The Devil Is in the Details: What Makes a Good Watch?

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The Devil Is in the Details: What Makes a Good Watch?

About half a billion watches are sold every year. The vast majority of them were bought by adult men.

Why do people purchase watches?

For a variety of reasons.

Tradition. Looks. To tell time... In truth, the reasons people have behind purchasing quality watches are every bit as complex as watches themselves.

No matter the reasoning behind their purchase though, watches are mechanical marvels. That is, of course, if you purchase a good watch.

Telling the difference between a good watch and a bad one can present challenges to even the most trained eye. To help you find an excellent watch, below, our team offers some quality deducing tips.

1. Brand

Brand is still the simplest way to tell a good watch from a bad one.

If you walk into a Rolex store and purchase a watch, you can be sure that you're going to enjoy all of the craftsmanship and reliability that comes with Rolex products. If you walk into a Walmart and purchase a Quartz watch, you know that you're purchasing a device that's on par with costume jewelry.

A simple Google search of "good watch brands" should be able to turn you into a number of watch manufacturers that are worth purchasing from.

2. Swiss Made

Have you ever seen a watch that's branded "Swiss Made"? If so, you've seen a watch that has received a stamp of approval from Switzerland ensuring that it has undergone rigorous testing.

Switzerland is famous for their attention to detail when crafting timepieces, and only watches that are 100% manufactured and inspected on Swiss soil get the Swiss Made distinction.

If you see Swiss Made on a watch that you're considering, you know that it's a quality piece of machinery.

3. Sweep

Sweep is a term used when describing watches that refers to the movement of a watch's hands.

Does the watch you're considering look like its second hand almost glides across its surface? If it does, you know that you're holding a device that had more attention put into its crafting that a watch that stutters.

Sweep alone shouldn't be used to determine a good watch. That's because many manufacturers have figured out ways to emulate a smooth sweep.

4. Weight

When you're holding a watch it should have some weight to it. Quality watch parts are heavy and there should be a lot of them strategically placed within your watch's face.

An ultra-light watch is a sign that cheap parts have been used or that corners have been cut as far as what parts were included in your watch. All of that could lead to a watch that doesn't last very long and/or a watch that is liable to "fall out of time" frequently.

5. Loss of Time

Did you know that all watches fall out of time?

Due to the mechanisms watches leverage to keep in sync with world clocks and their variable nature, every day, a watch will get behind within a 24 hour period.

How much a watch falls behind is a sign of its quality.

A Swiss Made watch can only earn that distinction if it falls less than 10 seconds out of time within a 24 hour period. Use that as your baseline to determine how good your watch is when it comes to timekeeping.

6. Cost

High cost isn't necessarily a 100% indicator of a good watch. It can be a helpful thing to pay attention to, though.

We always tell people that if they see a $900 Rolex at the Rolex store and a similar "Rolex" at a swap meet for $60.00, they should use their common sense. The price of the $60.00 "Rolex" gives it away as almost certainly being a fake.

Even when dealing with less notable brands, if you see used watches for sale from a brand that you don't recognize and they're dirt cheap, then the watch isn't likely to be of high quality.

Watchmakers aren't in the business of charity. If they put time and outstanding parts into a device that they're selling, they're going to charge consumers a premium.

Never forget the old consumer adage, "You get what you pay for."

7. Sound

Every watch makes a "tick" sound as its second-hand moves. A good watch minimizes the notability of this sound. A bad watch's ticking is so loud that you can hear it from the other side of a room.

Always aim to purchase a watch that is discrete in the sounds that it makes. A quiet watch is a watch that likely harbors good parts.

8. Details

Finally, to determine whether or not a watch you're considering is a good watch, take a moment to inspect its details.

How does its craftsmanship look up close? How does its strap feel against your skin?

Many times, it's the intangibles like the subjective look and feel that can tell you whether or not a watch is for you and if it's a good fit for work, a job interview, or casual use.

Wrapping up What Makes a Good Watch?

There are a number of features that make a good watch. If you follow our tips above, we have no doubt that you'll manage to cut through the clutter of cheap devices that flood our market today and will come away with a watch that will last you for years to come!

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