7 Signs of a High Quality Watch
A quality watch is not just a timepiece but becomes a fashion accessory and can be considered a status symbol by some. 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 user, we all want something great to wear on our wrists. Something that makes you feel great and shows people that you’re feeling great and wanting to express the feeling through the accessories you’re wearing. A watch is such an accessory. It tells the time accurately, lasts long, and catches the eye just peeping out from under the sleeve of your suit jacket - and it tells a story - your story.
Here’s how you can determine 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 timepiece that carries the brand of a famous maker instantly changes into a watch to be considered.
Top brands have a meaning and a character. Many people refer to them, and that’s because they have stood the test of time in terms of proving the quality of their offerings. They give peace of mind in terms of after-sales service and the availability of spare parts. When you buy from these brands, you get excellent customer support, and you are investing your money in an object that will stand the test of time.
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 because they are ultimately worn for self-appreciation - and this quiet confidence in your own means carries easily to others.
#2 - The Material
A quality watch must be made from quality material. It doesn’t matter how great the watch 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 and won’t be appreciated by the onlookers.
As such, material dictates the price of a watch to a great extent. Materials like gold and platinum are great choices, but such watches are obviously very costly, and sometimes, too showy. On the other hand, stainless steel offers excellent value for money because of its durability and alluring, polished, industrial look. That’s in addition to the fact that stainless steel rarely causes skin allergies.
Good brands often use 316L stainless steel, which is purer and offers better corrosion resistance than other metals. Ceramic is also a great option, as well as other modern technical materials like titanium or carbon fiber.
Watches made from quality materials and involving perfect craftsmanship often feel sturdier than other watches - and it is not just a question of weight. That’s why many enthusiasts will talk of ‘the feel’ of a watch when worn at the wrist. A quality watch feels not like a toy but an extension of your arm - and you feel good wearing it.
#3 - The Wristband
We often say that the divine is found in the minutest details - and how you secure a watch to your wrist is a significant one. A quality watch will have a strap or similar bracelet made from the best materials.
Nowadays, almost all timepieces have open lugs, where the watch straps are secured with springbars, sometimes quick release ones - and the presence of these devices, combined with the quality of the material, makes all the difference.
Without forgetting the buckle: the best watches have matching buckles that are miniature works of art, often embellished with technical details such as deployant clasps and finishes such as the Maison’s logo.
#4 - The Movement
The same way a good car ensures a pleasing driving experience, a quality watch mounts an accurate movement that ticks (and tocks) wonderfully on your wrist. Sometimes in mechanical watches, the balance wheel’s ticking rate can be so quick (six oscillations per second rather than the usual three) and finely tuned that the second hand literally glides smoothly across the dial. That’s why you’ll hear enthusiasts talking (boasting) of their watches having a “sweep” second hand.
All in all, sweep seconds or no sweep seconds, a good movement is accurate and should never lose too many seconds per day. Quality watches are highly accurate, and this is entirely attributable to the movement that runs them.
While more affordable than mechanical, good quartz calibers are almost always 100% accurate. If you prefer a more prestigious mechanical watch, examine the movements specs, or ask for one that is COSC-certified - earning the appellation of “chronometer.”
#5 - The Finishings
The finishings of cases and movements are as important as their material, and this is where the artist’s taste intervenes, refining the object down to its most minor details. In quality watches, cases, bracelets, and watch elements often feature different types of surface finishes, mirror, and satin, designed to give a pleasant play of refractions when they are hit by light.
And although in many cases it is less visible, these processes are also carried out in the watch movement, on the plates, bridges, and rotor of automatic watches, with masterful workers applying traditional patterns called perlage, Cotes de Geneve, and others, and unique polishes that transform a technical metal surface into a unique object bordering on art.
#6 - Water resistance
Water-resistance is inextricably linked to the quality evaluation of watches. More than shocks and mishaps, water leaking into the movement 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 regular water activity such as light swimming or fishing as long as they’re not high-impact. Watches designed for sporty activities will usually offer 10 ATM/bar or more.
If you intend to go diving, then you obviously need to get a watch designed to withstand more water pressure. 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 for the timepiece (you won’t survive to such a water pressure, but you’d be relieved to know that your watch would). Such watches feature special devices like helium gas exhausts and offer exceptional dial legibility while underwater.
#7 - Swiss Made
This is not mandatory, of course - as there are excellent timepieces made in every part of the globe, but Switzerland is the traditional cradle of watchmaking.
Recently, there’s been some confusion 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 in Switzerland may be branded “Swiss made.” They must also meet some minimum specifications for Swiss labor and the value of parts sourced in the country. The final inspection of such a watch must also have been carried out in the revered watchmaking country.
Swiss-made watches bearing the Chronometer appellation undergo rigorous testing by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute and are some of the most accurate and durable in the world of horology. So when you see a watch with those two magical words displayed on its dial, you know that great attention to detail has been paid in its craftsmanship to produce a top-quality, reliable time device.
Just as a car is made up of many elements, a quality watch also combines them into a unique and often unrepeatable whole, which is not only composed of their sum but of their interaction, which becomes synergy and makes a small and particular object like a watch a way to convey ourselves.
And as such, a watch is born to be worn and experienced and to accompany us like a faithful squire through the adventures of your everyday lives, a mute witness to your successes and stepbacks, but always, and immutably in its movement, on your wrist.
The Davosa-USA.com website is NOT affiliated in any way with Audemars Piguet, Franck Muller USA, Inc. or Richemont Companies, Seiko, or any other brand which is not Davosa Swiss. Rolex is a registered trademark of Rolex USA. Davosa-USA website is not an authorized dealer, reseller, or distributor for Rolex and is in NO WAY affiliated with Rolex SA or Rolex USA or any other brand besides Davosa Swiss.