Are you thinking of buying a wristwatch online? Join the crowd! Watches have become one of the most popular online purchases. But as you may have already discovered, the enormous variety of styles and brands can be a bit confusing. Here are some guidelines that hopefully will help you to narrow your choice.
First there is the issue of size. Watches have gotten much large over the past few years. While a typical men’s watch may have measured 32-35mm a few years ago, newer men’s watches average 38-42mm with some as large as 55mm. Rectangular watches of course tend to be narrower than round watches. Average case width for a mens’ rectangular watch is 28-34mm. Bigger watches look great in pictures, but unless you’ve tried one on, and like it – a big watch can be a great conversation piece – you should probably stay in that 40mm range.
Ladies’ watches have gotten larger as well, although many women opt to wear men’s watches these days. A large watch on a woman’s wrist can make a bold fashion statement. But if you are shopping for an average size ladies’ watch, anything under 24mm would be considered “petite”, 24-28mm “average”, and 28mm and up large. An average size ladies’ rectangular watch would be 18-22mm.
Quartz v. Mechanical. You may have heard the terms “quartz” watch and “mechanical” or “automatic” watch, but don’t really know what is the difference, or which is better. A quartz watch is simply an electronic watch, usually powered by a battery, although some are solar, and others are powered by kinetic enery. A good quality quartz watch is extremely accurate and reliable. They are also relatively less expensive than mechanical watches. The only maintenance they require is an occasional battery change. A quartz watch is the best choice for most people who just want an inexpensive, reliable watch to tell the time.
Most Citizen Watches have a technology called “Eco-Drive” which is really just a fancy way of saying solar-powered quartz watch. Solar powered watches don’t have a battery that you need to change, but an internal capacitor that will power the watch for several months when fully charged. Casio, and a number of other manufacturers also offer solar powered watches.
A mechanical watch, is a wind-up watch powered by a spring that turns a series of gears and eventually the hands. It is a more traditional technology that goes back several hundred years. “Automatic” mechanical watches are self-winding. The way this works is that a small rotor on the back of the watch’s movement spins around with any movement as you wear your watch. As it spins, it winds a spring, which provides power to the watch. When the spring is fully wound, it will typically power the watch for about 42 hours before it needs to be wound again.
Mechanical watches are popular with collectors and watch enthusiasts. Properly maintained, a good quality mechanical watch can last a lifetime and even become an heirloom.
Analog v. Digital. Analog watches are simply watches with moving hands. A digital watch is a watch with a small LED or LCD screen that displays the time in a digital format. Analog watches are considered to be somewhat more elegant and dressy, as well as traditional. The function of an analog watch is usually limited to time, day, date and maybe a stopwatch or an alarm. Digital watches frequently provide much more functionality than analog womens watches nz watches. Some of the newer digital watches are equipped with functions such as electronic compasses, altimeters, barometers, thermometers, timers and multiple alarms.
Another factor to consider is the “crystal”. The crystal is the glass that covers the dial. Crystals are usually made of acrylic, mineral glass, or cultured sapphire crystal. Acrylic scratches very easily, but can also be polished to remove minor abrasions.
Mineral glass is more resistant to scratching than acrylic, but cannot be polished once it gets scratched, although it is relatively inexpensive to replace. A watch with a good quality mineral crystal should hold up pretty well if you are gentle with your watches.
A sapphire crystal is virtually impossible to scratch, and theoretically can only be scratches by a diamond, or another sapphire. Watches with sapphire crystals are usually more expensive, but stay looking great for longer.