Need advice on buying the perfect watch? Take the tour to find out more on watch features and the best way to choose one that suits your lifestlye.
The face or dial of the watch displays its functions and gives the watch its unique identity. Commonly used dial shapes are round, rectangular or square.The dial rests on a Watch Case, which are typically made out of metals like gold, silver and steel. These are available in several different finishes or inlaid with stones and other special features.
A Round Watch Dial is classic and is the traditional shape adopted by most watch manufacturers.The circular dial is so versatile it can work well with many different styles of watches, from sporty chronograph watches, to luxurious diamond watches, to casual timepieces.
A fashionable version of the Classic Round Dial, the Rectangular Dial is elegant and subtly modern. While the rectangular face easily compliments most strap types, to form a dress or casual watch, this sleek shape also moulds into the strap for a bracelet or jewellery effect.
The Square Dial Watch is a take on the classic round dial shape without being very unconventional in design. It easily adapts to any watch style and can make an eye-catching statement. Whether for a casual day out or an elegant evening affair, a square-faced watch is always a suitable addition, complimenting nearly any look.
The Oval Dial is a more feminine watch feature seen alongside most strap types. These can be worn for any occasion. However, the Oval Dial is most commonly combined with metal & to form an elegant accessory. This feature is most enjoyed as an ornamental or an occasion wear timepiece.
Other or Fashion Dials are usually feminine watch features, which are shaped other than the classic round or rectangular dials. As most of these dials are combined with metallic link straps, sometimes with sparkling stones or other types of embellishment, they are considered elegant occasionwear timepieces.
Weather traditional analog or electronically enhanced digital display, the wristwatch is an essential accessory for all occasions. Fashionable or practical, here's a simple look at the choices in the display features of your favorite watch.
The Analogue Display is a traditional watch face, marked with twelve hours, either in Arabic numerals, Roman numerals or baton markers. There are a rotating hour hand and a longer, rotating minute hand. Some watches also feature a third hand that shows the current second of the current minute. This is a classic & conservatively-designed feature in watches to make a serious impression.
A Digital watch displays the time in figures that change in steps. It gives a reading in units as small as seconds and fractions of seconds. Almost all watches with digital displays are used as timekeeping watches. Both LED & LCD are used to display the time on digital watches.These watches have a more urban edge, offering a combination of style, excitement and technology.
A Chronograph watch that has accurate timekeeping or stopwatch functions. Digital chronographs use a digital display for both timekeeping and stopwatch functions. Analogue chronographs have a standard analogue watch with permanent centre seconds and a separate digital display. Although commonly seen across categories,this feature is best suited for active lifestyles where watches are used under tough & rugged situations.
As watches are made of several different materials, it is important to choose the right watch to suit the occasion. It's always a great idea to understand the materials and basic components of your timepiece.
A classic selection, the leather strap is common on all types of watches, especially dress & formal watches. From soft, glossy or crocodile skin effects, the leather strap watch is a must-have to complete any formal look.
Plating is used for looks or strength Gold plating is usually found on fashion and dress watches. Often worn as a piece of jewellery rather than just a timepiece. Be sure to take extra care of these watches as they are easily scratched.
Plated Silver is always an elegant choice. This finish needs special care to avoid tarnishing. Sometimes with exquisite embellishments of crystals or precious stones, these delicate watches have a jewellery-like quality.
Plastic, Resin & Silicone
Ideal for sports watches and activities such as diving and swimming. Some fashion watches also have plastic straps in neon colours that pop out in exciting and eye-catching ways.
Canvas or nylon fabrics are occasionally used for straps or as trims on rugged or casual watches. These sturdy straps are ideal for outdoor wear & are fairly easy maintenance watches.
WHAT SUITS YOU
Black leather straps & white face are best suited for formal occasions. Men's dress watches are usually gold or silver-plated with small and discreet dial & features.
The best sporty watches are chronographs with a rubber or reinforced fabric strap.
For women, watches with bracelet straps & plated gold or silver, encrusted in semi-precious stones or diamonds are popular occassionwear choices.
Care & Tips
Avoid water damage. If water or condensation appear inside your watch face, have it checked by a watch specialist.
Avoid leaving your watch in extreme temperature as heat can shorten the battery life of a quartz watch, and extreme cold can cause your watch to gain or lose time.
Avoid contact with chemicals, solvents and gases.
Although most sports watches are shock resistant, avoid extreme shock or impact to your watch.
A watch specialist best cleans watches, including their straps. Have your watch checked and serviced regularly by a watch specialist.
Prevent erosion of your watchstrap by avoiding the use perfume or moisturizers around your wrist, as these chemicals could harm the strap.
Avoid leaving your watch in direct sunlight, as this fades leather and plastic straps.
Metal bracelets should be cleaned carefully with water and dried with a soft cloth. If your watch is not water resistant, be careful not to get water on the case. Cases should be wiped gently with a slightly moistened soft cloth and then carefully dried.
If the strap ever becomes wet with perspiration, wipe it dry with a soft cloth.
When you take off your watch, leave it in a well-ventilated spot to get rid of perspiration on the strap.
Analogue: A traditional face, marked with twelve hours, either in Arabic numerals, Roman numerals or baton markers. In fashion watches, the different marking types may be combined for a distinctive look.
Arabic numerals: Traditional numerals from 1 to 12.
Automatic: Automatic movement is a type of mechanical movement that includes a self- winding design and are traditional and preferred by many.
Baton marker: Bar shaped hour markers that take the place of Arabic numerals or Roman numerals.
Bezel: The ring around the outside of the dial. On sports watches the bezel often revolves and has markings, so it can be used to measure time or speed.
Bracelet: Most bracelets are made of metal and have links that can be removed to adjust the length.
Chronograph: A watch that has accurate timekeeping or stopwatch functions is a chronograph watch, which is available in both analogue and digital formats.
Chronometer: A chronometer watch has a high quality quartz movement that has been tested and certified to operate within a certain standard of accuracy by the COSC (Controle Officiel Suisse des Chronometres).
Crown: Also known as the winder. This is a small dial on the side of the watch which can be wound to adjust the time.
Digital: A digital watch displays the time in figures that change in steps. It gives a reading in units as small as seconds and fractions of seconds.
Dual time: Good for those who frequently travel internationally, this watch allows you to display two different time zones.
Eco-Drive: Is a movement using solar power to keep running. The power of the sun works to keep Eco-Drive watches functioning, making them very environmentally friendly and easy to own. When fully charged they can run for up to 6 months even in complete darkness.
Illuminated: Some watches have a special light absorbing paint on the hour and minute hands so they can still be seen in the dark. Others are illuminated by pressing a button on the case.
Kinetic: Kinetic movement watches use the power of the human body to keep running. They do not need to be wound up manually and don't require batteries.
LCD/LED Display: LCD stands for liquid crystal display. LED stands for light emitting diode. Both of these are used to display the time on digital watches.
Links: These are usually metal, and form a part of the bracelet and can be removed in order to adjust the length to fit your wrist.
Lens: The glass covering the face of the watch is the lens. Higher priced watches often have mineral crystal or sapphire glass. Mineral crystal is a durable, scratch resistant glass, which can be highly polished. Sapphire glass is very strong and shatter resistant, it's less likely to get scratched or marked.
Quartz: Most watches operate through a Quartz crystal rather than a mechanical clockwork operation. It vibrates thousands of times a second and so it one of the most precise forms of timekeeping.
Roman Numerals: The ancient Roman numeric system, using letters of the alphabet to represent each number from 1 to 12.
Shock Resistant: Can withstand gentle jolts sustained during sports or other leisure activities.
Splashproof: The watch can withstand occasional splashes of water but should never be fully submerged.
Strap: A strap is generally made of leather or plastic and will fasten with a buckle. Bracelet straps usually comprise links of metal or stainless steel and fasten with a clasp.
Water Resistance: This term is followed by a number and metres, indicating the depth of water your watch can withstand.