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  2. 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 stop 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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  3. 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 military 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 movements, 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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  4. 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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  5. 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 – $100 USD and Below 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 USD. 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 USD, most of their pieces come in at under $50 USD. 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 – $1000 USD and Below 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 USD. 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 USD. On the upper end, you can purchase automatic watches for $200 USD. 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 – $10,000 USD and Below This price range includes watches that eclipse $1,000 USD, 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 – $20,000 USD and Below 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 USD. 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 – More Than $20,000 USD 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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  6. 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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