While the look and feel of a timepiece is important when choosing your watch, it’s also important to consider the mechanics of each watch and whether it is suited to your lifestyle. Whether you are the sporty athletic type, a gadget man or a fashionista following the latest trends this watch buying guide will help you to understand the range of styles and functions available from the most current brands.
What watch style are you?
Whether you’re into extreme sports or simply enjoy running, there is a sports watch designed for you. Many watch brands such as Seiko, Citizen and Rotary design sports watches to be rugged and durable with chunky straps and large faces. Sports watches include features such as high water resistance levels, tachymeter function to measure speed or a chronograph stopwatch function to measure time.
Fashion watches are a way for you to express your personality through a timepiece. Bold fashion trends, bright colours, bling, funky materials, you can have some real fun when choosing a fashion watch. Fashion brands such as Michael Kors, Armani, DKNY and ICE capture the most up to date trends perfectly so don’t be afraid to go for it!
A luxury watch brand such as Dreyfuss & Co is an investment piece, an heirloom to pass down from one generation to the next and often purchased to mark a special occasion. Luxury watches are made with the finest materials such as sterling silver, gold, or diamonds. Consider a luxury watch with an automatic movement and a skeletal case to reveal the mechanisms. As a luxury watch is intended as an investment piece it will need servicing every few years to maintain it.
Dresses watches are modest and elegant and designed to be timeless. The faces are often simple analogue dials on a stainless steel, two tone, gold plated or leather strap. Popular dress watch brands include Bulova, Accurist, Rotary and Citizen and all offer a classic look that will still look good in years to come.
Children’s watches are often small, colourful and durable. The small faces are easy to read and designed to help your child with learning to tell the time. Check out the Tikkers range for the latest children’s styles.
Types of Movements
A quartz watch is powered by a battery. The battery sends an electric current through a quartz crystal, making it oscillate incredibly quickly. This oscillation then powers a motor that operates the hands of the watch. A quartz watch will keep accurate time for as long as the battery has power. The only consideration is that the battery will need replaced from time to time.
Rather than being powered by a battery, a mechanical watch must be hand wound regularly. Once the mainspring inside the watch is wound up it gradually releases energy to power movement. The movement is solely regulated by the mainspring so once it has unwound the watch will stop. Mechanical watches are generally not as accurate as other watch movements however many watch enthusiasts appreciate the craftsmanship of a mechanical movement.
Automatic (Kinetic) Movement
An automatic movement is very similar to a mechanical movement; however mainspring is wound by the wearer’s movement rather than hand-wound. An automatic movement contains a weight attached to the mainspring which spins when the watch moves, therefore provided you wear the watch on a regular basis the watch will remain wound up. The main drawback of an automatic movement is that if you don’t wear it for a few days it will stop. If this happens you may need to reset the time and manually wind it a few times to restart the movement.
Solar (Eco Drive) Movement
A solar powered movement absorbs light through the watch face and converts it to electricity which is then stored in a rechargeable battery. This battery then powers the watch movement similar to a quartz movement. When fully charged the Citizen Eco-Drive movement can run for up to 6 months even in darkness. Therefore, as long as the watch is cared for you’ll never need to replace the battery.
All watches come with a 1, 2 or 5 year manufacturer guarantee depending on the brand. Please refer to individual watch guarantees for terms and conditions.
Glossary of Terms
Tachymeter – A tachymeter bezel or dial feature helps to measures speed. To use the tachymeter function start the chronograph or stopwatch when the object you are measuring passes the starting point. When the object reaches the end point stop the chronograph or stopwatch. The tachymeter will measure the speed of the object between these two points.
Chronograph – A basic chronograph watch has an independent second hand that can be used as a stopwatch. More complex chronograph watches can also have independent hands to measure seconds, minutes and hours.
Perpetual calendar – A perpetual calendar will automatically adjust the date, including leap years.
Crown – The crown of a watch is generally found at the right hand side of the watch face, and can be used to set the time and date.
Atmosphere (ATM) – A unit of pressure used to indicate water resistance of a particular watch. 1 ATM represents 10 metres of water pressure, so a watch with 5 ATM is water resistant to 50 metres.
Shock resistant – This refers to a watches ability to withstand impact equivalent to being dropped onto a wooden floor from three feet high.
Subdial – A small dial on the watch face often used as a stop watch.
Bezel – The bezel of a watch refers to the outer ring on the watch face.
Batons – a short bar replacing numbers on the dial of a watch face.