The simple wrist watch is no longer so simple. Withstanding the test of time and technology, wrist watches have survived the decades and continue to be a mainstay of daily life. While the simple two-handed watch continues to exist, the wrist watch itself has gone through remarkable change. The advancements in metallurgy and mechanics have brought the standard watch into the 21st Century with unimaginable style.
The technological advances of micro-computing have brought watches to new levels of sophistication unthinkable even 30 years ago. A watch can now have GPS satellite positioning, compasses, thermometers, touch pad screens for programming and much more.
The watch has also undergone major fashion changes with the advancement in plastics and other materials. The price of watches has also come down so that people can afford more than one to have choices to complement their wardrobe. The Swiss made watches revolutionized affordable timepieces with flare and style and the industry hasn’t looked back since. Watches have become fashion statements and many fashion creating icons such as Gucci, Michael Kors and Calvin Klein have made watches as important in the fashion industry as shoes.
This site is designed to inform you of the technology, features and styles of watches from elegant to top performance sport models and everything in between.
Watch buying guide
Buying a watch in the 21st Century is no small feat with the vast variety of watches on the market from classic two-handed to high-tech extreme sport watching for things such as climbing Mt. Everest or driving in Dakar rally. There are numerous designs, fashions and configurations when choosing a watch therefore this guide is intended to explain the mechanical and structural options of modern day watches in order to familiarize your-self with the foundations of modern watches.
The anatomy of watch
Battery / Quartz - A quartz crystal is how the battery powers the movement of the watch creating a rapid oscillation that powers the motors and moves the watch hands. In general, quartz watches are reliable and affordable with a battery replacement needed every 2-3 years.
Automatic - Self Winding — the physical movement of the watch being on the wrist is how self-winding watches are powered. The downside of these watches is that they don’t hold a charge if not worn for more than two days and the accuracy of the time keeping is not as reliable as a quartz powered watch. These are great for those who like the styles and wear watches daily.
Mechanical - While there are many new technologies, the standard manual wind watch is still popular. The time keeping is not as precisely accurate as a satellite watch but the old mechanical watches are still used for fashion and as valued inherited pieces.
Kinetic - Similar in concept to the self-winding watches, this Seiko exclusive technology uses the same wrist movements to keep the watch wound for much longer than standard self-winding with the use of a rechargeable battery inside.
Eco-Drive - Exclusive of the Citizen brand, Eco-Drive watches use solar power and a rechargeable battery to keep the watch running for up to six months without any charge.
Tough Solar - Similar to the Eco-drive, this Citizen watch technology uses micro solar panels that charge the rechargeable battery within. These are used in their high-tech, eco-friendly line and some come with satellite technology that keeps pin-point time accuracy anywhere you are in the world via actual satellite signals to maintain the time.
Watch casings are the frame of the watch and the body upon which the time keeping mechanisms are held. The variety and style of casings is breathtaking. The casing can be any shape and made out of any material including the traditional, gold, silver, and stainless steel. Popular casings for endurance are titanium and platinum with graphite and durable plastics being used too.
A finish of a case often refers to metal watches and the final look such as matte, shiny and patterned. The fashion industry has revolutionized watches with inlaid precious stones, Swarovski crystals, colors and design features that allow you to choose a style that suits you.
The glass covering the face of the watch is just as important as the mechanical functions within the watch. Also called watch “crystal” the glass is not made of crystal but rather high quality materials that impede scratches and breakage such as mineral glass. Currently the most modern and protective glass is called sapphire glass. This glass is expensive but highly resistant to scratching and abuse.
The strap of a watch is also called a bracelet, especially when referring to metal straps with links. Straps come generally come in leather, plastic, cloth or metal. As this portion of the watch has the most contact with the skin, it is important to choose wisely. From the traditional buckle to intricate clasp closures, most watch straps are replaceable.
There is a difference between waterproof and water resistant. Waterproof watches are high-tech usually reserved specifically for diving, where the watch is constantly submerged and under pressure. These are extremely expensive therefore most watches available are water resistant and the resistance is measure on a scale of water pressure under which the watch will function in units of 10 meters and ATM or automatic pressure, the force put upon a watch under the water.
A watch rated 50m/5 ATM means that it will function at 50 meters below water under 5 ATMs of pressure in normal circumstances. In laymen terms it is good for pool swimming but may not function well in deep dives. These measurements are factory tested in static situations and not with normal use so it is best to understand exactly what each watch is capable of in water situations.