A “mecaquartz” or “meca-quartz” movement is a chronograph watch movement that uses quartz technology for the main functions of the watch, and a mechanical module for operating the chronograph.
Mecaquartz chronographs use movements of a hybrid construction. These movements join a quartz-regulated electronic timekeeping engine and a mechanical chronograph module. Mecaquartz chronographs have the accuracy and stability of quartz, the handling of a mechanical chronograph, and a physically compact package. The biggest disadvantage of these movements is the dependence on a battery. –Source
But it’s Seiko we have to thank for taking the meca-quartz idea and making it their own at a price that doesn’t cause a squeal. The cals. VK63, 67 and 83 are powering all sorts of watches from the likes of Autodromo to, well, Seiko.
…Sneak a look inside and you’ll see that the VKs use proper levers, hammers, wheels and heart pieces. Push the top button and you get a crisp, mech-style snick and the chrono steps off smartly, ticking in 1/5 sec increments—just like a mech. Push the stop button at 4 o’clock and you get the same crisp, mechy snick as the chrono stops. Press it again and the hand snaps straight back to 12. If I hadn’t let you in on the secret, you might just think you had an auto on your wrist.
Autodromo uses the Seiko caliber VK63 movement in their Prototipo model and calls it a “true mechanical reset chronograph.”
Here is how they describe it:
…Powered by an innovative Seiko hybrid meca-quartz movement, the Prototipo features a sweep second hand and instant chronograph reset thanks to internal mechanical linkages shared with Seiko’s in-house automatic movements. Prototipo delivers the reliability and precision of a quartz watch, with the crisp pusher feel and visual delight of a mechanical chronograph.