Watches are timepieces

Watches

Watches are timepieces. They’re designed to be worn or carried around. Despite a watch wearer’s movements, actions or activities, a watch continues to work. A wristwatch features a bracelet or watch strap to enable wearing it around the wrist.

On the other hand, a pocket watch is designed for carriage in pockets. Horology is the study of timekeeping. The use of watches dates back to the 14th century when spring-powered clocks appeared. The mechanical device was used up to the 17th century when it got improved.

A winding mainspring powered the mechanical watch. It was driven by clockwork and a balance wheel oscillated to keep time. The quartz watch was discovered in the 1960s. The electronic watch was battery-powered and a quartz crystal vibrated to keep time.

The quartz watch took over a significant share of the mechanical watch market by the 1980s, during the quartz revolution. Smart watches were invented in 2010. They’re extensive electronic devices that resemble computers in operation. The wrist watches feature various features, with functionalities including timekeeping.

Modern digital watches for men generally display date, day, year and month. Mechanical watches come with additional features known as “complications.” They may also include various kinds of tourbillon and displays in the shape of the moon.

However, electronic quartz watches come with time-related attributes or functions such as chronographs, timers and alarms.

Modern smart watches include GPS, calculators and Bluetooth technology. Whereas some watches are built with radio clock technology for consistent time correction, others have the capability to monitor heart rates.

Watches based on quartz movements are common in the modern market due to their less costly, medium prices. They’re mainly used to keep time. On the other hand, collectible watches are costly and valued for their aesthetic appeal, extensive and detailed craftsmanship, and glamorous designs instead of basic timekeeping.

Based on conventional mechanical movements, collectible digital watches for men are more costly and less precise than ordinary electronic quartz watches.

The Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication is the most costly watch to be auctioned since 2018 in Geneva. It’s the most complicated mechanical watch since 1989. On November 11th 2014, the watch was sold at US$ 24 million.

Types of Watch Movements

Types of Watch Movements

The decision to buy a watch can be more complex than it seems. With all kinds of watch types on the market, choosing the right timepiece can be difficult from the word go. Watches are categorized based on their uses, lifestyles and even particular careers.

Lack of knowledge on the type of watches available on the market makes it difficult to choose the right watch for you. When choosing a watch, determine when and where to wear it. Do you spend lots of time outdoors on a regular basis? Do you need a watch to use in the office? Are you a pilot or a diver?

The right smart watch for kids depend on various factors such as your intended area of application. A pilot’s or diving watch would be too costly to just wear around your office every day.

However, choose a style of watch that you like. If you prefer the look of an expensive diving watch, don’t hesitate to get one. But, note that you’ll be spending on a watch with features you may never use.

There’s a type of watch for every personality and taste out there. For every type of watch out there, it can be based on at least one of the movements discussed below. Note that a watch can fall under more than one category of watches.

  • Mechanical Watches
Mechanical Watches

Watches based on mechanical movement are some of the most costly timepieces you’ll find on the market. Mechanical watches feature a case with small devices and gears. A winding spring is used to power the small devices inside the case. The watches fit the look and description of the conventional smart watch for women.

Automatic watches fall under mechanical watches. They’re powered by anything ranging from kinetic motion when the wearer moves the wrist to sunlight. Mechanical watches have a ticking sound. The spring that winds to power these watches make a ticking sound when unwinding.

  • Quartz Watches

Unlike mechanical watches, quartz watches feature a quartz crystal to keep time. Mechanical watches use mechanisms and precision gears. An electrical current is applied across the crystal, resulting in its pulsation. A circuit translates the vibration frequency of a quartz watch into a small motor responsible for powering its hands.

Quartz movement watches are battery-powered. They’re also the most precise watches you’ll find on the market.

Types of Watches

Use a smart watch for kids, women or men to express your personality, status in life or even style, instead of just telling time. Unlike a standard watch, some watches are made for professional use such as in nursing. Watches are categorized based on their display, style, movement, source of power and functionality.

Here’re some common types of watches you’ll find on the market:

  • Chronograph Watches

Chronograph watches are the most popular on the market. Its history dates back to the early 1800s. During that time, King Louis XVIII ordered the royal watchmaker to develop a watch that would help him time his horse races with great preciseness. That’s how the chronograph watch came into being.

Although the face of the watch varies from one specific timepiece to another, they all feature a standard face and side buttons. They usually feature three small dials on the inset and the main face of the watch. The three dials can act as stopwatches. Two buttons, also known as “pushers,” are found on the side of a watch’s case.

Chronograph watches are also available as specialized as timepieces. For instance, doctor’s chronographs help practitioners to track respiration and heart rate of patients, among other elements.

On the other hand, sailor’s chronographs track tides. Double chronographs are other types of chronograph watches on the market.

Opt for this type of smart watch for women if there’s a need for precise timings.

  • Dive Watches

Just as the name suggests, dive watches are designed for divers to use under water. They’re resistant to both pressure and water. A standard dive watch has water resistance ranging from 500 to 1,000 feet. However, you can find a diver’s watch with greater depths of water resistance.

A rotating bezel on a dive watch enables divers to track their air supply. Although no single watch is completely waterproof, dive watches are the closest to being watertight.

Dive watches also come in kinds of styles. Opt for one if you spend lots of time in water, professionally or even as a passion.

  • Military Watches
Military Watches

Special watches for military use were first introduced in the 1800s. It was military watches that led to the increased use of wristwatches amongst civilians or the general public. As a result, the demand for watches rose.

The military drove innovations in the design of watches, more so the functionality of the second hand. For instance, the design of the “hack” second hand came about as a result of the need to accurately synchronize watches to maneuver time during campaigns.

This feature is still found on mechanical watches today. The second hand ceases to move when the watch stem is pulled out. When the watch stem is pushed back inside the timepiece, the second hand begins to move again.

Military watches are innovative and pilots can also use them.

  • Pilot Watches

Designed for military pilots, pilot watches track time with little to no attention from the pilot. They’re portable and support hands-free use. The watches allow pilots to focus on more critical things such as flying a plane.

Typical of large dials, pilot watches are easy to read. They feature glowing hands to support use in conditions with poor lighting. The hands only glow in the dark.

Increased size of watch faces and dials over the last few years has been attributed to a growing trend in military watches. Traditional watch cases were made from stainless steel while modern variations use advanced materials such as titanium and other industrial substances.

  • Digital watches
Digital watches

Unlike other watches on the market, digital watches are the most cost-effective. They’re battery-operated. The way time is displayed on non-mechanical analog watches and digital-analog watches is the only difference between the two.

Based on quartz crystal movement, digital watches feature circuits that translate crystal vibration power into electronic signals. The crystal vibration powers a motor responsible for moving hands. The electronic signals indicate time in numerical figures on a screen.

The wristwatch was popular in the 1980s, and is still the choice of many people in the modern world.

  • Watches for Nurses

The medical professional requires 24-hour military time markers on the face of watches. The standard finds widespread use in the industry.

Nurses encounter all kinds of bodily fluids in a hospital setting. Therefore, they need watches with silicone band or any other material that’s easy to clean or change.

The second hand is visible for easy timing of medication times to pulse rates. Nurses also need stylish watches. A watch for nurses is more functional than luxurious. Bluetooth smart watches for nurses are available in plenty on the market.

  • Luxury Watches

Since time immemorial, watches were a luxury because only the rich could afford them. Until the 1900s, only handmade timepieces were available. However, technological advancements allowed for mass production of watches, making them affordable for all.

Technological advancements also saw the rise of innovative techniques for making truly lavish luxury watches. Versace and Cartier design luxury watches, each selling for millions of dollars.

Today, luxury watches are authentic status symbols. For instance, watches made in 1900s have attained family heirlooms’ status. Although some luxury watches are made using fine jewels, and precious stones, others are quite affordable.

Luxury watches are built with exquisite movements for timekeeping. Mechanical movements are popularly used in expensive watches to keep time. However, some lavish watches focus more on the design of the timepiece than its working mechanics.

  • Dress Watches

Dress watches are simple. Unlike luxury watches, they feature few to no flourishes or embellishments. The watches are designed to tell time only. With dress watches, simple timepieces are the most elegant.

Simple watch designs are also versatile, meaning you can wear them to any occasion. They go well with formal wear or business outfits such as a suit or even a tux.

Available at different prices, dress watches range from affordable timepieces to expensive wristwatches to suit the different budgets and lifestyle out there.

  • Triathlon Watches
Triathlon Watches

Designed for swimming, running and cycling, triathlon watches are meant for triathletes. They’re waterproof and track three triathlon activities such as lap times, running times and stroke counts, among others.

The best triathlon watch doesn’t just track the general event time, but reviews leg times of each race. The watches come with special bands for securing the timepiece on the wrist. They can also be fixed on a bike’s handlebars.

However, some bike handlebars may not enable athletes to view their watches during rides. This can potentially cause some problems during a race.

Some triathlon digital watches for men are built with GPS functionality for timing. The feature drains batteries easily. Therefore, triathletes should choose watches with a long battery life to sustain them through an entire race.

Other Types of Watches

  • Italian design watches
  • Fashion watches
  • Orange watches
  • Large watches
  • Sports watches
  • Space watches
  • Two tone watches
  • Swiss watches
  • Race watches
  • Aviator watches
  • Bluetooth smart watches
  • Field watches
  • Tactile watches
  • Solar-powered watches
  • Smart watches

These are just some of the watch types available on the market. They vary in styles, designs and prices. There’s a watch for almost every lifestyle and profession. There’s one for everyone.

Specification of Watches

The specifications of a watch are its good characteristics. A watch is personal, and everyone has a unique taste and preference for style and design. This means that a good or bad watch is relative.

However, every watch should meet basic quality signs or attributes of a good watch. When looking for a watch, despite your taste and preferences, the following specifications should help you find a quality timepiece.

  • Watch Material
Weight of Watches

Watches are made from various materials such as titanium, stainless steel, ceramic and steel. Watches made from ceramic or titanium are of high quality, but come at high prices.

Unlike steel, stainless steel watches are resistant to moisture from perspiration and other sources. They also don’t cause skin irritation.

Watches are also made from silver, rose gold, and gold, among other exquisite materials. Timepieces made from precious stone and metals, including black watches, require a PVD coating for protection from discoloration.

Specific parts of a watch can be made from particular materials. For instance, the back of a watch can be made from stainless steel while others featuring different materials. Premium brands use 316L stainless steel instead of steel in their watches.

  • Weight of Watches

The weight of a watch can signify its quality. It indicates the solidity of the material used to make the timepiece. It can also indicate the kind of movement used in the watch.

  • Type of Watch Glass

Sapphire glass is often used in quality watches, depending on their intended use. This type of glass is scratch resistant and stays clear even after exposure to violent or frequent use.

Mineral or crystal glass are sued in standard watches. They’re susceptible to scratches but up to $30 cheaper than those made from sapphire glass. The type of glass used is indicated on the back or dial of the watch.

  • Watch Movement/Caliber

Watches are commonly based on mechanical or quartz movements. Unlike watches based on mechanical movements, quartz watches are more accurate and affordable. Mechanical movements can either be automatic or hand-wound.

Prisma, a Dutch watch brand, uses Seiko, Miyota and Ronda movements in its watches. The brands have been proven over time to offer value for money in durable watches. If maintained properly, the movements can last a few decades if not a lifetime.

Due to mass production, most mechanical watches sold for less than $10,000 aren’t handmade. Even so, the former results in premium quality watches that human hands can’t beat.

  • Water Resistance or Waterproof Smart Watch Qualities
Water Resistance or Waterproof Smart Watch

High quality watches are resistant to water. The ability of watches to resist water varies from one timepiece to another as with movements and materials. Water causes damages to watches.

Watches with 10ATM water resistance can resist up to 10 bar or 100 meters of pressure underneath water. The watches are ideal for swimming.  3 ATM water resistance is ideal for hand washing while 5 ATM for showering. This specification is usually indicated on the back of the timepiece.

A good watch has at least 3 ATM waterproof level for comfortable and durable use. Diving watches have higher waterproof smart watch ratings.

  • The Band or Strap of a Watch

Straps are made from different materials such as leather, stainless steel, steel, gold, silver, etc. A good strap fits well around the wrist and matches the watch case, with narrow and symmetrical seams.

  • Quality of Finish
Strap of a Watch

A good watch is comfortable and has a beautiful finish. The watch details unify to form an attractive general look. A perfect finish is free from poor workmanship, loose index, unusual bumps, etc. It also has an impressive appearance. Careful hand polishing based on quality craftsmanship standards produce premium finishing on watches.

  • The Brand of a Watch

A good watch brand has been on the market for years and will be around even after making a purchase. It guarantees the quality of its watches, provides a warranty against manufacturing faults and avails spare parts when needed.

Top luxury brands include Vacheron Constantin, Patek Phillipe, Alange & Sohne, etc. They manufacture a few watches each year, making them exclusive. They take a lot of time to manufacture their watches and produce the finest craftsmanship quality in detailed watches.

Other top brands such as Rolex use 914L stainless steel to manufacture the bracelet and cases of watches. Every quality brand adds a unique touch to their watches to make them exclusive and stand out in the highly competitive market.

Types of Watches

Watches come in all styles and designs, including Bluetooth smart watches. They include diving watches, aviation watches, dress watches, and sports watches, among others as discussed earlier.

Complications

Complications include:

  • Perpetual calendar
  • Day-Date/Date
  • Tourbillon
  • Chronograph
  • Planetary phases
  • Alarms
  • Small seconds dial
  • Dual-time zones
  • Moon phase
  • Chimes
  • Minute repeater

Other Specifications

  • Lead- and mercury-free batteries
  • Coatings such as gold-, titanium-, and rose-gold-coatings

Watch Accessories

Watches come with various accessories to support their use, storage and durability. They include the following:

  • Storage Case
Storage Case

With the right storage case for your watch, you can carry it safely while traveling. A good case also protects your timepiece during storage to maintain its functionality and increase durability. Although watches come with cases, you can still buy one that suits your taste and preferences.

  • Dials and Straps

It’s also possible to get dials and straps to accessorize your watch as need be. Straps come in all kinds of colors and materials such as leather and stainless steel. They’re also available as bracelets. With at least ten straps in different colors and styles, your watch can get a new look to match your attire each day or week.

  • Batteries

If your watch is battery-powered, you need batteries for replacement.

  • A Cleaning Kit

A cleaning kit can comprise of a microfiber cloth, a cleaning solution and a scrubber or brush with soft bristles. The kit ensures your watch is clean before storage.

Manufacturers

The list of watch manufacturers is endless. Whereas some have been in the industry for centuries or decades, others made entry only recently. Here’re two top watch manufacturers you should know:

  • Rolex
Rolex

Rolex is a Swiss manufacturer of luxury watches. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, Rolex is a Swiss luxury watch brand. It was founded by Alfred Davis and Hans Wilsdorf in 1905 in London. The Rolex brand was registered three years alter in 1908. In 1915, the brand name was changed to Rolex Watch Co. Ltd.

Britain was undergoing heavy taxation after World War 1 to hasten recovery. As a result, the company was moved to Geneva, Switzerland to avoid the taxes. Later, in 1920, the brand name was changed to Montres Rolex SA and finally Rolex SA.

Since 1960, the brand has been under a private family trust under the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation. The company’s first watch was the waterproof Oyster timepiece. The watch has been developed into different designs over the years, making it an icon in watch-making.

Designed for divers, artists, pioneers, visionaries and even athletes, Rolex watches give entry into a world of endless possibilities. The pioneer in wristwatch development boasts various innovation in watch-making, including more than 400 patents.

Rolex manufactures all the cases, bracelets, dials and other watch components required to assemble, machine and craft watches. The finest raw materials are used to manufacture premium watches to exacting standards.

At Rolex, you’ll find various watch models ranging from classic to professional timepieces to suit the different styles, wrists and preferences out there. The varied watches also differ in bezels and dials.

The company also maintains good relationships with individuals and institutions in various sectors such as sports, science, exploration, education, and arts & culture.

  • Casio
Casio

Casio Computers Co., Ltd. is a Japanese electronics company with a worldwide presence. The company is based in Tokyo, Japan. It manufacturers consumer and commercial electronics such as mobile phones, calculators, digital cameras, musical instruments and watches.

Founded in 1946, Casio is a pioneer in the innovation of digital cameras. It manufactured the world’s first compact electronic calculator in 1957. Later, it manufactured the world’s first digital watches and electronic musical keyboards from the 1980s to the 1990s through mass production.

Casio is driven by contribution and creativity, two attributes that reflect its dedication to providing unique and useful products to its consumers. The company’s innovative products work to aid people in what they do and keep the society moving. For instance, Casio watches are both functional and beautiful.

Casio’s innovative products create new cultures, and draw joy and happiness to people. Wide adoption of the products drive growth in different industries across the world. As a result, they improve people’s lives. The company’s employees follow a conduct code to guide how they work.

Maintenance and Cleaning 

Maintenance and Cleaning

Watches, despite their value, lose accuracy, value and luster over time. When that happens, a watch that once reflected your personality, represents sentiments, choices and values that differs from yours.

Watch maintenance and cleaning can be done personally or professionally. Whichever is the case, the services restore the shine and brilliance of your watch (es). It also increases the longevity of your timepiece.

Mechanical watches have parts that wear and tear over time. Professional cleaning services use special solutions to remove all kinds of contamination, including debris, dust, dirt and corrosion or rust. Parts of the watch are disassembled for cleaning.

Polishing removes beatings and scratches to restore old watches to almost-new status. The dial, case, band, crystal, hands, etc. get a new shine to restore your watch into a beautiful timepiece. Professional cleaning can be done once in every three to five years. 

  • Maintaining Watch Bands

Watch bands include straps and bracelets. However, straps are usually made from rubber, leather or cloth. Unlike straps, bracelets are durable and can last a lifetime if well-maintained. With constant cleaning, watch bracelets stay polished and presentable.

Clean stainless steel bracelets with a soft towel and warm water. A small amount of aluminum or steel polish, metal cleaning agents, can easily remove scratches on metal surfaces. Dismount bracelets from your watch’s case before embarking on cleaning.

Use a soft toothbrush to clean the spaces between the hinges and links on the bracelet. Buff out scratches on the bracelet with a soft cloth for a polished finish. There’s no need for replacement unless the bracelet is damaged.

Although straps are stylish, they aren’t durable. Leather is popular as a material for watch straps, but it’s difficult to maintain due to its sensitivity to moisture. If cleaned with water, leather straps should be completely dry before being worn. It prevents the leather from rotting. Replace worn out leather straps.

  • Maintaining Watch Casing

Watch repair is delicate and thus requires skilled workmanship. Therefore, let a professional watchmaker work on the inside of your watch’s casing. Lack of the right knowledge and skills can hamper with your timepiece’s inner workings.

A reliable watch cleaning and repair service is secure, safe and reasonably-priced. A micro cloth like the one used to clean eyeglasses can remove fingerprints, dust, oil and stains on your watch. Keep water and moisture away from your watch unless it’s a waterproof smart watch.

Keep your watch away from the following:

  • Impacts
  • Chemicals
  • Magnetic fields
  • Extreme temperatures

It’s also important to replace your smart watch for women’s batteries every one to three years. And, wind your manual watch daily at the same time. Give your watch the specific kind of care it needs to prolong its lifespan.

Conclusion

Choosing the right watch is as important as according it proper care and maintenance, including cleaning. Find out the specific kind of care your particular watch needs to ensure that it lasts longer. If you’re looking to buy your first, second or third watch, but no sure where to start, read through the watches buying guide below.

Find the right type of smart watch for women or men that meets your specific style, preferences, taste and personality.

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