM (GMT) for £133 for 48 hours only. RRP £185.

More details at Hz Watches.

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