Watch Buying Guide
These days, with the massive range of both fashion and classical watches available, there's often more to buying a watch than just choosing one off a shelf. If you want to invest your money in something that will be just right for you, it's good to have a basic understanding about what's currently available. This watch guide should help you understand the various options, designs, configurations and styles that are out there amongst the various watch brands. By reading this guide, you can familiarise yourself with the basic anatomy of a watch, determine what sort of functionality you're looking for, get an idea about what styles and looks are available and become a more educated and discerning watch shopper.
The Anatomy of a Watch
When you sit down and really consider a watch, you'll quickly see that there are many fine details to take into consideration. There are dozens of different potential details to think about, and a dizzying array of combinations are available. By learning about each separate part of a watch, you can decide precisely what you're after. This will make your search more streamlined and much simpler.
Quartz - Since quartz movement is so reliable and so affordable, it is found in a very large percentage of today's watches. A battery-powered current moves through a quartz crystal, making it oscillate incredibly fast. That oscillation powers a motor that moves the hands of the watch. Quartz movements are very reliable and are accurate and convenient enough to satisfy the needs of most people. The bottom line is, if you're looking for a cost-effective watch, look for one with quartz movement. The only real downside to quartz is that they require an occasional battery replacement (usually 2 – 3 years depending on the make and model).
Automatic - Automatic movement is a type of mechanical movement that includes a self-winding design. Watches that have automatic movement are generally very accurate, as long as they are worn on a regular basis. Although, in general, they simply are not as accurate at quartz watches and should not be expected to keep time to the same degree of accuracy. Automatic watch movements are traditional and preferred by many, however they generally only store power for up to two days, so if you wear your watch infrequently, it may require setting of the time and manual initiation (winding) before wearing it.
Mechanical - Mechanical movement refers to those old-fashioned watches that need to be wound up regularly. Since they're generally not as accurate as quartz or automatic movement watches, these timepieces tend to be worn for fashion, sentimental or style reasons.
Kinetic - Utilised by the Seiko watch company, Kinetic movement watches use the power of the human body to keep running. Simply by being worn, Kinetic watches stay "wound up" and do not need to be wound up manually. Another benefits of these watches is that they don't require batteries. In practice, Kinetic watches function in a similar fashion to automatic watches, except they stay charged for longer as the wrist movement actually charges a rechargeable battery rather than winding a spring.
Eco-Drive - Citizen watches offer Eco-Drive movement, which uses solar power to keep running. The power of the sun works to keep Eco-Drive watches functioning, making them very environmentally friendly and easy to own. Eco-Drive movements have an internal battery which is charged by the sunlight, and when fully charged they can run for up to 6 months even in complete darkness. Therefore, it is possible to wear an Eco-drive watch completely regarding the way the watch is powered.
Tough Solar - Tough Solar watches have been developed by Casio, and are unique in that they derive their power from ultra-small solar panels. If you're looking for an eco-friendly, high-tech watch, then you should probably look for one that uses this unique and exciting type of movement, which functions in a similar manner to Eco-Drive in that it powers a rechargeable battery and lasts a long period of time even if left in darkness.
The case of a watch is its frame, and forms the body upon which everything else sits. Watch cases are designed in many different shapes; they can be square, round, rectangular or polygonal. They are typically made out of metals like titanium, platinum, gold, silver and steel. Those metals are usually available in several different finishes. Choose the finish of your watch carefully, since it has a major impact on the timepiece's overall appearance. There are shiny and matte finishes, patterned case finishes and even cases that are inlaid with stones and other special features.
You know that clear window that protects and covers the hands and other parts of a watch's face' It's called the watch glass (or watch ‘Crystal’ in the USA), and it can be made out of several different materials. Mineral glass is the most popular one these days, thanks to its strength, durability and affordability; however, it does have a greater tendency to be scratched than sapphire glass. Sapphire glass is the most expensive option and is fitted to premium watches such as Calvin Klein or Tissot; this type of glass has a very high hardness and has a good resistance to being scratched.
Choosing a watch with the right strap is imperative. After all, the strap is going to be making constant contact with your wrist - you certainly want it to be comfortable, easy to take on and off, and durable. Analogue watches usually have leather or metallic straps or bands. Digital watch bands are usually made out of some variety of plastic. Higher-end watches sometimes have special releases built into their straps, making them easier to take on and off – these are often known as deployment clasps.
What Will You Be Using Your Watch For'
Functionality is the next area of concern when it comes to buying a watch. It's tremendously helpful to know what you plan on using the watch for prior to buying it. For example, will you be wearing it every day' If so, then a trustworthy Sekonda watch might be right for you. On the other hand, if you're looking for something to wear only on special occasions, you might look at a higher-end watch like gC or Emporio Armani. A few tips about the different types of watch that are out there are highlighted below.
Strictly Fashion - If all you're asking of your watch is aesthetic appeal - and you're not all that concerned about functionality or accuracy - then you may wish to opt for a fashion brand such as DKNY and skip the high-tech gadgetry that's common with brands like Casio and Seiko. In this case, you should figure out your budget and select a watch that appeals to you in a purely visual way. Brightly-coloured Swatch watches are great for that, as are Seksy watches for ladies. Calvin Klein also offers a pleasing array of attractive watches that are perfect for fashion-conscious people. At WatchShop, we assure you of the fact that any designer brand purchased from ourselves meets the highest standards of quality that you would expect from the brand itself.
All Business - Business people tend to be very demanding about the watches they wear, especially if they have to travel a lot. If you're looking for a watch that you can wear to the office on a regular basis, you're probably going to want to select one with a more conservative style. That way, it will blend in and go along well with the majority of your wardrobe. You're also going to want your want to be comfortable and durable - it's probably going to have to put up with quite a lot. Ted Baker, DKNY, Rotary, Hugo Boss and TW Steel are all offer plenty of reasonable options for reliable, well-built business watches.
Urban Lifestyles - City dwellers, hipsters and those who just prefer having a more urban edge are going to want to look for watches that offer a combination of style, excitement and technology. Life is fast-paced in the city, so it helps if your watch offers features like detailed calendars and even email capabilities. At the same time, you're probably going to want your watch to be fun, cutting edge and very stylish. Ice Watch watches are excellent options, as are Adidas, Diesel and Black Dice. Classic designs definitely aren't the only options when it comes to today's timepieces.
Active Lifestyles - Even if you're into the most extreme of extreme sports, you should be able to find a watch that's more than up to the task. Almost every watchmaker these days offers water resistant timepieces, and there are many models that boast chronographs that work as exceptionally accurate stopwatches. Some watches also include tachymeters, which allow you to gauge speeds. If you spend a lot of time doing outdoor activities, you'll also want a watch that's tough, rugged and durable, e.g. Timex. Take a look at Timberland watches and Swatch watches as well.
Find a Look That Thrills You
Finally, you're going to want whatever watch you choose to look great. Even if fashion isn't the number one thing on your mind, you're certainly not going to want to put up with a watch that is visually unappealing. Fortunately, almost every watch brand on the planet offers timepieces that are geared with fashion in mind. In fact, today's watches tend to place a strong emphasis on aesthetics; the trick is finding the look that is right for you. There are several things to keep in mind when it comes to the appearance of a watch, including:
Overall Style - Much like apparel, watches come in many different styles these days. There are classic, contemporary and urban designs available. Some watches are geared toward men and have rugged, masculine appearances; others are designed with the ladies in mind, and boast delicate touches and fun, flirty colours. There are low-key, conservatively-designed watches, and there are watches that are sure to make an impression. One especially popular trend for men's watches these days is the oversize look; TW Steel watches are renowned for perfecting it. Whatever style you're after, you're bound to find something that fits the bill nicely.
Bells and Whistles - Before starting your search in earnest, think about what sorts of features you absolutely can't live without. Do you need an exceptionally water resistant watch' Are you after a watch that has an easy-to-use calculator' Or do you want a timepiece that boasts cutting edge accoutrements like chronographs and tachymeters' Figure out the "must-have" features of your ideal watch, then zero in on brands that are known to excel at them. Seiko has long been known for offering cutting-edge technology; many Sekonda models boast exceptional features for a reasonable price, too.
Embellishments - Many times, it's the small details that really make the watch. Today's watches offer more exquisite and exciting embellishments than ever. From Swarovski crystals to semi-precious and precious stones, you can take your pick from a bevy of phenomenal touches. Several of today's top fashion designers offer top-notch watches that include these fine details; look to DKNY, Seksy, Karen Millen and more for some first-rate examples. If you want your wrist to glitter and shine, it's easy to track down an affordable timepiece that offers a hint of luxury and a healthy dose of glitzy appeal.
Colours - Finally, nearly every imaginable shade and hue can be found amid today's selection of watches. From solid-coloured pieces that pop out in exciting and eye-catching ways, to more understated looks that add an element of sophistication and glamour to any ensemble, it's a snap to find watches that boast your most favourite colours. Swatch watches come in a veritable rainbow of colours, for example, and are cheap enough that you can easily afford to buy a few of them so that you're always colour-coordinated. Ice Watch and LTD Watch are another colourful and attractive choice. If you have a particular shade in mind, it'll be easy to track it down at WatchShop.com.
Finding Your Ideal Watch is Easy at WatchShop.com
Once you've sorted through all of the various details and have decided which characteristics matter the most to you, finding your ideal watch should be a breeze. You'll be glad that you took the time to consider every detail when you slip that watch on your wrist and immediately know that it's just the right thing. The best part is, competition among watchmakers is so fierce that you, the customer, comes out as the winner – in the modern age, you can expect supreme quality and accuracy from any designer watch brand listed on this website. Go ahead - start your search for the perfect watch right now!
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