Seiko caliber VK63 SII

What is a Meca-Quartz Movement?

What is a mecaquartz watch?

A mechaquartz” 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. That is why these are often called hybrid movements.

While the first type of watches that comes to mind when discussing mechaquartz are chronographs, you may be thinking of how you can convert one of these movements to have a constantly running sweeping seconds hand. Well, no need for that because Seiko already thought of that with their caliber VH31 – a 3-hander mecaquartz caliber with central sweeping seconds hand.

What is the correct spelling of mechaquartz?

Mecaquartz, mechaquartz, meca-quartz, mecha-quartz… are all used interchangeably, just pick one. There does not appear to be an official spelling outside of the top sites showing up on Google search for this topic (Caliber Corner being one of them). In fact, this type of movement is mostly associated with the Seiko calibers listed below, but even Seiko does not appear to use any form of this term on their website or in their marketing material (if you see them using it, please share below).

With that said, Caliber Corner is going with “Mechaquartz” as the official spelling from now on. It just makes the most sense as a combo of the words mechanical and quartz.

Pros of a mechaquartz movement:

A huge advantage that mechaquartz calibers offer is that they provide the accuracy and overall dependability of a quartz movement. Another advantage for watch designers is that they are much slimmer than a traditional mechanical movement.

Disadvantages of mecha-quartz movements:

An obvious disadvantage of mechaquartz is that they are battery powered. Also, a major disadvantage of mechaquartz chronograph watches is that there is not hidden feature to reset the stopwatch hand to zero. One of the great things about quartz chronograph movements is the ability to reset the chronograph hand to zero after a battery install. Sometimes this can be a game of figuring out the correct crown/pusher sequence, but when you do, it can be quite satisfying! Mechaquartz movements do not share this ability. Since the stopwatch functionality is mechanically driven, the related hands cannot simply be reset via button sequence programming in the circuit board.

Then how do you reset mechaquartz chronograph hands to zero?

As mentioned above, unlike most quartz chronograph movements which have a setting coded into the circuit board (usually accessed by a certain sequence of crown position and button pushing), mechaquartz are more mechanical in nature. Similar to misaligned hands on an ETA caliber 7750 or other mechanical chronograph movements, most times the only remedy to get the hands back to 12:00 is to remove them and install them again in the correct position. One should also figure out what caused the hands to out of alignment in the first place – did the watch come like that from the manufacturer (low QC)? Was it dropped? Is it loose?

Caliber Commentary:

From wornandwound:

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 what they say about 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.

Popular mecaquartz calibers:

Some watches that use mecaquartz movements:

  • Seiko SSB Series
  • Techne Sparrowhawk 2
  • Helgray Meca-Quartz Chronograph
  • Autodromo Prototipo
  • Mercer Brigadier
  • Red Line Fast Track
  • Add your watch to the comments below…

Quick video action:


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David
David
2 years ago

They are ok…I own one. But I do not like the fact that there is not a full time ful size sweep second hand.

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Ian Watson
Ian Watson
2 years ago

The Soviets also had a meca-quartz, calibre 3055 usually found on a particular range of Ukrainian made Luch’s and highly desirable pieces as surprisingly for a Soviet make the quality was very high. Its a very sweet looking movement and surprisingly robust too but resources on rebuilding and servicing are almost non-existent.

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Ian Watson
Ian Watson
1 year ago

Still yet to find a decent priced Seiko branded one, have added a further two Pulsar VK63’s this week bringing my total to 11 as I went for every colourway of the VK63-X001 WRC limited editions and I found a very unusual rose gold and black velvet dialed VK63… just had to have one of them 😀

Wibowo PR
Wibowo PR
1 year ago

mechanical purists : anyway, spring drive is meca-quartz

Terry
Terry
4 months ago
Reply to  Wibowo PR

Yes it is. Although there is no battery in the spring drive as the movement produces it’s own electrical current to excite the quartz. It does so by moving a magnet. Excellent accuracy and a sweeping second hand. A brilliant but also very logical improvement. I have a 25 year old Breitling Chrono Jetstream that uses a Piguet mecaquartz movement that does essentially the same thing but relies on the battery to power both the… Read more »

Dave
Dave
1 year ago

I’d like to add one to my collection one of these days; just waiting for the right one.

Robert Dianadanna
Robert Dianadanna
11 months ago
Reply to  Dave

I pulled the string on the Pagani Design moon watch. Haven’t snagged it yet. In transit. Excited.

F/22
F/22
11 months ago

Brew watches

BloominCookie
BloominCookie
10 months ago

I purchased a Dufa watch a year or two back that is driven by a Seiko mecaquartz. I thought it was interesting as this is Not a chronograph watch and they powered it with mecaquartz. I don’t care very much for Quartz watches–This one beats 6x/second, so the second hand does glide along, slightly choppy but nothing close to the second-to-second jolt you get with Quartz.

Jon
Jon
10 months ago

Invicta Aviator Model #22529 uses VD57 movement. Got one sent to me by mistake. I ordered a subaqua limited edition with Ronda r150. Hahaha They told me to keep the Aviator for the mix-up. My r150 is on its way.

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schilviu
schilviu
4 months ago

I owned for abt. 10 years an ORIENT Cbronograph coded HFAE-18. It has also alarm function and «dual time». It has a subdial with two hands(hour/minute), used for setting alarm and afterwrds as dual time. I called it „The dragon with seven tongues“ because this watch, actually has SEVEN hands: three central(hour/min/sec), one for chronograph minutes, one for current seconds, and anther two for alarm/dual time. Central second hand is used for chronograph, having 5bps.… Read more »

MKR
MKR
4 months ago

UNDONE

Dave M.
Dave M.
3 months ago

Are the Seiko VK reliable? I heard the hard shock of reseting the hands on VK64 can sometimes make the hand loose, or misaligned upon reset. I had a VK63 and every time you reset the hand it would be off to the right or left of center. Also, what do you mean hands can be misaligned after battery reset? Do you need to remove and reinstall hands on VK movements every time you have… Read more »

Jeff E.
Jeff E.
2 months ago

Mechaquartz movements are all hype imo.

Jumbotron
Jumbotron
2 months ago

Find in Pagani Design and many other Asian microbrands.

They are known to be notoriously reliable and the few I own all are.
As w the other commentator, I too cannot stand a choppy single beat quartz
so Seiko has really filled that gap well here imo.

-PD Daytona
-Chameri (King Seiko homage)

Stevotron
Stevotron
19 days ago
Reply to  Jumbotron

I opted into the startup Höglund (homage to Dan Henry,) and it has performed admirably! The pushers are snappy and satisfying, and the red sweeper stops pauses incrementally every 5th second, on the button. After watching my quartz chrono sweep slowly around the track to 12, it was a shocker to see the Hög jump like a rabbit back home. Additionally, it’s 2 mil larger; so, easier on my peepers. I love it, at 50%… Read more »

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