- A watch is not just about telling time, but about maintaining a relationship with time. Watches tell time very conveniently. Certainly better than using sundials or observing shadow lengths.
- Power-wise, they are way more trusty and reliable too. An automatic watch runs almost throughout since it derives its power from the wearer. A battery-powered watch can function for years before a replacement is needed. If you visit a remote place and your phone runs out of juice, however, you'll find yourself in a fix.
- There's no better way for a man to display their sense of fashion than wearing a watch. Men's wedding bands are required to be as simple and plain as possible. Suits and cufflinks can be quite similar from one man to the next. Black leather shoes are the office standard. But a quality watch is unique to the wearer. It is their signature style. Your chance to show what kind of a man you are.
- Watches signify ingenuity and creativity. They have been used since before there was electricity to date. The making of a quality watch requires a craftsman to dedicate his mind to a design for as many as 8 months. Concentration. Watches showcase fantastic tech that is not mass-produced in factories but crafted by hand. Each design is a human story.
- Watches make for fantastic heirlooms. A man can wear his late grandfather's 1920s watch and be able to feel his presence every day. A few years later, he can pass it to his own son. Not many other devices have the same kind of feel as heirlooms.
- Wearing a watch is way classier than having to fish your phone out of the pocket all the time. Then putting the screen on. Then adjusting the brightness setting if it's outside in the daytime. Then noticing some new social media notifications and emails and getting roped into the vicious cycle of commenting, tweeting, poking and liking. When checking time on a watch, they're no distractions. It's one simple glance at your wrist you're up to date. It's healthier for both the mind and body. Plus, it's about maturity. Let the boys keep groping around for their smartphones. Get a watch that complements your fashion and be a man.
“Show me your watch and I'll tell you where you're from.” While many view it as an exaggerated and overused marketing line, it is bang on the money in many ways. It might even be an understatement.
Because while men are generally not big on jewelry, a watch is an item you’ll find on the wrist of almost every man regardless of occupation, race or age. You have to wear it practically all day, everyday. As such, your watch is not just how you to tell the time but an extension of yourself. It reflects a man’s likes, dislikes and his general attitude towards life.
Here’s what your watch says about your personality:
Military Watch - for the Manly Man
It’s simple - if you wear a tough watch, people will take you for a tough guy. You don’t even have to be a blue-collar worker or craftsman. You could be a regular, white-collar guy engaged in a regular 8-5 accounting, teaching, advertising or banking job.
The only difference is that you are more resilient, determined and more of a risk taker and a competitor than most of your peers. You’re rugged. You don’t carry hand moisturizer. You don’t call anyone to fix simple plumbing and electrical faults. You’re handy - a fixer. And when it comes to physical, outdoor activities, you’re the champ.
Character-wise, you’re trustworthy and authentic. You tell it straight. A guy’s guy.
Such a strong personality is only matched by an equally sturdy watch. A trusty timepiece that, wherever possible, sacrifices ostentatious, aesthetic features for a masculine, practical look and feel. Military watches are the true epitome of this.
They are water, magnetic and scratch-resistant and will sometimes have utilitarian extras like map navigation and pathfinding assistance.
The straps are water-protected (hydrophobic) and very durable as well. If it’s a NATO strap, it will be made from tough nylon with a laser-welded steel tang buckle. The other option is a quality, hand-sewn leather strap with zero rough edges and frills.
Pilot Watch - for the Thrill Seeker
If you don a pilot watch that means you’re likely a thrill seeker. Planes and air travel will be an obvious attraction but that’s not all. You’ll probably also spend every other weekend dabbling with air ballooning, skydiving, parachutes, wingsuits and paragliders.
Even if you aren’t doing these on a regular basis, you likely wish you could, but are constrained by tight work schedules or other commitments. But, if you had your way, you’d likely spend more time in the air than on the ground.
A psychologist would tell you that your dopamine levels are slightly over the top. That your propensity for flirting with danger is a consequence of unhealthy peer pressure or questionable upbringing. For you, though, common pastimes bore too easily, and life’s too short to amble along without constantly seeking out the new and the unexpected.
You’re also likely to be a big fan of shearling jackets. And though you’d not admit it to anyone, you often fantasize about landing the plane on a flight whose pilot was incapacitated by a heart attack.
A pilot watch makes for an excellent companion for a man of this ilk. Such a timepiece features a sleek, highly functional design and usually a large, elaborate, easy-to-read dial. Some modern pilot pieces also boast a myriad of navigation features like compasses, flight timers and altimeters.
Diver’s Watch - for the Modern All-Rounder
Diving watches are some of the most beautiful sports watches of the last two decades. Men who favor diving watches are both sophisticated and practical. They can be rugged and James-Bond-smooth at the same time. They can dress up in an expensive designer suit for an investors meeting or dress down in tropical beachwear for a trip to the Maldives.
They usually have an affinity for marine life but not always. They can be partial to deep sea adventures or only read about it in scuba diving magazines.
That’s because, of course, a lot of those who wear these diving timepieces are not really divers. Most have courageously plunged to the bottom of their hotel swimming pool and they enthusiastically narrate this ‘heroic’ experience to their friends at work. A few have framed pics from a one-off, deep-sea treasure-hunting trip with the boys.
Fewer still are actual, professional divers. They dive into the belly of the ocean for a variety of reasons, ranging from sport to hyperbolic welding. They are well-schooled in dealing with decompression sickness and can navigate as deep as 2000 ft.
If you wear a diving watch, you could be any of these characters. That means you’re versatile and compatible with most crowds. It is also easy for you to make friends because of your high tolerance levels and because people are drawn to the air of intrigue surrounding you.
Classic Watch - for the Minimalist Man
The minimalist man does not like clutter. He maintains a consistent style that is sharp and fuss-free. He is a man of impeccable taste, and he wears the exact right type of attire for the exact right occasion. The only problem is he prefers a suit for most occasions.
That suit is meticulously selected from a collection full of muted-colour palettes and clean designs. Most of them are black and white and, being custom-tailored, fit him exactly right.
On an off-day he might consider a brown suit, but he will match it with tan shoes and an understated, brown strap for his watch.
Now the wrist piece is where he pays most attention. Never ever will he be caught with a flamboyant, over-the-top watch. Instead he prefers the smooth, clean lines of a classic timepiece. A watch that usually features just the basic time-telling essentials of hours, minutes, seconds, and date, laid out in a tasteful, artistic way. No complicated dials.
He's exasperated whenever people mistake his minimalist timepiece as "simple" or cheap, and this happens agonizingly often. Because, while the design is simple, it is so inventive that the result is a one-of-a-kind timepiece with an alluring, timeless appeal.
Nevertheless, it is easy to forgive their ignorance because they are not connoisseurs of fashion like he is. But most of all because he is, in all ways, a gentleman.
A quality watch is not just a timepiece, but a fashion accessory and a status symbol. In some ways, it even suggests what kind of a person the wearer is.
Whether you’re a connoisseur of horology or just a regular watch lover, we all want something great to wear on our wrists. Something that makes you feel great and shows people that you’re great. A watch that tells the time accurately, lasts long and catches the eye just peeping out from under the sleeve of your suit jacket.
Here’s how you can tell whether any watch is worth its salt.
#1 - The name
A good watch without a good brand is just that - a good watch. But a watch that carries the brand of a reputable maker instantly changes into a great watch.
Top brands are preferred by many people, and that’s because they have stood the test of time in terms of proving the quality of their offerings. They offer peace of mind in terms of after-sales service and availability of spare parts. When you buy from them, you get great customer support.
A good name also signals history, tradition and pedigree, creating a prestige that makes people realize you’re not wearing just any watch. It’s a bit vain sometimes, really, but there’s no running away from it. Good brands simply command more respect.
#2 - The Material
A quality watch must be made from quality material. It doesn’t matter how great the movement is or what great functionalities it offers; if the case is made from sub-par materials, that watch is not going to serve you for long.
As such, material dictates to a great extent the price of a watch. Gold, titanium and platinum are great but such watches are obviously very costly. Stainless steel offers great value for money because of its durability and alluring, polished look. That’s in addition to the fact that stainless steel rarely causes skin allergies. Good brands often use 316L stainless steel, which is more pure and offers better corrosion resistance. Ceramic is also a great option.
Watches crafted from quality materials are often heavier than other watches. That’s why many an enthusiast will talk of ‘the feel’ of a watch. A quality watch feels not like a toy, but a real watch.
#3 - The Movement
The same way a good car moves well while driving, a quality watch has an accurate movement that ticks wonderfully on your wrist. Sometimes the ticking can be so quick (many times per second rather than just once) and finely tuned that the usual tick-tock is replaced by a smooth, gliding movement. That’s why you’ll hear enthusiasts talking (boasting) of their watches having a “sweep” seconds hand.
All in all, sweep seconds or no sweep seconds, a good movement is an accurate one and should never lose too many minutes. Quality watches are highly accurate, which is all down to the movement that runs them.
Good quartz movements are almost always 100% accurate. If prefer a mechanical watch, ask for one that is COSC-certified or at least that loses (or gains) minimal time per day.
#4 - Water resistance
Water resistance is inextricably linked to the quality evaluation of watches. Water, more than dropping, is probably the biggest cause of damaged watches nowadays.
It doesn’t have to be a diver’s watch, but a quality watch should not get wrecked too quickly just because you went out in the rain or washed your hands under a running tap. 5 ATM/bar resistance is pretty standard nowadays, and should allow you to wear your watch for water sports such as swimming or fishing as long as they’re not high-impact. Better brands will offer 10 ATM/bar or more.
If you intend to go diving, then you obviously need to pay more attention. Brands such as Davosa offer 50 ATM/bar water resistance on their professional diver watches, allowing you to dive as deep as 500 meters without issues. Such watches automatically regulate gas pressure and offer exceptional dial legibility while under water.
#5 - Swiss made
There’s been some confusion in recent times over which watches should bear the Swiss-made mark but thankfully that has all been laid to bed. As of Jan 1, 2017, only watches assembled and cased is Switzerland may be branded “Swiss made”. The final inspection of such a watch must also have been carried out in the revered watchmaking country.
Swiss-made watches undergo rigorous testing by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute and are some of the most accurate and durable in the world of horology. When you see a watch with those two magical words on it, know that great attention to detail has been paid in its craftsmanship to produce a top quality, reliable time device.
Buying a luxury watch, especially for the first time, can be a challenging task for anyone. There are numerous and varied reasons for this.
For starters, watches are complex (and complicated) little devices. One needs to have lots of technical knowhow in order to be in a position to choose the right one. It doesn’t help that there are a myriad of brands and options out there, each of them seemingly as attractive as the last.
Other reasons are tied to the fact that modern horology isn’t just about knowing the time but also about fashion. The watch must therefore complement your style as well as reflect your personality. When you add price consideration as well as choice of straps, casebacks, case material, functions, dial types etc, purchasing a watch can turn into a nightmarish conundrum.
The best thing, therefore, before heading out to the watch store or boutique, is for one to do some research. While you may still need to clarify a few things with the seller, you’d be better off asking yourself the following first:
#1 - Why do you need a watch?
Is it because you want to be able to keep time or because you just need to spruce up your fashion?
If it is for the former reason, is it just for time or do you need other functions such as calendar, moon phases and chronograph? Such a watch may have less emphasis on the use of prestigious materials, such as gold and diamonds, and more on the incorporation of these extra functions (complications). It helps if such a timepiece has a highly legible dial that offers you detailed information at a glance.
If you’re looking to up your wrist game and add that luxurious finishing touch to your attire, the focus shifts from how many functions the watch has to how it looks on you. Watches have always been an important element of fashion, and it is vital to choose one that dovetails well with your wear. If you find it difficult to match one watch with all of your outfits, you may have to get two or more.
Finding a watch that offers a cross between utility and luxury is a delicate but not impossible task. All in all, a good watch epitomizes confidence and style, and no detail, however minor, should be ignored.
#2 - What type of movement?
Another fundamental ask when you’re looking for a watch or your next watch is type of movement. The usual options are mechanical (automatic/manual) or quartz.
Quartz and automatic remain the most popular choices because of the advantages they offer over hand-wound (manual) timepieces. They eliminate the need to wind the watch by hand and are long-lasting as well as easier to maintain.
When it comes down to quartz vs. automatic, it all depends on personal taste. Go for quartz if you want a highly accurate watch that runs on batteries. If you’d want a watch that winds automatically without the need of a battery, choose automatic.
Beyond automatic/quartz/manual, if you’re an advanced or enthusiast type of user, you may want to do research on the caliber/name of movement that powers the watch. There are some famous, time-tested, proprietary movements out there, and some of them are used under license by multiple manufacturers/brands.
#3 - Brand-new or second-hand?
This is a vital consideration once you’ve honed in on the specific brand and model that you want. Will you get a pre-owned watch or a brand new one straight out of the box?
Used watch dealers are mistrusted for the same reason as used car salesmen - most are not credible. If you look hard enough, though, you may still be able to land a good deal on a used timepiece (provided you don’t seek a deal that’s too sweet).
The advantage of going the brand-new route is obvious. The watch will generally give you more mileage and you’ll get it via a more legit transaction that offers peace of mind. The drawback is obvious too - getting a new top-brand watch usually involves breaking the wallet if not the bank.
Fortunately, there is a third option. There are a number of up-and-coming brands out there that offer the same quality as top brands but at reasonable prices. Davosa stands out in that regard.
#4 - Are there lower-priced alternatives?
Being a luxury item, it is always possible that you’ll find the watch with the features you want but not at the price you’d like. When this happens, extend your research into competitor brands with similar models and see if you can land a better quotation.
If sacrificing a minor feature or function allows you to save significantly, consider it. This often means switching to a different model.
Ideally, have seven or eight models that provide the feature set you desire, and then use price to shorten the list as much as possible. Afterwards, take the trimmed-down list to the retailers and see what options they have.
Brand choice is once again a vital consideration. The USA luxury watch market has seen the entry of enterprising Swiss brands like Davosa that offer top-quality, high tech products at “non-Swiss-watch” prices. They are a good bet if you want more value for your money.
#5 - How is the watch serviced?
Like cars and vacuum cleaners, watches are also machines that need regular servicing to run optimally.
Servicing watches if a joyful task for horology enthusiasts but not every user qualifies as such. It is therefore imperative to know how easy it would be to service a particular model before selecting it for your next wrist bling.
If you’re not one for taking matters into your own hands, then do some research into how much it costs to have the watch serviced by a trained professional. Some retailers offer free servicing as part of their after-sales package, something that offers potential buyers great peace of mind.
The quartz vs. mechanical watch debate rages on and on and will probably persist for the foreseeable future. What watch do you want: an automatic, manual or quartz watch?
The simple truth is, none of them are bad. Choosing between them is a matter of personal preference more than anything else.
Mechanical timepieces were a huge hit in the early part of the 20th century before the quartz craze of the 70s. Now, after being able to capture some of the advantages that were initially thought to be exclusive to their mechanical counterparts, most analogue watch movements today are quartz watch movements. In short, quartz is back and here to stay.
Here is a rundown of some of the advantages that a quartz watch may afford you.
Quartz watch accuracy is exceptional
A non-certified modern quartz watch has an accuracy of about 99.9998%. A certified one is 99.9999% accurate.
To put this into perspective, a non-certified quartz watch will lose only around a second per day while a certified one generally won’t lose any. A vintage mechanical watch can lose up to 60 seconds a day, and a modern one between 3-5 seconds.
Over the course of a month, the lost seconds can pile up and become significant.
People might peg you for a lunatic for wanting your watch to be accurate to the minute, but what if you’re broadcaster, an astronomer or a global navigator? Is an accurate watch too much to ask even if you’re just an average person living a typical life?
Quartz watches are more accurate than any mechanical watch, whether automatic or manual. However, regardless of the type, always go with reputable brands to ensure your watch is at least accurate enough for everyday/normal use.
Quartz can also be complicated
The world’s most complicated timepieces are mechanical - no argument about that. But quartz has caught up, and now modern quartz watches can offer the same sophisticated, aristocratic look as manual or automatic watches.
Take Davosa’s Nautic Star Chrono line for instance. For the considerably affordable price range of under $500, you get a durable, polished stainless steel watch whose dial shows not only hours, minutes and seconds but also chronograph and date.
Since the movement is quartz, the chronograph is usually more accurate than that of a mechanical watch and measures up to one-tenth of a second. In the end, you have a beautiful dial whose 12-hour, 30-minute and 60-second counters give it a stylish, elaborate look similar to that of a pilot’s cockpit.
Some others, like the sports versions, feature a tachymeter scale and even allow you to compute the speed of travel in kilometres per hour.
Quartz is slim, sleek and stylish
Quartz watch movements, since they don’t have the mainspring that powers mechanical movements, are usually very thin - sometimes even thinner than a millimetre. This has allowed manufacturers to come up with light, elegant yet powerful timepieces.
This is again a matter of personal choice. The modern minimalist watch is a style borrowed from the popular pocket-watch design of the 1800s. The duty of such a watch is just one - to tell you the time while looking fabulous and subtly tucking under the sleeve of your designer suit’s jacket.
You can still have a large quartz watch with a large case and dial but whose thickness is no more than a centimetre. If this is your style, then quartz is your best bet.
No winding, minimal maintenance
If you’re not one for winding your watch every now and then, a quartz watch is a great option. As long as the watch’s battery has power, you can rest assured that you’ll always have the time.
Automatic mechanical watches are the next best thing since they don’t have to be wound by hand. However, since they rely on arm movements to generate power, the watch may stop if left unused for a long period of time.
Quartz timepieces are almost maintenance-free, especially compared to manual mechanical watches. The battery usually lasts two years or even three on some modern models. As long as you replace the battery when needed, you won’t have to keep re-setting the time.
We may be in an age full of innovations but automatic watches are still the in-thing for many people. They were the in-thing before the 1970s when quartz took over, and in recent times they’ve returned as snazzy fashion pieces.
Manual or battery-operated watches are good too, but there are advantages that only an automatic timepiece can offer. We’re gonna run down the major ones here.
First things first, though: what are automatic watches?
If you’re not one for checking time on your mobile handheld - be that a huge 10-inch tablet or a four-inch iPhone SE - you’re gonna have a watch. A watch can be automatic, manual or quartz (think batteries). Both manual and automatic watches have to be wound but, as the names suggest, one self-winds while the other is, well, manual.
That’s why an auto watch is also called a self-winding watch. Rather than having to do it yourself, these novel watches rely on the movements made by your arm to generate the power needed to run them. As long the wearer is alive and animated, they run. Pretty cool, huh?
It’s only in horology where the word complication has a positive connotation. A complicated watch has more features, and is therefore considered more exclusive and luxurious.
Most of the world’s most complicated watches are mechanical watches, and automatic watches are mechanical. If you like a watch to be able to give you more than just the time then an auto watch is a good bet. Some of their extra features are pretty unique too.
Davosa’s 200m Apnea Diver watch is an excellent example. Not only does it feature a beautiful and durable stainless steel build but also its dial offers a very novel feature for diving enthusiasts. The dial uses brilliant, internationally recognised color codes to help the diver breathe well while under water.
Yet another stylish feature exclusive to mechanical watches, a group that automatic watches are a part of. The second's hand on many auto timepieces moves in a continuous, smooth motion, giving the watch a sophisticated and elegant feel. The hand almost glides around the dial.
Still, for those who prefer the traditional style, some modern autos feature additional gears that enable them to tick once each second.
Self-winding watches last long
Automatic timepieces can run for decades. In fact, those that are serviced professionally every four to five years can last more than half a century!
The important thing is to make sure the parts are cleaned and oiled every number of years. For many collectors and enthusiasts, picking up a screw-driver set and fine-tuning their beloved watch is a fulfilling hobby. Those who are less handy prefer to take them to a professional for a relatively small fee.
Also, auto watches are easy to bring back to life if left unused for long. Most restart once the parts are re-oiled and the watch is given a good shake.
That unique, aristocratic feel
Watch connoisseurs will tell you that timepieces are not just for telling time. A good watch will accentuate the sharp look of a nice suit in a way that no other jewellery can.
Automatic watches today are coveted for the same reason as restored VW Beetles - vintage glamour. They were great before the quartz surge of the 1970s and now they’ve stolen the show again. If you love vintage stuff, they’re a must-have.
Automatic watches with a see-through case back take it up a notch. Watch with wonderment as the gears move and tick in perfect symphony to drive your device. They never stop. The beauty of it is eternal.