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Watches

The following is a brief description of the types of watches that are available in the marketplace.  Included is a list of the names of watch parts and watch terminology.

Parts of a watch and related terminology
  • Bezel: The upper portion of the watch that encircles the face and holds the crystal. In some cases it contains an extra ring to beautify the case or a rotating ring with a special function.
  • Crown: Small round serrated cylinder usually located at the 3 o’clock position. Some people refer to it as a winder, as it once was used to wind the spring in mechanical watches. The crown is used to set the time/date when pulled outward and rotated.
  • Crystal: The transparent protective covering fitted tightly over the face of the watch. It is held in place by the bezel. May be made from plastic, glass or synthetic sapphire.
  • Gasket: A rubber or plastic ring that seals the internal works of the watch against dust and moisture.
  • Gold Plating: An application of gold over the surface of another metal.  It’s used in the manufacture of watches that have the look of gold at a fraction of the price.
  • Stainless Steel Case and Bracelet: This is the metal of choice used to make high quality watches because it is durable and can withstand more wear and tear than a similar watch in brass or gold. It is also hypoallergenic because it doesn’t contain nickel.
  • Titanium Case and Bracelet: Titanium is one of the lightest and strongest metals on earth. It is extremely durable and is hypoallergenic.
  • Water Resistant: For a watch to be water resistant the seal should be changed regularly and the back needs to fit tight.  This term describes a watch that should keep moisture out with regular wear.  For swimming the watch should be water resistant and water proof to at least 50 meters. For snorkeling the watch should have a 100-meter rating and diving ratings should be 150 meters or more. Professional divers’ watches should be listed to at least 200 meters.
Watch Movements

The majority of the watches sold today have quartz movements. The best way to explain the differences between watch movements available is to compare them to mechanical watches, which were the first wrist watches introduced in 1910.

Movement
Description
Mechanical
Mechanical Watches use a balance wheel for time measurement and a mainspring for power. They require manual winding.
Automatic
Automatic Watches are self-winding mechanical watches. They have a rotor which includes an oscillating weight that swings backwards and forwards with every movement of the wrist. The oscillations are converted by means of a gearing into a rotary motion that winds the mainspring.
Quartz
Quartz Watches use a quartz crystal for time measurement and a battery for power. They require no winding. A vibrating piece of quartz crystal is used to track time. Usually accurate to within 30 seconds a month. Watches that use a quartz moment have 75% less moving parts than conventional mechanical watches, and therefore require less maintenance.
Kinetic Quartz
Solar Quartz
Kinetic quartz watches are exclusive technology to Seiko. It is a quartz watch without a battery. The Kinetic quartz generates electrical energy to power itself from the natural movement of the wearer’s arm and wrist. It stores the energy in a capacitor. The reserve energy lasts 3 to 14 days in a motionless watch.
Solar Watches use a quartz crystal for time measurement. Any light source is absorbed through the crystal and dial. A solar cell converts the light into energy to power the watch. No battery is needed
Ana-Dig:
Ana-dig watches have both an analog and digital display. The analog display has a traditional dial with hour, minute and, sometimes, second depiction. A digital display shows the time numerically with liquid crystal numbers
Types of Crystals and their Durability
  • Plastic: does not resist scratches
  • Mineral: hardened glass that resists some scratches; 5 on the Mohs Ranking Scale for hardness. Also in this category are Wittnauer’s Mineron and Seiko’s Hardlex.
  • Synthetic Sapphire: hardened glass with a sapphire coating to help resist scratches. For example, Seiko Sapphlex.
  • Sapphire: scratch resistant; very hard; 9 on Mohs Ranking Scale and used on high quality watches.
Water Resistance Chart
ATMFeetMeterExamples of Usage
13310Showerproof or splashproof. Protected against accidental exposure to water.
310030Will withstand splashes or brief emersion in water, but is not suitable for swimming.
516550Suitable for swimming.
10330100Suitable for swimming and snorkeling.
15500150Suitable for snorkeling.
20660200Suitable for skin diving.