The art of choosing a watch - what to look for

Choosing a watch is not an easy process. By purchasing this or that model, we sincerely hope that it will delight us for a single year. If you are still not sure which watch you want and what functions it should have, just read this article. Trust me, buying a watch can turn into a very exciting shopping experience.

Choose your style

The first thing you ask yourself when choosing a watch is when and how will I wear it? A watch is more than just a thing that helps us stay punctual. Without uttering a word, they can tell a lot about a person - his character, habits. They reflect our personality, our lifestyle and style, just like clothes or a car.

The main thing is that the watch should have functions that are useful for you. For example, if you are looking for a sporty model, then it is advisable to consider a shockproof watch. Or, on the contrary, if you are going to use the watch for work or simply wear it as a stylish accessory, think about whether you need a high level of water resistance?

Another important aspect is their cost, or rather how much you are willing to spend on them. It is worth noting that we have collected only high-quality brands on our website, so reliability and accuracy do not depend as much on price as it would seem. Basically, the price is made up of the Brand - the name of the company and, secondly, of complications (chronographs, perpetual calendars, repeaters) and materials (precious metals and stones for inlay), limited series, etc.

Therefore, for most, the watch brand may be more important than anything else. In short, the choice of a brand is very subjective and changes depending on personal preferences. Ultimately, it boils down to how you “feel” the brand and what it is: a well-designed style or a rich history.

Casual watches

When choosing casual - (everyday) models, think about whether they suit your lifestyle, do they fully reflect your personality? Think about the colors you wear the most. It is desirable that these same shades be present in your watch.

The dial should be comfortable and easy to read. In doing so, pay attention to features such as the second hand or date window. Choose a comfortable bracelet material. Leather is the lightest material, but it is not waterproof. Metal bracelets, on the other hand, are heavy and water resistant. The exception is titanium - a warm and light metal half as light as steel. Rubber and rubber look a little sporty, but have the highest degree of water resistance.

Keep in mind that you will have to wear them almost every day, so try to avoid inconveniences such as massiveness, sharp corners, protruding buttons, impractical complications, and difficult to read dials.

Watch "under the suit" or "under the dress"

For a man. Classic style wristwatches are presented by Frederique Constant, Maurice Lacroix (Les Classiques collection) and other brands.

They are distinguished by simplicity, elegance, lack of bright and catchy details. They are often called “tailor-made watches”, as they are ideal for a strict style. A thin dial in white, black or blue is usually enclosed in a round, rectangular or barrel-shaped (Tonneau) shape... The thickness of the case, as a rule, is minimal so that the watch does not interfere with the cuffs of the shirt sleeves. Agree, it is not very beautiful when a large gold watch puffs up its sleeves. Knowledgeable people already recognize an expensive watch by only one emerging crown with the brand's logo engraved on it.

For woman. Choosing one or another outfit, decide for yourself whether you want your watch to stand out or is it better to hide it under your clothes?

Ladies with, for example, a slender wrist, can choose models that emphasize their grace and femininity. Or, on the contrary, models with large bodies to seem even more fragile and defenseless.

For more formal events or meetings, men and women prefer watches with diamonds or other precious stones.

Metal bracelets are preferred today, but good leather is also in demand.

And a prerequisite, the watch should be no cheaper than a suit.

Sport watches

Looking for a sports watch that's as easy to read as a regular digital watch? The case of such models, as a rule, is large, because, it must accommodate a timer, alarm clock, and other functions inherent in a sports watch. Choose the level of water resistance that suits your needs. For example, for divers, the minimum reading is 200 meters. On analog watches, look for a rotating bezel; for professional runners and cyclists, digital watches have a wider range of functions.

As for the material for the strap, the choice is more likely based on personal preference. The most popular material is plastic, rubber or rubber.

Fashion - watches

Looking for a watch that speaks volumes about your artistic nature and reflects your personality? Or do you choose fashionable bright watches without complicated mechanisms? Take a closer look at the fashion segment. This is a great way to complete your look properly.

Today, miniature male models are no less popular than watches with cases with a diameter of almost 50 mm. To get the most out of the new trend, try playing with accessories. Not everyone dares to wear bright colors in clothes, but everyone can wear them in watches. Feel free to experiment. It's time to be fashionable!

Luxury watches

By purchasing high quality watches from Ulysse Nardin, Patek Philippe, Zenith, Breguet. You pay for good materials, craftsmanship, and some exclusivity. Such a watch will become a wonderful family heirloom that has been passed down from generation to generation.

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Consider models with mechanics, tourbillons or skeletons. Today, high-quality watches are made almost all over the world, but, nevertheless, it is the Swiss ones that have the highest reputation thanks to the rich experience gained by the Swiss industry over the centuries. Keep in mind that a watch can only bear the coveted Swiss Made stamp if its entire manufacturing process and final assembly took place in Switzerland. The Swiss Movement label means that the movement was made in Switzerland, but the watch itself was subsequently assembled in another country.

Aviation clock

Speaking about the styles of wristwatches, one cannot ignore the "Pilot's Watch". The development of aviation once served as an incentive for their popularization. This style is not so common now, but many Swiss companies (and not only) still produce collections for pilots... They are distinguished by a large, very readable dial, a massive crown and control buttons, because the pilot often had to use them with gloves.

External components of the clock

Glass

Glass - the main protection of the dial. There are usually three types of glass in a watch. Acrylic is an inexpensive plastic that prevents small (shallow) scratches from appearing. Mineral glass is composed of several elements that are pasteurized to create an unusual hardness that helps in resisting deeper scratches. Sapphire crystal is the most expensive and reliable. It is about three times heavier than mineral and 20 times heavier than acrylic.

Bezel

Bezel - This is the upper outer ring on the watch that surrounds the glass and holds it in place. In sports watches, it is sometimes part of the movement, can be rotated and is used in accurate timing due to its bi-directionality (the ability to move clockwise and backward), which provides accurate measurements of the elapsed time.

Crown (crown)

Round crown for winding the watch and translating the hands. Used to set the time, date, etc. Many waterproof watches have their crowns screwed down to provide better water resistance.

Clock face

The "face" of the clock. On the циферблат they apply numbers, indices, or simply a varied design: it can be decorated with precious stones, mother-of-pearl, various miniatures. There are watches without a dial - "skeletons", and then you will demonstrate the beauty of the watch mechanism. Sub dials - smaller discs on the main dial that can be used for additional functions.

Chassis

Chassis - this is a metal shell of a wristwatch, the watch mechanism is "packed" in it, and it also protects it from damage. The service life of a watch directly depends on the strength and quality of the case. If you want your purchase to last as long as possible, when choosing a watch, pay special attention to the material from which it is made. Stainless steel is the most commonly used metal. It looks great and does not require any additional coatings. More expensive models are made of titanium, gold, silver and platinum. Mid-range watches are usually made of brass, copper, and, if necessary, plated with gold or silver.

Bangle

Consists of links and is usually made in the same style as the watch case. The links are removable so that you can change the length. Bangles can be made of stainless steel, silver, gold, titanium, platinum, or combined - from several materials.

Strap

Straps made from various materials and come in all kinds of shapes and colors. The most reliable and high quality is considered to be a leather strap. For the manufacture of this accessory, other materials are also used - rubber, plastic or fabric.

Arrows

Indicators rotating on a graduated dial or scale. Indicate hours, minutes and seconds. There are many different types of arrows.

  • Alpha: an arrow that is slightly narrowed
  • Baton: long narrow arrow
  • Dauphine: wide, tapered arrow
  • Skeleton: contoured transparent hands, used in skeletons (i.e. transparent watch cases)
  • Luminous: contour arrows with a special luminous filling

Case and bracelet coatings

The coating of the various elements of the watch has two functions: decorative and protective. It gives watches made of materials such as brass and aluminum alloy a more attractive look and also protects them from environmental influences (air, sweat) and other factors.

Inner parts of the watch

The heart of a watch is its mechanism. The precision of the watch depends on the build quality and reliability of the movement elements. Modern movements fall into two categories - mechanical or quartz. Most mechanical models are self-winding - with every movement of your wrist, they are “charged”. The quartz movement is powered by a battery and does not stop working until it runs out.

Balance

A device that orders the movement of a watch mechanism. The regulating part consists of a pendulum and its spring. The lengthening or contraction of the balance spring makes it go faster or slower. Moving from one side to the other and back again is called wobble.

Wheel system

It is a series of small mechanisms (gears) that set the entire movement in motion with weak jolts in both types of watches. It transmits energy (it can be an electrical impulse from a battery, if we are talking about a quartz watch, or a push of a spring in mechanical products) to a travel regulator, which, using pulses, counts down the passage of time.

Trigger

This device controls the incoming mechanical and electrical impulses from the wheel system, measuring and dividing the course of time into equal correct parts.

Engine

An engine is a mechanism that receives power from the escapement and the wheel system. It distributes and generates it, thus making the hands of the clock rotate.

Mainspring

The mainspring is the main driving force, the source of energy of a mechanical watch, which serves to supply energy to the watch movement (as opposed to a quartz watch, where the battery performs a similar function). The spring is wound either manually (using the crown) or automatically (self-winding), thanks to the movement of the hand. When the watch is wound, the spring is twisted, all the energy is concentrated in it. When untwisted, energy is released, pushing the spring, which sets the drum in motion; it, in turn, starts the regulator and the watch motor, which moves the hand on the dial.

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Summing up

The watch shows the time through the interaction of three important components: the energy source, the movement and the dial. The power supply can be electronic (battery) or mechanical (spring). The device responsible for the movement of the watch is called the clockwork. Modern watches have two types of movements: mechanical and quartz.

Self-winding mechanical watches

Mechanical watches consist of about 130 parts that interact with each other to show the time. The movement is timed by a series of jolts from the wheel system, driven by an unwinding spring. It is wound up by hand movements during normal use of the watch. The wheel system uses an unwinding spring to transfer energy to the regulator of the watch, which in turn causes the pendulum to oscillate.

A balance is a device that orders the movement of a watch mechanism by means of vibration. Compression or release of the coil spring causes it to wobble. The mechanism that receives and transforms energy is called a motor; it rotates the hands of the clock on the dial.

Quartz watch

Quartz watch Is a collection of interacting electronic parts embedded in a tiny circuit. Unlike mechanical watches, which are powered by a mainspring, quartz watches are powered by a battery. The battery transfers electrical energy to the rotor to generate electrical current. The current flows through magnetic coils and a quartz crystal that vibrates at very high frequencies (32 times per second), providing highly accurate timing. These impulses pass through a "motor" that converts electrical energy into mechanical energy, which is necessary for the watch hands on the dial to move.

At the moment, the lion's share of watches produced in the world is quartz. And this is not casual. They are much more practical. The battery needs to be changed no more than 1 time in 2 years (there are models up to 10 years on one battery), the error of the stroke is 1 minute per year (mechanics 30 sec / day) and higher reliability due to the fact that there are fewer moving elements. They can have both an electronic display and a dial with arrows, or both.

Solar

Some quartz watches have the ability to accumulate solar energy, which enters them through a dial specially adapted for this. Such a device does not require batteries, which eliminates the need to change them every time. Of course, the Japanese, Citizen with ECO-DRIVE technology and Casio have succeeded in producing such watches.

Eco drive

This type of movement was invented by Citizen, recognized in the watch industry as a leader in the production of environmentally friendly watches.

Eco-Drive by Citizen works continuously from any light source (both natural and artificial) throughout its life and does not require batteries. The principle of operation of this type of movement is based on the absorption of light by crystals embedded in the dial. Inside the watch, a solar cell converts the incoming light into energy for running.

Kinetic

Pay attention to the clock line Kinetic from Seiko. Thanks to innovative technologies, the quartz chronometers of this series do not require batteries. The movement of the hand energizes the capacitor (energy storage), which transfers it to the quartz movement and makes it go.

Atomic

The atomic clock can measure its course daily (or several times a day) through a radio signal with a reference clock. In a reference watch, time is measured by vibrations of atoms in isotopes of a metal that resembles mercury in its properties. As a result, we get extremely accurate time, which can be measured using special devices. Unfortunately, in Russia this is not relevant, the signal is received only in Europe, America and Asia, next to Japan.

Shockproof watch

Mechanical watches were called "shockproof" only in the USSR. In mechanical watches, there may be additional protection for individual components, such as, for example, the balance axis. And this can only be saved from falling watches from a height of about 1 meter.

Quartz watches have better protection in this regard. For example, Casio produces a series of G-Shock watches that are guaranteed (judging by the advertisements) to withstand a fall from a height of 10 meters.

Watch water resistance (water resistance)

The concept of tightness or waterproofness at the watch means that in this model all connections are protected by special seals that prevent moisture penetration. However, be careful, in reality there is nothing in common between real meters and those indicated on the dial or case back. The numbers are the static water pressure. When the hand moves in water, a dynamic pressure is generated that exceeds the static one.

Another moment when a watch with any water resistance is almost always “drowned” is when it “dives” into a pool after a sauna or a cold pond after the watch has warmed up in the sun. In various expressions, in all instructions for the watch, this information is conveyed, but the number of cases does not decrease.

Backlight in hours

Backlight in hours designed to make it easier to read the time in the dark. In modern watches, the backlight is based on the phenomenon of luminescence and on semiconductor technology.

Wristwatch functions

Calendar (Perpetual calendar)

One of the most common functions. Clock with calendar have a small date window, usually located on the dial near three o'clock. You can also find models that have a date window and a separate day of the week window. Most calendar clocks count down 31 days each month, so the owner needs to manually rearrange the date in shorter months.

Some models have a more advanced month counting function. The programmed annual calendar shows the correct date for the whole year until March arrives (28 or 29 days of February knocks the calendar out). Well, if you are the owner of a watch with a perpetual calendar, then you do not need to worry about rearranging the date, because it is programmed to automatically adjust to different lengths of months and take into account leap years up to 2100.

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Chronograph

Another additional function of modern wristwatches is chronograph, which allows you to use the device as a stopwatch to record certain periods of time, for example, when running in a circle. In order to start the countdown, you need to press one of the buttons on the case. Depending on the design of the watch, to stop the timer, you need to press the same button again or another, specially provided for this.

Chronographs usually have two or three small dials, located on the main dial and showing seconds, minutes and hours. Quartz chronographs can measure time to 1 / 10th of a second, while their mechanical counterparts achieve 1 / 5th of a second. The chronograph readings can be used not only to measure the time spent on sports, they can be combined with the readings of the total station (located around the perimeter of the dial near the bezel) to determine the average speed at which a certain distance was covered.

Note: The terms “chronometer” and “chronograph” should not be confused. The chronograph is part of the movement, while the chronometer is a watch that has passed special tests and has been found to be particularly accurate by the COSC. Only 3% of wristwatches made in Switzerland are certified chronometers. To obtain this certification, the movement of the movement is subjected to numerous tests over 15 days and nights, in five positions and at three different temperatures. Well, and the chronometer, in turn, may not be a chronograph.

Moon phase indicator

Moon phase display function refers more to decorative. A watch with this function displays the illuminated part of the moon as it is seen from the earth at the moment, using a colored rotating disc located under the dial. Once configured, the indicator will complete a full circle every 29 days, 12 hours and 44 minutes.

Second time zone and world time

If you travel a lot, then a wrist watch with the function of displaying a second time zone (world time) will definitely come in handy for you. they will show the current time in the time zone where you are located and in the other at the same time. This function is carried out using an additional hand, a double subdial or a 24-hour time scale located on the large dial.

Even if you need to keep track of the time on different continents, such watches usually display the time in 24 cities (the names of cities are on the dial or on the bezel) located in different time zones. You can determine the time in a particular time zone by looking at the scale next to the city name indicated by the hour hand.

Multifunctional watch

This is a generic term for watches that are not chronographs and display the month, day and day of the week on two or three small dials.

Note: Chronographs i.e. watches with a stopwatch function can be either quartz or mechanical. Quartz chronographs can count down to 1/10 of a second, while mechanical chronographs are accurate to 1/5 of a second.

More on all functions and additional complications for a watch, read our article.

Forms

Wristwatches come in several shapes: round, square and rectangular. The fourth popular form is barrel-shaped (tonneau), which is a tall rectangle with flattened top and bottom and bulging sides. Round watches date back to pocket watches and are the most demanded form today.

Most sports models are round because it is easiest to waterproof. Designer watches are often given a square shape because they are it provides more possibilities for decorating the case. The rectangular shape is considered to be the most strict, because the watch can be easily hidden under the sleeve cuff. The barrel is a unique retro style and is also considered to be graceful due to its elongated shape.

dimensions

Of course, the same watch size will look different on wrists of different sizes, but there are generally accepted designations.

Men's Women's
Extra Small less than 36 mm less than 24mm
Small less than 36 mm less than 24mm
Medium 37 - 40 mm 24 - 30 mm
Large 42 - 46mm 32 - 36mm
Extra Large 48mm and more 40mm and more

Here are the main parameters for the thickness of the case:

  • Slim: 4-6mm (0.16 - 0.24 inches)
  • Medium: 7-11mm (0.28 - 0.43 inches)
  • Thick: 12-14mm (0.47 -0.55 inches)
  • Extra thick: 15-18mm (0.59-0.71 inches)

Despite the fact that you can determine the size of the watch based on the diameter of the case, you should still pay attention to the design of the dial. For example, you can take two watch models that have the same case dimensions. Some watches may appear larger due to the fact that their dial reaches the very edge of the case, while others appear smaller due to the more massive bezel. Ultimately, this visual dimension is quite subjective.

One of the parameters that you will not find anywhere else is the weight of the watch, however, it should be borne in mind that the metal bracelet will add additional weight to the wristwatch. If the weight of the watch matters to you, then you should consider a bracelet and case made of titanium alloy, a material that is much lighter than stainless steel.

Clock face

Digital

Time is determined using numbers instead of hands on the dial. The numbers are located either on the liquid crystal display (LCD), which provides constant readings, or on the LED indicator, which shows the time when a button is pressed.

Analog

A clock with an analog display shows the time using the hands. The analog display has a traditional dial with hour, minute and sometimes second hands.

Analog-digital (double indication)

A watch with an analogue-digital display shows the time using hands (analogue display) and numbers (digital display). This feature is usually found in sports watches.

Watch care

Of course, a wristwatch can also be considered a decorative accessory, but at the same time, it is a tool that needs in cleaning and tuning to ensure its accuracy, attractive appearance and long-term performance.

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