While haute horlogerie is all about insane complications these days, even basic mechanicals are lots of fun when we get to peek under the hood. It’s part of why watches fascinate us. But quartz watches? They give one the feeling of an absolute black box: no clue what goes on in there. Just a little black plastic movement the size of a subway token and a little battery that makes the whole thing go.

So sure, we’d rather go mechanical, but to overlook quartz watches is to ignore unique performance and a form-follows-function vibe in some pretty cool purpose-built watches. Witness our recent breakdown of the Tissot T-Race Touch and our write-up of the Victorinox Swiss Army Night Vision. Quartz watches are, by their very nature, more accurate and often more comfortable to wear than their mechanical forebears. Sometimes those traits are welcome, like when you’re swinging a golf club, marching into battle or just lifting a cold one on a hot afternoon. So let’s take a look at a few electromechanical beasts that wouldn’t be unwelcome in our watch box.

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timekeeping-promo-logo-gear-patrolThis article is part of GP's fresh new face to TIMEKEEPING, a weekly chronicle on the utility, design, tradition and innovation of watches.