Buyer's Guide for Watches

First and foremost, when you come to buy a watch, know your budget. A good timepiece can cost anything from £500 to  £5m. So it’s a good idea to start your search based on how much you would like to invest on it. Here below you will find some points to help you make your decision. At Michael we are always happy to help and will gladly assist you in choosing the best timepiece with your requirements. 

THE MOVEMENT

In the broadest of terms, there are two types of watch; those powered by a mechanical movement, and those by a battery-powered quartz movement. Mechanical movements are made up of hundreds of pieces and assembled by hand, so they are more expensive then quartz both to buy and to maintain. Watch lovers feel mechanical movements, either manually wound or automatic, have longer value, which is why so many of the top watch brands still make them, even though the technology is hundreds of years old.

WATCH TYPES

A Simple Guide To Complications
You’ll notice that some watches have extra dials and hands: these are called complications. These go from the “chronograph” (the one with stopwatch functionality, used extensively in motor sport models) to the “GMT”, which provides a fourth hand that can be set to the alternative time zone of the wearer’s choice. Do we need complications in an age when our phones do so much? Not really. But that’s not the point is it?

Why Size Matters (A Bit)
Just as there’s no typical wrist size so there’s no typical size of watch. While some timepieces are so large they can be seen from space, most have a case diameter of between 34-44mm. If you’re a chap with weedy wrists like a girl, a 34-40mm case will work best while rugged gents with wrists like oak trees should opt for models up to 46mm. The thickness of the case also affects how the watch looks. A watch of 10mm thickness will sit better under a cuff than one that’s 15mm.

A Quick Word On Straps
The thing that binds your timepiece to your wrists is hugely important in the character of your watch. A metal bracelet looks great on more masculine, chunky watches, while leather is the choice for conventional, dressy timepieces. A favourite of Esquire is the canvas or “NATO” strap, most famously worn with Sean Connery’s Rolex Submariner in Goldfinger. If it’s good enough for James Bond, it’s good enough for you.

Accuracy Isn’t Everything
Nothing can compete with a quartz watch on keeping time accurately, but a good automatic should only lose or gain 30 seconds or so in a week. If you’re after a super-accurate mechanical watch, then look for one that’s been certified as a “chronometer” by COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres). These watches account for only six per cent of all mechanical watches, which is reflected in their higher prices.