Whether you’re finally ready to purchase your first fine watch, or you’re replacing an old faithful watch with the most expensive watch, learning a little more about the types of watches available can be helpful with the process.
We’ve gathered some basic information to help you in the process.
A History of Watches
Originally, watches were portable spring-driven clocks. People in the 15th Century needed to tell time on the move, as much as we do today, but didn’t have the technology to shrink a clock to wrist sized mechanisms.
From these devices, watches began developing in the 16th Century, and took the concept of the mainspring, which drove the portable clocks. A clockmaker named Peter Henlein, of Nuremberg, Germany is credited with the actual invention of the first watch.
Henlein’s pieces were called clock-watches, and were ornamental timepieces that could be worn like one would wear a medallion or pendant. These watches were called Nuremberg eggs. Other clockmakers were also making portable and wearable timepieces around the same time, so it is uncertain if Henlein is the true inventor of watches or not.
It wasn’t until the 17th century that these pendants became fashionable as pocket pieces instead of pendants on chains about the neck.
Supposedly, when Charles II of England introduced waistcoats, pocket watches became the new vogue, though the transition was actually made for practical reasons. The watches worn around the neck were often ruined because of the constant exposure to the elements.
The wristwatch was supposedly designed in 1810 for the Queen of Naples, though there’s evidence of watches worn on the arm as early as 1571. These wrist watches and arm watches were almost exclusively worn by women at the time.
Of course, progress continued from there until 1959 when the quartz movement watch was first commissioned by Seiko of their daughter company, Epson. It didn’t hit the marketplace until a decade later, right in time for last minute Christmas shoppers.
Since then, of course, there have been more significant advances, and we now have digital and smart watches.
Types of Watch Displays
One of the most important things to know about the types of watches is which kind of display will be most beneficial for you.
Digital watches are the type of watches that display the time, and often date, in numeric form. They’re easy to read, and easy for most people to use.
The analogue watch is the traditional watch that uses hands to display the hour, minute, and usually second of the day.
Like the digital watch, a liquid-crystal display, or LCD, watch shows the time in numeric form. However, LCD watches show the numbers that are formed in a liquid layer between a pair of clear crystals.
The ana-dig watch is a combination of both the analogue watch, using hands to display the time, and the numeric display from the digital watch.
Styles of Watches
There are five basic styles of watches. Each style was designed with a different activity or lifestyle in mind. Whether you’re choosing one of the finest selection of gold watches or you’re just looking for the more affordable kind, knowing these can help you determine which way to go for your first fine quality watch.
The driving watch has a provenance in motor-racing, which is why they have the stopwatch built in. Some also have a tachymeter, which is a devise that measures speed, as well.
The diving watch is the closest a watch will get to being waterproof. No watches are truly waterproof, however, but a diving watch is designed to withstand more water pressure and depth than any other watch designs.
The minimalist watch has been growing in popularity in recent years. This watch is simple in style, though has a certain elegance that is still functional and compliments most standard attire.
Aviator watches are designed to convey a lot of information in a small package. Originally designed for aviation pioneer, Alberto Santos Dumont, these watches are still fairly popular.
The dress watch has one primary function beyond simply telling the time. It is for complimenting formal wear or a business suit. This is the type of watch that is considered jewelry, rather than having an emphasis on functionality.
Specific brands of expensive watches, like Rolex, will give their watch styles different names, like sports versus diving, but if you read the specifics you’ll be able to understand which style will suit you best.
Many branded watches for men have been adapted into styles suitable for women as well.
Finding the Perfect Watch
Be sure to examine the different brands and types available before spending the money on that new watch for yourself or as a gift for someone.
You need a reliable watch, that is worth the investment. Men’s watches come in a variety of styles, have a multitude of functions, and can range greatly in price. We highly recommend doing a bit of research before making the actual purchase.