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Guide to watches


Watch Movements
There are several different types of watch movements and depending on your lifestyle and personal choice you will probably find one type will suit your needs better than the others.

Manual wind
A mechanical watches consist of a mainspring and barrel to power the watch, a set of wheels to transmit the power down the to the escapement and motion work to allow you to be able to set the time and wind the watch up. The escapement consists of a balance wheel and pallets on most modern watches this is known as a lever escapement. There are also various other types of escapement such as Omega’s Co-Axial. Mechanical watches must be hand wound, usually every day but some more unique watches will run for 8 days between winding.

Automatic
An automatic watch is basically a manual wind watch with an automatic mechanism attached to the top of it. The automatic mechanism is a special set of wheels and a rotor weight.  When the watch is moved it causes the weight to spin in which turns the gears to turn and winds up the mainspring of the watch. Automatic watches tend to keep better time because they are constantly worn the watch is effectively always fully wound up which provides a constant force to drive the mechanism, where as in a manual wind watch the power from the mainspring slowly diminishes as the spring unwinds.

Quartz
Quartz watches are a battery powered and use a piece tiny piece of synthetic quartz crystal to measure time. Quartz is a piezoelectric material this basically means if mechanical pressure is applied to it the quartz will produce an electric current, if an electric current is passed through it the quartz crystal will vibrate at a precise frequency which is then used to measure the time, this is then processed by the integrated circuit and a stepping motor is used turn the wheels and in turn the hands of the watch

Solar Powered/ Eco drive
Solar powered watches are basically just quartz watches but the dial is a solar panel and instead of a normal battery it contains permanently rechargeable lithium ion cell. Natural or artificial light is captured through the solar panel on the dial and then transferred into energy which is stored in the lithium ion cell. The watch then works in exactly the same way as any other quartz watch.

Radio Controlled
Radio controlled watches again are basically just a quartz watch with a radio transmitter attached which receives a signal every 15mins and adjust your watch to the correct time to ensure it is always keeping accurate time.

Water resistance

ATM

Feet

Meters

Usage

3

100

30

Splash proof should not be fully immersed in water

5

165

50

A watch with this level of water resistance is capable of being worn around sinks, while playing sports and surface swimming.

10

330

100

A watch with this level of water resistance is capable of being worn around sinks, while playing sports, swimming and snorkelling.

20

660

200

A watch with this level of water resistance is capable of being worn around sinks, while playing sports, swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving.

100

3300

1000

A watch with this level of water resistance is capable of being worn around sinks, while playing sports, swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving and deep sea diving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top tips to keep your watch water resistant

  • Never press the pushers or pull the crown out while immersed in water.
  • If the glass crown or cases seals get damaged the watch will most likely not be water resistant any longer if this happens take your watch to a reputable watch maker and have the relevant parts changed and the watch’s water resistance checked.
  • Watches water resistance should be checked at least once every 12 months although if you regularly use your watch for swimming or diving every 6 months would be recommended.
  • If your watch comes into contact with salt water wash it well in fresh water afterwards (salt water will corrode the seals and can make.
  • If the watch has a screw down crown make sure this is fully screwed into the case before allowing the watch to come into contact with water.

Watch terminology 

Term

Meaning

Analogue

Is a watch that displays the time via 2 or more hands.

Aperture

A hole in the dial something is displayed through usually the day or date.

Bezel

The bezel is the outer metal ring around the crystal of the watch. It is used to hold the crystal on the watch. Sports watches often having rotating bezels with various different markings to which can be used to measure various different things including speed or distance travelled.

Calibre

Was originally used to state the configuration and size of the movement of the watch. Now is generally used to state the maker and individual movement reference.

Case Back

The back of the watch is called the case back his is usually removable although on certain types of watch the glass is removable and the movement come out of the case via the front of the watch. The case back can be fitted in several different ways, the majority of lower end watches have snap on case back which are just a friction fit, more expensive and waterproof watches are generally a screw fit or have small screws to hold the case back on.

Chronograph

A chronograph is a watch with a stopwatch function usually indicated on either one, two or three sub dials.

Chronometer

 

Is a Standard set by the Official Watch Institute of Switzerland (COSC). The watch has to be tested and confirmed to keep time to within very strict guidelines.

 

Crown

The crown is used for setting the time and date or any other functions of the watch and if mechanical also for winding the watch.

Crystal

 

The glass or plastic that covers the watches dial that prevents the hands and dial from getting damaged.

Digital

Is a watch that displays the time via an LED or LCD display and has no hands.

Dual or Multi time

This is a type of watch that displays two or more time zones

End of life indicator

The end of life indicator is a feature of more modern quartz watches, when the watches’ battery is running low the watches second hand will start to jump four seconds at a time indicating the battery is coming to the end of its life.

Hands

The pointing devices usually anchored in the centre of the watch which indicate the time via markings on the dial.

Helium Escape Valve

A system used for diving it is to allow helium to escape from the watch while in a decompression chamber.

Jewels

 

Within a watch movement there are usually jewels these are synthetic rubies used as bearings for the wheels of the watch mechanism.

Screw Down Crown

A watch which has a crown that screws into the case to improve the water resistance properties of the watch.

Guide to diamonds

Diamonds are the epitome of a perfect gift, whether it is for a  birthday, Christmas or just to say ‘I love you’. If the right one is purchased it can show your nearest and dearest just how much you care.

Diamonds are full of sparkle and ‘fire’ and can be found in many different shapes, sizes and colours. Owning a diamond is the ultimate souvenir and this is why a lot of people choose them to be part of one of the biggest moments of their lives……

Below is a quick handy guide to help when choosing that all important diamond, whether for a gift, or buying one for yourself as a treat, that will be a reminder of that ever so special reason.

When assessing any diamond we always use the 4 C’s. Below is a description of each and what you need to look out for;

Cut:

The cut of a diamond does not refer to its shape. It actually determines how well a diamond ‘sparkles’ and the way it catches and reflects light.

A diamond is nothing if not cut properly – the better the cut of a diamond the better the sparkle (dispersion).

Days, weeks and months of painstaking work is put into cutting a single diamond to show off it’s best features – A bit like us on a night out!! So you’re looking for a diamond that has a good balance of white light reflecting back to you and fire or dispersion, coming out of the stone. The stone should look lively throughout, and have no dark areas.

Diamond Cuts Guide

Colour:

The colour of white diamonds is not determined as to how much colour is in a diamond, it is actually the other way – Colour is determined by the amount of colour that is absent from a diamond. The whiter the stone the higher up the scale it climbs.

Colour is graded against the GIA (Gemmological Institute of America) colour grading chart which runs from D – Z.

While most diamonds fall into this chart, nature does occasionally throw a curve ball our way, as diamonds can be found in a variety of colours, from pink and red to blue & green.

The higher up the scale the more value a diamond has. D-F being the most valuable after and S-Z being the least. However, the colour you choose is down to personal preference, some people like the warmth of a diamond with a hint of yellow.

 Diamonds Guide Image

Clarity:

Clarity in a diamond is determined in a similar way as colour. Clarity is graded on how absent or free of inclusions or blemishes the diamond is.

Inclusions are the amount of imperfections and their locations inside of the diamond, the fewer there are the valuable the stone becomes.

Blemishes are the amount of imperfections on the outside of the stone, again the fewer the better.

Again, we use a clarity grading chart to describe these and again this was introduced by the GIA.

There are six different clarity grades, all with sub grades inside of them. Below are the grades and their explanations:

Flawless (FL)

The absolute pinnacle of quality in anything – especially diamonds! This means no inclusions and no blemishes at all inside of outside the stone! Absolute perfection, these are the stones we would all love to own, but unfortunately…..like high clarity and high colour, these come with a very large value.

Very rare!!

Internally Flawless (IF)

Completely free of anything inclusions (on the inside of the stone) but may have a slight or tiny imperfection (or Blemish) to the outside of the stone.

Again, also very rare stones!

Very Very Slightly Included (VVS1-VVS2)

This clarity grade, as you can see, is split into two sub grades – 1 and 2. VVS stones have either inclusions or blemishes and sometimes both, but, these imperfections are minute and are extremely or very difficult to find. These would even be hard for a skilled grader to see under 10x magnification.

Still of a very high quality!


Very Slightly Included (VS1-VS2)

Again, very slightly included is split into two sub grades 1 and 2 – 1 denoting a higher value than 2. The imperfections in these stone are minor and for a skilled grader can be found under 10x magnification.

These stones still carry a lot of value and are still quite rare!

 

Slightly Included (SI1-SI2)

Slightly included stones show inclusions and/ or blemishes that can be found easily by a skilled grader when put under 10x magnification. Again split into two sub grades one denotes a higher value than two.

These are more common than the above, but still denote a value, especially when coupled with a desired colour!

 

Included (I1-I2) or (P1-P2)

Included stones have obviously visible inclusions that can be seen without 10x magnification, and maybe seen by the untrained eye as well as a skilled grader. They may also have inclusions that threaten the structure of a stone.

These stones still denote a value, but not as high as the clarity gradings explained above!

Diamond Weight Guide 

Carat Weight

‘Carat’ is a unit of measurement that determines the weight of a diamond. You may see a diamond described as 0.50cts, this is its weight not it’s size. A carat of diamond when converted in to the metric measurement is the equivalent of 0.2grams.

The word Carat takes its name from the carob seed which was used in the ancient Mediterranean and Middle East gem dealers as there were no other ways of measurement, so merchants would use these to calibrate their scales! Hence….. 1 Carob = 1 Carat or ½ a Carob = 0.50 Carat or 0.50cts or 50points.

Again, as with all the other C’s the bigger the stone the higher the value!
Diamond Weight Guide

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