Shopping for a wrist watch can be a little overwhelming with so many options to choose from. There are several factors to consider such as the type of movement, the style of watch and its utility, the case size, and of course the price tag. Choosing the right watch for your lifestyle and needs doesn’t have to be a daunting task. This men’s watch guide will break down the basics for you. That way, when it comes time to shop, you’ll feel confident in your selection.
There are three types of watch movements: mechanical, automatic, and quartz. Each has a unique functionality and different requirements for care. We’ll break down some of the pros and cons of each type of watch movement.
Mechanical timepieces are the oldest type of watch movement and are often found in vintage or collectible watches. They function using a mechanism called a mainspring. These watches are treasured for their intricate engineering and expert craftsmanship, making them ideal for the most avid of watch enthusiasts. Mechanical watches do require their wearer to regularly wind them, which can be a nuisance for some, but a relaxing experience for others. Because of their sophisticated design, mechanical watches can be a little pricier than their alternatives, but will last you a lifetime if properly cared for. You truly do get what you pay for!
Automatic watches function very similarly to a mechanical watch. They use a mainspring to propel movement, however while mechanical watches must be wound by hand, automatic watches are self-winding. As the watch is worn, a rotor moves as you do, winding the mainspring using your natural motions. This is a major pro for those who find winding their watch by hand to be bothersome. However, when automatic watches are unworn, they must be stored in a watch winder to ensure they keep functioning properly. A watch winder is a device that stores your watch and creates consistent motion, as if it were being worn, in order to keep it wound. Again, because of their skillful design, automatic watches often carry a larger price tag, but require a little less maintenance than their mechanical counterparts.
Quartz watches are the most accurate at time keeping because they are powered by battery rather than a mainspring. Most wristwatches you see worn today are quartz, and there are a few reasons for their popularity. First, they require less maintenance than mechanical or automatic watches since they do not have to constantly be wound. They are also more durable since they don’t have as many moving components that can break or wear down. Quartz watches are the most affordable of the three movement types; however, you do sacrifice the detailed artisanry that you see in mechanical and automatic watches.
Men’s Watch Styles
Now that you’ve decided on a type of watch movement, it’s time to determine which style you’d prefer to wear. Whether being worn for appearance or functionality, there is a watch for every occasion.
These watches are designed to pair with dressier ensembles, like a business suit or tuxedo. Dress watches are usually thinner with cases that are commonly circular or rectangular in shape. The band is almost always fashioned from leather, although other styles may be available. The hour indexes on dress watches are almost always saber style, with the occasional use of Roman or Arabic numerals. The key to a good dress watch is simplicity paired with sophistication. After all, you don’t want to distract from your dapper duds.
Field watches are a variation of what were called trench watches, worn by those in the battlefield. These watches are designed to withstand rigorous conditions while also remaining functional and fashionable. Field watches are usually small to medium sized so as not to get in the way of whatever you’re doing. The numerical indexes are easy to read, usually white against a black backdrop or vice versa. They often have hands that illuminate to make for easier reading in darker environments. Field watches are usually fashioned with canvas straps to make for a lightweight, comfortable wear.
You may be familiar with dive watches from their appearances in the James Bond films, namely the Rolex Submariner and Omega Seamaster. These exceptionally crafted timepieces are designed for underwater use, but are also great for day to day wear. Dive watches usually have a sapphire or hardened mineral glass crystal to guarantee safety underwater and also come equipped with a rotating bezel that keeps track of how long a diver has been under water. These watches have metal bands, as this is the material most compatible with water. Certain models such as the Omega Seamaster tend to be a little pricier, however these watches are a great tool for those who spend a fair amount of time underwater.
One of the first men’s wristwatches ever made was designed for Franco Alberto Santos Dumont, a friend of Louis Cartier who was a pilot. He complained to his friend about how cumbersome it was to have to use a pocket watch mid-flight, and so Cartier crafted something special for his pal. Aviation watches don’t adhere to one specific style, although they are typically medium to large in size, have large, clear numbers and illuminated hands for easy reading in the dark, and a built-in chronograph. Aviation watch bands are often made of leather, although they can be made from other materials as well.
Rolex popularized the race watch in the 1930’s with the design of their famed Oyster watch. With the addition of the chronograph and tachymeter by TAG Heuer, the race watch took on a look and function all its own. Race car drivers have been using these devices for decades to accurately measure their distance and speed, ultimately helping them gauge the outcome of the race. Racing watches tend to have larger faces with bright contrasting colors to make for easy reading. The bands are usually metal to ensure durability, though leather is sometimes used as well.
Shop watches in San Diego
Whether you’re looking for a dress watch to compliment your business suit, or are searching for a dive watch to pair with your wet suit and scuba tank, Leo Hamel Fine Jewelry & Engagement Rings Store has a wide variety of options for you. We are one of the largest retailers of new and pre-owned men’s watches in San Diego. Visit our showroom today and find the watch that fits your style!