6 Essential Facts to consider before your first Watch Purchase

Getting a watch for the first time is as personal as getting a wallet or piece of jewelry. You may be the type of person who wants one for every occasion, or you may be the type that wants one watch that you can wear with confidence whether you are dining at a fancy restaurant or swimming in the ocean. Here are six things to consider before you buy your first watch.

Bling or Bang?

The first thing to consider is whether you want a watch that looks good or one that performs. Watches that have gold finishes or are encrusted with diamonds may look great but not be able to withstand the elements, and some utilitarian watches may not have a lot of style. Diver’s watches have style and durability. Some are waterproof down to about 1,000 feet. From the Omega Seamaster, worn by James Bond, to more affordable Seiko and Citizen models, a diver’s watch may fit your need for both bling and bang.

The Band

If you plan on wearing your watch into the water, whether for a swim, a downpour or your daily shower, you need to consider the type of band. Many waterproof watches have bands that are not waterproof. Leather will actually begin to smell after it gets wet over and over again. Organic and synthetic bands that resemble cloths or leathers usually do not fare well after repeated soakings. Rubber and stainless steel are better choices if your watchband will be getting more than just the occasional splash.

Analog or Digital?

If you want style, you need to go with analog. The standard analog face of a watch with hour, minute and second hands has never gone out of style. There are analog designs with digital readouts embedded in the watch face. Some artistic watches may have digital displays as do some retro designs. However, the hallmark of a cheap watch for a long time has been a cheap LCD digital display of the time.

Wind Up or Battery?

There are battery-powered, self-winding, winding, solar and hybrid watches. Batteries in watches last a very long time. Solar watches have an internal circuit that helps to keep the battery charged. Self-winding watches have a mechanism that winds the spring as you naturally move your wrist throughout the day. Hybrid watches may incorporate different mechanisms to keep the watch running, but a watch you must manually wind every day is a classic that has stood the test of time.

Glow or Backlight?

Battery-powered watches may have a backlight that glows green, blue, orange or red to let you see the time in dim light.Tritium, a radioactive material, has a subtle green glow that does not require any battery power and does not lose its glow as the night wears on. Tritium is also used in night sights for guns. The radioactive output is so small that it is used in consumer products where a small amount of light is needed without the need for battery power or electronic circuitry. The beta particles emitted from tritium tubes cannot penetrate skin.

Numbers or Symbols?

The standard analog watch face has the numbers one through twelve for the hours on a clock. Other artistic and stylistic renditions may mark the quarter-hour positions with a symbol or jewel. It is up to you to choose. Even with only four of the twelve hours marked on a watch, it is easy to quickly tell the time. However, if you have a job that requires instant precision in noting the time, you may want to stick with the standard 12 numbers on the dial of the watch you choose.

Though your watch is personal and unique to you, do consider any requirements you must meet for wearing a watch. If you are in the public service such as holding the job of a police officer, or if you are in the military, you may have policy restrictions on the type of watch you wear. For example, watches with audible alarms or glowing tritium watch faces may be banned from jobs where stealth is a requirement. If you are a civilian, the wonderful world of wristwatch designs is wide open to you.

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