There comes that time when just about every man feels the need to fulfill the urge and veritable rite of passage of buying that proper watch. However, how do you know which is the proper one for you? For an outsider, the world of men’s accessories can sometimes feel like a pretentious club keen on making sure you do not become a member. Ask any enthusiast the difference between an automatic and a quartz movement, and you will get that long lecture on the history of watches.
Happily, here is some information that will help you navigate this intimidating subject and make you feel empowered to make that next big purchase with confidence. In cases like these, knowledge is definitely power.
The Basics of Movement
The first thing you need to do is understand what makes it tick. This means reading a primer on the importance of movements. Movement, also called caliber, is the mechanism that makes these devices work as well as they do. In today’s world of watchmaking, there are two basic movement types. The first is quartz, which utilizes an oscillator regulated by quartz and powered by a battery for keeping time. Many high-end versions use quartz movement, as shown in Explain That Stuff, since they are cheap and very accurate. The second movement type is where things start getting really interesting.
Any “real” lover of these accessories will say that mechanical movements are the only way to power a one. While some are manually wound, most mechanical movements are now automatic. The automatic kinds work by using the wearer’s wrist to wind the mainspring. Many brands produce in-house movements that are exhaustively tested before being sold. Other companies purchase ready-made calibers from specialty manufacturers for use in many mid-range automatics.
Enthusiasts of these accessories would never dream of owning a quartz model even when they are known to be far more accurate. Why, then, is there so much buzz around mechanical models?
In most instances, it all comes down to how these devices tell time. It is the same reason why some would prefer a classic car instead of a modern car, or vinyl records instead of MP3 songs. It is not something about what it does, but how it does it. For many men, this is important.
An automatic timepiece is a living thing, something you discover once you get your hands on one of DailySale’s deals on men’s watches. A major beauty point is that the second hand travels continuously in a smooth sweep, while the quartz ticks once a second.
One more thing to keep in mind: once you take off the automatic, it eventually stops. The amount of time it runs without being on your wrist is dependent on every individual piece, but many continue working for about 48 hours without rewinding. Some can even go on for even five days.
Once you have a grasp on what makes it tick, the next important consideration is style. Every life situation requires a different type. These are the major ones vying for your attention.
- The Diving Model – This is designed to survive the depths of the ocean. They are characterized by a unidirectional bezel, luminous hands and dials, and rugged construction. They tell the user how much immersion time he has left.
- The Dress Piece – Like jewelry, this type tends to be understated. It has a lack of adornments and a simple face with Roman numerals. Usually paired with a leather strap, the best kinds of these models are thin and can go unnoticed under a wearer’s cuff. This does not perform much more than just telling time and is most likely made from precious metal.
- The Aviator – Wristwatches made a big hit in 1911 when Cartier made one for pioneer pilot Alberto Santos Dumont, according to a BBC news story. Since then, aviation models have continued to be a key feature on the market. It can offer lots of information vital to pilots during the days before electronic navigation made its debut. Many aviation models have a black face with luminous dials and numerals.
- The Driving Model– Motorsport projects the image of masculine glamour that is irresistible to manufacturers. It has a chronograph complication, a stopwatch function relevant to motor racing. Some models even have a tachymeter for measuring speed. In addition, the extra buttons tucked into the side make them look attractive, too.
- The Minimalist – This is great for people who like fixed-gear bikes, Apple Mac computers, and carefully tucked facial hair. These devices are usually powered by quartz movements, but some have in-house automatic and manual movements for the individual.
While looking at timepieces, the choice you make obviously depends on your tastes and needs. For a couple of hundred dollars, you can get a minimal quartz watch from leading designer brands. At a lower price range, you can still find automatics. If you are lucky to have a few thousand dollars to spend, your options open up from the classic pre-owned classic model to brand new models from the world’s greatest brands.