With so many fakes and cheap knock-offs, watch lovers must learn to spot a quality watch. These days, it’s essential, especially if you’re planning on spending a lot of money. You don’t want to come to sell it later only to find out it isn’t real.
Not everyone, though, is a watch expert. As such, it can be challenging to figure out whether a watch is quality or not.
That’s where this post is here to help. We look at all the ways to spot a quality timepiece before buying, ensuring you get a fair deal.
Check the Watch’s Movement
The first thing to check is the movement of the watch – the mechanism that powers the hands. Quality watches use either quartz or mechanical systems to keep time.
Quartz watches use a small battery and a tiny crystal to keep time. The crystal’s properties let it stay in rhythm for many years when paired with an electric current.
Mechanical watches use a combination of springs and gears to keep time. Old-fashioned watches require owners to wind them up, while newer ones can self-wind.
Most premium watch buyers prefer quartz because it is more accurate, cheaper, and requires less maintenance. Mechanical watches need regular servicing and can lose or gain time.
With that said, many buyers love the craftsmanship and intricate detail that goes into mechanical watches. The history behind them is often extraordinary, making them highly desirable collectibles.
Whether you choose a mechanical or quartz watch, ensure it is from a reputable brand. Verified and well-known manufacturers are more likely to produce high-quality units.
Check The Watch Case
The next thing to check is the watch case – the compartment containing the hands and other moving parts. Most are made of quality metals and alloys, such as titanium, stainless steel, gold, and platinum. In some rare cases, brands use ceramic.
The choice of material affects the watch’s durability, weight, and appearance. Stainless steel (an alloy of steel and chromium) is the most common because it is strong, highly corrosion-resistant, and easy to polish.
Titanium is lighter and stronger but much more expensive because it is difficult to work. Manufacturers must weld and shape it in an oxygen-free environment.
Gold and platinum are the most desirable watch materials because of their rarity and extreme resistance to tarnishing. However, they are significantly more expensive than other options.
Lastly, ceramic is a relatively new and trendy material, celebrated for its lightweight and scratch-resistance properties.
While watches made of cheaper materials are not necessarily bad, they don’t last as long. Plastic watch casing can easily scratch and scuff while rubber can disintegrate.
Check the Watch’s Crystal
Another thing you might want to check before you buy a watch is the crystal – the piece of glass that protects the dial and hands. Brands usually make this of mineral glass, sapphire glass, or acrylic plastic.
Mineral glass is similar to regular glass and extremely abundant. Low-end watch manufacturers use it because it is cheap and easy to work with.
Sapphire glass is the most expensive high-end material. Made of rock, it is hard (similar to diamond) and doesn’t scratch easily. However, it can crack or shatter if you drop it on the floor.
Lastly, acrylic is the cheapest and most retro material. While it is lightweight and flexible, it discolors and scratches over time.
Check The Strap Or Bracelet
The next thing to check is the watch’s strap or bracelet. Again, it can provide hints regarding the watch’s overall quality.
The strap is the part of the watch that fastens it to your wrist. Manufacturers make it from various materials, including rubber, nylon, metal, leather, and fabric.
High-end watches usually come with beautiful straps or bracelets made of metal or leather. Some may even have jewel-encrusted segments. Cheaper watches use rubber, nylon, or fabric, which can break or fray more easily.
Check The Weight
Historically, a heavy watch meant quality. However, today that’s not always true. As such, you’ll need to consider the context when checking the weight. Some brands deliberately engineer their watches to be on the lighter side.
For instance, gold and platinum watches should be heavy. That’s because these metals have a high mass for their size.
However, ultra-thin silicone or titanium watches feel light while maintaining high quality. Bulgari, for instance, makes the titanium Octo Finissimo for customers looking for a weightless wrist feel. Richard Mille does something similar using titanium-lithium alloy movement to craft the RM-27-01, which weighs just 18.83 grams.
Check The Accuracy
Lastly, a quality timepiece should have high accuracy of between +6 / -4 seconds per day. Most brands apply for chronometer certification (COSC), where labs test watches for accuracy over ten days. Other brands meet more stringent master chronometer certification (METAS), which involves more tests and additional precision requirements.
Now You’re Ready To Spot A Quality Watch In Miami
Having read this article, you’re now in a much better position to spot a quality watch in Miami. The critical things to look out for include the casing and crystal material, the time-keeping accuracy, additional features, and strap material.
Be aware that determining the quality of a watch is now different from the past. Historically, weight was the determining factor, but modern lightweight designs now mean enthusiasts must consider other variables. Take the watch’s history, heritage, and design priorities into account before making a final decision. Pay attention to the small details, such as the intricacies on the clockface and the stitching on the strap. It is all an indication of quality.