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.

Argonautic BG Automatic Watch

 

#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.   

Watch material


#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.

Diving watch, diver watch


#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.

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