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How to Choose A Watch
 
Style
  • Dress Watch
    The most common is gold, plain, and thin. A rotating bezel, or any bezel with markings on it, is not suitable. The dial and hands are less important, but avoid thick markings and hands with lots of tritium. Moreover, chronograph is not a good choice, too. If the watch is gold, get it on a strap - you may spend less money with better looking.

  • Sports Watch
    These watches are usually large, water-resistant to some degree, and have thick, luminous hands and markings. Two important sub-categories are Diver's Watch and Pilot's Watch. All modern Divers' watches are inspired by the Rolex Submariner, and all Pilots' watches are inspired by the IWC Mark XII or earlier.

    Remark: Nowadays, "Diver's Watch" is a style. If you do not want to die, make sure your Diver's Watch meets the standard before you dive !!!

  • Designer Watch
    These watches are designed by someone with a worldwide reputation, and the designer's name is publicized. These watches are more like an art work than a watch.

If you are going to buy a watch, you should choose a style at the beginning.

 
Case Materials
A watch case can be made of any solid, but some common materials are: plastic, metal, high-tech materials (e.g., ceramic, pulverized diamonds). The cheapest watches are made of plastic, the most expensive watches are made of gold, white gold, platinum or some high-tech materials.

If you are going to buy a Sports Watch, Gold may not be a good choice. This is not because of the price, this is because gold is much softer than stainless steel and titanium.

 
Bracelets or Straps
A wristwatch should have a bracelet or strap to attach it to your wrist. If the attachment gets its flexibility from solid parts (made of the same material as the case) that are linked together, it's called a bracelet. If the material is inherently flexible (e.g., rubber, leather), it's called a strap.

A bracelet is always designed for a particular watch model, or at least a series of models from the same manufacturer.

Straps, however, are frequently bought separately from the watch, and for a very simple reason: They wear out frequently.

If you are going to buy a dress watch, a leather strap will match your suits or tuxedo.

 
Water Resistance
Please refer to Water Proof --- open in new window.
 
Quartz or Mechanical

Most people think that mechanical watch is for rich people; however, Seiko offers lots of choices to the world for less than US$50.

The truth is most expensive watches are Mechanical but the most user friendly watches are Quartz. If you would like to know more, you can go to Seiko Spring Drive --- open in new window.

If you are going to buy a watch for daily use or Sports, Quartz will not be wrong !

 
C.O.S.C.

Please refer to C.O.S.C. --- open in new window.

Most people use -4+6 secs/day as the reference for an C.O.S.C. Mechanical watch.

However, If you are going to buy a watch for daily use, Quartz has much better performance: ±1 sec / day

 
Functions and Features
Every watch shows the hour and minute (usually with two hands), some show the second, date and day at the same time. Anything beyond these basics is called a "complication".

A chronograph is a watch that acts like a stop watch; that is, it can measure intervals of time. There are usually two pushers on either side of the crown. The upper one starts and stops the timer, and the lower one resets it to zero.

Two more complicated chronographs:

  • A flyback is a chronograph which works as follows: first push of the chrono button starts the seconds hand. Second push causes the seconds hand to reset to zero and begins. The purpose of the flyback is to begin re-timing quickly.

  • A split seconds or rattrapante or doppelchrono (double chrono in German) has two seconds hands, the first push starts both hands together, the second push stops one hand while the other continues, and another push allows the stopped hand to catch-up with the moving seconds.

Some watches show multiple time zones or called GMT.

Watches that emit an audible time signal are called repeaters.

 
Brands of Watches

The brand affects the price of a new watch and a secondhand watch. Rolex is an good example.

Moreover, brands tell us the quality of the after sales services. Rolex is world wide and her after sales services have good reputation. But some famous brands do not have qualified services; therefore, search the web or even go to the service center before you buy an expensive watch.

 
Where to buy

From an authorized retailer is a good start.

If you really want to buy from an unauthorized, or "gray-market," dealer, keep all transaction records / invoices in case of something happens.

If you want to buy a watch through the Internet, only buy it from some big big companies, such as Amazon.com.

REMEMBER: Low price may not be a bargain; high price may not be true.

 
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