All About Watches
Watch Types and Styles
There are many different types of watches currently available. The type of watch you choose could be based on multiple factors, from your own personal sense of style to the kinds of activities you engage in (work, school, sports, etc.). If you enjoy being seen and looking stylish, a fashion watch may be a good option. These watches are designed with style in mind, prioritizing form over function without sacrificing timekeeping accuracy. Most fashion watches feature Quartz movements, beautiful dials, and offer exquisite craftsmanship. Among the top brands are Bulova, Citizen, and Fossil.
Alternatives to fashion watches include sports watches (durable, robust watches that usually feature steel or resin cases, and often a chronograph feature for timing one’s workouts). These watches are designed for active individuals and are meant to stand up to intense use. Models like the Casio G-Shock and Citizen Sport Chronograph come to mind.
Additionally there are dress watches (thin profile watches that slide nicely under the cuff and usually feature simple, uncluttered dials and minimal complications), as well as diver watches (featuring a high level of water resistance and a rotating bezel for safely timing your dive). The Seiko SKX is a very popular example of a diving watch. Also popular are kids watches—pretty much anything with a kid friendly theme, such as the longstanding Mickey Mouse watch.
Watch Movements: Mechanical vs. Quartz
Many watch consumers pay little attention to the distinctions among movement types. Still, there are important considerations to be taken. Mechanical watches, for instance, feature either hand or automatic winding movements driven by a mainspring that requires frequent winding to keep it running. These watches offer anywhere from 30 to 70 hours of running time on a fully would spring, and timekeeping is generally far less accurate than that of Quartz watches. Quartz movements are generally battery driven and keep highly accurate time—often to within about 15 seconds per month, though sometimes even better.
Moreover, Quartz watches have fewer moving parts than mechanical watches and therefore require less servicing (beyond the occasional battery change). Quartz watches also sometimes house a rechargeable capacitor that charges by various means (i.e., solar or kinetic powering). The Citizen Eco-Drive is a great example of a solar powered watch, while the Seiko Kinetic is a watch that charges thanks to your arm’s normal movements (which turn a rotor to charge the capacitor).
Popular Features & Complications
Modern watches offer a variety of useful complications. Among the most popular of these is the chronograph (or stopwatch) feature, which allows users to time everything from their daily run to the time it takes to cook a pizza. Also popular is the date window (to show what day of the month it is), and sometimes a day function as well (revealing the current day of the week).
Before choosing your future watch, you must decide which features and complications are the most important to you. Some watches are far more simple than others. Dress watches, for instance, may simply tell you the time of day and nothing else, though sometimes a moon phase or other fancy complication may be present to dress things up a bit. Generally speaking, the more complications a watch has, the more likely it is to be expensive, though digital watches are a notable exception to this rule.
Waterproof or Water Resistant?
Many years ago, watch companies could advertise their watches as waterproof. This is not so much the case anymore, as no watch can truly claim to be waterproof. Claiming a watch to be waterproof today is fraught with legal complications. Instead we now use the term “water resistant,” which itself is something of a loaded term.
A watch may be 30 metres water resistant, 50 M WR, 100 M WR, 200 M WR, or even something more. The meanings of these terms are fairly complicated, and also worth looking into before you choose your watch. Equally important is taking the time to consider your intended watch’s use, so you can choose the water resistance level that best suits your lifestyle. And remember, with water resistance, it’s always better to have too much than not enough. In fact, there is really no such thing as too much water resistance.
When it comes to watch accessories, there are a few key things to consider. Once you decide on your preferred case style (as well as the materials your watch is made from), you can then begin to think of things like swapping out straps/bracelets, or even doing other modifications. If you choose a watch with a stainless steel bracelet, for instance, you may also want to pick up a spare leather strap to swap it out with from time to time. One of the truly fun things about owning a versatile watch is having the ability to easily change its look. An individual watch under such circumstances can become an entire watch collection.