A great watch is what is suited to you best, in both luxury, build and price. This is just one partial list, and there are, of course, other things that go into a good watch.
A watch crystal is a transparent cover over the face of the watch. Most mid/high-end watches have one of two types of crystals; mineral glass or synthetic sapphire crystals. Mineral crystals are cheaper than sapphire and offer one benefit over sapphire other than the price, they don’t shatter unless under extreme force. Meaning they will crack, but not shatter. That being said, shattered sapphire crystals are relatively rare and typically occur with a very harsh impact also. The better the watch, the thicker the sapphire crystal and the less likely a shatter is to occur. Sapphire is incredibly scratch proof on the other hand. You’ll often see a banged up strap with a flawless crystal covering the hands.
2. SOLID METAL CONSTRUCTION
This may seem obvious to some, but make sure your watch is made out of solid metal. You’d be surprised at how some watchmakers are at cutting costs. Steel watches should be made from grade 316L stainless steel almost all the time. Make sure the band or link isn’t hollow. It is easy to tell if a bracelet is solid, if not by the weight alone, then by inspecting the side of it and noticing if it looks like one solid piece. In watches at this level, cases are best made from the fewest number of pieces possible and using the most metal. This means little to none of the materials in the watch are plastic or other similar materials.
3.SOLID FEELING CONSTRUCTION
You want your watch to feel well put together and solid. Check to see how well the strap or bracelet fits the case. There should little to no wiggle room. Put the watch on your wrist and see how well the clasp or buckle operates; they should be smooth with a nice action. They should not feel flimsy or poorly sized. If the watch has a rotating diver’s bezel, again, twist it around and see how much movement it gives in a resting position. A good watch should not make too much or any noise when shifting around briskly on your wrist, and it goes without saying that it should feel like it is all assembled in a tight-fitting manner. It is also the case that a lot of the time, Swiss companies (even at these lower price points), make better metal bracelets than other countries, even Japan. It is true that a Swiss-designed bracelet might actually be manufactured elsewhere, but they take great pride in refinement of these areas.
4. DESIGNED BY ACTUAL WATCHMAKERS
Consider that two types of people are designing watches. Those that care about how well a watch functions as a timepiece, and others that just care about how they look. The best watches are designed using fundamental watch design principles that value function AND form. The alternative is “fashion” watches that might look nice but actually have superfluous or vestigial design cues. Worst case scenario is a watch that is so poorly designed, it does not even function properly. Examples of this are missing chronograph subdials, erroneous markers on the dial, inoperable measuring scales just placed for a show, and my all-time biggest pet peeve – hands that are too short or the wrong size. The last thing you want is your nice looking watch to function as a movie prop. So do yourself a favor and really take a good long look at the dial and all its features, figuring out what each and every function does, along with making a decision on whether it is usable given your standards. This is one of the biggest problems in the watch market today, and you’ll be proud that you took the time to find a watch that was actually designed to be a highly functional instrument.
Watch weight is a polarising concept. Some people love heavy watches. Others want something very light. With more expensive watches, you start to see materials such as titanium which are lighter than steel, but in this price segment, weight is often times a sign of quality. Even though titanium is available at this price level, most likely it’s not the higher (grade 5) quality titanium that is what you’ll want. At this price level, you are only going to get that nice crisp quality look with steel. Like I said, weight often signifies solid construction using high-quality steel. So feel the weight of a case and bracelet to make sure it is substantial enough to justify your investment.
A word about forgeries
Some forgeries look great, but be careful when buying second hand and not from Depot Luxury, as our experts review and check everything. If you have any questions or need an experts eye, please feel free to contact us.
Fakes can range from very competent forgeries that would require a practiced eye and a look at the movement to spot, to cheap knock-offs with the date window turning out to be a sticker, to Frankenstein watches cobbled together from the cheap parts of several other watches.
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