4 Things You Need to Consider Before Buying A Watch

by | Jun 28, 2023 | Gear-Tech

In the realm of timepieces, two primary movement options dominate the market: quartz and mechanical. It’s essential to understand the key differences between these movements and their relevance in today’s watch landscape.

Quartz Watches: Unparalleled Accuracy and Affordability

Quartz watches operate by passing an electrical charge through a wafer-thin piece of quartz, causing it to vibrate at a precise frequency of 32,768 times per second. This extraordinary accuracy ensures that quartz watches only deviate by a minute a year. While quartz watches have gained a reputation as common and inexpensive options, they are undeniably accurate timekeepers.

“The glacial near perfect frequency of a quartz watch leaves me stone cold even if the watch case is exquisite,” explains renowned horologist Arzul. However, it’s worth noting that quartz watches are typically not regarded as investment pieces due to their shorter lifespan compared to their mechanical counterparts.

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Mechanical Watches: Artistry and Longevity

Mechanical watches, on the other hand, embody the traditional craftsmanship that watch enthusiasts hold in high esteem. These watches rely on the gradual unwinding of a mainspring to power their movements, and they can be either self-winding or automatic. Self-winding watches utilize a rotor that oscillates with the movement of your arm, while automatic watches require manual winding or regular movement to maintain power.

One crucial aspect to consider with mechanical watches is their power reserve, which indicates how long they can operate without manual winding or movement. Most mechanical watches loose approximately an hour per year. Renowned watch expert Bester advises, “The more complex the movement, the higher the asking price will be.” Nonetheless, properly maintained mechanical watches can last for decades and even become cherished heirlooms with sentimental and monetary value.

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The Size and Shape Dilemma

In terms of aesthetics, the size and shape of a watch are subjective choices. However, it’s worth noting that the popularity of larger, chunkier watches, especially diving watches, has surged in recent years. Men often prefer these robust timepieces, which exude masculinity and power. While in the past, watch diameters rarely exceeded 40mm, today there is a wide range of options available.

Investing in a diving watch can be a wise decision due to their growing popularity and potential appreciation over time. Bester highlights, “For example, if you had purchased a steel Rolex Submariner-Date in 2005 for R36,000, a 2012 model would now cost you R74,000.” Investing in such watches can offer both the pleasure of wearing a distinguished timepiece and the possibility of a solid return on investment.

However, it’s important to consider practicality when selecting the size of your watch. For individuals who frequently wear suits and jackets, a larger watch face might pose challenges, as it can catch on sleeves and cuffs. In such cases, a slimmer and thinner profile may be more suitable.

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Choosing the Right Material

When it comes to selecting the material of your watch, practicality, lifestyle, and the desired image play a significant role. If you wish to showcase your status, materials like rose, white, or yellow gold can convey elegance and success. However, for those who lead active and outdoorsy lifestyles, materials such as titanium, stainless steel, ceramic, or even carbon offer durability and resilience.

Features and Functions: The Personal Touch

Personal preferences and specific needs dictate the features and functions you require in a watch. Assess your lifestyle and consider whether you gravitate toward formal settings or adventurous pursuits. Some watches offer complications like a perpetual calendar, moon-phase indicator, or split-second chronograph. However, it’s crucial to be honest with yourself about whether you will genuinely utilize these functions, as they add complexity and cost to the timepiece.

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Ultimately, finding the perfect watch for 2023 involves striking a balance between accuracy, craftsmanship, personal style, and practicality. Whether you opt for the precision of quartz or the artistry of mechanical movements, remember that a watch is not merely a timekeeping device but an expression of individuality and appreciation for the intricate world of horology.

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