The art of measuring time has come a long way since Galileo’s observation of pendulum dynamics. Both technological and design advances have revolutionized the accuracy and style of the wristwatch, and the fine craftsmanship of a luxury timepiece is a statement symbol worth investing in. A watch with character combines practical innovation with enduring class.
Types of Movements
The interior mechanics of a luxury watch are what set it apart and ultimately determine its inherent value. This movement, which measures and displays the time, varies depending on the brand, price point and skill of the watchmaker.
Automatic/Self-Winding This movement allows the watch to wind itself, using the wearer’s actions as its power source. Specialty watch winders exist on the market to simulate this motion when the watch is not being worn. This keeps the watch precise, as otherwise it may lose its charge and need to be reset each time is it worn.
Mechanical/Manual-Wind Although mechanical watches are more sensitive and less accurate, the intricate craftsmanship still attracts the most avid watch enthusiasts, who truly appreciate genuine watchmaking skill. These watches tend to appeal to collectors, as they are not as readily made by watch companies today.
Quartz/Electronic Movement Perhaps the most common variety, this movement uses a tiny crystal, rather than moving parts, for a more precise measurement. Quartz watches are relatively easy and inexpensive to produce, yet are considered to be the most reliable.
Digital Watches Digital watches show numbers rather than hands, typically in a seven-segment display. Aside from standard LED capabilities, many digital watches today feature advanced ‘smart features’–making them wearable tech gadgets.
No matter the mechanism, any type of watch can obtain chronometer certification, upon passing rigorous testing to guarantee its accuracy. These tests are performed by the COSC, Switzerland’s official chronometer testing agency. Swiss watchmakers have long been touted for their careful craftsmanship and attention to detail.
What’s a Complication?
Any watch function other than basic timekeeping is known as a complication. These features range from date and time zone display to built-in stopwatch capabilities (a style known as chronograph)–and some can even indicate the phases of the moon. Complications often denote prestige and potentially increase the watch’s worth.
Choosing a Style
Advanced techniques and evolving designs have led to a plethora of watch styles available on the market today. Depending on your lifestyle, you could opt for a casual watch, dress watch or sport watch. Diving watches are highly functional, resistant to water, magnets and shock. Watches embellished with gemstones can replace a bracelet as a more functional accessory that still makes a statement. Vintage watches are timeless, elegant and simple. There is endless variety to speak to an assortment of tastes.
Investing in a Luxury Timepiece
Before purchasing your new timepiece, do your research on any brand you have in mind. Ensure the company stands behind their products and provides high-quality after-sales service for your piece of mind. Other factors to consider:
- Price range—luxury watches range from a few hundred to a few hundred thousand
- Material—casing for high-end watches can be made from stainless steel, gold, platinum or titanium, and bands can range from linked metal to hand-stitched leather. The dial of a fine watch is typically protected by synthetic sapphire crystal
- Purpose—will this watch be worn everyday or only on special occasions?
Selecting the brand, style and combination of features right for you will ensure you enjoy wearing your luxury watch for years to come.