You know there is a lot to think about when you go shopping for a new watch. Watches come with all sorts of features and in prices that move up well into the six figures. Well, how do you decide which watch to get? Deciding on a watch is one step in the journey to owning a new timepiece. We know you are busy and love watches, our decision making guide will make it a lot easier.
For the sake of argument, say you have nailed down a budget and have some ideas about how you would wear the watch. Think about what you’ll be doing while you wear it. You may be curious about a certain watchmaker. Did recently see one that caught your eye and you thought you wanted to know more? You are ready to make a decision. What do you do next?
The experts at Watchnerd.com identify six functions to explore.
BRACELET vs STRAP
A watch without a strap or bracelet is like your legendary sports car with no tires. Ask yourself a couple of questions. Will I be in the ocean, fishing, or pushing through the bay on a 35 footer? If you are going to be around water, the answer is a metal bracelet or rubber strap. Metal links are durable and it’s easy to adjust the size by adding or taking away links. Stylish, supple, colorful, a secure clasp, the sports watch look commands respect everywhere. It is a great choice if you are going to be around water.
Spend a lot of time wearing a suit at the office or entertaining a client in a fine dining establishment? Looking to project a serious, formal image? One that says you have arrived? Choose leather. Leather straps come in every color and material. It’s an easy task to change up the look going from a more casual oiled leather look to a dressier black python. Make the change as often as you like. One hint, changing out your straps means your straps are going to last longer. You can always plug a NATO strap into the rotation. Perfect for a weekend at Bernie’s.
AUTOMATIC vs MANUAL
Automatics are self-winding and easy to use. Automatic watches can store about 48 hours of power if the watch doesn’t move. Bottom line, automatics tell time effortlessly. The movement of your hand and arm winds the watch as you wear it. Automatics are dependable as long as you wear it every day or two. Another cool feature is the open back which lets you marvel at the watchmaker’s skill.
More traditional than their automatic counterparts, manual watches says you are a traditionalist. Manual watches are more traditional and are wound by hand. The sweep second-hand moves without the tick-tock look of other watches. The intricate movement of the watch is nothing short of art. The more you look at a watch like this the more you’ll wonder how they can make it tell time. These watches are wearable art and a prized in any collection.
CHRONOGRAPH vs CHRONOMETER
This is where wristwatches get serious. The words may sound the same or you may think there isn’t any difference between the two. These two watches are very different. Think of it this way, a Chronometer relates to accuracy and a Chronograph is a stopwatch function. Repeat after me, -meter for measurement, -graph for a stopwatch.
A Chronograph is easy to spot by the subdials and the reset buttons in the side of the case. This is a popular style and wearers will never tire of their chronographs. The Omega Speedmaster and Rolex Daytona are chronographs and certified chronometers.
That’s not all there is to it. A chronometer requires testing and accreditation from a certified independent standards laboratory. To be "officially-certified", a chronometer must not deviate more than -4 to +6 seconds a day. True Chronometers, will usually have a designation on the dial indicating “Officially-Certified.” Get to know COSC and look for a certification on the dial.
PERPETUAL CALENDAR vs ANNUAL
Annual and perpetual calendar watches display the hour, day, date, and month. A moon phase is a popular complication although it does not appear on all watches. A watch with an annual calendar must be set by hand once a year. The perpetual calendar does not need setting.
The annual calendar knows to adjust following every month with 30 or 31 days. Set by hand once a year, it will then the jump from February 28th to March 1st. Don’t forget, your annual will need help adjusting for leap year. It won’t know it is leap year by itself. If you are new to making these adjustments, find an expert to guide you.
A perpetual calendar doesn't need your help making the same adjustments. The watch makes adjustments by itself. You may be asking yourself how the watch can differentiate between 30 and 31 days in a month. How does it know when it’s time to jump from 28 to 1, or when it’s a leap year? Great questions to ask Thomas Mudge. He made the first perpetual calendar watch in 1762. Considered to the first of its kind, his creation currently resides in the British Museum.
STEEL vs PRECIOUS METALS
Talking timepieces? It is an argument that either ends with or begins with movement, case, and reference. There are all sorts of case materials available to house a movement. The two most popular have to be a steel case or one made of a precious metal like gold, platinum, titanium, or bronze. It’s your choice.
It is possible your budget will influence your choice. Stainless steel is usually found on a sports watch. Exotic materials, platinum, gold or white gold differentiate the higher end watches. Either way, you’ll enjoy trying to decide. Try on the models that catch your eye. This is your preference so there is no right or wrong answer.
WATER RESISTANT vs WATERPROOF
Water is enemy number one when it comes to watches. A waterproof watch can be completely submerged in water. Some withstand very high levels of pressure as well. Water resistant watches can take a soaking. A brief encounter with water under a faucet or in a rainstorm should be ok. Remember, these watches are not meant for swimming or diving. You will need a designation of 200M or higher to dive or completely submerge your watch. Look into this first if you are going to be around water. If you are not sure or the watch is not marked, take it off before going in the water. You don’t want to learn the hard way.
Whether you are starting your collection or adding to an existing one, deciding on a watch takes time. Here is a rule of thumb, take your knowledge or your trust to the watch shop.
Still can’t decide? Well, you are not alone. In fact, that’s why WatchNerd.com’s decision guides are so valuable. We help you answer the question, which watch should I buy?
Make a list of your favorite features and functions. Let it be your list and follow your heart. Everyone needs a cool watch. Find a watch you love and you have found a friend for life.
Not content with a watch that only tells time? Special watches are out there. If you are asking yourself how do I choose a watch like this? What should I pay? Is there value behind the brand and price? You owe it to yourself to look closer into the Watchnerd.com buyer decision making guides. Watchnerd.com shows you your options as a buyer. Our guides are indispensable while trying to decide which brand and model is right for you. Watchnerd.com is ready to help. Our passion is timeless.
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