By Shanuka Kadupitiyage
With modern smartphones that tell time with insanely accurate levels, it’s pretty easy to say that the era of the wristwatch is now over. That sentiment has only been cemented with the introduction of wearable technology and smartwatches.
However, many will still stick to the notion that the wristwatch will continue to remain an important item in a person’s wardrobe. It enhances a person’s professional look and is a classy and functional ornament for anyone’s wrist.
A well-aged premium quality wristwatch is an investment as well as a possible heirloom. However, an obsolete smartwatch, may not hold its value as long, most likely becoming deemed as either a collectible for tech enthusiasts or disposed of as e-waste by others.
If you’re in the market to buy a new watch, either for yourself or for a loved one, then being able to make an informed choice is important. That’s why we have a basic guide to watches and what you might want to consider when picking a new one out.
Elegant or rugged
Watches are built to tell the time (of course), but there are different types of wristwatches that are built for specific occasions. Some professions have their own specific types of wristwatches with very different functionality besides the usual.
Dress watches are the most elegant and are usually paired with formal-wear. You’ll find these watches most fitting for cocktail parties and business meetings.
These are easy to identify with their simplicity with very little ornamentation or decoration used in their designs. Dress watches are usually built so that they can easily fit under the cuff of your sleeve and will draw very little attention to itself; making them elegant timepieces.
This is in stark contrast to rugged watches such as field watches and dive watches that are built for a specific purpose.
Just as their names suggest, these watches are built for their outdoor purposes. Therefore they are more bulkier and rugged, built with materials designed to ensure both accuracy and durability. There are also added functionality such as rotating bezels that help you calculate dive time.
Both kinds of watches fit perfectly well when used in their element, but stand out more than a sore thumb when not.
Since the average individual doesn’t really need the specialist utility of such specialised watches (and the added cost that comes with it), it would be safe to say most of us would opt for the more elegant, minimalist watches that can be used in basically any urban setting, be it a casual gathering or a special event.
Another important thing you would want to consider is picking your watch based on its movement.
The term movement doesn’t mean that your watch is going to go anywhere. What the term actually implies is how your watch ticks.
Modern wrist watches are extremely accurate and are powered using quartz movement. This technology introduced by Japanese watch maker Seiko in 1969 revolutionised the industry and began the era of battery-operated wrist watches.
Almost every modern wristwatch operates on battery and relies on a piece of crystal quartz vibrating at a precise frequency to measure time accurately. Because of the minimal amount of moving parts, wristwatches that rely on quartz movement to measure time are more durable, cheaper to produce and easier to repair, which is why almost every wristwatch you see today operates on quartz movement.
If accuracy and dependability are important factors you need to consider when buying your next wristwatch, quartz movement ones would be the best option for you.
However, before Seiko ever was, Swiss watchmakers crafted great timepieces using mechanical movement only. Using a mechanism of elaborate springs and gears, these timepieces weren’t super accurate, took a lot of time and effort to produce, and were a lot more expensive to own and maintain in comparison to their Japanese counterparts.
Even so, watches that rely on mechanical movement had something that a quartz watch can never have; soul.
Mechanical movement watches are intricately crafted by talented artisans pouring all their talent into making these timepieces become a reality. Nothing like the mass produced quartz watches. While quartz watches hide what’s happening behind the scenes, many mechanical watches leave all its hidden mechanisms out in display, making each timepiece a work of art in motion.
An additional benefit is that if you would never have to do battery replacements on your mechanical watches. Many such watches operate on the movement of your hand to automatically wind itself. A well maintained mechanical watch can easily last a lifetime.
Of course we’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to timepieces, there’s so much more to talk about. However, consideration of these four factors would be sufficient enough for you to make sure your next wristwatch is an informed buy that you will love to wear on your wrist everyday.