There comes a time in almost every man’s life when he feels the itch, the urge, the veritable rite of passage that is buying a proper watch.
The problem with the world of men’s watches is that it can feel to the outsider like a pretentious club that doesn’t want you as a member. Ask a watch salesman about the difference between a quartz and an automatic movement and he’ll look at you in a way that would send you quivering away.
That’s why we’re here, to save you from that embarrassment and explain to you all of the things you need to know.
What You Need To Know About Movements
The first step on the road to owning the watch of your dreams is understanding the basics of what makes them tick. Yes, we mean that quite literally.
In modern watchmaking there are two main types of movements. The first is the quartz, which uses an oscillator regulated by a piece of quartz , powered by a battery, to keep time. The majority of high-street watches use quartz movements as they’re cheap to make and extremely accurate. The second type of movement is automatic, which works by using the movement of the wearer’s wrist to wind the mainspring, which in turn powers the watch.
So What is all the Fuss About Mechanical Watches?
While not as accurate as quartz powered watches, an automatic watch is a living thing, as you soon discover when you hold one for the first time. One of the beauties of them is that the seconds hand travels in a smooth “sweep”. Very much unlike quartz watches, in which it just ticks depressingly once a second.
Choosing Your First Watch
The first thing you should consider when buying a new watch is how often are you planning on wearing it, where to and with what elements. These core questions that will allow you to properly select the kind of watch that suits your personal taste and needs.
Try to imagine your daily life and the life of the watch. Will you be wearing it to work? If so, what do you do for a living? Obviously the quality of a watch will differ if you work in an office environment, rather than on a construction site.
Try to imagine the watch on your wrist. What do you want it to say about you? Do you need a watch that can pair intimately with a business suit? Or perhaps, you require a timepiece that can take a bit of a beating and be exposed to various elements. This will obviously depend on price, taste and need. If you’re short on money or simply not interested in spending a lot on a timepiece, then a minimal quartz watch from modern brands will do. Some recommended brands include Uniform Wares and Braun.
At this lower price range, you can still find several automatics too. Most of these come from the Far East, with the main brands you should check out being Seiko, Citizen and Seagull.
Keep in mind that while automatic movement watches come with a higher price tag, the watches that house them tend to also be better designed. These are made of more valuable materials and come from a long lineage of expert watchmaking that you can buy into with confidence. These are often made in-house and tested rigorously, which further increases the price, but also the quality.
I hope that this quick guide provided you worth considering if you’re looking for your first timepiece. After taking in the above, you should have a better idea of what makes a great watch and why some watches command such status, respect and price-tags.
The Stuccu Team