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Watch Buy Guide: What to Look for in a Watch

When choosing a watch there are many variables to take into account. Your new watch has to match your tastes, your requirements and, perhaps most importantly, your budget.

There are many different types of watches available at different price points. You can read more about each model and watch family in our Watch Universe.

But before you choose a watch based on its price, however, you need to know what you are paying for. To know this you need to know how watches work. That’s why our watch buy guide starts with an introduction to watch movements.

Buying a Watch: Movements

Movement, also known as calibre, is the mechanism inside a watch that makes it go round. There are different sorts of movements, and the type of movement the watch contains will be reflected in the price of the watch.

Quartz Movements

The first kind of movement is quartz. As the name suggests, quartz movements are regulated by a piece of quartz and powered by a battery. Quartz movements are mass produced, making quartz watches the more affordable options on the market.

Although some consider them technically inferior to handmade movements, quartz movements are highly accurate. In fact, they may even be better than handmade movements at telling the time.

Mechanical Movements

To many watch aficionados the least important thing a watch does is tell the time. In this sense, it isn’t about what the movements do: it’s how they do it. This is where mechanical movements enter the picture.

Some mechanical movements are wound. However, nowadays the majority are “automatics.” An automatic watch is built to harness kinetic energy. This means that when you move your wrist, the movement of your watch stays powered.

Automatics developed in-house usually take more time and skill to develop and implement. By horology standards this makes them more “respectable.” Many also prefer the feel of an automatic. The sweep and continuous vibration as the watch powers itself; the feeling of craftsmanship. With a quartz watch, on the other hand, you feel only a single tick per second.

Watch Buying Guide: Choosing the Right Watch for You

The purpose of this watch buying guide is not to sway you in favour of quartz or automatic.The different movements have their own advantages. It’s up to you to decide which option is the best match for your tastes, requirements and budget.

There are also many other factors to consider when buying a watch. For instance, there is no typical wrist size, and therefore there is no typical size of watch. Most watch cases have a diameter of 34-44 mm. 34-40 mm is a good size for slighter wrists while those with larger wrists might want to opt for cases up to 46 mm.

You might also want to consider the functions of your watch. Some watches have extra dials and hands. These are called complications. Complications have different functions such as “chronograph,” the stopwatch functionality, or “GMT,” which can be set to a time zone of the wearer’s choice.

The strap also plays an important role. If you are looking for an everyday watch, a metal bracelet is a popular option. For dressy occasions, a leather strap is the more conventional choice.

In the end, it’s entirely up to you to choose what type of watch best complements the kind of person you are. We hope this watch buy guide has given you a basic understanding of what to look for in a watch.


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