How to buy a watch
A watch buying guide
Whether you're looking for practicality or making a fashion statement, you can do both with the right watch. With the wide array of watches available today, picking the one that works for you and your lifestyle is as easy as answering a few basic questions.
>> What type of watch do you want?
Whether you're looking for a standard wristwatch or if you prefer a classic pocket watch, you must first choose whether you prefer a quartz watch that is battery-powered or a mechanical watch that needs to be periodically wound up. These are the two main types of watches available, and your choice will invariably depend upon your preference and your personal style.
Quartz watches are the most common types of watches. One small piece of quart in a watch oscillates at around 32,000 vibrations per second, assuring accurate timekeeping. Quartz watches do not need winding. Batteries are usually replaced only once every one or two years. Quartz watch faces come in various styles, such as analog, digital and analog-digital (a combination of both).
Analog quartz watches: The watch face of an analog quartz watch has numbers, tick marks or Roman numerals that indicate time intervals.
Digital quartz watches: The face of a digital quartz watch might have special features such as phone books capabilities, Global Positioning System (GPS) functioning, altimeters, depth sensors, calculators or compasses.
Analog-digital quartz watches: The face of an analog-digital quartz watch usually combines a digital display with the features of an analog quartz watch.
When deciding how to buy a watch, know that mechanical watches are usually constructed with intricate craftsmanship. That is why mechanical watches are known for being valuable and complex timepieces. Mechanical watches come in manual or automatic forms.
Manual mechanical watches: Also called wind watches, manual mechanical watches need daily winding to tighten the internal spring.
Automatic mechanical watches: These types of mechanical watches have a motion-based rotor swing that keeps the watch running. More often than not, their display is fully or partially transparent for the user to see and check the rotor in action. If you are wearing an automatic mechanical watch for more than half the day, you will see that your motion will make your watch mechanism run. If you do not wear an automatic mechanical watch for a few days, you will need to wind it.
>> Consider band styles
Once you know how to buy a watch type, keep in mind that there are many band styles you can choose form. Some of the more popular band styles include:
Aluminum bands: Aluminum wristwatches, especially durable ones, are highly resistant to corrosion, rust and tarnish.
Carbon fiber bands: These wristwatches often come in dark colors such as black or dark gray.
Plastic or rubber bands: There are many trendy, colorful and lightweight-but-sturdy sports watches that are made of rubber or plastic.
Leather bands: Leather wristwatch bands make a classic, elegant fashion statement that is appropriate in just about any setting.
Precious metal bands: Precious metal wristwatches are often made of gold, sterling silver or platinum, and are sometimes accompanied by diamond embellishments.
Stainless steel bands: Stainless steel is used by many watch manufacturers because of its durability and attractive look.
Titanium bands: Wristwatches made of titanium are lightweight and very resistant to corrosion. These watches often come with protective coating to prevent scratches.
>> What features do you want?
When determining which watch to buy, consider the features of a watch. Aside from the various watch designs available, it is equally important that you consider how you will use the watch, and what features are most important to you.
|Alarm ||Many different types of watches offer an alarm clock function which signals an alarm for a scheduled time. || |
- Alarm watches are good for people who want to time events on the go
- An alternative to an alarm clock in the morning
|Calendars ||Display that shows the date, day of the week or full month. || |
- Anybody who would like a device with a handy date reference
|Chronograph ||Offers various methods of measuring time. || |
- Athletes, such as runners or swimmers, sports enthusiasts or anyone who wants to time an activity, such as cooking
|Moon phase indicator ||Shows you the current moon phase complete with the moon's image of the phase. || |
- Fishermen or anyone who likes fishing
|Repeater ||When a button is pressed, a watch that has a repeater will tell you the time using chimes. For example, chiming at the top and bottom of every hour. || |
- Reminding people of the time
|Tachymeter scales ||Calculate average speed and can be used together with a chronograph. || |
- Athletes and sports enthusiasts
|Water-resistant ||Protects the watch from water damage while bathing, swimming and even scuba diving. || |
- Waterproof watches are a good choice for athletes who are into water-based sports and lead active lifestyles
|World time or dual time ||The time in various time zones is displayed. Dual time watches allow you to keep track of the time in two different time zones in the world at the same time. || |
- Executives who have business in two or more different time zones, travelers, or those with family or friends in another country
Deciding which watch to buy can be a fun and enjoyable experience once you narrow down which features are important to you, and what kind of design works best with your lifestyle.