Watch Your Watch – A Guide For Buying Watches

When you are planning to buy a watch you should know the basics. You need to be prepared for the mystery you may encounter. Be aware of that! Watch Your watch!

The first mechanical clock was created in 724 a.d. and his inventor was Liang Lingzan from China. Only in 1680 watches became accurate to the second when the second hand has been invented. Since then time has become a very valuable thing. And the watch itself as well…

When you are planning to buy a watch you should clearly specify to which occasions and clothes you would like to wear it. When you are choosing the model you need to check the watch’s dimensions, whether the watch will fit the width of your wrist and whether its style will match the clothes you wear every day.

If you want to avoid errors you should expand your knowledge inter alia about construction of the watch, its mechanisms. So let’s break the watch into parts…

Watch: GLASS

Its purpose is purely protective. Durability of the watch model largely depends on its quality. Good glass equals hard glass. The hardness is given in Mohs scale. Glasses for the top shelf, luxurious watches have 8-9 hardness and the cheapest watches from the lowest shelf have 1. Of course I recommend to choose those that have the highest rate. They are made of synthetic sapphire. Watch from the mid-range should have mineral glass. Its hardness should be around 5 in Mohs scale. You shouldn’t buy watches with synthetic glasses which have durability well below 5. You will enjoy them for a short period of time and their appearance won’t be aesthetic.

Watch: CROWN

The crown is usually situated on the right side of watch envelope. It is used to wind up our watch and adjust the location of watch’s hands.


Watch lunette usually takes a shape of a circle. It is an elements that is holding the glass on watch envelope.


Watch envelope is a part that contains watch mechanism. Together with lunette it creates watch’s skeleton, which defines aesthetics and quality of the watch. Quality of the product highly depends on the material being used. Gold, platinum, titanium are most valued but we can also come across with ceramics and plastic materials. Top shelf watches have the envelopes and lunettes fully made of gold, platinum, titanium or steel. Coating is used in mid-range and top shelf watches. You need to remember that even the best coating wipes over time. If you decide to buy the watch with coating you need to make sure whether the coating is thick enough. Its thickness is measured in microns (µm). The highest standard is 9-10 microns. When you watch has gold coating it should be made with PVD method which guarantees protection of corrosion.

Watch: FACE

Stauer Watch’s Face

It is the most visible element of the watch. It contains an hour ring showing the time and other important functions, e.g. a calendar. When you choose the watch face you should pay attention to its readibility. Another important thing is backlight. It enables you to read the time from your watch in low light. When you buy sport watches with digital display you should remember to test them in sunlight. Faces of some watches may be unreadable under such conditions.  Very popular are watches with so-called open-heart. They have a window that enables you to see a mechanism of the watch. There is also another type called skeleton-watch which is even more transparent, its interior is visible and it is covered only with the hour ring.

Skeleton Watch
Open-Heart Watch

Watch: LID

It is the bottom part of the watch. All the descriptions from the manufacturer are placed on the lid. It closes the envelope and protects mechanism from damages.

Watch: HANDS

Usually there are two or three watch hands depending on a model.


Watch’s Mechanism

Mechanism is a heart of each and every watch. It counts the time based on the specific rule: counting of pendulum’s or balance’s mechanical vibrations. Watches are classified based on mechanism that is used.

Based on the mechanism used we can find following types of watch: quartz watch, hybrid watch, mechanical watch.

Quartz watch (electronic watch)

They are recommended to people who appreciate the strength, durability and accuracy of the watch. What is small disadvantage of such watches is that you need to change the batteries from time to time. Recently more and more popular is classical quartz mechanism powered by solar battery. It makes use of the sun light to produce energy which is stored in its battery. You will find a term “solar” or “ecodrive” on the face of such watch.

Hybrid watch

Hybrid watch combines quartz and automatic mechanism. Such watch makes use of natural hand movements and transfers the energy into miniature equivalant of the alternator which is charging the battery. What is specific in appearance for such a watch? Usually you can find of the watch lid a term “autoquartz”, “megaquartz”, “kinetic” or “dual power”.

Mechanical watch

Mechanical watch is charged by manual winding of shaft spring. They are easily recognizable – on their face you may find an information about mechanism that is used. One of the type of mechanical watch is automatic watch additionally equipped withdevice called automatic pull. It allows the watch to use the natural hand movement for winding up the spring. If you wear such a watch model for about 9 hours you will get energy for the whole day and night. If you will wear your watch for a shorter time you will need to wind up the spring manually.

What is Quartz, Automatic, Mechanical, Hand Wind?

End of PART 1 of “Watch Your Watch“

In the next part you will know the difference between classical watch, sport watch and fashion watch. We will also cover the topic of waterproof watches.

If you find this post informative, please share it with your friends and family. We also encourage you to leave a comment below.

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