They say wrist watches are to men as jewelry is to women; after all, men can only rely on what’s on their wrist in the absence of anything to spice up their look. But then again, it’s not only men that are in love with wrist watches in various forms, sizes, makes, brands, prices and types. Women too have their share of classy wrist watches to complement every look. The ubiquity of wrist watches is such that we find it hard to leave our homes without a wrist watch on. It is simple too “weird” to go out knowing you do not have a timepiece – and fashion accessory – to refer to when you need a distraction, an excuse to bolt out, or simply a stunning piece of investment to make you look that much cooler. Yes, the watch truly is a Wow Gold piece of jewelry or accessory even if it is made of some other precious metal.
So where do we even begin cataloging wrist watches? With their sheer variety, free term papers have been written about them for ages and yet we still fall short in describing their grandeur and elegance. Well, regardless of how you look at watches, you are more likely to buy them for function more than anything else. So let’s look at the common uses of watches, aside from ordinary timekeeping, so we can at least try to scratch the surface of the whole breadth which is the wrist watch industry.
Fashion. Watches were originally intended for timekeeping, yes, but today the wrist watch is as much a fashion statement as it is a piece of usable “equipment.” A lot of wrist watch enthusiasts go beyond buying watches for function and instead have considered it a collectible item. For this reason, the wrist watch has some of the most varied price range of any other product simply because depending on the purposes, you can buy a watch super cheap or super expensive. And those intended as fashion statements are certainly some of the most expensive in the world. They are adorned with a variety of gemstones and are powered by very sophisticated watch mechanics that some brands easily sell for $20,000. A good Rolex, for example, can quash your plans of going to the car dealership in a heartbeat. Likewise, you can easily find cheap accent pieces for a few tens of dollars to a couple of hundreds. There is definitely a watch that you match your taste and budget so if you are looking for one, be prepared to spend an inordinate time looking through piles and piles of options to get to the one that suits you just fine.
Sport. In this era of obsessing over fitness and health, sports watches are making a strong push to replace your everyday pedestrian watches. Today, there are wrist watches are so multi-functional, they are like your Sanuk sandals in that they are neither slippers or shoes! The latest sports watches have a variety of features including GPS capability, pedometers, altimeters, barometers, weather prediction devices, a digital compass, heart rate monitors and they can even suggest specific workouts for you to do on a given day. The technology of sports watches is beginning to blur the line between watches and computers. Without a pull up bar, you can still expect to grow some muscle and improve your physique simply by relying on various sports watches specifically those from established manufacturers like Garmin, Polar, Timex, Casio and Suunto to name a few.
Special Function Watches. Today, some watches are especially designed to work in the vacuum of space or in the crushing depths of the Marianas Trench. If that does not tell you about the versatility of watches, then I don’t know what will. The Omega Speedmaster, for example, is the preferred time-keeping piece for NASA astronauts while the Rolex Oyster Submariner is able to endure the depths of the deepest point on Earth without as much as a single leak.
Wrist watches can also be characterized based on a number of characteristics including the display type or the power mechanism. Oftentimes, these are excellent indications of a watch’s value relative to high-end models.
Considering the movement mechanisms at the watch maker’s disposal, we look at the mechanical and electronic movement capabilities of today’s watches.
Mechanical movement is oftentimes grouped into three types: mechanical movement with gears, mainsprings which use the power of a small coil to keep the watch moving, and automatic or self-winding varieties for perpetual power. The watch mechanically powered by gears serves as the grandfather of watch mechanisms although it still continues to enjoy fame in today’s picky markets. The value of gear mechanism oftentimes lies in its packaging where transparent casing is used to showcase the sophistication of the gear mechanism. Much like having a corner office space London where you can see through the whole city from the comfort of your window, the beauty of old gears is simply breathtaking.
In contrast, mainsprings and automatic or self-winding watches are more reliable because they use mechanisms that reliable coils that keep the watch moving until the coil tension is exhausted. These have superseded the mechanical varieties in today’s markets.
Electronic movements are powered by a variety of mechanisms such as the piezoelectric effect or the power of a tiny crystal like quartz to keep the watch moving. This is where the term “quartz watch” came from; it simply means that a quartz crystal is powering your watch.
Wrapping up our brief look of wrist watches are the display types namely digital and analog. Digital watches are produced by simple or sophisticated electronic circuits, depending on the purpose, function and price of the watch. The more advanced circuitry, like the best web hosting sites, requires more powerful electronics. In contrast, more pedestrian applications have very simple electronics as in the logic behind auction sites: you bid, you win if you are the highest bidder! You cannot mistake digital watches because they show information on a face with no hands. Like a calculator face, these watches are simply begging “Click here!”
In contrast, analog watches are those where the arms are visible. This display mechanism requires little explanation because of its ubiquity. If you are in the real estate industry, it is about as ubiquitous as Helen Pastorino or Chautauqua Homes for Sale! What’s more interesting is the marriage of two displays – an analog and a digital face – on one wrist watch; and yes, many designs now feature this look.
So there goes the complex and mesmerizing world of the wrist watch. It is almost certain that you have one on you right now, but then again who says you can only have one? Check out the different types and get your next wrist watch fix from a store near you!