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Watches are the accessory that works for virtually any outfit or occasion. Choosing the right watch for you means understanding your style but also having one that functions properly for your life. A watch is close by and with you at all times, so there are many features and aspects that it better have if you plan on using the watch and its components on a daily basis.
Choosing the right watch that supports your style and needs for functionality means a lot. It would be best if you understood the:
- Specific functions that you need
- Style that goes with your clothing or other accessories
- Your current budget
- Brand and material type that fits your lifestyle
Shopping for a watch is a fun and exciting experience. The watch on anyone’s wrist or in the pocket is an accessory that lives close by with you every day. Please make your choice count by using our guide to help your find the watch that checks off all the boxes. Read on for the ultimate guide to choosing the right watch for you.
Choosing the Right Watch
With so many features of a watch that get tied up in your identity, it is no wonder that some watches get crafted as pieces of art. The cost and dedication that you put into your watch will vary. However, the usefulness is the same for all watch wearers who make them part of their personal styles and wardrobe.
Watches are just as unique as the people who wear them. Depending on many different factors, they’re available for virtually any:
Having a complete breakdown of all of the categories that watches fall into will help give you a full picture of the best watch for you.
Choosing the right watch requires a guide like this because watches are versatile yet stylish. There are many facets to consider when buying a watch. Read the categories below with an eye for what strikes your fancy as well as what you think you want and need from a watch.
What Functionality Do You Want or Need?
Watches are a functional accessory, first and foremost. Scanning the time on your wrist helps you stay punctual and move throughout your day more concisely.
The time it takes people to get places becomes second nature. Their timepiece is now visible and gets checked throughout:
The watch helps people get more productivity out of their day, as it has for many decades.
All watches get designed for telling the time of the day accurately. However, secondary features of a watch include:
- Second hand: The second hand is usually more prominent on some models and colored red for easy reading against the contrast of the solid color background of the faceplate. The needle is sometimes smaller but always faster-moving. The movement of the seconds hand is either a ticking motion or fluid rotation past the seconds of the minute. Some digital watches have seconds and even milliseconds function built into the watch, which may be helpful for timing quick tasks or sports events.
- Date: The day of the month and day of the week are helpful features that a watch has. The date features are a significant functional part of a watch because it helps for deadlines, checking out and returning items, or even making dates or meetings that otherwise would go forgotten.
- Dual time: A primary and sub-dial hand for different time zones is a handy feature for many people traveling. A double-time watch gives people the actual time back home while still allowing them the luxury of seeing the time of the place where they have traveled to. Each of these dials is set easily on the go.
- Alarm: An alarm is a secondary feature that allows for chimes, bells, or other digital sounds to play when a set time gets reached. Alarms on watches are great for waking up because they are small and won’t disturb others while still waking you up as intended.
- Lap Timer: Completing repetitive tasks, training, or coaching is all done easier with a lap timer. The lap timer is a secondary feature that usually gets designed as a digital clock or red-colored second hand that is turned on or off with a button on the side of the dial.
What’s Your Style?
Styles of watches have evolved over the decades that watches have been in use. The older types are still popular, and the newer styles add convenience and sleek design with fashion sense.
Some of the best watch designs that everyone who is looking for a new watch should know are included below:
This old-fashioned style of watch is not very common nowadays. As the name suggests, the pocket watch fits in your pocket and was popular during the times when three-piece suits and vests with small slit pockets were in fashion.
A pocket watch typically has a chain or leather strap that helps it stay secured to the waistcoat or vest pocket. During the period that these watches were in fashion, the waistcoat or vest had a loop for connecting pocket watches. These connecting chains were typically made with an ornate metal of gold or silver.
The watch face itself either was open-faced or had a closing mechanism that shielded the glass faceplate called a hinged case. The pocket watch was an upgrade from the watch worn as a necklace during the Victorian era and was placed in the pocket to keep it dry and safe from the elements.
An updated watch that came about in the 1890s after a horrific train crash is the railroad watch. The railroad watch is always open-faced and much more accurate than the older styles of the pocket watch.
A railroad watch is accurate within 30 seconds each week. The addition of accuracy for a week at a time was a vast improvement from older pocket watch models. The highly visible Arabic numerals on a white dial also characterize the standard and very functional railroad watch.
The railroad watch is also worn as a pocket watch with less flashy and ornate features but a more accurate and cleverly designed dial. The railroad watch is known for its simplicity, large faceplate with easy-to-read hands, and simple winding dial that makes it more precise than other pocket watches.
The larger dials and faceplates of aviator watches make them easier to set, read, and use. These watches were made famous with the first powered flights of aviators during the early 1900s.
The aviator watch is one of the first on the wristwatches with precision and a chronometer for timing with a second hand. Aviators used the timing for maneuvers in the air and for timing the flights they get involved with.
The world’s fascination with wristwatches and adventure got focused on the fashion of the aviator watch. Many people liked the appearance of the easy-to-read faceplate. Also, the large dial on the side made setting and starting the watch very easy for people to use.
The Aviator watch of today gets made for both men and women in design. The aviator watch also reads more than time, giving users the ability to calculate speed and direction with their built-in tachometer and telemeter.
One of the most straightforward and most elegant designs for a watch, the dress watch is made for style matching and worn for formal engagements or everyday use. Dress watches typically come in only silver, black, or white colors. The simple design makes a dress watch very easy to combine with styles and outfits.
The simplicity of a dress watch also extends to the functionality of the dial and features. The dial is very small on the side, almost flush with the faceplate of the watch. The only other part is usually a date box behind the hands of the watch.
Dress watches are small and delicate looking, never more than a diameter of about 42 millimeters. The narrow and thin appearance of the dress watch is made for simplicity that works with most styles and is streamlined against the wrist.
Synchronizing and saving precious seconds reading the time is what a field watch is made for. The field watch is designed with the field of combat in mind. The features that make up a field watch include:
- Easily readable glare-resistant faceplates
- Secondhand pausing and synchronization
- A small streamlined design that stays out of the way
Most field watches are made with a quartz faceplate glass that is glare resistant. This means that the watch is able to be read even in bright and sunny conditions during the middle of the day. The hands and faceplate coloring are made so that they contrast and are simple for reading.
The flat and small design of field watches is usually no more than about 32 to 44 millimeters in diameter. The small and thin design of these watches is made so that they wouldn’t get caught on anything while moving around on the field of battle.
The fast-paced lifestyle and sport of racing automobiles needed a timepiece that told the driver more than just the time of day. A racing watch is a tool that is vital for those in fast-paced jobs or positions because they have several buttons for a stopwatch.
The chronograph is a multiple button tool that allows for precise measuring of time like a stopwatch. The large buttons on the sides and the easily read seconds hand allows for seamless pausing of the red seconds hand with millisecond precision. Racers would use these for lap times, and anyone can use them for timing precise tasks today.
The cytometer reads the speed at which the wearer is traveling. Measuring the speed of an automobile, racehorse, or any other thing that the wearer is riding in or on is very exact and easily readable in a box behind the hands of the faceplate.
When divers submerge under the surface of the water, they are in another world, and time can slow down. Understanding the time you have been underwater is vital for divers since you only have a limited amount of oxygen in the air tanks. Also, diving to a certain depth is dangerous, and divers should be aware of their depth before going further down or coming back up from a dive.
Dive watches are made to be waterproof depending on different depths. Some dive watches even have a monitor on how deep underwater pressure the diver has gone. This reading is usually on a gauge or even digitally shown on the faceplate. The second hand has a more significant display to minimize confusion or disorientation, and the faceplate is not busy in general.
Dive watches are made from plastic or rubber materials that are waterproof and highly visible, even through diving goggles. The faceplate and dials are made from stainless steel, which is the ideal material for withstanding pressures as well as moisture.
In recent decades, digital watches have emerged on the market as a tremendous contemporary alternative to the classic watch faceplate. The digital watch has numbers on a digital design instead of hands on the face of a clock.
The extra features of a digital watch are numerous. They include things like cytometer, chronometer, and date, which are all displayed as digital digits on the faceplate. Digital watches are sometimes difficult to read. However, you don’t need to read a classic watch design since almost all digital watches use digits for numbers instead of clock hands for reading time.
Overall, the watch design of digital watches is difficult to read, so a backlight illuminates the faceplate and puts the digits of the time and date or other features in sharp contrast for easy reading, even at night.
Since smartphones have become so popular, the introduction of the smartwatch has taken the small computer in your pocket and placed it squarely and securely on your wrist. The smartwatch has many of the same capabilities as your smartphone in a compact and versatile package.
Of course, the smartwatch still tells the time of day on its faceplate like an ordinary watch. However, the smartwatch will also link to your cellular phone or have its own cellular service. You can make calls or even text and receive messages from your smartwatch.
Browsing meals, playing games, and researching things online are all possible with smartwatches. Basically, the best of your phone or computer is now available in a compact design as a watch.
Smartwatches also tend to be waterproof and combine features from all categories into a sleek and very functional design that places an immense number of tools easily accessible on your wrist. Some of the best features of a smartwatch include GPS, cytometer, and video streaming options.
A fashion watch is a designer watch that matches the time period and fashion sense of the wearer. From large to small and with numerous features or additions, a fashion watch can be anything that the designer chooses.
Some fashion watches include the extremely affordable wardrobe watch. Since they are so inexpensive and are made with many different colors and designs, people can buy several different watches that match every style of clothing or outfit that they wear.
When shopping for watches, customers might get confused why one watch costs thousands of dollars while a similar-looking watch costs hundreds. The truth is that there are only a few factors that go into the budget and cost of a watch which include the materials it is made from, the length of the model manufacture, and brand loyalty or popularity.
- Materials: Obviously, rare materials like gold and silver make for a more expensive watch. These types of watches are made for fashion and status symbols. The watch with gold and ornate designs costs more than the more sensible and more robust stainless steel watch simply because it is comprised of rare material – gold.
- Length of model manufacture cycle: If a watch is widespread, the manufactures will charge more money. However, reality also causes prices to inflate. A rare watch model is worth more than the model that has millions of units manufactured.
- Brand: Brands of watches are an essential selling factor when it comes to watches. Brand name watches like Rolex consistently sell for more money than lesser-known brands of the same designs and materials.
Brands make a big difference when purchasing a new watch. Watch brands are easily recognizable since the designer will usually place the company logo and name directly on the faceplate for all to see. The status symbol of some brands makes them more expensive yet highly sought after.
Some of the most popular brands of watches are:
- Rolex: A highly recognizable and luxury brand of watch. These watches typically are made from precious metals and sometimes include diamonds or other precious stones in their workmanship. The value of a Rolex holds and even increases over time.
- Tag Heuer: the premier sports watch on the planet, Tag Heuer makes watches made for everyday living that are sleek and functional.
- Cartier: The collectors of watches and fashion stars love the celebrity of Cartier watches. These watches are made as statement pieces and often include precious metals or gemstones in their design. The models get updates every few years to keep things fresh.
- Grand Seiko: The excellent craftsmanship of this Japanese watch brand makes them ideal for an entry-level-priced watch. The many functions and durability of Seiko are a favorite among many watch wearers.
- Hermes: This luxury watch brand is timeless and fashionable with many different designs that have not changed for decades. The use of leather and precious metals together is what sets this brand apart.
- Omega: These watches are classic sports watches that come in a variety of functional designs. Omega is known for precision and classic sports watches and is the official timepiece of the Olympics.
- Longines: This company is known for its wide array of large bulky designs and sleek, small, and thin designs for its watches. The two-hundred-year-old company is a favorite for many celebrities and fashion icons.
- Tissot: If you are looking for an entry-level watch made with Swiss precision, but without the sticker shock of other watch brands, the Tissot is a great design and functional watch with classic appeal.
- Paget: One of the favorite watches of Jackie Kennedy, this demure and thinly designed watch is known for its classic faceplate style and slim design. These watches are great for feminine styles and are low profile.
Watches are made from several different materials, depending on how they are designed to function or made for an ornate style.
The most popular materials for ornate and stylish watches are silver and gold, with some being made of platinum. However, these precious metals are not as durable as other materials and are not great for watches of those working with their hands or getting wet.
Stainless steel is the best watch material for working hands and those that get wet like divers or other jobs requiring washing and moisture. The durability and strength of stainless steel are incredible and work well for waterproofing watches, even if they are under pressure several feet underwater.
Watches have been an accessory and fashion symbol for hundreds of years. The first watches were practical and made of ornate materials and designs to show off as a status piece. However, today’s watches are high-tech and like a computer on your wrist.
Hopefully, this article gives you the ultimate guide information you need to make the right decision and choose the right watch for you. With so many different brands, styles, and materials, this guide will help you find the perfect watch that fits your lifestyle.