Watches Buyers Guide

Watches: A Buyers Guide

A fashion accessory which can complete the look or simply a tool to tell the time, watches have continued to evolve along  the sides of modern technologies such as mobile phones, tablets and computers. Each brand, whether it be Citizen, Seiko or Rotary have continued to push the boudaries of watch making to such an extent, that watches have almost developed a new identity. Modern watches have accessories beyond compare, including incredible water resistance, kinetic and solar powered movements. Not only that they continue to look good!

Choosing a watch can be a defining experience, they can be bought as a gift for someone or simply for yourself and an emotional bond can be formed between the owner and that particular watch. So choosing the right watch is an important decision whatever the use and whatever the occasion. At Michaels Online we aim to help you in any way we can, so this buyers guide is a brief introduction to each individiual brand, in order to help you make the right decision. Each guide will give you a brief history of each watch brand and will explore the styles and movments each watch brand specialise in. Below we have a general watch buyers guide which will help you in making the right choice.

"Help! I need a watch"

Choosing a watch can be quite overauding, questions venture through your head such as "What type of dial is this?", "What Movement does this watch have?" and "What type of brands do dress watches and fashion watches?". Below we have a quick analysis of the various movements and styles available by the various brands we have, in order to help you make the right choice.

Size

All the watches Michaels Online have available are slightly different in look and size. Quite often the most distinctive difference is the watches face or dial, this is often the defining characteristic of the watch. Dials vary from watch to watch, for example gents watches are slightly wider for example gents Citizen watches, which are big and bold designs. However ladies watches tend to be slender and slim such as Skagen or Bering Watches, which perfectly capture the ideal dress watch design. 

Features

Along with size we have features, and these can be plenty varying on brand to brand and the buyers preferance. Brands such as Citizen and Seiko tend to offer a variety of features that include Chronographs, Stop-Watches and World Time, where as brands such as Rotary and Skagen offer classical and clear displays with minimal features, yet keep an incredible standard of quality. Some watches by Seiko and Citizen also use Atomic Time or Radio Controlled, which can pick up the time zone you are in depending on the where you are in the world. Which ever brand you choose you know the watch has what you need.

Water Resistance

Most watches have vary degress of water resistance. Some watches are specifically built for divers watches and therefore can handle great depths (Seiko and Rotary for example) where as some brands are fashion brands and therefore only offer splashproof (Caravelle New York for example). Water resistance is usually measured in metres or atmospheres (ATM) A further guide to water resistance is as follows:

30 metres (3ATM) Water Resistance: Splash proof, cannot be submerged under water for an extended amount of time

50 metres (5ATM) Water Resistance: Shower proof and can be submerged. Not suitable for diving or swimming for an extended time.

100 metres (10ATM) Water Resistance: Sutitable for fully submerging in water, therefore swimming/showers and shallow diving

200 metres (20ATM) Water Resistance: Built for Diving and swimming for extended periods of time. Not suitable for deep sea diving due to the pressure sustained, divers watches are specifically made for such features.

Some watches can go as far as 500 metres (50ATM) and deeper, however these tend to be specifically made for deep sea dives, for example Citizen or Seiko. Most watch brands have varied water resistance pending on the watch bought, however as part of a new direction by Rotary, all Rotary watches are now classed as swimproof not matter which style or design. 

Glass

In order to protect the features and dials of the watch, the dial must be covered by watch glass which varies. The three main types are Hardlex Crystal, Mineral and Sapphire Crystal, all of which protect the watch dial from scratches and breaks. Hardlex glass is mainly used by Seiko which specialise in Divers watches, which is both scratch and impact resisitant. Mineral Crystal is the most commonly used by the majority of watch brands, including Skagen and Bulova. Its both durable and light, as well as scratch resistant. However Sapphire Crystal Glass is regarded as the best form of protection for any watch, as the glass is incredibly durable and scratch resistant. Bering most commonly use this as well as the occasional Citizen, Caravelle and even Seiko.

Bezels and Cases

Surrounding the dial we have the case and the bezel. The bezel surrounds the face of the watch and is often applied to Seiko Divers Watches so they allow the diver to elapse time. The majority of divers watches have either one way bezels or uni-directional bezels. As for the case, this protects the surrounding area of the watch, and is mainly made from stainless steel or a form of plated steel. However on occasions the case can be made from either ceramic, which is scratch resistant or titanium which is 40% lighter than stainless steel. Brands such as Bering and Skagen often use ceramic cases to protect the dial. Whereas brands like Seiko and Citizen tend to use Titanium cases for gents watches.

Straps and Bracelets

The acquistion of a watch can also depend on the strap and how comfortable they are for the wearer. Both gents watches and ladies watches offer various types of bracelets and straps, and vary upon materials such as fabric, leather straps and stainless steel bracelets. For example Skagen watches and Bering watches are both Danish Designers and use stainless steel mesh bracelets for the vast majority of their watch designs. Brands such as Seiko, Citizen and Bulova use slightly larger stainless steel bracelets often rose gold plated or gold plated, or just stainless steel. Fabric straps are often applied to Seiko and Citizen due to their bold watch designs

Movements 

All the dials, cases and bracelets make the watch look the part but the watch movements are literally what make the watches tick. In order to thoroughly understand the movements, the watch movements must be broken down. The main movements include Quartz, Kinetic, Solar, Mechanical and Eco-Drive, and a brief summary of each movement is as follows:

Quartz Battery Powered

Quartz Precision Movement is most commonly used in the vast majority of watch brands. These brands include Skagen, Bering, Caravelle New York and Bulova. Quartz Movement is incredibly precise and is powered by a small battery placed in the back of the watch. These tend to last for upto 2-3 years.

Kinetic Movement

Kinetic movement is powered by your very own wrist movement. Everytime you wear your watch and move your wrist the watch is charging its own battery. The amount of time the watch can be kept going while not being worn depends on the model but can last from 1 months to 4 years. Kinetic movement is also renowned for being extremely accurate as long as the battery has been charged and is exclusive to Seiko watches.

Solar Movement

Solar powered movement is powered by not just natural light but artificial light as well. The power reserve can vary from 6-12 months varying on the model and is also very accurate, with accuracy within 1/2 a second a day. Exclusively Solar Movement is a Seiko brand, however Citizen have also adapted their own form of Solar powered movement with Eco-Drive.

Eco-Drive

Eco-Drive is exclusive to Citizen watches, and is applied to both Gents and Ladies. Both environmentally and economically friendly Citizen Eco-Drives are powered by the sun and can keep running for upto 6 months when in darkness. The vast majority of modern Citizen watches are now Eco-Drive and the Quartz battery is very rarely used in Citizen models.

Mechanical/Automatic

Possibly the most classical watch movement, mechanical or automatic powered by a spring which is either hand wound (mechanical) or by the wearers wrist movement (automatic). Accurate to within 25 seconds a day and an approximate power reserve of 48 hours, mechanical and automatic movements are on occasions applied to Rotary and Seiko 5 model watches. 

Choose a Style

When buying a watch hardest obstacle in the way tends to be what style of watch do I want? In order to decide a style it is easier to break down what each style entails.

Dress Watches

Dress watches tend to aesthetically pleasing and fitted for any time of formal occasion. Slim designs and even classical features are highlighted when choosing a form of dress watch. Ideally brands such as Bering and Skagen are perfect for such occasions. Slim and subtle, Bering and Skagen are suited with an understated design. 

Fashion Watches

Usually bold in style and high in fashion, Fashion Watches are a perfect combination for jewellery and making a statement. Ideally Caravelle New York offer the complete fashion designs, with stone set dials and highlighted features.

Casual Watches

Some watches are just bought for everyday business or informal casual use. Perfect for those on the go or just to see a few friends, Seiko and Citizen Watches are suitably compatable. Both Seiko Watches and Citizen Watches, mix up the straps and cases for sturdy use and a comfortable fit. Built with busy dials and plenty of features, casual watches are the ideal everyday watch.

Classical Watches

Subtle and stylish, Classical watches offer a distinct look. With clear, uncomplicated dials and set with leather straps or watch bracelets, a classical approach is understated but ideal for a formal and work wear. Brands such as Rotary, Seiko and Citizen cover this approach with traditional style and design combined with modern features and movements.

"I've made my decision!"

Once you have decided which watch you prefer simply add the watch to your basket. At Michaels Online we have a quality selection of watch brands available so that you have a fantastic choice to choose from. We hope this guide helps you in finding that perfect watch.

For any further questions or enquiries please do not hesitate to contact us. Always feel 100% Secure when using Michaels Online and we hope you have a wonderful experience. We always appreciate feedback, so let us know if there is anything you think could improve the way we operate.