A quality watch is so much more than just a timepiece. It’s a fashion statement. It’s a status symbol for some. It’s a definition of who you are.
Horology connoisseur or not, we all want the perfect wrist accessory that makes you feel good and that reflects that inner happiness. That’s where the watch comes in- it tells time, it lasts, it’s an attention grabber, and most importantly, it tells a story- your story.
Let’s determine which watches are worth the time and effort.
1. The Name
A watch’s brand determines its quality, whether it’s a Swatch or a Rolex.
Many people know and trust the names of famous brands. They have a reputation for quality, and many people use their names as references. They are known for providing peace of mind when it comes to after-sales service and spare parts availability. You’ll get outstanding customer service when you buy from these businesses, and you’re investing your money in something that will last for generations.
When you’re wearing a high-end watch, you’re not just wearing any watch. You’re wearing a piece of history and tradition whose name has created a prestige that ensures others of your class. As vain as it really is, because they are worn for self-appreciation, quality brands command more respect. – and this confidence in yourself spreads to others effortlessly.
2. The Material
If a watch is made of sub-par materials, it won’t last you very long and will not please the eye as much. That is why quality materials are a must when it comes to watches. The watch movement or special functionalities are meaningless if the rest of the watch is cheap.
Along with the brand name, the watch’s materials heavily define its price. While platinum and gold are excellent materials, watches made of such will be substantially more expensive, and may not suit everyone’s taste. Because of its durability and polished look, stainless steel, on the other hand, provides terrific value for money as well as hypoallergenic qualities.
The use of 316L stainless steel is common among quality brands as it is purer and resists corrosion better than other metals. Other materials such as ceramic, carbon fiber and titanium are also great options.
The higher quality materials and craftsmanship are used, the sturdier the watch feels, regardless of the watch’s weight. ‘The feel’ of the watch on your wrist is widely discussed for this reason. A quality watch will feel like an inseparable part of your arm, not like a toy.
3. The Wristband
The majority of timepieces available these days have open lugs, with watch straps secured using springbars, sometimes quick release ones. The presence of these gadgets, as well as the quality of the materials used, makes all the difference.
The matching buckles used on the best watches are little works of art, ornated with technical details such as deployant clasps and finishes such as the brand’s logo.
4. The Movement
A quality watch’s movement is as important to your experience as a good car is for driving. The balance wheel in some mechanical watches may be so fast and finely tuned that the second hand “sweeps” across the dial.
In the end, quality watches are highly accurate, sweep seconds or not, and shouldn’t lose more than a few seconds per day, which is entirely due to their movement.
Quartz chronometers are typically more accurate and less expensive than mechanical chronometers. Quartz movements are almost always 100% correct, making them a great choice for those on a budget. If you want a more high-end mechanical watch, look at the movement specs or inquire about one that is COSC-certified, which means it has met the criteria to be a “chronometer”.
5. The Finishings
The case’s and movement’s finishings are equally important to their materials. This is where the artist comes in to refine the most minute details of the watch. Different types of surface finishes -like mirror and satin- are used in high-quality timepieces’ cases, bracelets and other watch elements to create an attractive play of refractions when light reflects off them.
This applies to the smaller details, such as the watch movement, the plates, bridges and rotor of automatic watches, where the masters use classic designs such as perlage, Cotes de Geneve, and other unique polishes that turn these metal machines into unique artifacts that border on art.
6. Water resistance
Water resistance is a key element in the quality evaluation of watches. Water leaking into the mechanism is most likely the most common reason for damaged timepieces today.
A quality watch doesn’t have to be a diver’s watch, but it should still be water-resistant enough that it doesn’t get damaged from walking in the rain or washing your hands.
The norm, today, is 5 ATM/bar resistance , which allows you to wear your watch during low-impact water activity, like fishing or light swimming. Sports watches offer 10 ATM/bar or more.
Get yourself a watch with stronger water resistance if you want to go diving. Professional diver watches offer 50 ATM/bar water resistance, which allows you to dive up to 500 meters deep without issues (you wouldn’t make it that deep, but your watch could). They also sport special features like excellent dial legibility while underwater and helium gas exhausts.
7. Swiss Made
There are great timepieces produced in every region of the world; nevertheless, Switzerland is regarded as the birthplace of watchmaking.
Recently, there has been some uncertainty as to which watches should be labeled “Swiss made,” but thankfully, this has now been clarified. Only timepieces manufactured and assembled in Switzerland can now be branded “Swiss made.” They must also satisfy certain minimum requirements for Swiss labor and materials sourced in Switzerland. The last inspection of such a timepiece must
The Chronometer designation is the highest level of accreditation for Swiss timepieces. The Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute tests them and they are some of the most precise and durable in the field of horology. So when you see a watch that says “Chronometer” on its dial, you can be sure that it was made with great care.
A good watch, like any other automobile, is made up of various parts. It’s not just the sum of their parts; it’s also about how they interact, which becomes synergy and makes a tiny and particular item like a timepiece into a means of self-expression.
A watch is created to be worn and experienced, much like a squire would follow you through your everyday events, a silent witness to your triumphs and setbacks, but always in its movement, on your wrist.