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Daylight Savings: Keep time with our watch buying guide

Cartier Timepiece

Each year, we put the clocks forward one hour in spring so we can enjoy more daylight in the evenings. In autumn, when it starts to get dark earlier, we turn them back an hour. So, at 1:00am on Sunday 27th October, we’ll restore time back to where it belongs — as well as get an extra hour in bed that morning!

With all this talk of timekeeping, what better opportunity to wise up about watches? In this guide, we’ll take you through the different kinds of watch available, as well as some tips for choosing the right piece to add to your collection.

What types of watch are there?

There are more kinds of watch to consider than simply digital or analogue. Each have their own style and suit different looks, usually based on how formal they are. Here’s the two main types of luxury watch you can choose between:

Rolex Date

Dress watch

Dress watches are designed to look good with a formal outfit. They’re usually simple yet elegant and made from the highest quality materials, including precious metals such as silver and gold. You can usually recognise a dress watch from the Roman numerals around the dial and the fact they have very few extra features. Although they’re fancy, dress watches can also look impressive with more minimalist outfits. But, as they’re so valuable, many people choose to wear them exclusively for special occasions.

TAG Heuer Formula 1

Sports watch

Sports watches have all sorts of impressive-looking dials and extra features that make them better suited to smart-casual outfits. Think water resistant diving watches, navigational aviation watches, and chronomatic driving watches — flashy, and full of innovative technology. Sports watches aren’t just worn by athletes but anyone who appreciates good design and engineering, so they’re highly sought after for their status as much as their usefulness.

Other types of watch

You may also come across some other terms while shopping for the perfect watch. A fashion watch, for example, is a timepiece created by a brand that doesn’t specialise in watches. A smart watch is a mini computer that works independently or alongside your smartphone to perform a whole range of functions through apps. These types of timepiece are considered more casual than dress or sports watches and aren’t as collectable, though they’re no doubt valuable in their own right. 

Who are the best watchmakers?

Everyone knows Swiss watchmakers are the most prestigious. Some of the biggest names of the industry — such as Rolex, Omega, Breitling and Tag Heuer — proudly boast their Swiss heritage as an indicator of their quality and innovation. Even Cartier, a brand synonymous with Paris, produce their watches in Switzerland and fashionable Italian brand Panerai feature Swiss-built movements in their timepieces. So, if you’re looking for the best, you should stick to a watch that is Swiss made.

What are the components of a watch?

Every watch is a complicated arrangement of lots of different components, all working together to produce a fully functioning timepiece. So, when you’re shopping for a new watch, you might notice some technical language.

The dial is the showstopper, the part that shows the time among other things, depending on what type of watch you have. Some watch dials have an aperture, a small window that shows the date or moon phase. Around the dial is the bezel, which can be rotated or fixed according to their function. The crown and pushers are the buttons you use when setting the various features of your watch. Some people look for watches with lots of extra bells and whistles, others like a sleeker look. It really depends what style you prefer.

What does ‘movement’ mean?

Underneath the dial are the individual components that make your watch go around, known as the movement. There are two main types to choose from, each with their own pros and cons. Quartz movement is interesting because it is the cheaper of the two options as well as the most accurate. Automatic movement watches have many more complicated moving parts in their mechanism and are considered more collectable as a result. Again, personal taste should be your deciding factor: do you like a second hand that ticks, like a quartz watch? Or one which moves in one fluid motion, like an automatic?

How can I get a good deal?

Watches are a great example of getting what you pay for. Whether you lean towards the indulgence of a dress watch or the showmanship of a sporty design, investing in a quality timepiece can feel like a big financial decision.

Brand names, luxurious materials, and a whole host of technical features all contribute towards the cost of your dream watch — but you can still get a bargain without compromising by shopping pre-owned collections. That way, you know you’re getting the best that money can buy at a fraction of the cost. Talk about daylight savings!

There’s more to choosing a watch than what you can see. The materials, movements, and even who made it can have a big impact on the quality — and value — of your timepiece. The tips in this guide should make choosing your next watch a lot easier, and you’ll have your own personal collection built up in no time.

Looking for more helpful guides? We have lots of helpful watch and jewellery advice in our blog.

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