A watch movement is found in a watch case and is used to power the watch. 

Watch movements

Quartz (battery): It is the simplest and most cost-effective way to make a watch and 90% of watches in production are produced this way. Typically, the battery lasts 1-3 years and is ideal for keeping time with small-time loss. It does not require winding like a mechanical movement. 

Mechanical: Usually the more expensive watches are made with this movement. They require one to wind the watch from time to time and are less accurate at than quartz watches when it comes to time. What makes these movements specials is that a lot of engineering and pieces go into making them. A mechanical watch is powered by coiled mainspring through the crown of the watch manually. When your hand moves, it provides the energy to the oscillating rotor that runs the watch. The rotor spins if the watch is in motion and send the required energy to the mainspring. The gear then transfers the energy to the escapement regulating the energy to balance the wheel. The wheel in turn will give energy to the hands for showing the time. To tell if your watch is mechanical listen for louder than normal ticking if you hear that then it is likely.   

Solar: This is a relatively new type of movement. However, it is great as it reduces the environmental impact of battery disposal. The solar panel is located under the dial which collects solar energy and converts it to the electrical charge, recharging the batter and running the quartz movement. The benefit of this is that the power reserve is long, and it is easy to recharge. Only after 7-10 years will you need to change the capacitor.  

Kinetic: a combination of the quart’s exact timekeeping and the automatic self-winding mechanism. It is recharged by continual usage and comes with a weighted rotor such as automatic watch spinning whenever the watch moves.

Chronometer: an automatic watch. It is the most accurate watch in the world and due to this it is more expensive than other automatic watches. 

Spring dive: this is a combination of automatic self-winding mechanism and the quartz accuracy just like the kinetic watch. It gets the same energy source as the automatic with mainspring storing potential energy. When the watch is used, there are the same rotors to wind the mainspring and the same gear. Spring watch uses the tri- synchro regulator for keeping time instead of the balance wheel or escapement. This is one of the most advanced mechanism in the world and as such costs a lot.

Digital watch: these watches show the time in LCD as such they need electric power. Hence, they are only available in quartz. They are usually inexpensive. The digital watch shows the hour, minute and second accurately. Most of the watches show the date and am/pm. The benefit to this watch is that it is easy to read the time. Some of the features on this watch are built in the backlight and activated at a push of a button. This feature is crucial for authentic outdoor watches.

Watch displays:

Analog: features numbers in the circle in the face of the watch. They use mechanical movement for keeping the time. Most of them come with the hour, minute and second hands. 

Digital watch: these watches show the time in LCD as such they need electric power. Hence, they are only available in quartz. They are usually inexpensive. The digital watch shows the hour, minute and second accurately. Most of the watches show the date and am/pm. The benefit to this watch is that it is easy to read the time. Some of the features on this watch are built in the backlight and activated at a push of a button. This feature is crucial for authentic outdoor watches.

Hybrid watch: a combination of analogue and digital displays. They have the traditional look of an analogue and the complete information from the digital display. The analogue look is nicer while the digital part provides extra information such as the date, time etc. Due to this the watch will look very busy and sporty making it the least ideal for a formal occasion

Tactile watch: this type of display is the early version of the touchscreen. It receives touches from humans but can only be used for selecting commands or to activate features. This display type erodes the need of pusher buttons. This watch is typically more expensive than standard digital display watches.

Touchscreen: is the latest display type. Used in smartwatches such as Apple and Samsung. Essentially the functionality of the touchscreen allows the watch to double as a phone.

Watch Style :

Casual: is the most common style, it is not elegant or luxurious and not likely to stand out from the crowd. However, it is designed for daily use. It is ideal for those who require the time and a bit of fashion. It is largely affordable due to reduced features and thus serves great as a gift.

Dive watch: If you are around the water all the time, a Dive watch is essential. They are not only water resistant but also resistant to pressure. These watches have a rotating bezel for letting the driver track their remaining air, and the special dive watch has the water-resistance from 150 to 300m. However, some designs are offering the water-resistance at higher depths.  A well-fitting drive watch in a fashion sense as they have eye-catching bezel and a sporty look. Hence, they can look nice with a rugged outfit such as denim or leather jacket, even for a casual outfit. The most excellent function of it is waterproof and withstand different pressures underwater.  

Solar: This is a relatively new type of movement. However, it is great as it reduces the environmental impact of battery disposal. The solar panel is located under the dial which collects solar energy and converts it to the electrical charge, recharging the batter and running the quartz movement. The benefit of this is that the power reserve is long, and it is easy to recharge. Only after 7-10 years will you need to change the capacitor.  

Dress watches: the opposite of a casual watch as it is great for formal occasions. They are usually slim and easily hidden under a suit sleeve. The watch is subtle, and it is deal that the watch matches accessories. They come with hour and minute hands. The dial and bezel are usually unornamented, black, or metallic for keeping the simplicity. The band is usually leather. Most of these types of watches have at most a date window and a second hand.

Fashion watches: are better defined as brands that are more known for making fashion than watches. The movements are usually made by watchmaking companies. Seiko is one such company that makes movements for fashion watches. 

Field watches are perfect for the outdoors with a fabulous and straightforward look that fits most outfits. It was designed for soldiers during World War I. It is built to be durable and present at the correct time. It is a good choice for men as it has a large dial and sturdy built in. 

Luxury watches: these types of watches are usually known by their brand reputation. The manufacturer usually has a long-standing tradition making watches and use high value materials like platinum, gold and diamonds. As well as high end movements such as mechanical and features like the tourblillon. Most of these watches are made in Switzerland, are limited and usually increase in value over time. Technically, smartwatches can be known as luxury but are usually seen as a sperate category.

Sports watch: ideal for taking a boxing class or going to the gym. The watch is designed for taking extensive movement, impact and moisture. A band that is silicon strap and touch screen or tactile. Also, they should have a timer in order to help with workouts. 

Watch features:

Alarm: having an alarm on a watch is not popular. The first alarm on a watch was made by Etama in 1910.

Altimeter: this feature measures altitude. The traditional altimeter uses atmospheric pressure as the gauge for the measure and tracks altitude changes. This feature allows you to measure altitude above sea level or the relatively fixed point offer the information in feet and meters by measuring atmospheric pressure.

Calendar: most watches have this feature. Usually, they need to be reset after 31 days. Some of the manufacturer have created complication to track leap years and varying days in a month. An annual calendar displays the day, date and month. The perpetual calendar displays the day, date, month but needs minor adjustment than the annual one.

Compass: the compass feature shows your current location, direction and elevation. To use the watch compass, you can hold the watch horizontally and align the watch’s hour hand with sun direction. The heart point between the hour hand and 12 o’clock position points South. When you rotate the compass, the south indicator matches it and will allow you to read other directions. n

Depth measurement: this is useful for dive watches, and the depth gauge will keep the diver safe because the indicator will benefit from no inertia. The actual depth is seen immediately, and it is helpful for decompression in the lesser depth. 

GPS: A watch with a  GPS feature comes with the integrated GPS receiver, worn as the unit strapped into the wrist. GPS watches are usually used for sports and doing exercises. Some devices can connect with the external sensors by ANT and wireless.

Heart rate monitor: The heart rate monitor feature offers information about the user’s heart rate. It will support you to do exercise at the right intensity. It is great for those who enjoy exercise.

Luminous: this is a type of pain on the dial or hands of a watch to aid the user to see in the dark. In the dark it provides reflection.

Moon phase calendar: these are identifiable by a cut-out window. Moon face watches offer an insight into the universe. They are not often used but are considered special pieces. They are perfect for artists, sky watchers or anglers. 

Screw-down Crown shock resistant: this feature is available in diving watches and they help with water resistance. It will screw tightly into the case and also protects from any form of dust and water. The crow comes with the gaskets creating the air-tight seal when it is screwed. 

Slide Rule: these watches have two logarithmic scales. While the tachymeter scale is hyperbolic and features numbers that run in from infinity down to 60. Both slide rule and tachymeter use nonlinear scales. 

Solar: uses sunlight to charge the battery of watches. It is a lovely eco drive feature. Its function will convert the light energy received by solar cells into electronic energy. The energy will be stored in the rechargeable battery and used to move the watch hands. 

Stopwatch: allows you to measure the lap times while running or to keep track of times for athletes. 

Tachymeter: this feature is located on the bezel of the watch. It is designed to measure the time you travel in a fixed distance.

Timer: A timer function is designed on smartwatches that help you keep track of time if you set the timers up to 24 hours. 

Water resistant: The water resistance will be calculated in the static condition, and if you move your watch through the water, it can be exposed to a greater level of water pressure. Usually, water resistance is found in most types of watches. You can get from 10 meters to 100 meters. 

 

Chronograph: The term ‘chronograph’ means ‘time recorder’ and usually refers to watches with a stopwatch function. Like a stopwatch, you can use a chronograph to measure periods of time. It also displays the time and often the date as well. 

Chronograph watches were invented in the 1800s. It is said that King Louis XVIII of France timed horse races accurately with this royal watch. At the moment, the watches come in a wide range of styles. The chronograph will be recognizable with its primary watch face and three small inset dials. The dials will be used as the stopwatches with two buttons on the side of the case.  Chronograph was designed for someone working in the field required timekeeping accuracy. You can use most chronographs to measure periods of time of up to 12 hours.

Chronographs are also a symbol of quality because they are held to a high standard. However, it is more expensive than the usual standard automatic watch.  

How they work:

Operating a chronograph is actually quite simple: One push-piece starts and stops the process, and the other resets it back to zero. Both push-pieces are usually located on the right side of the case – one at 2 o’clock for stopping and starting and another at 4 o’clock to reset the function. The central second-hand measures elapsed seconds and fractions of a second for the timing function. A sub dial, known as a small-seconds dial, displays the “normal” seconds with a small second hand.

When you’re not using the stopwatch, be sure to stop the chronograph function. Allowing the chronograph hands to run continuously puts unnecessary strain on the entire movement and wears down the components much more quickly.

Chronographs with a single push-piece are quite rare. It is usually integrated into the crown and is responsible for all three steps: starting, stopping, and resetting.

What’s more, many chronographs have an additional scale for making calculations, such as speed. A tachymeter scale is best suited for this job and is available on numerous models. Telemeter and pulsometer scales are much less common. Doctors used to use the latter to determine a patient’s pulse. On the other hand, you can use a telemeter scale to work out distances, such as how far an approaching storm is from you.  

Types: Flyback vs Rattrapante:

Flyback and Rattrapante chronographs offer more benefits than common stopwatches. The flyback mechanism originally comes from the world of military aviation. With this type of chronograph, you can set the stopwatch back to zero with a simple press of the second push-piece, all without having to stop the ongoing measurement. Once you let go of the pusher, it starts running again. What usually takes three or four presses now takes only two if you count the restart.

Rattrapante chronographs – a.k.a. split-seconds or double chronographs – are equally special. They allow the wearer to measure intervals, hence why they are often found at race circuits. The word ‘Rattrapante’ comes from the French word rattraper, which basically means ‘to catch up.’ This refers to the extra stopwatch second hand that is responsible for measuring intervals. When you start a Rattrapante chronograph, both of the second hands will start moving, one on top of the other. You can usually decouple the two hands with the press of a third push-piece, after which only one of the second hands keeps moving. Press this push-piece again, and the stopped hand will catch up to the one still in motion. 

There are many different types of watch bands and they play a big role in a watch’s look and comfort.

Watch Band:

Silicone: offers excellent high and low temperature resistance as they are water and sweat resistant. The band is generally comfortable on the skin, non-toxic and eco-friendly. It comes in endless variations of colours and combinations. However, it is not the best to pair with a luxury watch due its slim nature. They do, compliment dive watches and field watches given that they are water resistant. 

Leather watch band: one of the most durable and natural materials. It is usually worn with dress watches or luxury watches. It gives off an elegant appeal. There are three types of leather, Faux: formed from plastic, hence not harmful to animals. Genuine leather which is durable and high quality. Full- grain leather is the highest quality and strongest band. It is the perfect material for watch straps with perfect fashion style. 

Vegan watch band: has not toxins or chemicals. The material is quality and provides an alternative for those who want to avoid animal products.

Wooden watch band: It is environmentally friendly and can be made and shaped with various designs and colours.

 

Stainless Steel: This material is durable strong and less expensive than gold or platinum. It is usually used for watch and case. It can be used in swimming and diving watches. The only drawback is that they might feel heavy, but they don’t seem to need to be replaced often. Given the size of the stainless-steel band it does not need to be worn tightly on the wrist like, for example a silicon band. If you have a watch with a big case this can bring balance. 

Nylon: it is great for summertime. It provides high quality, practicality, comfort, is water resistant and practical. It is more breathable than other materials. Due to the toughness of the material, it can survive most conditions. The different colours and designs make it great for a multitude of outfits.

Fabric: watch bands make the watch look slimmer. The choice between a solid or printed material can visually alter the size of your band. If you wear a 44-46mm case a bright and bold or intricate colour provides balance.

Polyurethane rubber: is less expensive and stronger than silicone. The band is durable, flexible and water resistant. Therefore, making it great for water sports.

Titanium watch band is low density and high strength. It is as strong as stainless steel. The band is lightweight but is susceptible to scratches.

Ceramic watch bands are more difficult to scratch. It may seem heavy, but it is light. An issue is that it can shatter.

Watch case shape:

Oval: derived from round watches. Oval watches are described as trendy and are worn with a thin and usually elegant band. Most oval watch shapes are for women. 

Rectangle: were first created in 1917 and are uncommon today. This shape is common for dress watches. They are also usually worn by men.

Round: the most popular case shape. It is gender neutral and considered easy to read the time. Hence it can be found in almost any specific type of watch from outdoors to luxury.

Square: is used in fashion and dress watches. Although ti has been co-opted by brands such as Audermars Piguet. It can also be used for athletic or outdoor watches.

Tonneau: rectangular watches with rounded corners. The shape is prolonged and tall. The style was common in 1970s and was used in dive watches and clocks. 

Profession based watches or watch styles:

Watches for Athletes:

A sports watch is ideal for athletes. It is highly functional, durable and water resistant. The sports watch is usually easily legible, shockproof and resistant to scratches and physical contact. 

Watches for Student:

A durable watch is ideal for a student, stainless steel and leather offer these qualities. For students that are more climate conscious a solar powered watch or a vegan leather watch may be ideal. Generally, a luxury watch is not seen as ideal however it can be a great investment for a student as they can hold onto it for a long period of time.

Watches for Kids:

Smartwatches are ideal for tech savvy kids. Although if you are looking to teach a kid to read the time an analogue watch with clock face design with large numbers may be appealing as it makes it easier to read. Generally, you will want a watch that is scratch resistant, colourful and educational. Hence a smartwatch is ideal or a colourful silicon band quartz analogue watch with a stainless-steel case. A stainless-steel band may be heavy for the child.  

Watches for Nurses are designed as medical watches, an essential part of a nurse’s routine. In wartime, having the military time makers is essential because the 24-hour standard will be mainly used in the medical profession. 

The watches for nurses should come with a silicone band, or some easily changed material and cleaned. The easily visible second hand is crucial for supporting the time from pulse rates to the medication times.

Besides, the watches for nurses should be stylish. Nursing is the profession whether the nice watch is not a luxury but needed for getting the job done.  

Pilot watches: as the name states are designed for pilots. They can come with GMT, antimagnetic tech, to prevent interference from the magnetic field in the cabin. Pilot watches are designed for handling fast changes in air pressure. 

These watches come with the chronograph feature and the stopwatch function. Most of it has the added markings on display for in flight calculations and the rotating bezel for aiding in the calculations. Its brand has the rivet so that the watch can be worn over the flight jacket. 

Pilot watches have large, easily legible dials and with the hands glowing in the dark for letting the pilot use the watch in even low light conditions. It comes with more prominent faces and dials over the last few decades. If you love aviation style and the classic look; the pilot watch is a perfect choice.

Triathlon watches: include running, cycling, and swimming, which means these watches must be waterproof and track three different activities. The best triathlon should track all from running time to lap times, even stroke counts. It is crucial if the athlete needs to review times for each leg, not just overall time. 

Some triathlon watches come with a particular type of band, keeping the watch securely on the wrist. However, the athlete can remove it quickly and transfer it to the handlebars of the bike. For some triathlons with GPS systems for timing uses, these watches can drain the battery fast. Thus, you should make sure of the battery life for your watch you choose.  

How to buy the right size watch for my wrist?

Size: An unconventional way of measuring the case diameter that will fit is you by taking a $100 and fitting it around your wrist. This assumes you live in the US. Whatever method you use you will generally find that wrist size is between 6 to 8 inches or above. 

Generally, the rule is the following:

  • 6-inch wrist is considered small for men and the average watch diameter would be 34mm to 38mm watches.
  • 7-7.5-inch wrist is considered average for men and larger for women. The average case diameter is 39mm to 42mm
  • 8 inch and larger is considered large even for men. The case diameter would be 44mm to 47mm.

Along with case diameter case thickness is usually determined. The larger the case diameter the larger the thickness. For example, it is normal for case thickness to be 7mm for 38mm-42mm diameter. For 44mm and above the case thickness can be 9mm.

The width of the band also effects the look of the watch. A rule of thumb is that 40mm watch should have a band with a width of 22mm. Also, certain band material as discussed above can add an extra appeal. For example, leather looks slim and elegant. While metal or stainless steel of the same size will look heavier and extensive. Furthermore, stainless steel is ideal for larger wrists.