Why mechanical watches are more expensive?
You will often find mechanical and automatic watches at a significantly higher price than a comparable quartz model, even of the same watch. In some cases, a watch manufacturer will even offer the identical watch with your choice of a mechanical or quartz movement. The mechanical watch will be more expensive. Some people will tell you it is because the mechanical movements are highly refined, others that mechanical movements are very expensive and quartz very inexpensive.
Here are the real reasons why.
1. Cost to Manufacture: The high quality quartz movements used in better luxury watches are slightly cheaper to make than their mechanical counterparts, though the difference is not that great. Keep in mind that cost of the movement in most luxury watches accounts for only a portion of the final retail price.
2. Warranty Service: Since there is almost nothing to go wrong with a quartz movement, warranty claims for quartz watches are very small. Mechanical movements are more likely to incur an in-warranty service, so that cost is factored into the price.
3. Distribution: Mechanical movement watches are sold in much smaller quantities, so have less economies of scale in the distribution system. While collectors and enthusiasts often prefer mechanical watches, the general public still predominantly buys quartz. So mechanical watches do not turn over in inventory as fast as quartz, causing the manufacturer and dealers to have a somewhat slower return on their investment in stocking them.
4. Exclusivity: As with virtually all jewelry — and don’t kid yourself, any wristwatch over US $200 is mainly jewelry — there are premiums you pay for certain above average features. Precious metals, synthetic sapphire crystals, mechanical movements, advanced timekeeping modes (complications) and precious stones all are at significant premiums over their mere cost.