Charles Miller

Charles Miller

First Published: May 09, 2018
  1. Articles by Charles Miller
  2. 7 Popular Watch Brands That Sell More Than Just Watches

    7 Popular Watch Brands That Sell More Than Just Watches

    One battle of philosophy that is often discussed in our culture is specialization vs. generalization. We talk about it in the context of sports, career, and much more. But what about the watch world? Lets take a look at some popular watch brands that produces more than just watches. You might assume that companies that produce a wide range of goods do not create timepieces of specialist caliber. The truth is that when you take a closer look, you find highly respected watch companies that also manage to thrive in other areas too. Popular Watch Brands 1: Montblanc Montblanc was actually first known as a luxury pen manufacturer. Despite their roots, they decided to branch out into other lines of products. One of the moves they made that has been incredibly successful is producing watches, which started in 1997. In the beginning, management received snarky questions from the timepiece community like, “where does the ink go?” Still, they persisted in creating this facet of their company and have proven the naysayers wrong by becoming a respected name in the watch community. In addition to watches and pens, they also sell notebooks, paper, leather goods, jewelry, and more. 2: Cartier Next on our list is Cartier, which is one of the top names in luxury watches. What makes this brand unique is that if you ask ten different people what they do, you might get ten different answers. Some would point to their well-respected timepieces as their primary skill. Others would talk about their extensive jewelry catalog, engagement rings, leather goods, or sunglasses. Ultimately, Cartier has found a way to master the entire fashion accessories business, and their brand has grown accordingly. One non-watch item that people adore is their Love Bracelets. The reason is that it has a lock and a key. When someone gives it as a gift, they often keep the key as a symbol of their love. 3: Chopard Like the others on this list, Chopard is one of the best watch manufacturers in the world. That doesn’t mean they are a specialist, though. Instead, they produce rings, earrings, necklaces, and other accessories. One thing that has made them especially popular is their themed jewelry collections. One of them is named “Ice Cube,” and it features grooves that give the items a block-like aesthetic. Many of those pieces contain large diamonds too. Another is the “Happy Hearts” collection, which offers hundreds of pieces of jewelry that have hearts incorporated in them. 4: Ulysse Nardin Though casual watch enthusiasts may not know this brand, it is a favorite among collectors. One reason why is its extended history. Like Montblanc, they also make exceptional luxury pens. It was founded all the way back in 1846 in Le Locle, Switzerland. In 1865, they moved to a new building to carry out their manufacturing needs. If you visit the company today, they will be working in that very same spot. The pen market is somewhat small, but the members of it are passionate about which brands are excellent and which are not. When you talk to these enthusiasts, you find that Ulysse Nardin is near the top of their list. 5: Fossil Moving on to a more affordable brand, we have Fossil. This company has built a reputation for both quality and affordability. Many of their pieces are well-made quartz watches, but they also have some mechanical models that are worth your attention. Besides timepieces, they sell three items: Bags, wallets, and jewelry. Additionally, each of these categories comes with men’s and women’s options. Some of the most popular of these items are purses, messenger bags, leather wallets, bracelets, and necklaces. All of these choices combine to make Fossil an excellent place to shop for just about anybody. 6: MVMT MVMT is one of the fastest growing watch brands in the world. Though some gripe about their prices being a bit too high, most agree that these pieces are stylish and relatively affordable. Additionally, they have one of the most attractive brand aesthetics out there, and the millennial age range is responding. Recently, they added sunglasses to their shop as well. These pieces are an excellent deal because they use high-quality acetate and offer polarized lenses. Lastly, they have started to sell women’s bracelets too, which are affordable and attractive. 7: Nixon Though this brand does not show up on “top watch” lists, it is incredibly popular with young people. In fact, many clothing stores like Val Surf and PacSun only sell Nixon. They primarily offer simple, minimalist watches, but also have a few digital pieces that customers love. In addition to timepieces, they sell bags, clothing, and accessories. One move they have made recently is producing Star Wars and Mickey Mouse themed products. If you’re a fan of those two iconic cultural elements, then this brand is an excellent choice. Popular Watch Brands Conclusion The battle between those that specialize and those that do not largely misses the point. What you should do instead is focus on the product you want and judge a company based on how they make it. An added benefit of choosing one on this list is that if you fall in love with them, they have an extensive catalog that can satisfy your other interests too.

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  3. Watch Fashion: Tom Ford’s First Watch

    Watch Fashion: Tom Ford’s First Watch

    The big news in the watch world right now is that Tom Ford has released their first watch. The natural question for any timepiece or fashion enthusiast to ask is if it is worth buying. Below, we introduce the Tom Ford brand and give our thoughts on their new watch. Company History The mastermind behind this prestigious brand is a modern renaissance man, given that he has had a massively successful career in both film and fashion. After working at Gucci and Saint Laurent in his early days, he started his own company. He named that company after himself, Tom Ford. With the help of the experience he amassed at those established luxury brands, his new company took off quickly and became one of the most recognizable names on the planet. View this post on Instagram “I became a fashion designer because I wanted to make men and women feel more beautiful and to empower them with a feeling of confidence. A feeling of knowing that they looked their best and could then present their best selves to the world.” – Tom Ford #TOMFORD #TOMFORDSS19 #NYFW A post shared by TOM FORD (@tomford) on Sep 11, 2018 at 11:35am PDT Their Place in the Fashion World Currently, Tom Ford is one of the premier names in the luxury fashion space. Not only have they developed a reputation in fashion circles, but their notoriety has leaked into popular culture. Many movies, television shows and songs feature a mention of Tom Ford, further adding to its legacy. Though there are many brands in this space, Tom Ford has established themselves as one of the few that fashion enthusiasts need to pay attention to. View this post on Instagram A bold look from the TOM FORD SS19 Runway. #TOMFORD #TOMFORDSS19 #NYFW A post shared by TOM FORD (@tomford) on Sep 7, 2018 at 12:00pm PDT The Watch Now, onto the Tom Ford 001 watch. The first thing you should know is that Tom Ford is not making a massive play into the watch market. That means that they have not revealed many different models, instead opting for just one. It does come with a variety of metal colors, straps, and dial colors, but at the moment, your options are limited. The following points are the most important things to know about this new watch. Source from Official Website  Style – If you like to put watches into categories, this piece would likely fall into the “dress” style. It is minimalistic, somewhat small and built to convey classiness over anything else. One thing to note is that it is exclusively square shaped, so if you prefer round watches, this piece may not be your best choice. The design of the watch is not at all “busy,” instead featuring a simple design and subtle branding. Overall, this piece is a classic, minimalistic, square dress watch. Origin – One thing that Tom Ford emphasizes in their branding is that these watches are Swiss made. As many of you know, Switzerland is the world capital of luxury watches, so having that craftsmanship goes a long way. They also advertise that their leather straps come from Italy and France, which both have a reputation for exceptional leather production. Price – Though each timepiece looks roughly the same, its variants have prices ranging from $2,190 to $9,900. The differences in cost primarily stem from the materials used in them, which we detail in the next section. Source from Official WebsiteMaterials – One thing that is roughly the same about each watch is their leather straps. They come in various colors and style, but each is made from genuine leather. The primary aspect that separates them is the material of the case. Options are classic stainless steel or 18K gold. Movement – Unlike most watches in this price range, this piece features quartz movement. What makes this questionable is that almost every other watch above $1,000 has a mechanical movement. This means that the inside of the timepiece is a complex machine carrying out the process of telling the time. The movement of these watches is one of their top selling points. On the other hand, quartz movements are generally used on affordable watches and this is the movement Tom Ford chose to use. This leads us to believe that they are relying on brand reputation and aesthetics, rather than fully on their craftsmanship. While we cannot tell you what to do with your money, we have provided some guidance based on what we know about this watch. The first thing you should do is go back to your budget and see what is the best option for you. If you feel like splurging – then by all means. But if not, maybe put this in your bookmark for a later time. Source from Official WebsiteEvery watch buyer is different and you might decide that you don’t mind much about the inside of your watch. Instead, you can focus on the aesthetics and brand appeal. If you like the small size, square shape, minimalist vibe, and brand behind this watch, feel free to go ahead with a purchase. Ultimately, your decision to buy comes down to your priorities. What matters most to you? Whenever a big name company comes out with a new product, it is worth taking a look. Such is the case with Tom Ford and their new watch. This watch could be an excellent pick for fans of the brand. Whatever decision you make, you can now make it with confidence.

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  4. Watch Buying Guide: Mid-Range Luxury Watches

    Watch Buying Guide: Mid-Range Luxury Watches

    Mid-Range Luxury Watches The first decision every watcher-buyer has to make is what price range they will target. For those looking for pure utility, they can spend under $50 on a basic quartz or digital watch. For collectors and enthusiasts, these affordable options don’t cut it and they opt for something in the mid-luxury luxury watches category ($1,000-10,000 roughly). This is an excellent pocket of the watch market, as it features incredible pieces from established brands, but doesn’t come with exorbitant price tags. Below, we explain exactly how to shop in this prestigious price range. Mid-Range Luxury Watches: What This Range Has to Offer One of the biggest misconceptions in the watch world is that high prices are the result of marketing schemes. While advertising, celebrity endorsements, and brand mystique do play a role in pricing, the primary drivers of cost are tangible. The following are the most crucial of those factors. Materials – The most common material that affordable and luxury watches are made from is steel. Don’t think that materials are all the same, though. Instead, there are different grades of steel that are higher quality and are more likely to keep their shine. Additionally, some watches are made from precious metals and expensive ceramic, which offer much more than cheap steel. Ruggedness – One of the most alluring aspects of expensive watches is that they often work in extreme conditions, such as being deep underwater. The reason for this capability is their construction, which is particularly excellent. When you opt for luxury, you are generally choosing from timepieces that are very rugged and built to last. Movement Type – One of the most recognizable differences between this price range and affordable pieces is movement type. The vast majority of low-priced watches feature a simple quartz movement, while luxury watches have complicated mechanical movements. For the most devoted watch enthusiasts, a mechanical movement is required. Quartz gets the job done, but is not as sought after by collectors. Movement Quality – As you might imagine, not all movements are equal. Some of the cheaper ones lose or gain seconds every day, which means resetting your watch often. Additionally, affordable automatic (self-winding mechanical) watches frequently malfunction and stop working after a short period of ownership. When you target luxury brands, you get high-quality movements that are accurate and built to last. Mid-Range Luxury Watches: How to Choose Though a multitude of factors go into choosing the right mid-range luxury watch, starting with the following three will narrow your search significantly. Price – If you’re interested in mid-tier luxury, you have already chosen a price range of roughly $1,000-10,000. This is quite an extensive range, though, so you may want to be more specific. Are you looking for something in the low thousands, or are you more interested in a price near ten thousand? This is the first question you need to ask yourself because it will do a great job of bringing the market into focus. Watch Style – The five primary watch styles are diving, dress, aviation, driving, and minimalist. Once you figure out your price range, you can look towards these different styles and decide which is right for you. If you take part in diving, flying or driving, choosing the matching genre of watch is a great idea. Still, don’t get locked into the mindset of matching interests to watch style. If you do not take part in those activities, but enjoy their style and feel free to purchase one of them. Watch Brands – If shopping by style is not your preference, you can choose a brand instead. While there are many mid-range luxury watches in this space, there are much fewer companies than there are individual watches. If you can select which timepiece manufacturer appeals to you the most, you can narrow your options down and choose from a much smaller pool. Best Brands for Mid-Range Luxury Watches There are thousands of brands trying to make a play in mid-range luxury watches world, but a choice few have managed to separate themselves from the competition. To make your shopping process more straightforward, we have divided them into two tiers. The first features brands that are priced from around $1,000-5,000. The second go for more like $5,000-10,000. Group #1 – In this category, you are getting exceptional pieces at somewhat affordable prices. These watches almost always have mechanical movements, excellent materials, and solid craftsmanship, making them an excellent buy. The top brands that fit into this group are Longines, Oris, Tag Heuer, Omega, Breitling and Tudor. Though some of these companies will offer watches above $5,000, the majority can be had for cheaper. Group #2 – In this range, you get every bit of the quality of group #1, but now with even better craftsmanship. What that will mean for you is a longer lasting and more accurate piece. Our favorite brands from this group are Rolex, Jaeger LeCoultre, Zenith, Blancpain and Panerai. Of all of them, Rolex has the most respected name, but you really can’t go wrong with any of them. Now that you know the ins and outs of the mid-range luxury watches, you can go shopping for your next piece with confidence. As long as you follow this guide, you are sure to be satisfied with your purchase. Good luck!

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  5. Watch Buying Guide: How to Choose the Right Gift

    Watch Buying Guide: How to Choose the Right Gift

    Here’s the situation: A special day is coming up for someone you care about, and you want to buy them the perfect watch. Unfortunately, you don’t know much about the timepiece market. You want to get them the right gift, but you don’t know where to start. We understand this predicament and are here to help! Choose Your Price Range The first decision you need to make is on price. The reason is that once you know your price range, your number of choices will be cut down significantly. This will make your job of buying a watch much easier. One thing you should note about price is that a cheap watch is not always a low-quality watch. There are many reasons why timepieces have different prices, but less expensive models are not “bad” just because they cost less. Instead, there are a variety of factors that make a certain watch more expensive, and once you look into them, you may find that you aren’t interested in paying extra. Pick a Movement Type Second, you should choose what movement the watch will be. There are three choices. First is manual, which are old-fashioned watches that need to be wound by hand. These pieces will have complicated inner workings and a vintage feel, but winding yourself can be tedious. Second is quartz, which features a simple battery powered movement. These watches will generally be less expensive than the other two types and are not the preferred choice of serious watch collectors. Lastly, there is automatic movement, which is the best of both worlds. The watches that feature it have the same complex insides of manual pieces, but they are self-winding. These watches are often quite expensive, but you can still find some in the affordable price range. Consider Choosing by Genre One method you may want to use in choosing the right gift is sticking to the five primary watch genres. They are: Diving – Built to function deep underwater, with some working at even 300 meters deep. They are often very well made and have features that a diver might use, like luminous dials. Dress – Understated, smaller pieces that are meant to complement formal wear. More often than not, they have a leather strap rather than steel. They usually have no functions beyond keeping time, as they are primarily used as a piece of jewelry. Aviation – Expect “busy” dials that feature a lot of information and aviation capabilities like compasses and chronographs. Driving – The primary feature that driving watches will have is a chronograph, which is essentially a built-in stopwatch. Additionally, driving watches may have added features like tachymeters, which measure speed. Minimalist – For those who do not want the bells and whistles of a specialized genre, there are minimalist watches. They will have very few design features and capabilities, and instead will focus on simple style. Match Features to Lifestyle Hundreds of features can come with a timepiece. When choosing the perfect gift, think about the person you are buying it for. For exercise buffs, a fitness tracking watch would be best. For someone who frequently wears formal clothing, you should consider a dress watch. If that person is a pilot, an aviation watch would be great. And if they love the outdoors, a rugged camping watch works best. The point is, you should think about the person you are buying for and choose a watch based on the life they live. Settle on a Shape The four most common watch shapes are round, square, rectangle and oval. Though there are many more options out there, these four are standard. Within this group, the round shape is by far the most popular. Unless you think your loved one will enjoy a different shape, you should probably stick to circular pieces. Decide What Size is Best Choosing what size the watch should be comes down to two factors. First is context. In general, smaller pieces are more applicable to formal settings. So, if you choose a dress watch, you will likely want it to be small or moderately sized. If instead, your loved one will wear their watch at more casual events, you can go larger. The second factor is wrist size. Smaller timepieces are best on small wrists, while bigger watches work well on larger wrists. Compare Band Options The majority of watches are capable of being removed from whatever band they are in and added to another. This means that you get to choose exactly what the gift will look like, from top to bottom. When deciding, your two primary options are leather and bracelet. There are some subcategories within both, but the most important choice is between these two variants. When choosing a timepiece as a gift, you have endless options. Though this is a good thing in a lot of ways, it is also overwhelming. Luckily, can start narrowing down those choices by following this guide. Once you do, you’ll end up with the perfect gift.

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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  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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