What to look for in a quality watch

Are you on the lookout for a new look? One that might involve a watch to compliment the rest of your snazzy wardrobe?

Today we'll work through a few factors to consider when looking for a high-quality watch. Here are some things to keep in mind:


1. Brand reputation: Old conventional wisdom tells you to look for well-established brands with a good reputation for producing high-quality watches. While true, the watch industry is evolving by thinning out the middleman. 

How does that help you?

Think of it this way, the fewer people (realistically, companies) who manufacture your watch and sell it to you, the better. Throughout the entire process of purchasing a watch, distributors, sub-distributors, and retailers get to dip their hands in the proverbial cookie jar. Spoiler alert, many major brands do this, which inflates their price.

We may be biased to say this, but many small watch brands make the same quality, if not better. They do this either by working directly with a manufacturer or building them in-house. Research and read reviews to understand what others think of the brand's products.


2. Materials: High-quality watches are often made with durable materials such as stainless steel, titanium, or precious metals like gold or platinum. These materials are more resistant to wear and tear and can last many years with proper care.

Well, what if you need to know the authenticity of the watch you are holding? 

Here are a few tips:

  • Check the weight: A watch made with high-quality materials will typically have a heavier weight than one made with lower-quality materials. This is because materials like stainless steel and precious metals like gold and platinum are denser and heavier than materials like plastic or resin.
  • Feel the finish: High-quality materials often have a smooth, polished finish. In contrast, lower-quality materials may have a rough or uneven finish.
  • Durability: Watches made with high-quality materials will generally be more durable and resistant to wear and tear. They may also be more resistant to water, scratches, and fading. This one is easier explained. Obviously, don't start throwing luxury watches around to test their durability.


3. Movement: We added this one because it's important to consider how your watch is powered and tells time. However, there are high-quality watches made from different types of movements, and it may come down to personal preference.

The movement is the mechanism inside the watch that powers the timekeeping functions. There are two main types of watch movements: 

Mechanical watches:

  • Use a spring-wound movement powered by the wearer's wrist movements
  • Have to be manually wound by hand
  • Tend to be more expensive than quartz watches
  • They are considered to be higher quality and more durable
  • It can be less accurate than quartz watches, with an accuracy of around +/- 15 seconds per day

Quartz watches:

  • Use a battery-powered movement
  • Do not have to be manually wound
  • Are generally more affordable than mechanical watches
  • Are more accurate, with an accuracy of around +/- 5 seconds per month
  • Require less maintenance than mechanical watches


4. Features: Also called complications. This is also a matter of personal preference. It would be best to consider what features are important to you in a watch. Do you want a chronograph function for timing events? Do you need a dive watch with a water-resistant case? Look for a watch with the features you need and will use.

The features you decide to add may also limit the type of movement your watch has. Watches with chronograph functions (which allow the wearer to time events) are likelier to have a quartz movement. This movement is more precise and can power the additional stopwatch function.

Dive watches, designed for water use, often have a quartz movement as they are more resistant to water damage.

Watches with more complex features, such as multiple displays or time zones, are likelier to have a quartz movement. As it is easier to power these features with a battery-powered movement.

We say all that, but there are mechanical watches with chronograph and dive functions and quartz watches with more basic features. Ultimately, the watch's type of movement is determined by the manufacturer and the watch's design.


5. Style: Wearing a watch is personal. Ultimately, the watch you choose should be a reflection of your style. Consider the outfits you typically wear and choose a watch that will complement your wardrobe. This is one of our favorite subjects, one we'll get into at a later date. But here are some things to consider:

  • Match the metal of your watch to the metal of your other jewelry. If you wear a lot of silver jewelry, for example, choose a silver-tone watch.
  • Consider the size of your watch in relation to your wrist. An oversized watch may look out of proportion if you have a small wrist. Conversely, a small watch may get lost if you have a larger wrist.
  • Choose a watch that complements your wardrobe. A formal watch with a leather strap is a good choice if you wear formal attire. A sportier watch with a rubber or nylon strap may be more suitable if you have a more casual style.
  • Avoid wearing a watch with busy patterns or bright colors if you are wearing a formal outfit. A simple, classic watch will generally look more polished and professional.
  • Take into account the occasion. Wearing a formal watch at a casual event, or vice versa can be a fashion faux pas.


6. Price: As you might remember, we discussed how a watch brand's operation affects the price. Well, it's still worth paying attention to, even if it's inflated. The old adage "you get what you pay for" is valid here. And if you come across a deal that's too good to be true, it probably is. 

Determine your budget and try to find a watch that fits within it. Remember that high-quality watches can be expensive, but you can find good deals if you shop. As always, research by checking reviews and even ask the watchmaker directly. They'll happily respond and talk watches with a potential customer if they're a quality brand. 

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