Buying a watch should be an enjoyable experience, after all with some luxury watches you are buying an investment you can enjoy every day so it makes sense to be in a position to buy the perfect watch for you. Our watch buyers guide will help you make a more informed decision as to what you want out of your watch and what features you may need your watch to have. So let's get started.
When you are buying a watch it is worth considering the circumstances in which the watch will be worn, for example, if you wear a suit you will naturally want a watch that is in keeping with the attire you are wearing, if you enjoy outdoor pursuits it is likely the watch worn with a suit will not be practical and certainly not as rugged as a watch specifically designed for people with an active lifestyle. This also applies to when giving a watch as a gift. What are their professional, hobbies and outdoor need? Taking into account all these factors will help ensure, if the watch is a gift, it is perfectly suited to at least one aspect of their lifestyle, which means they will gain the maximum enjoyment from the watch.
Are There Any features Your Watch Needs To have Due To Your Professional Or Personal Activities ?
If you enjoy diving for example, you will need a watch which is water resistant and has been pressure tested. Perhaps you enjoy sports and having a stop watch feature on your watch then a stop watch feature would be a good place to start. Other features: Compass, Alarm, Second Time Zone, Barometric, Pressure Altimeter, Calendar (emergency) Thermometer. So having a general idea where and when your watch will be worn will give you an idea of the features you may find you need.
Below you will find a list of the more popular features available on a range of watches of all budgets
As the name implies a watch with an altimeter has the ability to measure altitude. Useful for a variety of outdoor pursuits such as climbing.
Water resistance varies from splashproof to completely water resistant to a certain depth and pressure for professional divers. Maximum pressures will be shown using BAR or ATM(atmospheric), both use the measurements per unit, for example 1 BAR\1 ATM = 10 metres.
A chronograph is the ability to start, stop and reset the second hand to zero, giving you the ability to use it essentially as a stop watch or other timing purposes.
An essential feature for those who enjoy climbing or other outdoor activities such as hillwalking. By reading atmospheric pressure it can help you forecast the weather.
A popular feature of many watches and the most common, some watches feature a "perpetual calendar", this movement is very intricate and will display the date, day, month and year even the century, most are electronic and quartz movements, more rare are mechanical ones.
What Makes Your Watch Tick ?
One very important aspect of a watch which can add a significant amount to the cost of the watch is a part of the watch you will likely never see, the movement. There are many different types of movements. The movement is responsible for the accuracy of the watches time keeping and how the watch movement is powered, this can be winding, automatic, battery powered or even solar powered.
Let's look at the different types of movements ..
Developed in 1795 and subsequently patented in 1801 a Tourbillon movement is certainly a master class in Swiss\French watch making. A Tourbillon movement is aimed at countering gravity to improve the watches time keeping by utilising a balance wheel and escapement within a rotating cage. Such is the intricacy and craftsmanship of these movements, watches featuring this type of movement will normally have the movement exposed within the watch face to show the movement itself. Tourbillon movements are expensive to make and usually found in top end watches to further enhance the watches exclusivity and rightly so.
An automatic watch movement is powered by the natural movement on the wearer's arm. A rotor mechanism placed on a pivot rotates as the watch wearer's arm moves through daily activities. This mechanism winds the main spring automatically without the need to manually wind the watch main spring. On a manual watch, the energy within the spring is gradually lost resulting in the need to self wind the watch, clearly there is no need to self wind the watch as the additional mechanism takes care of the winding process.
As the name suggests a manual movement involves the wearer manually winding the watch perhaps every morning. The manual winding action energises the movement which then gradually releases the spring, which in turn powers the movement.
Quartz movements use a battery to cause the quartz crystal to oscillate at a known frequency. Using electronic circuitry, this frequency is continually halved to one beat a second to ensure precise movement for the watch hands. Being battery powered, the battery will need to be replaced periodically with the manufacturers recommended battery.
Bracelet Or Strap:
Bracelets will normally be made from some form of metal and will usually use links to ensure the watch can be made to fit the wearer perfectly by adding or removing links as required. A watch strap can be made from a wide variety of materials, leather would be the most commonly used material for a watch strap however some watches may use alligator, sports watches may use a rubber strap for comfort. The choice between a watch strap or bracelet is purely down the to individual and intended use.
The most common watch case shapes are round, oval and rectangular. Although the dials will in many cases follow the watch case design, for example a round watch case will have a round dial, it is possible to get variations such as a rectangular watch case with a round dial. Watch dials may be decorated with different precious metals, mother of pearl and incorporate very intricate designs.
Numerals or Indices ?
A watch may display all 12 numbers, 4 numbers e.g 12 (XII), 3 (III), 6 (VI), 9 (IV) or none at all, instead using indices. If the watch uses numbers these will generally be displayed in Arabic (1-12) or Roman Numerals(I-XII). Indices will make use of slim raised metal strips, which are called batons, to replace hour numbers. Some watches will incorporate both.
The watch size is governed by many factors, practicality, fashion or features. A divers watch (for example) will generally be larger due to the additional features that the watch may include and also because the watch will require a stronger seal to allow it to be taken to deeper depths under water. The watch size should compliment the wearer.
There are many different types of watches, let's take a look at the more popular ones.
A luxury watch may prove to be an investment as well a practical time piece. Although initially more expensive, a luxury watch is designed to hold it's value very well. A luxury watch will use the finest movements and materials. Such watches may require servicing from time to time. Like any prestige car such a Ferrari, the more service records you have, the better the resale value. It shows the watch has been cared for which is appealing to watch collectors.
As the name suggests, if you're going out on a special occasion or event, you would general wear a dress watch. A dress watch is designed to compliment a formal look and although designs will vary, the design will typically be based on a classic look. Dress watches are made from a variety of materials such as stainless steel and are often gold plated. Dress watches will generally have an analogue display and have a more subtle look which is designed to be complimentary to the wearer.
As well as having additional features such as a stop watch, a sports watch will be more rugged, more water resistant and able to withstand more knocks without causing lasting damage to the watch itself. The enhanced durability will usually make sports watches slightly larger, the added benefit of this is easier reading while on the move. Some sports watches even have features such as a pedometer.
Some fashion watches will come under the luxury watch category. Fashion watches are designed to make a statement, this in turn results in some stunning designs which cannot fail to attract attention. Some fashion watches will be based on current trends while others will be a twist on classic designs with that little bit extra.
Pilot and divers watches will fall into this category. Professional watches are designed for specific purposes and will usually incorporate features which enhance it is use under the typical circumstances the watch is design to be worn under. Don't mistake professional as being bland, indeed many professional divers and pilots watches have some incredible designs, yet retain their practicality.
There are no shortage of prestigious and luxury watch brands, to be found in Finnies the Jewellers including:
All specialise in creating exquisite time pieces, though each has their own particular style so it is well worth browsing through the various brands to find the style you prefer.
Watches For Special Occasions:
Watches make the perfect birthday, anniversary or graduation gift and, if looked after, will give the wearer many years of pleasure. Few birthday gifts offer the longevity and usefulness a watch has to offer.
We hope the information we have provided helps you make a more informed decision when buying your next watch, however don't worry if you need any further assistance please do not hesitate to call us on (01224) 626632 or better still, come in view and try them on. There's no better or more fun way.