1. automatic watches

  2. A Hands-On Review of the Invicta Pro Diver

    A Hands-On Review of the Invicta Pro Diver

    While brands like Omega and Rolex make gorgeous dive watches, they also price their products at multiple thousands of dollars. Some in the upper echelon are even above $15,000-20,000. That kind of price tag is likely going to exclude the majority of consumers. The good news is that there are plenty of excellent watches that cost under $100. One of them is the Invicta Pro Diver, which has a mostly positive reputation in the watch community. I give my thoughts on this product in the sections below. The Brand Invicta is a polarizing brand among timepiece enthusiasts but is generally respected by people who are more casual fans. The reason why people like them is two-fold. First, they make products that have fantastic quality for their price. This definitely isn’t a brand that inflates the cost of their products with marketing schemes. Instead, their products tend to be a great deal. The second thing to love about Invicta is that they are a historic timepiece manufacturer, with roots going back to 1837. Those that dislike Invicta do so because of some recent changes to their business practices. One of them is being a bit more liberal with how they source their products and where they assemble them. Rather than solely manufacturing in a place like Switzerland or Japan, Invicta is all over the world. Likely, the most significant shift is this brand producing watches with massive dials and flashy appearances. While some love that new look, others see it as lacking in class. Materials I am very impressed by the quality of the materials that make up the Invicta Pro Diver. The metal is thick stainless steel, which feels sturdy as soon as you touch it. It also has a scratch-resistant mineral crystal and a highly functional bezel. Its diving capabilities are excellent as well, with 200m water resistance and luminescent hands. Overall, the materials on this product are one of the biggest reasons why I think it is such a good deal. Movement Your movement will vary based on the price model you get. I will address both of them. The first is automatic, which Invicta doesn’t actually make. Instead, they source this machinery from Seiko, a highly respected brand, and then build the rest of the product around it. This movement has a 41-hour power reserve and is one of the best you can find for under $100. The other variant is a Japanese quartz movement, which is even cheaper than the conventional model. It is also very reliable, though most consumers prefer the automatic option. Aesthetics This watch is a nice one to look at, and it is no mystery why. The truth is that it is an homage to the Rolex Submariner, which is one of the most iconic timepieces of all time. Still, I don’t think that takes away from the aesthetic quality of the Invicta. It has a nice size, looks fantastic on many types of straps, and allows you to get creative with the precise color scheme you want. Comfort Comfort is often the last thing you think about when purchasing a watch, but it is crucial once you actually start wearing it. Luckily, the Pro Diver passes this test with flying colors. It isn’t too light or heavy, and it sits on your wrist nicely. You shouldn’t have any issues with it if you choose to make a purchase. Two Things to Take Into Consideration: Now, onto hot topics of this watch. There are two of them that come up over and over again. It’s an Homage Watch – While most dive watches look similar, the Invicta Pro Diver is practically a twin of the Rolex Submariner. I don’t mind that fact, but many watch enthusiasts think that homage pieces are unacceptable. You’ll have to come to your own opinion on the matter. Why not get a Seiko? The second thing people say is that if the movement is from Seiko, why not just purchase a watch from them? Again, this opinion is understandable, and getting yourself a Seiko is never a bad idea. That said, you might enjoy the aesthetics of the Pro Diver more than any other watch in this price range. In that case, go ahead and get it. The final question is whether or not the Invicta Pro Diver is the right watch for you. What I can say with certainty is that this product is a fantastic deal. For under $100, you can get a reliable automatic movement, a sturdy watch made of high-quality materials, and a classic diver aesthetic. Those positive aspects led me to purchase one for myself near the beginning of my watch collecting career. The people who shouldn’t buy one are those that don’t like homage watches, would prefer a Seiko, or have a budget well above this price range. No matter what, this product is incredibly popular and is likely worth your consideration.

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  3. Choosing Between Different Watch Movements

    Choosing Between Different Watch Movements

    When it comes to jewelry, people have always been fond of watches. In fact, watches have now become a part of everyday life. Everyone has different taste on the basis of which different styles and series of watches they choose. So, if you are in a dilemma of selecting a watch to present to someone, you have to consider some main points to choose the best from the stock, like watch movements. Let’s start discussing the different types of watch movements that are out there. The movement of a watch is considered as “the heart” of the watch. It handles the inner mechanism that encompasses the sweep of the watch’s hands around its face. There are three types of movements we’ll go over. Different Watch Movements 1: Mechanical Watches A mechanical watch is actually a special piece reflecting the true craftsmanship and engineering after the manufacturing process of a watch. Mechanical watches have the power preserved in the mainspring. If the coil is long, the period of power reservation is long too. The usual length of the mainspring is 9-13 inches. Mechanical watches are the masterpieces of the craftsmanship. Let’s discuss some of the features. Character: The springs and gears that make the caliber of a watch are termed as character. The tiny little gears and springs that combine to form the movement of the watch truly reveal the engineering skills of manufacturers. These are the most time important and time-consuming part, making the watch work magnificently. Movement: Mechanical watches do not make the “ticking” sound. The watch works smoothly with the smooth movement, symbolizing the calmness. Battery: Unlike in quartz, a battery is not needed for the mechanical watch to work. This manual winding watch has the ease that you don’t need to move yourself to the jewelry store to change the power cell of the watch. The power is stored inside the spring. Regular Winding: The watch requires regular winding. This allows people to wind their watches once a day. This might be annoying for some people, but others enjoy this thing. Accuracy: Not all mechanical watches are accurate. These watches have an accuracy of 99.99%. But the accuracy starts to taper off with age. To tune up its accuracy, you need to take it to the jeweler every 5 to 10 years. The environmental factors can also change the accuracy. Sensitive: A mechanical watch keeps the time running smoothly with the help of the movement, consisting of gears and springs. These elements are sensitive to dust, moisture, and magnets, etc. which can destroy the smoothness and working of the watch. 2: Automatic Watches Automatic or self-winding watches are much like mechanical watches, but they do not require manual winding. The watch gets the power your movements throughout the day while wearing it. The “rotor” present in the watch is connected to the mainspring. The rotor then winds the mainspring as it moves. The slipping clutch helps the watch to prevent from getting over-wound. Character: Just like a mechanical watch, the watches have the same craftsmanship factor. The power is stored in the spring, and the movement consists of gears and spring. Smooth movement: Unlike a quarts watch, the movement of an automatic watch is smooth. Self-winding: A self-winding watch doesn’t require the user to wind the watch regularly. The movement of your hand automatically winds the watch to preserve the power. Accuracy: An automatic watch has the accuracy same as that of a mechanical watch. However, it will lose some accuracy over time and will also need tuning. It will provide accuracy up to 99.99%. Sensitive: The watch movement, also known as “the heart” of the watch, is sensitive to the environment.  The sensitivity is the same as that of a mechanical watch. 3: Quartz Watches Quartz watches are incredibly accurate and affordable. Mostly, quartz watches are preferred more than mechanical and automatic watches. Accurate: A quartz watch is the most accurate of all the watches. These watches never miss a second throughout the day. Durable: If you are a worker and have a rough and tough job, quartz watches might be the right decision for you. These watches are durable and strong that can help you keep your work going. Affordable: These watches are of an affordable price. You can buy an elegant design watch along with the strong features at a low rate. A good variety is available and the price is still affordable. Less maintenance: Besides changing the battery every year, there is little maintenance you have to perform on a quartz movement watch. Sound: This watch produces a ticking sound that might be unpleasant for some people. If you are such a person who doesn’t like the ticking sound, you must go for an automatic or mechanical watch. However, some people like the ticking sound of a watch.

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  4. Beginners Guide: 14 Important Watch Terms and What They Mean

    Beginners Guide: 14 Important Watch Terms and What They Mean

    People who delve deeply into a certain culture often forget that others have not gained the knowledge and experience that they have. Such is the case with watches and watch terms. Many seasoned collectors today wrongly assume that everyone knows as much about the watch niche as they do. However, the truth is that there are always newcomers in any field. These people deserve assistance with the basics of the thrilling yet very complex watch world. That education is precisely what we will provide in this article.  Without further ado, here are the most basic and essential watch terms that every newbie—and expert—should know. Use this to sound like a pro the next time you talk to someone else in the watch community 20 Important Watch Terms You Need To Know 1. Movement Zenith El Primero Movement | Photo by PukkahPoptop on Flickr This is one of the first few terms you should educate yourself on, especially when you’re just starting out with collecting. The movement is basically the watch’s machinery, which manages the time and makes it run continuously. Typically produced in Switzerland, Japan and China, this component is primarily responsible for powering all of the watch’s functions. These include the unwavering motion of the hands when telling time and making any complications work effectively. For a better analogy, the movement can be comparable to a human’s heart. Also known as a “caliber,” this component is contained within the case, beneath the dial. It is usually protected by a sturdy case back made out of stainless steel or sapphire crystal. Not all timekeepers have the same kind of movements. They can either come with manual, automatic, or quartz mechanisms, which we will discuss in greater detail below. Both manual and automatic movements come with a mainspring, a dial train, an escapement, setting jumper and a balance wheel. They also have a second hand that rotates in a suave, sweeping motion. Meanwhile, a quartz caliber consists of a battery that usually lasts up to 5 years, an integrated circuit, a quartz crystal and a stepping motor. Its accompanying second hand moves in a slow yet very satisfying ticking manner. One of the most acclaimed watch movements is the caliber El Primero, which translates from Spanish as “The First”. It was officially released by Swiss brand Zenith in 1969. Zenith continues to manufacture the El Primero movement today. Its exact build and configuration remains the same, with few minor tweaks on the side to help the movement keep up with the times. However, what makes the El Primero so iconic is its exceptional accuracy and frequency. The El Primero movement boasts 36,000 vibrations per hour (“vph”), as opposed to the usual 28,800 vph from other brands and calibers. This fantastic can be found in the brand’s major collections, such as Zenith Chronomaster and Zenith Defy. Tag Heuer, Ebel, Movado and even Rolex also previously utilized the El Primero in some of their products. 2. Automatic Hamilton Khaki Field Auto Ref. H70605163 Continuing with our discussion on movements, let us now first find out what automatic calibers are all about. First unveiled in the 1700s, this movement directly gains power through the kinetic energy from the wearer’s moving wrist rather than relying on a battery. When the wearer’s wrist moves, the movement’s oscillating rotor also starts to turn, putting the mainspring to work. This causes the rest of the watch’s gears to start, so the movement winds itself and tells precise time. Though not considered a necessity, timekeepers with automatic movements can still be manually wound using the crown and the winding stem. However, there is no clear signal indicating when the watch is fully wound. It is better to wear the watch consistently to avoid inconveniences or possibly over-winding your watch.  Since their engines have some heft to them, automatic mechanical watches can sometimes be quite heavy on the wrist. Depending on your preferences, this factor may be a hit or miss, especially for those who constantly put their hands to work everyday. Often regarded as the most popular type of watch, automatic timepieces are also generally more expensive and take an incredible amount of craftsmanship and engineering to create. A good example of a watch that relies on an automatic engine is the Hamilton Khaki Field Auto Ref. H70605163. As a field watch, it has a 42mm stainless steel case, and a muted green dial with a 12/24-hour layout and a date component. Its H-10 automatic caliber  exceeds expectations by bearing a power reserve of 80 hours. 3. Manual Grand Seiko SBGK007 Manual-winding movements, also known as hand-wound movements, are similar to automatic calibers when it comes to components and conceptthey have one key difference: wearers must manually wind them regularly for smooth operation, rather than relying on battery or wrist motion for power. Timepieces that use hand-wound movements are known as mechanical watches. Twisting these mechanical watches’ accompanying crowns will wind up the mainspring. This process allows the watches’ gears and springs to fully work and eventually tell accurate time through the use of an escapement and a balance wheel. Compared to self-winding watches, the crowns of mechanical timepieces  have a stopping point. This tells users when the watch has already reached its winding limit. If over-wound, these watches can also suffer severe damage, which can then affect their overall effectiveness and longevity.  Known as the oldest type of movement, manual-winding calibers are often utilized by luxury brands, who want to showcase their ingenuity and creativity. Greatly admired for their intricacy, hand-wound movements are considered true works of art due to the effort and expertise needed to craft them. One example of a premium hand-wound watch is the Grand Seiko SBGK007, which has a stunning build and pristine finish. Its Caliber 9S63 movement comes with a small seconds feature and a +5/-3 seconds per day accuracy rating. 4. Quartz Tag Heuer Formula 1 Ref. WAZ101A.FC8305 Probably the most common type of movement today, the quartz caliber provides any wearer with great convenience. Invented in the 20th century, this mechanism relies on a battery, which has an electric current that fills the quartz with sufficient energy. This will then cause the quartz to oscillate at a whopping 32,768 hz per second. As soon as the quartz starts to vibrate, it sends pulses to the movement’s electric stepping motor, which prompts the dial train to work. The train will regulate the energy in the quartz, causing the watch hands to move. Timepieces with quartz mechanisms are almost always cheaper and less complex than their automatic and mechanical counterparts. Despite this, they are still the most accurate and dependable of the bunch, making them worth every penny. Extremely low-maintenance in all ways, quartz watches are easier to use due to their lightness. They are usually utilized by mid-range and high-end brands to produce designer, fashion, and sports timepieces, and the like. They also come with accessible price tags that will surely please every user. As such, it is no wonder why these quartz watches have become extremely popular over the past few decades. That said, one thing true watch connoisseurs do not like about quartz movements is that they have much simpler blueprints and lack an awe-inspiring appeal.  The Tag Heuer Formula 1 Ref. WAZ101A.FC8305 is one of the best men’s quartz watches in the market today. Available in many other colorways and configurations, this sporty piece has a rugged-looking bezel and a water resistance rating of 200 meters. 5. Dial Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Ref. 15400ST.OO.1220ST.03 Moving on to physical attributes of the watch, we have the dial. This is basically the front portion of the watch that you look at whenever you need to read it. Also referred to as the watch face, it holds almost all of the crucial information, such as the time, date and day. The dial is typically also home to any complications the watch might have. These include sub-dials for the chronograph and small seconds features, the power reserve indicator, the annual and perpetual calendars as well as the moon phase indicator. The dial can come in many shades, textures, finishes, materials, and designs. It can sport just one tone, a matte or sunburst finish, or be highly detailed with engravings and precious stones. It can also feature Arabic or Roman numerals, geometric hour markers, or even a mix of all of them in just one model.  Usually the most flashy part of a watch, the dial is what consumers immediately notice when trying to look for the next member of their collections. It plays a huge part in wearers’ purchase decisions, along with the watch’s movement and features offered. This is why brands devote much attention to making the dials of watches highly attractive. The more unique or exquisite a dial is, the more wearers will be intrigued and eventually fall in love with the piece. One watch with a jaw-dropping dial style is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Ref. 15400ST.OO.1220ST.03, which has tiny squares on its face in a pattern called the tapisserie. The Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Ref. J003525540 also has an outstanding dial. It features skeletonized apertures that allow viewers to admire the beauty of its movement. Another fan-favorite is the Franck Muller Vanguard Lady Ref. V 32 SC AT FO AC COL DRM (RS) COL DRM, which has large multi-colored Arabic numeral markers that easily catch the attention of many.   6. Bezel Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Rainbow Ref. 116595 and Tudor Heritage Black Bay Ref. 79830RB-0002 The bezel is a ring surrounding the dial of the watch, which connects the case to the lugs. Usually made out of metal or ceramic, it also plays a big role in keeping the protective crystal barrier in place. All watches, no matter what type or kind, always feature bezels Depending on the watch’s purpose, a bezel can be plain, embellished with various markings and numbers, or studded with precious stones. Luxury brands often offer bezels adorned with precious stones, or those made of different materials than the case itself. There are also watches that come with square-shaped or octagonal bezels, which exude more edge and character than those typical rounded ones.  In addition, bezels can either be fixed or movable. Sometimes, bezels can turn to allow for certain functions such as a compass, a pulsometer, a telemeter, or a slide rule. Rotating bezels can be unidirectional or bidirectional, and are situated either inside or outside the crystal. Rotating bezels are most often found on dive watches, and come with scales and other measurements that can be used to record precise periods of time.  The photo above shows off two different types of watch bezels. The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Rainbow Ref. 116595 has a decorative fixed bezel, adorned with 36-colored gradient sapphires. Meanwhile, the rotating bezel of the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Ref. 79830RB-0002 allows the user to track a second time zone.  7. Crystal Hublot Big Bang Ref. 341.SB.131.RX and Breguet Type XXI Flyback Ref. 3817ST/X2/3ZU  The term ‘crystal’ refers to the transparent glass attached inside the case which covers the entirety of a watch’s dial.In some instances, the case back, or even the whole case of a timepiece can be all made out of said crystal glass.  Crystals generally protect the timepiece’s face and all of its components from external threats such as dirt, dust, moisture, impacts and scratches. Meticulously designed to provide an optimal timekeeping experience, they also have anti-reflective coatings that aid in reducing light glares. Watch crystals come in a variety of different types, all of which have the same purpose yet have different levels of rigidity. Three of the most common are acrylic crystal, mineral glass, and sapphire crystal. The first, acrylic, is also known as Plexiglass, Hesalite, or Perspex. It is a type of clear plastic that can be easily manipulated to fit over the dial. Often found on many budget-friendly timepieces, it is the cheapest option, in terms of looks and price, among all the watch crystals. While it does not break easily, acrylic is more prone to scratches. Next up, we have mineral glass, which offers greater scratch-resistance. Made out of silica, you can also find this kind of crystal on your window panes.  It is the top choice of many entry-level and designer watch companies. Lastly, we have sapphire, which is the toughest and the most expensive watch crystal commonly used. Besides bearing a chic appeal, it also possesses unmatched legibility and scratch-resistance. Most Swiss timepieces today, such as the Hublot Big Bang Ref. 341.SB.131.RX  and the Breguet Type XXI Flyback Ref. 3817ST/X2/3ZU, come with sapphire crystals, since they are stronger and easier to maintain.  8. Chronograph Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional Chronograph 42mm Ref. 311.33.42.30.01.002 A chronograph is essentially a type of watch that comes with both analog watch and stopwatch functions. It is one of the most popular complications that brands like to incorporate into their watch offerings. Chronograph watches are mainly used to measure events, races, and various periods of time. People enjoy them for their utility and reliability as well as the craftsmanship that goes into building them. Often used by pilots, divers, and race car drivers, a chronograph can record a tenth or a hundredth of a second, 30 minutes and 12 to 24 hours. They can use quartz or mechanical movements, or even a hybrid of the two. There are also numerous types of chronographs within the horological realm. The list can be quite overwhelming and they differ depending on your needs and how they are used  in your daily routines. The most common ones are the split-seconds chronograph (“rattrapante”), which can record two time periods simultaneously; the flyback, which can time consecutive events continuously; and the tourbillon, which helps increase the watch’s precision by reducing the effect of the gravity. A chronograph watch usually has a hand and two to three sub-dials, which display the elapsed seconds, minutes and hours. Most modern chronograph models also typically have a sweep seconds hand and two pushers on the side, next to the crown. These pushers can be used to control the chronograph functions, specifically in stopping, starting and resetting it. However, there are still some chronograph watches that only have a single pusher.  Perhaps the most popular and iconic chronograph timepiece today is the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional Chronograph 42mm Ref. 311.33.42.30.01.002. It is highly-recognized as a watch that has been on many expeditions to the moon over the decades. It comes with a black dial and a meticulously-crafted tachymeter scale.  9. Style Watch terms like this one is pretty self-explanatory. While people might be talking about aesthetics when they use the term “style,” it is most often used to describe what general category a specific timepiece fits into. The most common distinctions include dive, military, pilot, dress, and sports. As its name suggests, dive watches are meant for underwater use. Made to last, these pieces have strong water pressure resistances, ranging a minimum of 100 meters to a maximum of 15,000 meters. Aside from a rotating bezel, dive watches may also come with additional complications such as a chronograph, dual-time, or a date component. On the other hand, military watches offer a higher level of reliability and utility since they were originally built to grace the wrists of members of the armed forces. Designed to withstand especially harsh conditions, these pieces have heavy-duty cases often made out of stainless steel. They also boast luminous elements that can be useful during instances where there is little to no light, and efficient and robust movements that can function well in any given circumstance.  Pilot is another popular watch style, especially among men. These watches bear humongous cases and crowns, indices and markers coated with luminous materials and legible dials. Built for the skies, these models do not disappoint when it comes to style or performance. We also have sports watches, which usually come with shockproof cases and highly-readable dials. Fully-functional and commanding, these pieces are equipped with advanced features such as a thermometer, altimeter, stopwatch, and compass, all of which come in handy during your athletic pursuits.  Lastly, we have dress watches that suit formal gatherings such as business meetings and evening parties. Elegant and versatile, they feature clean lines, minimalistic dials, and simple indices and hour markers. Brands tend to place a heavy emphasis on visuals and aesthetics when creating dress watches. 10: GMT Rolex GMT Master II Ref. 126710BLRO and the Panerai Luminor GMT Ref. PAM01088 Established in 1884 by the participating countries in the International Meridian Conference, GMT stands for “Greenwich Mean Time,”. All you need to have in mind is that having a GMT watch generally means being able to set it to two-time zones. This function is especially useful for frequent flyers, who might want to check the time in another country without having to reset their watches. Many often confuse this complication with a dual-time function since they both offer essentially the same purpose to the wearer. While both complications display two time zones at once, a GMT watch utilizes the dial, bezel, rehaut, and a 24-hour scale you can view using the separate central hand (also known as the “GMT hand”). Because of their layouts, GMT watches can sometimes even track three time zones. depending on your needs. Meanwhile, a dual-time watch typically comes with a sub-dial that indicates the second time zone using a 12-hour format.  Among the popular GMT watches today are the Rolex GMT Master II Ref. 126710BLRO and the Panerai Luminor GMT Ref. PAM01088. Sporting a rotatable Pepsi bezel, the Rolex model is 40mm in size and has a water resistance rating of 100 metersMeanwhile, the Panerai can withstand water pressures of up to 300 meters, and sits nicely on the wrist with its 44mm size.  11. Luminescence In the acclaimed Harry Potter series, a person’s wand lights up when they say “lumos.” That spell comes from this term. In the watch world, luminescence refers to the glow exhibited by a few dial components such as the hour markers, indices and hands. These parts are all typically coated with various luminous materials, causing them to light up, especially during the night or in low light conditions. In the past, watchmakers had to use radium paint on watches to produce luminescence. While it delivered a stunning glow, this chemical brought great health risks to both the wearers and the artisans behind the timepieces. To resolve the issue, manufacturers then opted to use tritium gas tubes as the safer alternative. Today, most modern watches utilize game-changing photoluminescent materials such as Super-LumiNova, LumiNova, or LumiBrite, electrical currents, or LED lights. Often incorporated in dive, sports, and pilot watches, luminescence brings great benefits and convenience to users. Many may take it for granted but it is one of the most vital parts of a watch that makes it worth getting. 12. Power Reserve Chopard L.U.C QUATTRO Ref. 161926-5001 The power reserve of a watch refers to the total time the mechanism can function for when fully wound. To closely monitor the amount of  power remaining, you can purchase mechanical watches equipped with power reserve indicators. This highly-functional complication often comes in the form of a sub-dial, with small hands and markers. A lot of entry-level watches provide around 38 to 50 hours of power reserve. This is quite good, considering you will only need to take your timepiece out for a spin every two days. However, the best timepieces are those that can last for several days without being wound. For instance, the Chopard L.U.C QUATTRO Ref. 161926-5001 can hold up to 9 days worth of energy. It has a sophisticated case made out of 18K rose gold. Exuding great opulence, its movement is also certified by both the COSC and the Poincon de Geneve. 13. Skeleton Bulova Classic Ref. 98A177 and Hamilton Jazzmaster Ref. H32705651 A regular watch typically has a solid dial, with the movement quietly hidden under it. Skeleton watches, on the other hand, have apertures that allow you to see the inner workings of the timepiece while it ticks. In other words, they allow any user to admire the charms of their watches’ calibers and their moving parts. Bringing a unique concept to the table, the dials of these types of watches can be completely skeletonized, or cut out in small parts to give some variation. No matter what style you choose, all skeleton timepieces offer a unique timekeeping experience to the wearer. While they all feel luxe and opulent due to their intricacy, not all skeleton watches come at exorbitant prices. The Bulova Classic Ref. 98A177 costs only $575 USD, and it even comes with a rose gold-colored stainless steel case and a robust movement. If you have a slightly bigger budget, you can opt for the Hamilton Jazzmaster Ref. H32705651. Priced at around $950 USD, it has a blue leather strap and matching blued steel indices and hands. 14. Winder If you have an automatic watch, you will know that sometimes, you still need to wind it manually and reset it, using the crown, to make it work. This happens when you have too many pieces in your collection, or you do not wear an automatic watch every single day. The watch will run out of power, which requires you to manually wind it for use again. Many do this by hand, but a large percentage of watch owners prefer to have a machine do it. These instruments are called winders. They are simply boxes with rotating slots that gently keep the timepiece in full power when not worn. These incredibly convenient containers automatically spin the watches’ rotors to keep their respective mainsprings fully wound, so the watches remain precise. Some winders are even attached to humongous vaults that can hold several precious and lavish timekeepers.  This type of technology suits wearers who have the budget, and are always on the go, so they do not have time to reset and wind all their timepieces. Many are still skeptical about the purpose of winders, and express concerns such as overwinding causing damage to the watch. Nevertheless, these concerns are unproven, and wonders are still quite handy to have, especially on days when you have much to accomplish. It is not a necessity but it surely does the job for you, and very well at that.  15. Chronometer A chronometer refers to a timepiece that has passed and met various accuracy standards. For instance, watches made in Switzerland should be inspected by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (“COSC”) in order to obtain the chronometer certification. Also known in English as the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute, the organization plays a huge role in sustaining the prestige around the Swiss watchmaking industry.  The COSC rigorously tests and observes wristwatches, pocket watches, quartz pieces, and other time-telling devices such as desk clocks and carriage clocks. These timekeepers are kept in laboratories for around 13 to 15 days, and tested against different orientations, humidities, pressures and temperatures. Mechanical timepieces need to maintain an accuracy rating of -4/+6 seconds per day to successfully pass the test. Quartz watches, on the other hand, must sustain a ±0.07 per day precision in order to pass. While COSC undeniably carries a huge reputation, watch lovers should note that there have been many other distinction-giving bodies established over the years. Some of them are based in other parts of Europe or Asia, such as the Japan Chronometer Inspection Institute. Therefore, one cannot say that all chronometers are certified by COSC only.  16. Complication Another common term that you will surely encounter while exploring the wonders of the watchmaking field is the complication. Simply put, this word refers to watch functions that go beyond telling the hours, minutes, and seconds. A timepiece may have one or more additional complications, depending on its purpose. Those that have only one are called individual complication watches, while those that have three or more cutting-edge complications are known as grand complications.  All complications have numerous parts, which make complicated watches more difficult to assemble. Some of them even take years, requiring heavy attention to detail to build. As such, it is no wonder why pieces that have complications typically bear heavy price tags. Among the common types of complications are the chronograph, calendar, day of the week, date, moon phase, 24-hour display, tourbillon, time zones, minute repeaters, and alarms. Watches can even double as a compass, altimeter, or thermometer, especially those that are made for surviving harsh conditions. 17. Frequency Frequency refers to how fast a watch ticks or beats. In other words, it is the movement’s speed, recorded through the number of semi-oscillations, or half-turns, the balance spring creates in an hour. Measured using vibrations per hour (“vph”) or hertz (“hz”), a watch’s frequency typically ranges from 18,000 vph to a whopping 36,000 vph. Contemporary mechanical watches have a usual frequency of 21,600 vph to 28,800 vph. Meanwhile, pieces with advanced calibers beat at 36,000 vph or more.  While they are treated as mere numbers by some enthusiasts, frequency actually plays a huge role in a watch’s precision. The higher a timekeeper’s frequency is, the more accurate the hands’ movement will be. Thus, budding collectors must pay attention to these kinds of details, as they make the greatest impact on the overall performance of a watch.  18. World Timer Perfect for jet-setters and passionate travelers, a world timer watch comes with a busy-looking dial that displays 24 time zones. These time zones correspond to 24 cities in the world, all at once. With functions similar to dual time and GMT watches, world timers will help you adjust swiftly to a specific area, bringing you convenience and satisfaction. First developed by Louis Cottier back in the 1930s, a world timer comes with an internal bezel that displays the cities, and a 24-hour hand that rotates once a day. Wearers must sync their home time zone, using the bezel, to the hour found on the 24-hour hand. The latter will continue to rotate as time passes. These world timers can be very visually appealing, with some models even coming in world globe formats, boasting am/pm indicators and highly ornate movements. They can also look sporty or dressy depending on the style of the watchmaker. Watch manufacturers who excel in creating such avant garde pieces include Rolex, Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe. As you can tell from this list of high-end luxury brands, world timers are incredibly rare and pricey, since they require a high level of craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail. 19. Moon Phase Rolex Cellini Moon Phase M50535 One of the most unique and fantastic watch complications out there is the moon phase. It lets you see the different phases of the moon, or a 29.5-day lunar cycle through two rotating smoothly underneath the dial. Operated by a 59-tooth gear that spins one notch every 24 hours, the discs look similar to each other and come in different colors. Users can admire this amazing and visually appealing feature via a separate viewing window, called the aperture. Providing a memorable experience, the view of the moon on the watch follows the actual condition of said heavenly body in the sky. Highly ornate and well-made, this kind of watch is often desired by many connoisseurs due to the utility and aesthetics it brings to the table. Despite the many favorable comments regarding these watches, many still argue that a moon phase does not have a true purpose at all aside from being an artistic feature. However, one cannot deny that moon phase watches showcase brands’ technical prowess and expertise in watch engineering. With so many designs, styles, and color combinations to choose from, it is impossible not to find a moon phase watch that will suit your exquisite tastes and budget. 20. In-house Movement In-house movements refer to calibers designed, crafted, and produced directly by watch brands themselves for their products. To this day, the line is still blurry regarding what truly constitutes in-house movements, given how numerous brands that manufacture them still rely on other suppliers for other parts. Despite this, the term somehow brings companies an edge, simultaneously raising their reputation and their exclusivity. Many watch companies, especially Swiss-based ones, excel in creating in-house engines. These include Rolex, which produces sophisticated perpetual movements such as the Caliber 3230, with a -2/+2 accuracy rating. Audemars Piguet is also known for producing in-house chronograph movements such as the Caliber 4401, with top-tier quality. However, many other brands, both luxury and mid-range, still tend to utilize movements provided by ETA, Miyota and Seiko. Final Thoughts Watch terminologies can be quite difficult to understand, especially if you are new to the field. That said, knowing these terms are extremely useful in understanding the concepts and mysteries surrounding the watch world. In addition, knowing what these strange terms mean also makes wearers more confident about themselves when holding timepiece-related conversations. Once you acquire sufficient knowledge about commonly-used jargons in horology, it will be easier for you to determine your preferences and what watch to get. You will also learn what important aspects of a watch you should pay close attention to, so that you can make wise and informed purchase decisions.  We hope that reading this article will allow you to bypass the pitfalls brought by being a newbie in the watchmaking niche. With this guide, you will  be able to use these terms casually in no time, just like a true watch connoisseur. To learn more about the timepieces that could bring you the best value for your money, check out our articles on the Seiko SNK809, the Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar and the Orient Kamasu. Photos from the aforementioned brands’ official websites

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  5. 6 Factors to Consider When Buying A Watch as a Gift

    6 Factors to Consider When Buying A Watch as a Gift

    The holidays are coming up and you’re probably thinking about what gifts you can give to your loved ones. One option on the table is a watch, which is an excellent choice for just about anyone! The watch market is massive, though, and sometimes confusing. This is true even when you’re buying for yourself. When purchasing for someone else, it is even more difficult. Luckily, you can narrow your search down by considering the factors below. Price One of the best ways to simplify the process is choosing a price point. The following are some standard prices ranges and what you’ll typically get from them. Under $100: A well-made watch with quartz movement and conventional materials.$100 to $500: High-quality quartz pieces, some basic automatic movements, and the potential for advanced features.$500 to $2,000: Automatic movement or an incredibly high-quality Swiss quartz watch.$2,000 to $10,000: Automatic movement with incredible craftsmanship.$10,000 or More: The top of the line. These pieces will be well made, crafted from the best materials, and have a highly respected brand behind them.Ultimately, your best bet is getting a watch that is fantastic but makes sense for your budget. Whoever you’re giving a gift to will not want you breaking the bank for a timepiece if you don’t have the money for it. Whether that means sticking to an affordable price point or splurging on a luxury piece is up to you. Movements We talked a lot about movements in the section above. If you aren’t sure what that means, the term refers to how the watch functions. The three basic watch movement types are as follows. Quartz – This movement relies on the combination of a tiny quartz crystal and a battery to make it move. Watches that use it are the most affordable on the market.Automatic – If you’ve ever seen a watch with an open dial that shows the inner workings of the machine, that was probably an automatic piece. Not all of them display their insides, though. This movement is essentially a tiny ticking machine that is powered by the motion of you wearing it, hence the name “automatic.”Manual – The least common type of movement is manual. It is nearly the same as automatic, but rather than it being self-winding, you must wind it up by manually.Personality & Function Different watches come with a variety of functions. They can be water resistant up to hundreds of meters, sense the temperature, track fitness data, and much more. When you’re buying one as a gift, assess the personality and lifestyle of the person you’re giving it to. Are they a big fan of the outdoors? Do they wear business attire often? Answering these questions can guide you in your choice. One example would be buying a Fitbit for a fitness buff. Another is getting a rugged, feature-heavy outdoor watch for someone that goes camping frequently. Where It Will Be Worn This issue is similar to the previous section. The reason it is important is that you want to get someone a watch your gift receiver will actually use. The following are a few typical settings they might wear a watch for and what kinds of pieces to consider for each. Daily – If your gift receiver is someone that wears watches every day, you will want to choose one that has a versatile aesthetic and fits in just about anywhere.Formal Occasions – A small, elegant dress watch.During Exercise – A comfortable piece that won’t break down when exposed to sweat and other forms of moisture. Fitness tracking software is a bonus.Underwater – A rugged watch that is water resistant to a reasonable depth. You can either go with a metal dive watch or a plastic piece built for pure function.Size The size of a watch is more important than most people would initially think. Pay attention to how many millimeters the dial is on your potential gift watches. The three factors to consider are setting, wrist size, and personal style. Generally, smaller wrists, more subtle fashion, and formal events call for smaller pieces. The opposite of each of those attributes calls for a larger dial. Strap The four materials you can choose from are metal, leather, rubber, and nylon. Each has a distinct look and makes sense in different settings. Metal and leather are the most common, and they work in almost all situations. Rubber and nylon straps are best known for rugged conditions or people going for a unique look. The truth about giving gifts is that your loved one will likely appreciate whatever you give them. Still, putting some thought into purchasing a product that fits their personality well is worth your time and energy. If you decide that a watch makes sense for your next gift, you now know which factors to consider and how to make the perfect pick.

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  6. Watch Movement Types and How They Differ

    Watch Movement Types and How They Differ

    When you’re choosing a watch, there are many decisions you need to make. One of the most crucial choices is which type of movement. For those of you who are not familiar, the movement of a watch refers to the mechanism behind how it ticks. There are many watch movements. Like anatomical movements, Japanese quartz movement, and mechanical watch movements. But the three primary types are manual, automatic, and quartz watch movement. Each of them has their own set of positives and negatives, so before buying your next piece, you should understand them. Below, we go over the types of watch movements and the basics of each! Function At some point, you have probably asked “how does a watch work?” or more specifically, “how do automatic watches work?” These question have answers, which depend on the movement your manufacturer has chosen.  Manual – Manual winding watches. This type of movement gets its name from the fact that you must manually create the energy the watch needs to function. You do so by winding the watch by hand. This is the oldest movement of the three and has been used for centuries. For watches with this movement, you will need to wind your watch up just about every day. Lately, this style has fallen out of favor due to its lack of convenience. Automatic – Watches with this movement function almost identically the manual watches, except you do not need to wind them yourself. This is because the mechanism is built in such a way that it winds itself when the wearer moves. Classic style combined with self-winding functionality makes this movement a very popular choice. Quartz – Quartz movement is the simplest of the three, given that it uses a battery and a quartz crystal to keep itself ticking. The battery runs the engine, while the crystal makes the second hand tick at the rate it is supposed to. Accuracy Though watches are perhaps most commonly bought for their aesthetics, people find great use in having the time on hand whenever they need it. This makes accuracy of utmost importance. Manual – A well-made manual watch will keep the time quite well, but it is prone to slight variation. Additionally, given that these are hand wind watches, you may find yourself seeing the wrong time due to the watch stopping unexpectedly. Automatic – The accuracy of automatic pieces is roughly the same as manual. They are good, but not great, and they will occasionally stop and need to be reset. Quartz – These watches are the best timekeepers of the three because of the quartz crystal that is found inside. What happens is the electrical impulse of the battery vibrates the crystal at a rate of 32,768 per second. The watch can sense each vibration, and moves the second hand at every 32,768th vibration. This number stays the same every time due to the chemical composition of quartz. Though the science is a bit difficult to understand, just know that quartz movement keeps the most accurate time. Upkeep When you purchase a watch, you are also signing up for some level of upkeep. If you are okay with getting semi-frequent repairs, you can choose any movement. If you want your piece to be hands-off, you should understand the upkeep for each. Manual – Though these types of watches do not need battery changes, they will need a tune-up every few years to ensure functionality. These trips to the repair shop are infrequent but can be quite expensive. Automatic – Upkeep for an automatic watch is roughly the same as manual. It runs off of kinetic energy, so there is no battery replacement but will need regular tune-ups. Quartz – Given that this movement is battery powered, you will need to take a trip to the watch repair shop every 12-24 months. Most watch enthusiasts report that this is not much of an inconvenience, though. Additionally, this type of repair is very cheap when compared to the two other movement types. Price One of your most significant decisions in buying a watch is the price. This makes it vital to understand the typical price ranges of each movement. Manual – Given the intricate inner workings that go into manual watches, they are often quite expensive. Automatic – What is an automatic watch?  Automatic watches have mechanisms that are even more complex, given that they wind themselves. This leads to high costs. Most of the luxury brands on the market run on automatic movement. Quartz – What about automatic vs quartz? This movement is not very expensive to produce, meaning quartz watches are almost always less costly than other movement options. For watch brands in the affordable space, they will likely run on quartz. When you’re choosing your next watch, deciding which movement to target should be one of your first decisions.(Don’t forget styling too! Some watch enthusiasts are fans of watches with gears showing.) The movement watches make are important. Depending on your priorities, you can choose manual, automatic, or quartz.  Whichever you prefer, know that there is no wrong way to go. All you need to do is balance your preferences and decide which is right for you. Once you do, you can go shopping for your timepiece with knowledge and confidence. 

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  7. 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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  8. 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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