The Many Different Faces of a Wrist Watch
A watch can come in many different shapes, sizes, and with a range of different ‘faces.’
To the untrained eye, some may think that most watches are exactly the same. In fact, watches can be very different in how they look and how they are manufactured.
In pure performance terms, watches can be classified as quartz (battery-powered) or automatic (or mechanical) watches, but this is an extremely simplified view of watches. In some timepieces, so much goes on ‘under the hood’ that even watch enthusiasts would find it difficult to tell what every moving part actually does if you were to open one up.
With so many types of watches available, you could be forgiven for getting a little confused when it’s time to make a purchase. In this quick guide, we are going to run through some of the most popular types of watches available; how they compare, and, importantly, why each type is so popular.
High-street (fashion watch)
The high-street watch is typically sold in department stores and online. Low in technological or mechanical innovation, this watch is also the most affordable.
Most fashion watches are made to suit different outfits of a certain fashion brand. Due to this ‘on trend’ nature, these watches can become quickly outdated if the trend soon moves on
A digital or a quartz watch runs on batteries. These types of timepieces can come with an original mechanism or with a copycat mechanism, depending on their manufacturing process and, importantly, price.
Ranging from very affordable to watches that cost thousands, these can be seen as a popular everyday watch for most people.
Also known as ‘self-winding,’ The automatic watch doesn’t use batteries. It recognizes your hand’s movements and it leverages these movements to keep on working.
Stored energy in these watches can last up to 48 hours, which means that if you stop moving your hand or the watch, such as taking the timepiece off to sleep, it should still keep the time up until this period.
Chronograph watches are those containing a stopwatch function. You can use the stopwatch function for all types of activities–from sports to figuring out your commuting time. But, usually, this feature is used just for display. Interesting chronograph watches were invested back in 1816 in order to be used with astronomical equipment.
The diver or diving watch is a popular choice if you like swimming and other water activities. They generally represent a category that can be used at low depths, typically to a maximum of around 300 meters. Diving watches can also be seen as excellent everyday watches based on their rugged construction with many luxury watch brands, including the likes of Omega, which leads the way when it comes to diving watches.
As their name suggests, dress watches are made for dressy outfits. You wear such a dress with a suit or an elegant dress. These watches are characterized by simplicity of style, which is congruent with formal attire.
Inspired by the aviation industry, pilot watches were previously used only by pilots. Some of these aviator watches are known for how similar they look to the control panel of various aircraft, which are used as sources of inspiration. Breitling is a brand synonymous with aviation-inspired timepieces.
Field watches are also inspired by the military. They were used to coordinate military attacks while withstanding difficult weather conditions. Some of the most durable watches ever made are field watches.
Luxury watches are often collected by watch enthusiasts. They come with different mechanisms, often made to a degree of perfection. Some would argue they are really pieces of art designed for the watch world. Rolex or Omega watches are some of the most popular luxury watches today.
Since there are now many different types of watches, it can be hard to make a decision when it comes to adding to and starting your personal collection. This guide is far from convulsive as smartwatches incorporating sensors and modern technology now also gaining popularity.
Hopefully, this post has helped shed some light on the different kinds of watches available and, ultimately, guiding you along to make the best purchase based on your personal style and budget.