Since the earliest times, men were wearing watches. The watch has been the only accessory that man had in the past, and it held certain value. Wearing a watch was the representation of class and economical status. Back at the time, the watches men wore were the pocket ones, and they were the only kind available. However, as the watch industry developed and changed, the watch saw a change not only in the way it looked but also in the way it was produced and manufactured.
Today, the watch still holds the same amount of importance and luxury as before. And since we are living in modern times, the watch has become the number one men’s accessory. Depending on the personal fashion style and preference, men today have a huge variety of options to choose from. There are the sports watches, the elegant watches, the digital watches, the smartwatches, and so on. Each of these types refers to the style and the purpose it carries. However, the watch distinction is a bit different, and it is very important and appreciated by contemporary and modern businessmen.
Quality and Endurance of Watches
What makes one watch stand out from the rest is its quality and endurance. When talking about the quality of the watch itself, one thing that stands out and is the most appreciated is the quality of movement. In other words, this is the way that the watch operates, and the design of the watch can be created upon that.
A mechanical watch is any watch that is not powered by quartz or battery-powered movement. The subdivision between these two types of watches is the following:
- The mechanical automatic one has a rotor that rotates when the wrist moves. It also powers the watch;
- The classic mechanical one is also known as “hand-wound”. This means that it must be wound periodically by hand or by a winding mechanism. The force here is transmitted through a series of gears to power the balance wheel, a weighted wheel, which oscillates back and forth at a constant rate.
Originally, the watches were designed to run only by using mechanical parts. This meant that they would run without the use of electricity. Instead of that, they would use potential energy stored in a long spring or mainspring. How the mainspring works are that it slowly unwinds and transfers the energy, and it needs to be wound occasionally.
The movement – history and makes
Price may not be the biggest differential when the distinction between the hand-wound and automatic. However, it is when it comes to where the movement is made. For example, the movements made in Switzerland cost more than those in Japan and that is because of the labor and material costs. Also, they are considered more accurate. Here is a quick history of the movements and makes that can be found today.
The story of the automatic movement begins slowly, around the 1770s. At that time, the Swiss watchmaker Abraham-Louis Perrelet created a way for the watch movement to generate power. This power is created by the wearer, from what they have been doing during their day. The movement kept the weight swinging and coiling the spring tighter together. A few years later, Abraham – Louis Breguet the famous inventor of the tourbillon watch, designed his version of the automatic watch. This version was powered by a weight that swung against a pair of springs. At those times, these pieces were only pocket watches. Because of their complexity, they were expensive to produce in large quantities. There was a gap around 100 years when watches with automatic movements were not made.
In 1920, the British watch repairman John Harwood picked up with this process and invented the “bumper” system that pushed a weight back and forth in a semicircle and wound the spring that powered the watch. This later became the first commercially available automatic wristwatch. Later, in 1933 Rolex designed a weight that rotated a full 360 degrees. It closely mirrored the system of the ones that the automatic watches use today.
From that moment on, automatic watches took over as the standard for high-end timepieces.
The workhorse of the Swiss watch industry is the Swatch Group-owned ETA 2824. It can be found in all watches from a Hamilton Khaki to Tudor Pelagos. This is the type of movement that can be found in the watches until the brand started manufacturing its own movements. It has been produced since 1982 and has an exquisite reputation for being accurate and robust. Its widespread usage makes the parts easy to come by and the repairs convenient and possible.
Another model from the ETA is the refined version 2892. it is a base caliber of choice for the brands that do not have the capacity to make their movements in-house. This version can be used as a base for more intricate watches, such as chronographs. This is due to the fact that this movement is thinner.
As competitors of ETA comes Sellita. It used to assemble 2824s until ETA announced they will be longer providing unfinished movement kits. They created almost an identical version.
For modern businessmen, these details play a great role in choosing and finding the right accessory that will complement their personality and fashion style.
What to Consider when Buying a Mechanical Watch?
Every watch is different, and with so varied offered on the market, one can easily get stuck in the choice. However, mechanical watches are dominating the watch department, and if you are on a hunt for one, these are some of the things that you should look for:
1. Quality of the parts
What is the glass protecting the watch made of? Is it made of mineral or a much more scratch-resistant and durable sapphire glass? If you are looking for a high-quality, then sapphire should be your choice. What about the case? Is it from stainless steel? The stainless is what makes one watch durable and of high quality. The cheaper version is chrome-plated brass which is not as durable as stainless steel.
2. Quality and fit of the straps and the bracelet
Some watches come with straps, some with bracelets. A watch ‘bracelet’ is any metal band on the watch. A ‘strap’ is a watchband made from a material like leather, nylon, or rubber. Watch straps that come with the watches, especially the cheaper and more affordable ones, are not of the highest quality and are considered disposable. What many people get wrong is to pick their watch because of the strap. This is one of the least important parts of the watch because it can easily be replaced. The metal bracelets on the other hand often curve and perfectly fit the case of the watch. For most of the watches, there is not a huge variety of metal bracelets with a curved end link to fit the case. In this case, the metal bracelet is the one that comes with the watch and there is no possibility for change.
3. Quality of finish
This is another thing that men do not pay attention to until they have owned several mechanical watches. The finish is what is considered as a polished and brushed surface of the watch, created by the manufacturer. If there is one thing that can make a watch look luxurious and expensive, then, it is the finish.
For those not familiar with this term, it is the paint on the watch that glows in the dark. The lume is charged up in direct light and will be seen when it’s dark.
Watches with better lume will take less time to charge up, glow brighter and glow for longer.
5. Water resistance
Water-resistant rating is the rating that the manufacturer uses to describe how and whether the watch is protected from water. The water resistance is great, no matter if you are planning to swim or shower with the watch. It sort of provides a more secure feeling when wearing it.
Finding the right size watch for your wrist is one of the most important things, but also one of the most difficult ones too. To determine the dimensions of the watch that will best suit your wrist, do a little experiment:
- Take a string, wrap it around your wrist where you think you’ll be wearing your watch. Generally just above your wrist bone (toward your forearm) is a good spot.
- Tie it around, not too tightly. Your wrist will contract and expand as the temperature rises and falls; if you ate more salt than usual that day, etc. so it’s best to leave a tiny bit of extra room.
- Mark one end of the rope to the other where they meet on your wrist.
- Measure the rope where you marked off.
Now, when you have your measures, you can determine the sizes which would be the right fit for you. Most commonly, it all comes down to personal taste and preference.
Why Modern Businessmen Opt for Automatic Watches?
When it comes to automatic watches, they are much more preferable than any other type, mainly because of the artisanship make. This make is what combines extreme precision and advanced knowledge. Besides this, the automatic watch has been a popular accessory choice for a lot of modern businessmen, and here is why:
1. It does not need batteries
As mentioned above, the internal mechanism of this watch nulls out the need for any battery to power it. It is also safe from battery fluid leakage, which can corrode the mechanism of the watch and lead to rusting in the internal parts. It also directly eliminates the chance of the watch wearing down which cuts back the cost significantly.
2. It is eco-friendly
Thanks to their seamless mechanical operation, this type of watch has a legacy that surpasses one of a quartz and digital watch. They are also recyclable and do not need batteries.
Keeping time is one of the essential reasons why a man would wear a watch. And that time needs to be accurate and precise. This accuracy depends on the movement itself. The automatic watch is known as one of the most accurate watches on the market. It would require some servicing after about five years, which is due to its oiling mechanism.
4. Long-lasting piece
The biggest benefit why modern men choose an automatic watch is that it can last for a very long time. The common time is more than a decade, compared to other types of watches. This property is because of the self-winding capabilities. They are also not prone to rust, leakage, or accumulating dust, which might appear and happen in the quartz watches. Still, it does not mean that they are prone to tear and wear. Even breaking.
5. Excellent and outstanding choice
Watches are an accessory, that becomes a part of one man signature style and looks. They do not just tell time, they become a part of their personality. The wristwatch can definitely upgrade and elevate a fashion style and appearance, and that depends on how classy they are. Automatic watches come high on the list of popular choices for events such as first-class social gatherings and black-tie events. There is also the vintage type of watches that are very demanded too.
6. Impeccable silence
The old watches are known for the sound they release, resembling a heartbeat. This is not the case with automated watches. They offer a more silent operation that is not something common for most watches on the market. The unique performance of the gear that is flowing silently, makes this is a watch suitable for any occasion.
7. Start an heir tradition
Lately, there has been a trend going around the vintage watches. Not only are they passed as an heirloom from one generation to another, but they have also gained at price. Since this is the type of watch that will last for decades, it is absolutely a suitable piece for an heir tradition
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Latest Trends – Skeleton and Tourbillon Watches
The latest trends in the watch department put a big focus on skeleton watches. A skeleton watch is a watch that has exposed internal makes. Seeing all the machinery under the protective glass is what makes it a striking visual. These days, skeleton watches are an acquired taste. Many brands are trying to include the skeleton of the watch at least a tiny bit in their collections because it somehow makes the piece look extraordinary and stylish.
Another pretty big trend is the tourbillon watch. What makes this watch so extraordinary is the mechanical complication that was posed to revolutionize the watch industry. It was first released in the early 1975s and hit the scene with pocket watches.
A tourbillion watch can easily be mistaken for a skeleton watch. However, it was uniquely designed to address some of the significant issues that mechanical watches had, mainly as it concerned the accuracy, precision, and general physics of their movements.
With all of the above mentioned, finding a suitable mechanical watch should now be pretty easy. As a modern and contemporary businessman, who understands the importance of having a good watch, the mechanical ones will deliver all of that and then some. The quality, the design, and the performance of these watches are something pretty unique.
Although you might be tempted to go with a smartwatch, be sure that you own a mechanical watch in your lifetime. There are occasions that will not allow wearing any other type of watch than the mechanical one. It is a worthwhile investment and owning a piece like that truly speaks of the fashion awareness and the importance that the watch as an accessory carries today.