Movement, Displays and Crystals
It's always practical to select a watch based on the functions you need. For example, you might need a watch that has a calendar, sweeping secondhand or stopwatch feature. Another point to consider is how the watch feels on your wrist. Is it too heavy, too light? Here are some tips for choosing a watch for yourself or someone else.
Classic watches come in many styles. With their versatile look, they can be worn for almost any occasion and do not go out of style. Choose from round cases, leather straps, and gold, silver-toned or stainless steel bracelets, to name just a few options.
Dressy watches have a fancier look than classic watches and often come with jewel accents on the bezel or dial.
Sports watches come with straps that are designed for durability and made from materials such as polyurethane and water-resistant leather. Lightweight fabric straps are also available. Athletes like features such as stopwatch timers, lap counters and high water-resistance ratings.
High-tech watches use digital technologies in remarkable new ways. Some watches even come equipped with global positioning satellite (GPS) capability, digital cameras and more.
Watch Movements
There are 4 major types of watch movements: mechanical and automatic, quartz, solar and kinetic.
Mechanical and Automatic
Mechanical watches are wound by hand. Automatics are self-winding with the movement of the wrist. But if an automatic watch is not worn for a day or two, it will have to be wound by hand.
These watches run on electricity from a battery. This is the most popular watch technology for more than 90 percent of the world's watch production. Quartz crystal keeps very accurate time.
Light generates electricity to power a quartz movement in these watches.
This technology uses your arm movements to power a quartz movement. Kinetic watches do not need batteries.
Watch Displays
Watches show time in 2 ways: with a digital display or with an analog display. Digital watches use a liquid crystal display (LCD) to show time in numbers. Analog watches feature a traditional dial and hands to mark the time. Some watches have both forms of display.
The crystal is the clear cover over a watch's face. The crystal protects the watch face and helps seal it from dust and moisture. Crystals are made from a variety of materials, including acrylic crystal, sapphire crystal and mineral crystal.
Acrylic crystal, a hard plastic, is inexpensive, and shallow scratches can be buffed out. Mineral crystal is composed of several elements that are heat-treated to create unusual hardness that aids in resisting scratches. Sapphire crystal is the most expensive and durable. It's about 3 times harder than mineral crystal and 20 times harder than acrylic crystal. A nonreflective coating prevents glare (usually on sports watches).