When buying a designer watch you are buying not just a timepiece but a fashion item that will say a lot about you, hopefully all of it good. As such, it is important to bear in mind your options so that you can be sure to choose something that you will be happy to have on your arm every day. A watch can be chosen for various reasons, from the reliability of its mechanism to its appearance as a fashion accessory not to mention the various other watch features, known in the trade as “complications” which a watch can perform as well as telling the time.
The most common watch complication is almost certainly the calendar which is a small window displaying what date of the month you are in. Other watches may also include the day of the week. By modern standards, these mechanisms are relatively simplistic and most of them will count out 31 days on every day on the month, forcing you to manually reset it as appropriate. Nevertheless, a watch with a calendar is a stylish accessory to have if you work a job that involves you checking the day and date regularly.
Many other designer watches will contain chronographs, which are smaller dials within the watch itself which can be used like a stop watch to time the duration of events. These are useful if you like to go for a timed jog or run in the middle of the day. They usually involve using one of the pushers on the side of the watch to start or stop the chronograph. Many people confuse chronographs for chronometers but they are very different things. A chronometer is a type of extremely high-end watch certified by the Controle Officiel Suisse des Chronometres. These have exceptionally robust and accurate watch mechanisms which are tested in five positioned and at three different temperatures in order to confirm that they pass muster.
Other popular complications are the moon phase indicator which keeps track of where the moon is in its cycles. These are particularly useful for sailors who benefit from knowing when there is that extra bit of moonlight for night sailing, as well as for those who come from cultures which value the new moon for religious reasons, particularly Indians. Stock market traders may also benefit from watches that have dual time zones or multiple time zones in the subdials. Both of these can often be features of designer watches that have a useful element.
Another important element to bear in mind when you are choosing your watch is the shape. Designer watches come in four main shapes – round, square, rectangular and tonneau (also known as barrel-shaped). Round watches are the most popular type and these are the easiest type to make entirely water-resistant. Rolexes are commonly round, for instance, as they advertise their casing as being highly water resistant. Square watches, however, are popular for the fact that they provide more space for decoration around the edges. Tonneau watches are more retro, having been more popular in the early 20th Century than early in the 21st.
Header image by Jon Mitchell CC BY 2.0