Have you been staring at that luxury watch in your local mall’s display counter for quite some time already? Well, perhaps it’s high time you go buy that one! When staring at a luxury watch, most men and women often find themselves torn between the watch’s financial cost and the potential perks of owning one. From social and cultural cues to investment, here’s a fun, no-nonsense luxury watch guide for first-time buyers.
The Most Popular Luxury Watch Styles
Beyond just aesthetics, there’s one basic tenet that every watch must do, and that’s to keep track of the time. While cheap, low-priced watches are generally mass-produced by often unskilled workers at some third-world factory, highly-skilled artisans are often the ones behind crafting luxury watches. And while there are various luxury watch styles, the most popular one include Dress Watches, Diving Watches and Sports Watches.
Dress watches are made to perfectly complement business or formal attire. Often, these are thin enough to easily slip in and out of a shirt cuff, and they feature minimal designs so that they seamlessly blend into a formal outfit.
Diving watches are specifically manufactured to endure tough diving conditions, as well as to help deep-sea divers (since timekeeping is critical for divers who are hundreds of feet underwater). These are also crafted with superior water resistance and are usually made from corrosion-resistant materials.
On the other hand, sports watches are designed for cyclists, runners, mountain bikers, football, tennis, baseball, volleyball or basketball players as well as for adventure enthusiasts. Such timepieces, like the Big-bang watch, need to have strong cases as well as good water resistance. They can also come with a wide array of functions (or “complications”) like chronographs and tachymeters.
The Two Types of Watch Movements
A watch’s movement is called a “caliber”, and this refers to the internal mechanisms or systems which powers the timepiece. The two types of common watch movements include mechanical and quartz movement.
Mechanical movements are ingeniously-crafted movements that consist of tiny and intricate parts and components that seamlessly work together. Thus, the valuable parts or components should only be crafted by truly skilled or seasoned watchmakers. Two types of mechanical movements also exist, and these include Manual and Automatic.
Quartz movement watches use what’s known as a “quartz” battery for its main power source. This type of watch movement is accurate and requires little to no maintenance, as they have few mechanical parts and require way less labor than their mechanical counterparts. Besides, these watches are also less expensive than mechanical timepieces.
Common Watch Functions
As mentioned earlier, a “complication” refers to any function that exists on a watch, apart from telling the time. Timepieces that have multiple complications are hard to make because more elements or parts are needed to be added to the movement.
The most widely used or added watch complications include Date, Chronograph, Power Reserve Indicator, Moon Phase and World Time. Perhaps the simplest watch complication is the date, as most watches display the date, day of the week or even the month.
The chronograph functions as a stop-watch where the user can measure time intervals without affecting the watch’s main time. Depending on the type of watch, the chronograph may time seconds, minutes or hours.
The power reserve indicator is a function that displays the current phase of the moon and shows if it’s a new, full or half-quarter moon. Some luxury watches elegantly display the moon phase cycle with a classical or stylish illustration of the moon, as it moves through a cycle through its aperture.
Now, world time is a quite complex watch complication or feature, as it displays 24 time zones at the same time. Watches that have this feature often contain a rotating inner bezel which has a 24-hour display showing the world’s major cities in each time zone.
With centuries of colorful history, prestigious brands, enduring designs, and styles, as well as ever-changing innovation, learning the basics about luxury watches can feel quite daunting. However, with this simple yet informative guide, I hope buyers have an easier, less stressful time shopping for their favorite luxury watches.