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  2. 5 Types of Watch Bezels and How to Read Them

    5 Types of Watch Bezels and How to Read Them

    First, let’s go over what a watch bezel is for those who are not familiar with the various parts that make up watches. The watch bezel is the ring surrounding a watch that holds the crystal in place above the dial. Depending on the watch, they can be made from a variety of material. The most common are steel and ceramic, but some pieces use more expensive metals like silver or gold. Now that you understand what a watch bezel is, we can move on to the history of them. This history is somewhat unclear, but sometime around the 1950’s, watch companies began adding additional information to their bezels. They already had a basic function and an aesthetic appeal, but this shift brought a whole new level of utility. In the modern era, there are many auxiliary functions a bezel can be crafted to carry out. We explain the five most common bezel styles below. 1: GMT GMT bezels allow the wearer to keep time in two different time zones at once. The way it does this is by engraving a 24-hour timescale on the bezel, which is in addition to the typical 12-hour scale on the dial. While all GMT bezels have this, there are two different variants for actually keeping the time. First, your watch might have a GMT hand that tracks the time without you having the move the bezel. Second, you might have a bezel that rotates and no additional hand. Typical types of people who use GMT watch bezels are pilots and those who do a lot of business in other time zones. 2: Elapsed Time While certain watches have a chronograph to carry out the function of precise timekeeping, many of them do not. What an elapsed time bezel does it make it easy for you to count seconds or minutes passed, rather than needing to do arithmetic in your head. All you do is turn the bezel until zero matches up with the current time. These types of watch bezels are frequently found in dive watches due to a diver’s need for exact timekeeping. One fun fact about these bezels is that they only turn clockwise. This is a safety feature for divers who rely on their bezel to time how much oxygen they have left. If they bump their watch and the bezel shifts, it will tell them that they have less time, rather than more. 3: Compass Some watch bezels come with compasses drawn on them. They will feature indicators of North, South, East, and West, and often will have markings in between those indicators for more precise measurement. To use one of these, you need to orient yourself correctly. The best way to do so is by using the sun. First, remember that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Next, figure out if the sun is rising or setting. Last, orient yourself so that east or west is pointed at the sun. You now know which direction to head. These types of bezels are most often used by outdoor adventurers. 4: Countdown Timer This type of watch bezel is the exact opposite of the elapsed time style. To use it, you need to match the number you want to count down from on the bezel to the current time. One use of this bezel is the ability to synchronize with others. This watch bezel comes in handy for people that work in aviation or the military. One more function is for runners or bikers who may want to time their workout. 5: Tachymeter The Tachymeter bezel is almost always found on watches with a chronograph because its function is to convert distance into speed, and vice versa. A chronograph is a very common watch feature that functions as a stopwatch. What the tachymeter does is let you find the unknown distance or speed, given that you have one of them already and combine it with time elapsed. One example of this is if you are a race-car driver and you travel for one mile in thirty seconds. Using these two metrics, you can find how fast you were going on your bezel. That number would be 120 MPH. This type of watch bezel is a favorite of driving enthusiasts and pilots. In the world of timepieces, you have a significant amount of choices. The most common are brand, price range, materials and style, but there are a few critical decisions that fly under the radar. One of them is watch bezel type. You don’t want to end up with a watch bezel that is of no use to you. When choosing your next watch, think about the utility and aesthetics of watch bezels and decide which serves your needs best. When you do, you will be one step closer to purchasing the perfect watch for your needs.

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  3. 7 Japanese Watches That are Worth Your Attention

    7 Japanese Watches That are Worth Your Attention

    A lot of luxury timepieces are manufactured in Switzerland, which many people call the “watch capital of the world.” The origins of this trend are complicated, but all you need to know is that the Swiss have perfected the art of watch manufacturing. However, don’t count out Japanese watches just yet. Other locations around the world have built up a reputation of their own as well. The most famous of them is Japan, which produces the majority of quartz watches on the market and also does an excellent job of creating affordable automatic pieces. For these reasons, taking a look at Japanese watches is worth your attention. We list sever of our favorites in the sections below. Seiko Men’s Automatic Diver Watch A general rule of thumb in the watch world is that automatic movements are significantly more expensive than quartz. What is so amazing about Seiko is that they manage to buck that trend and create affordable timepieces that perform at a luxury level. One example of this achievement is their automatic diver watch, which is water-resistant up to 200 meters. For some perspective, many of the most expensive dive watches in the world only go to 300 meters. This is the kind of excellence you can expect from what is perhaps the most esteemed Japanese brand. Casio G-Shock GA 100 Military Series Watch Though this watch is quite attractive, Casio prioritizes function and ruggedness over everything else. The result is a chunky, well-made timepiece that is water-resistant up to 200 meters, has an insanely precise stopwatch, incorporates a full calendar, and can be programmed to 29 different time zones. To get an idea of how resilient they are, just look at the name: Military Series. Casio wants to make a machine that functions in rain, snow, mud, and everywhere else a soldier would go. Of course, you don’t have to be in the military to appreciate an excellent product like this. Citizen Eco-Drive Titanium Perpetual Chronograph A-T Watch One of the most favorable features of the Citizen Eco-Drive watches is the nature of its movement. First, it runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, rather than a conventional power source that cannot charge again. Second, the watch recharges itself by harvesting solar energy. The result is that you never have to change out your battery. This function makes it somewhat like more expensive automatic watches, which use kinetic energy for power. Additionally, this timepiece has a gorgeous look to it, effective water resistance, and a sturdy titanium case. Orient Monarch Mechanical Hand Wind Watch Orient’s mission is to create watches that are reliable, classic, and speak for themselves. That’s why Orient doesn’t bother with expensive celebrity endorsements and massive marketing campaigns. Instead, they put their energy into world-class production and let the products do the talking. Such is the case with the Orient Monarch, which is elegant, understated, and doesn’t break the bank. One thing to consider is that this watch is not automatic or quartz, like the others on this list. What that means is that you’ll have to power it either by hand or with a watch winding device. For some, that will be a deal breaker, but others appreciate the vintage vibe that a manual piece gives off. Seiko 5 Automatic Stainless-Steel Watch Seiko is one of the most popular Japanese brands of all time. The Seiko 5 Automatic is the perfect choice for campers and other outdoors lovers due to its automatic movement, simple dial, and unique aesthetic. That being said, you shouldn’t put this piece on the shelf for your daily errands and nights out. The reason is that the Seiko 5 has a versatile look that holds up just about anywhere. Casio Multi-Function Chronograph   Though Casio is known for their rugged resin watches, they also produce more traditional looks. One example is this aviation-inspired piece that has a chronograph, impressive water resistance, and a rotating bezel that allows the wearer to make a variety of measurements. Seiko Solar Diver Chronograph If you’re a big fan of Rolex, the famous dive watch brand, this model might be your second best bet. The first reason is its movement, which is powered by solar energy and never needs a battery change. The second is its aesthetic, which incorporates a bright, multi-color bezel that is sure to turn heads. Lastly, it has excellent diving functions for its price, including resistance up to 200 meters and top of the line materials. If you still want to stick with the Swiss after reading this article, we don’t blame you. The manufacturers that operate there are some of the best in the world, and you can’t go wrong when choosing one. Still, anyone can admit that Japanese timepieces deserve respect and consideration, especially if your budget is a bit lower than what the top luxury brands require. Hopefully, with the help of this list, you’ll be able to choose a Japanese masterpiece to add to your collection!

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  4. Best Square Watches

    Best Square Watches

    We’ve been conditioned for decades to follow the design of round watches. But sometimes the endless parade of circular watches can get a little monotonous. But what about square watches? A square-shaped watch is not only modern but pleasingly retro as well, offering something that’s both classy and contemporary. Square watches are perfect if you’re up for wearing something slightly unusual but still stylish. Square or rectangle watches don’t get the props they deserve when compared to their rounded counterparts. They combine the classic style of yesteryear with a modern appeal and can be worn casually with jeans and a shirt, or dressed to the nines with a suit and tie. Not sure which square-faced watch to go for? Here are some options you can check out. For Women More than just an accessory to tell time, a woman’s watch must look attractive and chic. A square watch is not only trendy, it shows that a woman isn’t afraid to wear something different. Featuring outstanding quality, craftsmanship and design, these sqaure watches promise to up your fashion ante in the most sophisticated way. Have a quick overview of a few of the most sophisticated pieces available with a square dial. Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Squadra Lady Duetto  Jaeger-LeCoultre has a full history of innovating Swiss watches. It is also known for manufacturing Reverso some 85 years ago which was introduced as a luxury reversible sports watch. The reversible case was invented for wearers to protect their watch’s face during polo matches. This iconic reversible design has been a statement timepiece since then. The Squadra Lady Duetto has an elegant square face. It comes in a variety of options, for example, a white rear dial with a visible oscillating rotor. Some has a rose gold case that’s water resistant. Moreover, the automatic self-winding movement is as precise and sophisticated as you would expect from any Jaeger-LeCoultre watch. Similarly, the impression this timepiece makes is as memorable as you would hope to get from a watch. Cartier Tank Solo When it comes to square watches, Cartier’s Tank Solo is an icon of modern watchmaking. It represents the perfect balance between technical excellence and geometrical style. The modest, modern design of the Tank Solo watch envisions royalty from the moment it first appeared in the Tank collection. The Tank Solo is a well-known Cartier watch that’s been popular for its exquisite design. An instant classic, the watch has a rectangular face and slanted roman numerals. All in all, the watch adds elegance to your personal style. For Men: Although not a lot of men like square watches, those who do appreciate the instant ‘cool’ factor that a square watch brings without even trying. Here we have a couple of our favorite sophisticated square watches for men. TAG Heuer Monaco Launched in 1969 in honour of the Monaco Grand Prix, the TAG Heuer Monaco is a revolutionary watch, holding the title of being the first automatic and the first square watch to have a chronograph complication. At 37mm in size, this new version in quartz, which replaces the usual Calibre 11, makes the watch more affordable. Powered by the TAG Heuer quartz movement, one of the most reliable and accurate movements made in Switzerland, this square watch has the same sleek and sophisticated design.   Bell & Ross Golden Heritage The BR 03 Golden Heritage Automatic version in 42mm satin-brushed steel case features golden appliqué indexes and numerals and golden hands against a dark-brown dial. Unobtrusive between 4 and 5 o’clock lies the date aperture. A gold calfskin leather strap with a hot-stamped finish completes the vintage look of this square watch. At the heart of this pilot watch runs a mechanical automatic movement.

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  5. History of Rolex: Why They’re One of the Best

    History of Rolex: Why They’re One of the Best

    Between athletes, actors, CEOs and everyone in between, it seems like almost every person that has a passion (and is willing to spend the money) for watches is a Rolex owner. It is natural to wonder why this is, and where it all began. You might ask, “Was it just a big marketing scheme, or is the respect that Rolex receives well deserved?” Below, we detail the a brief history of Rolex and get into why this famous Swiss manufacturer deserves every bit of the credit it gets. History of Rolex Watches What is the history of Rolex? When did Rolex come out? At the young age of 24, Hans Wilsdorf founded a timepiece company. This business was not Rolex, though. At first, it was only a distributor of watches, not a designer or producer. Still, he had bigger dreams. What he wanted most was to not only dominate, but practically build the wristwatch market from the ground up. The reason he had this opportunity was that, at the time, pocket watches still had supremacy due to style trends and superior function. To counteract this trend, he first targeted the issue of reliability. Where is Rolex made? This entailed him partnering with the Swiss manufacturer Bienne to create an incredibly precise movement that could, unlike his competitors, fit in the small package that is a wristwatch. When choosing the now iconic name “Rolex,” Rolex founder Wilsdorf spent many hours combining various letters of the alphabet in endless combinations. Instead of selecting an existing word, he wanted to dream one up that would become a powerful, singular brand. Eventually, he came up with the name we all know today. The history of Rolex is one you should know about. The Rolex brand was not built with just a name, though. What came next was carrying out the task of creating incredibly precise movements for wristwatches, something that had not been done before. Within just a few years, that goal was met, as Rolex watches began receiving certificates of precision from various watch rating organizations. Eventually, Wilsdorf settled his company in the famous watchmaking city of Geneva. History of Rolex, Creating a Tradition of Excellence Though waterproof watches are commonplace in the modern age, they were not during the early history of Rolex. This is why the creation of the waterproof “Oyster” model was such an achievement. To prove their point, Rolex outfitted Mercedes Gleitze with one and had her swim across the English Channel. At the end of the 10-hour journey, the watch was still in working condition. If you have an automatic watch, you likely never wind it by hand. That said, if you lived in the early 1900’s, this would not be the case. That is why when Rolex invented their self-winding mechanism in 1931, which changed the entire wristwatch world. This is now standard in every automatic watch, but it all started with Rolex watches. Around this time, as a brand, Rolex company also began outfitting race car drivers and pilots with their shockingly versatile timepieces. The result was a further refining of their products and a significant amount of advertising material. One of these drivers was Sir Malcolm Campbell, one of the most famous of all time. Domination of Land and Sea The next era of Rolex is defined by its creation of watches that could withstand the elements. That included a trip to Mt. Everest in 1953, deep scuba dive expeditions to places like Marianas Trench, and transcontinental flights. Unlike every other manufacturer in the world, Rolex watches seemed invincible. This time in the Rolex story is also filled with the creation of some of their most iconic watches. Those included the Explorer, Submariner, GMT-Master, Day-Date, Cosmograph Daytona and Sea-Dweller models. Each of these pieces rose to the top of the watch market due to their aesthetics and capabilities. What happened next was the beginning of distinguished men and women choosing Rolex over every other brand. Separation From Competitors Starting in the 1970’s, Rolex began to truly dominate the luxury watch market. Not only did they design more famous models, such as the Yacht-Master, but their efforts to distinguish from other manufacturers began to take hold. One change they made at this time was using 904L steel, which is regarded as one of the best watchmaking materials in the world. In this era, Rolex rose above the crowded timepiece market and began to be a true icon. Widening the Gap In the modern era, Rolex is furthering their growth and tradition of excellence. First, they continue to improve their technology with innovations like the 4130 movement, cerachrom bezels, parachrom hairsprings, and even greater deep sea capabilities. Next, are innovating old models and creating new ones that dazzle the watch world. Lastly, the legend behind their brand continues to grow with the help of elite endorsements like the US Open, Formula 1, Wimbledon and many more. History of Rolex Conclusion Now that you know a bit about Rolex’s background and Rolex’s beginning, you can start to understand why it has perhaps the most esteemed reputation of any watch brand. What is so impressive about Rolex watches is that it never had any significant hiccups or setbacks. Instead, it has been an elite manufacturer since the very beginning and shows no signs of slowing down.

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  6. Watch Guide: Different Types of Watches for Every Occasion

    Watch Guide: Different Types of Watches for Every Occasion

    So many watches and so many occasions. It can get hard to know how to navigate the almost overwhelming number of combinations there are between timepieces and social situations. So below is a (loose) watch guide that will hopefully help you out when you need to put together your next outfit with your watch. Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re thinking of different types of watches for men’s fashion!  Simple and Elegant for Black Tie Looking for watches for a fancy occasion? Formal events call for a formal watch. From elegant weddings to galas and high-end business gatherings, these dress-to-impress events begin after six in the evening and the invitation will be clear about the black-tie status. There are types of watches every man should own, like a casual watch and a formal watch. Men don black suits and women wear evening dresses or ball gowns in dark colors. Watches need to reflect this style.  Watch colors should match the wardrobe, so black for men and complementary colors for women. A timepiece with a simple black leather strap and an uncomplicated dial in a dark color is most appropriate. A slim watch is best. You are going for elegance and want to avoid flash. While a more-elaborate dress watch may seem upscale and fitting for a fancy night out, it’s not. Best not to wear a watch at all than to sport a timepiece that will call attention to itself. An example of a black-tie friendly watch is the Movado Red Label with its minimalist black Museum dial and understated black alligator strap. The German watchmaker A. Lange & Söhne has a line of elegant watches with dark faces and leather straps that are perfect for black-tie affairs. Bold Without Flash for Business Formal Different people like different kinds of watches. Sharing some style attributes with black-tie watches, business formal watches should be simple and classic. Leather straps are best but you don’t have to stick with a dark dial as you would with black tie. It’s best if the watch matches and complements the wardrobe so you have any number of options with the watch’s face. From the boardroom to lunches with important clients, you want a timepiece that’s both conventionally elegant and a nod to your personal style. This watch is meant to make an impression and convey a sense of confidence. You can go with cases of silver and gold that lean to the bold side but keep the faces complication free. German watchmakers excel at striking this balance. NOMOS Glashütte has mechanical watches that are bold enough to get noticed but have a subtlety that says you’re not trying to draw attention.   Freedom to Choose with Business Casual How many different watches are there for different occasions? A lot. There is a lot more liberty when you accessorize for business-casual ensembles. You’re in the everyday wear realm so you can go with either a metal bracelet or a leather strap that matches your wardrobe, generally brown, black or a neutral hue. Best where office dress codes are employed but not overly rigid, a business-casual timepiece can range from a field watch, pilot, or even an upscale chronograph.   Your work watch also depends on the impression you are trying to make at work . An up-and-comer may wish to grab attention by sporting something like an IWC Portugieser Automatic with a rose-gold case and silver-plated dial. The more-established members of the office favor classic designs with styles that don’t need to broadcast fashion statements. While a Tag Heuer Carrera may lean to the sporty side, more-subdued models with leather straps lend themselves perfectly to the workplace. Of course, business casual isn’t just for days at the office. Casual occasions can mean a relaxed evening out with friends, brunch at a bistro or a dinner date. There are all different types of watches for occasions where you can show some style without looking like you’re trying too hard. Sports Watches for Active Outings As you may suspect, a sports watch is best when you are active. You don’t want to be hiking up a mountain trail with a leather strap or a dress watch made of precious metals. Optimally you are looking for something with a rubber or nylon strap and rugged features such as water and shock resistance. A stainless steel bracelet could work, depending upon the activities you’re engaged in. But keep in mind that you want a watch with a strap you can replace as active adventures can take a toll. Sports watches are all about versatility. You can swap in a leather strap and turn a sports watch into a dress or casual watch. Durable sports watches have a long and esteemed history and some of the world’s most famous (and most worn!) watches fall into this category. A classic since the 1950s, the Rolex Submariner is the epitome of high-end sports watches. Omega’s Speedmaster is another choice that’s been taken on active outings for decades, with nylon straps for function and dressed up with leather. Hublot is another watch brand that favors activity, notably the Big Bang and dressier Classic Fusion collections. What Do You Want on Your Travels? There are two divergent paths when talking about travel watches. You can go with classic types of watches that were designed with travelers in mind or with smartwatches. These type of watches are as much about style as the functionality. They capture the essence of travel with designs while providing functions that travelers can use. Rolex was a pioneer in travel-friendly timepieces with the Rolex GMT Master (for Greenwich Mean Time) that allows you to track different time zones with a 24-hour bezel. Vintage style is great for traditional travel watches. The maritime-inspired Hamilton Khaki Navy UTC also tracks time zones and has a wonderful throwback vibe. Originally made for the military, the Glycine Airman has since won favor from travelers of all stripes for a globe-trotting style that harkens to the 60s and 70s. But its hard to beat the functionality of a smartwatch for traveling. Get directions, book a hotel room or search for the best Mai Tai in town. It’s all right there on your wrist! The waterproof Apple Watch Series 3 receives navigation prompts, email and texts and even streams music. With a 4G signal, you can make phone calls on the go! And the hospitality industry is tailoring their services to smartwatch wearers. You can use your Apple Watch to unlock your door at Starwood Hotels. Scan airline boarding passes from your wrist with Apple’s Passbook app. Virgin Atlantic have features that work with Sony’s SmartWatch 3.  The All-Around Watch Like white t-shirts, little black dresses and good friends, some things just go with everything. A few versatile watches fall into this category (well, almost everything). The most versatile watches have stainless steel cases and leather straps. They’re simple but not stylistically minimalist. These types of watches have face functions but don’t draw attention with an assortment of complicated features. One of the more-subtle Breitling Chronomats is a versatile option. Bell and Ross have square-case watches that can be worn almost anywhere. Panerai Luminor is another brand with watches that go with a variety of occasions. However you match your watch to its appropriate occasion, don’t forget the most important aspect — you! Whatever type of watch you decide to get, the watch needs to complement your personal style and the way you wish to be perceived by the world as much as matching a specific event.

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  7. Common Watch Problems and How to Fix Them

    Common Watch Problems and How to Fix Them

    You’ve got a problem with your watch. You’re handy. You’re pretty sure you can fix it yourself… but have you asked yourself “how do I fix my watch?” Watch problems and issues might be more common than you think. Here are some common issues and tips on how to fix a watch. Before you begin, it’s important to understand that fixes done by anyone other than a watch-repair professional can affect the worth of your watch. The resale value of a luxury watch is highest when you have service records and its best that those services are performed by the manufacturer. But if that’s not a concern – roll up your sleeves and try to learn how to repair a watch! How to Open a Case It all starts with opening up your watch. A few exceptions aside, there are four kinds of watch cases you will encounter when you’re learning how to fix a wrist watch. 1. Snap-Back: To open a snap-back case use a penknife or similar thin, flat blade to pry open the case at the raised lip with a twist of the blade. 2. Screw-Back: You’ll want to pick up a screw-back removal tool for this type. Resembling a pair of pincers, the tool slips into slots on the perimeter of the case. Twist counterclockwise to open, finishing with your fingers after the tool has loosened the cover. 3. Case with Screws: These cases generally have four Phillips-head screws that can be removed with a small screwdriver. 4. Swatch-Style Case: These ports can be twisted open using a coin. You don’t actually remove the cover of the sealed case but do get access to the battery. My Watch Has Stopped Ticking Wondering how to fix a watch that stopped ticking? Or your automatic watch stopped working? Hint, it’s probably the battery. This may sound like a simple watch fix, but it’s something you might overlook. Check the battery. Many watch batteries have lives of about two years. That number can go up to three years or more with a quartz watch that’s designed to run longer. But chances are if your watch has stopped, you need to replace the battery. The case removed, you can see what’s holding the battery in place. With a spring clip or loose installation, you have easy access. Many batteries are held in place with a screw and cover that will require a small screwdriver. It’s best to use non-conductive watch tools to avoid damaging your watch with an electric shock. The same is true for the tweezers you’ll want to use for removing the battery. Plastic is best to avoid shock. Before removing the battery check the position of the writing on the back. You want to set the replacement battery in the same manner. The information on your old battery will tell you what replacement you’ll need. Even the most common watch battery will eventually give out. You can get a new one at a jewelry store, an electronics store, drugstore or online. Use the same plastic tools to set the new battery in place and your watch should spring back to life. If not, you may have inserted the battery upside down or the connection is broken. In the latter case, you may have to take it to a watch-repair shop. If it’s an extra pricey watch, you might want to get some help from the professionals too. The Second Hand is Skipping Did your automatic watch movement stopped working? Or is it skipping? This is a sign that your battery is near the end of its life. It’s also a warning to address the issue as soon as possible. An ailing battery could leak acid into your watch and do damage. If the second hand is locked in a back-and-forth movement in one spot, there’s likely an issue with the movement that’s beyond a simple home repair. My Watch is Running Fast (or Slow) Do nothing. This isn’t necessarily a watch problem. It’s common for watches to gain or lose a little time every day. While the changes are tiny and incremental, over time it can make it seem like you have a big problem. But unless you are losing more than a few seconds each day, there is likely no issue. The Buttons Won’t Bounce If buttons on your watch don’t pop out after they’re pushed in, the most likely culprit is dust. Even though your watch case is sealed, dirt can accumulate over time and get lodged in the springs that make the buttons pop out. Professionals use ultrasonic cleaners to safely remove the dirt. But you can use plastic tweezers and a tiny piece of absorbent material to remove the dirt. If you can’t easily access the tube that contains the spring, take it to a professional. Do not touch the spring with your fingers as you could introduce oils that will make the problem worse. Smartwatch Solutions I’m Always Recharging Much like your mobile phone and tablet, if your watch isn’t holding a charge for long you should look at what’s draining the battery. Remove apps you don’t need. Turn off features you aren’t using and dim your screen’s brightness. Voice Command Problems: If your smartwatch is having trouble recognizing voice commands, it could be background noise. Make sure your voice isn’t competing with other sounds. Some trial and error with tone and pacing will also be needed to make your voice commands instantly recognizable. I’ve Got a Sticky Apple The crown on the Apple Watch is notorious for sticking and ceasing to register each click. Turn off the watch and pour warm water on the whirligig for about 15 seconds. Bluetooth Won’t Connect Simple as it sounds, turn your Bluetooth off and on again to reconnect. But perhaps the best advice when attempting to repair your own watch is caution. A few pennies saved with home maintenance could do damage that could cost you quite a few dollars.

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  8. History of Watches: A Quick Timeline

    History of Watches: A Quick Timeline

    Watches have been around for a long, long time. But what is the actual history of watches? Ever asked yourself, “When was the watch invented?” Or wondered how they’re made? Watches today are not what they used to be. Take a look at a smartphone for example. What we know is that it can take calls, send texts, track fitness data, and carry out scores of other functions. At this point of highly advanced technology, it is interesting to look back throughout history and understand where watches came from in the first place. Below, we briefly go over the history of watches from when were watches invented to now. Invention of the Clock Before we talk about watches and the invention of them, we must go over the history of timekeeping devices. Though early civilizations used primitive time-telling devices, such as sundials, the first clock was invented by the English in 1275. In the beginning, they were so basic that all they could do was ring a bell at every hour. Still, engineers and blacksmiths collaborated for hundreds of years and eventually were able to build clocks that looked roughly like the mechanical ones we have today. They also started to experiment with metals outside of the traditional material, steel. That included silver, bronze and brass. Pocket Watch History When was the pocket watch invented? These were such primitive times that the famous religious figure John Calvin actually banned the wearing of jewelry in Switzerland. This opened up a massive opportunity for anybody in Switzerland that could create pocket watches. Historically, the first of them was produced in the late 1500’s and like the earliest clocks, only had an hour hand. As the utility and popularity of pocket watches became apparent, the industry was further funded and advanced. The result was more reliable pieces, the inclusion of minute and second hands and a growing consumer base. Widespread Adoption In the 19th century, the industrial revolution had taken hold and every industry was experiencing massive improvements. Many changes took place, but the most prominent were superior products, lower prices and mass production. One sector that was swept up in this wave of productivity was pocket watches, and they finally reached the mass market. Before this, only the wealthy could afford such expensive and luxurious timepieces. Now, commoners could afford them too. The Wristwatch History  Though wristwatches had been around for centuries, their use was not widespread. In fact, they were primarily worn by wealthy women. The reason was that at first all watches were too expensive for common people. Then, after the prices fell, there were still very few people wearing them because they were considered a women’s style, and not many women chose to wear watches. What shifted this trend was the adoption of men using wristwatches in the military. This began in 1880 when Constant Girard decided to outfit his German naval officers with wristwatches. In the following years, doing so became more and more popular. Use on the Battlefield We’re talking about the history of watches, but watches have a history with history itself. Though WWI had many massive implications, one of the less significant ones was the use of wristwatches. What happened is that soldiers in the trenches did not want to take a watch out of their pockets every time they needed to check the time. They opted for the more functional wristwatch, which could be checked immediately and did not require the soldier to take one of their hands off their weapon. Beyond convenience, having the time handy was a critical factor in making military maneuvers. The reason is that different groups of soldiers could coordinate attacks even if they could not communicate. Instead, they would agree to attack at a particular time and use their watch to confirm coordination. Wristwatches Take Over After the war, it was now acceptable and trendy for men to wear wristwatches.  Watch company marketing departments began to use depictions of soldiers wearing wristwatches to sell them to other men. Additionally, men who had worn them throughout the war had become accustomed to doing so and wanted to continue that habit. The result was an explosion in the popularity of wristwatches, which allowed them to nearly take over the entire pocket watch market. Technological Developments Once watches became a massive industry, money came pouring in for research and development. This led to added features such as chronographs, quartz movement, useful bezels, and more. The result was a diversification of the functions watches could carry out, which further expanded the market for them. Watches Get Smarter In the last twenty years, computers have been getting smaller and smaller. First, they went from the size of entire rooms to personal computers. Next, we developed laptops and smartphones. Now, in the modern age, we can fit advanced computers in tiny compartments that fit on our wrists. The result is smartwatches like the Apple Watch. There is still a large market for vintage style watches, but smart innovations are changing the watch industry in rapid fashion. When you go shopping for watches online, most of the pieces you come across are vastly different than timepieces were throughout history. The reason is that what you see today is the accumulation of hundreds of years of advancements. Now, whoever you are and whatever you are looking for, there is a piece for you. You just have to go find it.

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  9. Watch Guide: How Are Watches Made?

    Watch Guide: How Are Watches Made?

    The question “how are watches made?” is a bit too general to answer as is. Instead, we should focus on a specific type of watch. Luckily, there is one that is profoundly more interesting than the rest: Mechanical. Lets look into how to make a watch. Generally, the most expensive and sought-after watches are mechanical, as opposed to quartz or digital. If you browse the website of a genuine luxury brand, the odds are that the vast majority of their pieces are mechanical and have a hefty price tag. The reason is that the inner workings of these watches are incredibly intricate, and many consumers see them as works of art. For this reason, we will point our focus to mechanical watches, with a few ending notes on other variations. Aesthetic and Functional Vision Watches have been around for a long time. Ever thought about how watch parts are made? Before any production begins, the watch manufacturer needs to have a plan. One part of that plan is deciding on the aesthetics and functionality of the watch. As far as aesthetics, they need to focus on issues like color, size, buckle type, and more. For functional aspects, the manufacturer has many options such as bezel function, showing the date, being water resistant to great depths, or having a chronograph. These decisions are important because they change the personality of the watch entirely. If you go one direction, you get a minimalist watch that just tells the time. On the other side of the spectrum, you might get a piece with a significant amount of functions and a design that turns heads. Once the manufacturer decides precisely what they’re trying to do with a piece, they can move on to the next step. High-Tech Movement Design The second aspect of pre-production planning is designing the movement of the watch, which is defined as the mechanics behind its various functions. Generally, this is some combination of springs, screws, wheels, and other typical mechanical pieces. Of course, not every watch is the same. Sometimes a manufacturer will want to create a unique movement, or they will include a difficult function like a full year calendar or chronograph. To do this, manufacturers use computer programs. This allows their engineers to develop perfect systems that are sure to function correctly. Once the movement is settled on and designed, it’s almost time for production to get started. Choosing Materials The last decision watchmakers need to make before beginning production is what material they want to use. (The standard is stainless steel.) Those include precious metals, ceramic, leather, expensive plastics and more. Again, these decisions are based on what the manufacturer’s goals are with the watch. If they want to create a bare bones model that is meant to solely tell time without costing too much, they will choose steel. If they are in the luxury space and want to create a piece with some flash, they may choose gold or silver. In-House or Partnership? Ever wondered how to build a watch? At this point, the manufacturer has a plan for the aesthetics, functionality, movement, and materials. Finally, they can move on to producing the watches. There are two ways to go about this. First, they can create the watch entirely or mostly in-house. This means that rather than sourcing their parts and materials from other businesses, they build a watch from the ground up. This is typical of luxury manufacturers, who pride themselves on controlling every aspect of production. The alternative is choosing a partner to produce some or all of the watch. That can mean contracting out individual pieces then assembling in-house, or submitting a design to a factory and having them build the entire watch. This practice is generally characteristic of more affordable brands. Hand or Machine? The final step in production is to decide which aspects of their watches will be hand built versus which will be built by machines. As with the former point, there is a split here for luxury and affordable pieces. In general, expensive pieces have more handmade aspects, while affordable watches are entirely machine-made. How Quartz and Digital Differ The other primary movement type, quartz, undergoes a similar process. The only difference is that the inner workings of those watches are usually less complicated than mechanical. For digital watches, the steps are again roughly similar, but when creating the dial and inside of the watch, they opt for digital circuitry. If you’ve ever wondered why watches are so fascinating, perhaps this article has answered that question. The potential reason is that an incredible amount of time, effort, and creativity goes into making a timepiece. The manufacturer must make choices regarding aesthetics, functionality, movement, materials, and production specifics. Of course, you don’t see any of this when you make your purchase. Instead, you see only the result: A masterpiece. Now that you know how watches are made and the watch making process, maybe you’ll appreciate the little wrist pieces a little more.

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  10. Best Watch Brands for Different Price Ranges

    Best Watch Brands for Different Price Ranges

    One of the hardest aspects of purchasing a watch is simply knowing where to start. There are thousands of watch brands out there, so it is normal to be overwhelmed by choosing which to buy from. The good news is that you are not shooting in the dark when you make this decision. Instead, there are a handful of timepiece companies that have separated themselves from the rest of the market due to their excellent reputations. Below, we go through those best watch brands and options and different price ranges as well. Affordable  Looking for good watch brands? If you don’t have a lot of cash  to invest in your watch, this is a good price range to look into. Alternatively, if you need any everyday watch that is likely to get dirty or beat up, you probably don’t want to spend a significant amount of money on it. Either way, you can still purchase a high-quality watch, even if you are only paying a double-digit sum. Timex – This watch brand has gained a well-deserved reputation for producing reliable watches at the most affordable price possible. Their two specialties are simple quartz movements and digital displays, both of which shouldn’t cost you more than $50. While Timex may not be the top watch brands for men, it’s definitely liked by many. Casio – Though some of the most versatile Casio watches push $100, most of their pieces come in at under $50. Just like Timex, they are a well-respected name in the watch world and make reliable products that are built to last. Casio definitely falls in the category of good watch brands for men. Entry Level This price range comes with a bit more craftsmanship and design. The movements in this category are often quartz, but many of these brands also produce reliable automatic watches. This is an excellent tier for shoppers that have a bit of money to spend but don’t prefer to go more than $1,000. Fossil – This watch brand has gained a reputation for producing trendy, well-made watches in a variety of price ranges. At the lower end, you’ll find simple quartz watches for around $75. On the upper end, you can purchase automatic watches for $200. Seiko – Perhaps the most respected watch name in this tier is Seiko, who famously makes ultra-reliable Japanese movements. In fact, this brand invented the quartz movement, which has taken over the affordable watch market. If you opt for a higher priced piece, you can also get a well-made automatic piece. Starter Luxury This price range includes watches that eclipse $1,000, but usually not by too much. Unlike other tiers, these watches often include handmade aspects and almost always have automatic movements. If you have some money to spend and want excellent quality, the following companies are fantastic choices. Oris – This Swiss watch brand is famous for producing luxury quality pieces at a somewhat lower price point than competitors. The combination of reliability and attractive designs makes this brand an excellent choice. Omega – Not only is this watch brand the official sponsor of James Bond, but it also was the first on the moon. Flashy accolades aside, it has a long history of success and customer satisfaction, allowing you to shop worry-free. Omega is definitely one of the best watch brands for men. Mid-Tier Luxury This tier includes some of the most famous and well-known watch brands on the market. Here, you’ll be shopping for products that are primarily handmade, have incredible craftsmanship, and boast extraordinary quality. They won’t come cheap, though, as many of them cost upwards of $10,000. Rolex – Though there are many watches in this price range, Rolex separates itself from the rest. Not only are their pieces incredibly reliable and attractive, but the reputation surrounding their brand is simply unmatched. When you choose Rolex, you know exactly what you are getting. It’s in the top 10 watch brands and is a top tier timepiece. Ultra-Luxury If you can afford this price range, you are most likely to get a top-quality watch. Not only are they well built, but they are often made from ultra-expensive materials like pure gold or precious stones. If you choose this tier, you’ll likely spend more than $20,000, but the quality will match the price tag. These take nice watch brands to another level. Audemars Piguet – Two things make Audemars Piguet watches utterly irresistible. The first is their distinct aesthetic, which is instantly recognizable. Second, they take incredible care in crafting each piece to be an embodiment of perfection. These two factors combined make AP a great option. Patek Philippe – This famous luxury watch brand has been seen in the wrists of Ellen DeGeneres, Kevin Hart and countless other celebrities. In the watch world, it has an unassailable reputation for producing elegant, attractive watches. If you ever get your hands on one, you will understand where this prestige comes from. While the watch market may seem intimidating at first, once you understand the basics, you can purchase with confidence. We hope this article has done that for you. Now it’s time to get shopping! Remember you have so many options when it comes to nice watch brands. Just choose your desired price range and don’t just choose popular watch brands because of their names.

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  11. Most Expensive Watches in the World

    Most Expensive Watches in the World

    Watches have come such a long way. Before we discuss the world’s most expensive watches in the world, we should explain what exactly gives a watch a higher price than another.  So how does a watch be considered one of the most expensive watches in the world? There are six primary factors: Technology – This describes the various functions of the watch. One example of technology that will drive the cost of a piece up is having a perpetual calendar. While this might sound relatively simple, building the movement for this function is incredibly difficult, and it has the price tag to match. Craftsmanship – This is defined as how the watch is built. It refers to features like complicated movements and deep-water resistance. If it’s going to be in the expensive watches category, it should have the finest craftsmanship, right? Materials – This aspect is easy to understand. Pieces made of standard stainless steel will be cheaper, while ones that incorporate precious metals and stones will be more expensive. Brand – What are some of the most expensive watch brands? Expensive watches for men and women come in different varieties. Certain companies garner a higher price tag because of the mystique and reputation they have built. Age – If a piece is incredibly well made, age will only increase its value. Historic pieces often sell for incredible sums. Scarcity – Sometimes, a watch is one of a kind or produced in small batches. As you might imagine, this drives up the price. Now that you understand what makes a watch expensive, let’s move on to take a look at some of the world’s most expensive watches: 1: The Hallucination – $55 million This isn’t the world’s most expensive watch, but it’s definitely wayu up there. Some watch enthusiasts think that including this piece on this list is “cheating.” The reason? The watches themselves aren’t anything special besides the fact that they are riddled with diamonds. Still, this piece comes with an unbelievable price tag and a colorful, gaudy aesthetic. 2: Breguet No. 160 – $30 million Taking a brief break from diamond-laden pieces, we have the Breguet No.160. What makes this watch so expensive is its history. The story behind it is that a lover of the famous Marie Antoinette commissioned this piece as a gift. Unfortunately, she died before it was produced and never saw the finished product. Today, it is displayed in the Mayer Museum. It’s cased in 18-karat gold and sapphires, has 23 complications and over 800 parts. Talk about one of the most expensive watches in the world. 3: Chopard 201-Carat Watch – $25 million This Chopard easily lands on our most expensive watches in the world list. It is very similar to the Graff Diamonds pieces described above. In fact, it looks nearly the same as the Hallucination. It features scores of precious jewels, which result in a colorful, glimmering piece. 4: Patek Philippe Supercomplication – $24 million   Patek Philippe created this custom piece for the ultra-wealthy banker Harry Graves Jr. It took a full five years to design and produce, but it was worth the wait. The end product was a pocket watch with incredible technology for its time, which holds up well even in the modern age. This may not look like it immediately, but it’s one of the most expensive watches out there. 5: Jacob & Co. Billionaire Watch – $18 million While most of these watches have diamonds on them, none look as surreal as this Jacob & Co. model. The reason is that it looks like the entire piece of made of diamonds, rather than having them as decoration. Another thing that separates it from pieces like the Hallucination is that the movement is on display and quite beautiful. 6: The Paul Newman Rolex Daytona – $17.8 million Celebrities have worn Rolex watches for ages, but perhaps the most famous of all was Paul Newman. His signature piece was the Daytona, which was recently auctioned off. The price that an anonymous collector paid for it was 17.8 million dollars. This proves that diamonds and ancient history are not required to make a watch incredibly expensive. 7: Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 – $11.1 million This Patek Philippe is another historic piece that recently sold for millions at auction. The reason is that it was a groundbreaking technological masterpiece when it was built. Its claim to fame is being the first watch with a chronograph and perpetual calendar. 8: Vacheron Constantin 57260 – $8 million This gorgeous piece actually does not have an exact price, but it definitely should be included in the most expensive watches list. The $8 million we listed above is merely an estimate, as a private buyer commissioned the piece without publicizing the price. What makes it so expensive is its impossibly complex craftsmanship, which features 57 complications and 2,826 components. The care that went into this piece matches its price tag, as it took roughly 8 years to produce. Most Expensive Watches Conclusion If you’re every able to afford one of the watches on this list, you’ve probably done very well with your life. Of course, the vast majority of us never will. Still, it’s entertaining to learn about these pieces, look at pictures of them, and fantasize about one day being able to have them. Until then, looking is free, so don’t hesitate to research them further!

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