A watch you wear doesn’t only tell the time, it also tells the kind of man you are. It tells a lot about your taste and attitude towards life. Whether the timepiece was assembled by some intelligent machines in a hi-tech lab or by a wise watchmaker sitting in a dust free room in Switzerland, your watch is more than an astonishing combination of crystals, gears and precious metals.
This unspoken characteristic of a watch makes it difficult for many to pick up the right watch for themselves. It is not like buying a smartphone the superiority of which is defined by the number of features it packs. The trickiest part is that a watch, beside the craftsmanship and technology behind it, the personality of it and the emotion attached to it matters more. The exclusiveness and uniqueness of a watch determines the number of zeroes on its price tag.
Flashy, bold and feature packed – that is how modern watches are defined and therefore, buying a new watch is so much fun.
We all want to wear something on our wrist that suits our personality and lifestyle. It is important to carefully examine your requirements and spend a good amount of time on research, or else, you will end up draining your hard earned money on watches too often. Today, we will look at the top 10 factors that will help you buy the right watch for yourself or someone you love.
All watches keep the time more or less accurately, so, accuracy is not the real deal. The real deal is style. Watches are classified based on the way they look. There are 4 types of watches:
What style you need is determined by when you wear a watch. If you spend most of your time attending high profile business meetings, you should go for a luxury watch. If you want something that compliments formal and semi-formal events, you should select a casual or vintage watch. A sports watch is for people who spend a lot of time outdoors.
2. Decide – Analog or Digital?
If you like to look at numbers, go for digital watches because they tell you the time directly by displaying numbers on the dial. These watches need batteries to run. On the other hand, an analog clock uses the old-fashioned clock hands to tell you the time. Analog watches may not need batteries to run.
The trend is that most luxury and formal watches have analog interfaces and most feature packed sports watches and smartwatches use digital interfaces. There are models that use the goodness of both interfaces. For most people digital watches are easier to read and reading analog watches needs a bit of practice.
What features you need should be determined by what exactly your requirement is. Understand what you need the watch for, just to read the time or to do more. If you want a feature packed watch, understand how those features may make your life easier. If you want more, decide how much more you need.
Most modern watches including smartwatches come with a timer and stopwatch. There are watches that offer GPS, a speed calculator (tachymeter), or heart rate monitor. A hi-tech feature packed watch is ideal for people who need to spend a lot of time outdoors doing camping or sports.
Here are some of the materials used to make the band and the casing:
Canvas and plastic may look cheaper, but most sturdy sport watches are made out of them
On the other hand, the metal materials may all look flashy, but they are too pricey. And when it comes to the right material for the band, a leather band may look cool but they are not very durable.
5. Water Resistance
More or less, water resistance is something that you can expect from any watch you buy from the market because a watch needs to withstand some water splashing when you wash your hands or going out in the rain. But there are watches that are designed especially for swimming and diving. These are sports watches.
As you can see a 30m water resistant watch is only actually splashproof and is not advised for swimming. The reason behind this is that the 30m (or 3 ATM) is tested as static pressure rather than the much higher pressure experienced when the watch is moved.
Here is a chart that will help you understand what a certain level of water level means:
Water Resistant 3 ATM or 30 m – Suitable for everyday use.Splash/rain resistant. Heavy exposure to water like showering, bathing, swimming, diving, snorkelling, water related work and fishing will damage the watch.
Water Resistant 5 ATM or 50 m – Suitable for swimming, white water rafting, non-snorkeling water related work, and fishing. Not suitable for diving.
Water Resistant 10 ATM or 100 m – Suitable for swimming, snorkeling, recreational surfing, sailing and water sports. Not suitable for diving.
Water Resistant 20 ATM or 200 m – Suitable for serious surface water sports, skin diving and professional marine activity. Suitable for skin diving.
Diver’s 100 m Minimum ISO standard (ISO 6425) – suitable for scuba diving. Not suitable for saturation diving. Older watches are generally Diver’s 100 m and Diver’s 150 m watches.
Diver’s 200 m or 300 m – Suitable for scuba diving at depths. Not suitable for saturation diving. Typical ratings for modern diver’s watches.
Diver’s 300+ m – suitable for mixed-gas diving, saturation diving (helium enriched environment). Watches designed for mixed-gas diving will have the “DIVER’S WATCH L M FOR MIXED-GAS DIVING” additional marking to let you know.
The most beautiful watches tell a story and the story defines their collectors.
One of the most difficult things for any watch lover is to admit openly his inner desire to get people’s attention. He wants people to notice and recognize the watch he or she is wearing. This is a sentiment that very few people are ready to admit but this sentiment determines the figure on a watch’s price tag. Brand is important. Really important.
If you’re buying a watch to pep up your fashion statement, perhaps to show off your success, brand matters. You can’t deny that a basic Rolex has more brand appeal than a top-of-the-line Titan Sonata. Brands like Seiko, Omega, and Rolex are the dream brands for people who have tasted success.
7. Dial Size and Style
Dials come in all shapes and sizes.
A watch should be well proportioned to your wrist and hand. If the dial is too big for your wrist, it will stand out and may look ridiculous; too small and it will look like you’re wearing a lady’s timepiece.
If you are planning to buy a wristwatch online, you must understand the numbers written as case diameter. A 38-42 mm wide watch will look good on a wrist which has 6 to 7 inches circumference, and a 44-46 mm wide case diameter may look right on broader wrists.
The best way to figure out the right dial size for yourself is to wear the watch and ask for feedback from friends and family.
8. Must Compliment Your Wardrobe
You don’t need to be a fashion expert to say that golden dial looks great with darker shades like brown, grey and green, especially during the day. You can wear a silver, or titanium watch at night and they go well with shades like blue, black and white. And black dial is for a sporty look.
A movement is what makes a watch ‘tick.’ Watches are powered by two types of movements – a. Mechanical and b. Quartz. You must consider some factors before you decide which movement is the best for you. You must consider the level of precision you need and maintenance costs involved.
Manual and automatic movements both are “mechanical” movements. Under the dial you have a complex combination of gears and springs. These watches do not need batteries to run. Most collectors and connoisseurs vouch for manual or automatic watches as these movements are the products of over 600 years of refinement, expertise, and craftsmanship.
If you want accuracy, go for quartz movement. These watches need batteries and are low in maintenance costs. They require battery changes after every 2-3 years.
There are 4 types of technologies that power wrist watches:
Mechanical: Oldest technology. Very complex mechanism; needs winding once every day or so.
Automatic: Advanced mechanism. Any type of movement is enough to keep the watch ticking.
Quartz: Recent technology. Powered by very small batteries that you must replace every few years.
Solar: Powered by sunlight. No winding or batteries required.
What’s the point of wearing a hi-tech watch if you can’t read it at night when it is dark. Many watches, on their clock hands, have pigments based on photoluminescent material (like strontium aluminate).
This non-radioactive material is painted onto hands, numerals and dials. The material glows in the dark . Usually you see a green or blue hue. The material helps you read the time by absorbing light then re-emitting light.
Weight of the watch matters. When you wear something that barely feels like it is on your wrist, you feel at ease. But if your watch is as heavy as a brick, you won’t like it. Buy something that feels right. Watches with leather straps generally feel lighter.
Some Important Maintenance Tips:
Just like your success, your watch has enemies. Dirt, dust, moisture, and shocks, extreme temperature(too hot, or too cold) and UV radiation slowly kills a watch. Top watchmakers have developed engineering solutions to fight these natural foes. Modern watches are more sealed and shockproof than ever.
But still, as the owner, you have the sole responsibility to protect your watch or watches from these elements. Watches are delicate machines that are products of super fine mechanical engineering and state-of-the-art electronics. They don’t work well if they are not handled with care, The intricate mechanism that is there inside a premium watch may involve 200 to 400 movement parts, many of which are minuscule in size. To keep this intricate mechanism running well requires care and maintenance.
Here are some tips that you every watch owner must follow:
1. Wind your watch frequently, at least once a month.
Any machine that has moving parts needs lubricant to operate smoothly. Modern lubricants are long lasting and do dry or conceal over time.A properly lubricated watch gives accuracy and lasts longer. Winding spreads the lubricants evenly.
2. DON’T wind your watch on your wrist.
When you pinch the crown with your fingers while the watch is on your wrist, you may tilt the crown side of the watch up because doing so may bend or break the stem.
3. Don’t drop your watch even if it is shockproof.
4. Clean your watch with microfibre polishing cloth and plain water. Never use soap.
5. Swimmers must get their watch’s water resistance checked annually.
6. Send your watch for professional servicing regularly.
7. Don’t test your watch to its limits.
Even if your watch is shockproof, avoid giving it shocks deliberately to check its limit. Even if it is waterproof, don’t dip it in water just to show off its capability to your friends.
8. To avoid scratches, don’t change the strap yourself unless you are a pro.
9. Avoid magnets.
You must be aware that placing your watch close to a magnet can negatively affect the accuracy of your watch.
10. Please do wear your watch like a proud owner.
From intricate mechanisms inside to the tough yet attractive case outside, every bit of a watch is designed so that you can use it regularly and of course, with pride. A fine watch is not designed to be kept in a locked safe, but is meant to be worn. In fact, wearing it enhances its life and efficiency. When you wear a watch, you regularly wind it. Winding helps the lubricants inside to spread evenly over all the moving parts.