Watches may be the greatest engineering marvel ever created. Think about the hundreds of small, even microscopic parts that seamlessly integrate to produce an accurate depiction of time. Consumers who rack their brains about the intricacies of a watch should focus on the common parts found in virtually every one made today. With the proliferation of mobile phones seemingly making watches an obsolete way to track time, the fact is that watches continue to represent one of the more popular fine jewellery items sold throughout the world. Unfortunately, many watches are constructed with poor materials or shoddy workmanship. Consumers need to know the differences between poorly made watches and high quality watches.
Consumers can buy high quality watches from certified watchmakers and shops that specialise in either selling watches or an assortment of jewellery. They can also go online and shop for high quality watches on eBay. First, since high quality watches represent a substantial investment, consumers should learn about the common interior watch parts, the most prominent watch face features, and the factors to consider when shopping for high quality watches.
The Primary Components Inside of a Watch
While there have been methods for telling time that date back to the 15th century, watches did not become commonplace until the middle part of the 20th century. Since then, manufacturers have developed numerous types and styles of watches, from functional time-telling devices to upscale fashion statements. Simple mechanical watches consist of nearly 130 parts, while complex watches can contain over 500 interworking parts. Consumers should focus their attention on the most common interior watch parts.
Interior Watch Part
Spiral metal spring bar
Power source for winding a watch
High quality watch mainsprings made with anodised treated metals
Responsible for keeping time
Produces ticking sound
The better the balance, the higher the quality
Controls balance wheel movement
Ridged, circular part attached to top of balance wheel
Works with hairspring to ensure balance wheel reliability
All of the interior rotating wheels
At least three gears moving in multiple directions
Transmit power for mainspring
Small, pointed stick used to wind manual watches
Activates the minute and hour hands
Consumers who want to invest in high quality watches need to know about the common interior components and their functions. The information comes in handy when discussing the variety of high quality watches available in timepiece shops and online at eBay. Watchmakers that produce high quality watches utilise only the best materials for interior watch parts.
Parts of a Watch Face
Although manufacturers can construct watch faces with varied materials that possess unique features, most manufacturers create watch faces that contain common parts for both men's and women's watches. There is little, if any, deviation between watchmakers as to which parts are used to construct the watch face, which is the most prominent and defining feature of a watch. When deciding on a high quality watch, carefully analyse the construction of the following watch face parts.
The watch dial represents the primary display of the watch. It is typically the first feature noticed by watch buyers. The watch hands attach to the middle of a dial and rotate clockwise. High quality watches possess clearly marked time increments and the hands move in a consistent, regimented manner.
High quality watch manufacturers utilise crystal for a protective covering. Crystals do a better job of resisting scratches and smudges. Some manufacturers try to promote plastic-coated watch coverings as a high quality feature, but plastic not only scratches and streaks, it also can crack and break. Look for authentic high quality watches to include crystal coverings.
The moving hands are short, thin strips constructed with plastic or metal. Watches made with metal hands are considered to be of higher quality. Watch hands point to the hour and minute of the day. Some watches include a third hand that measures seconds, and a third hand is often attributed to improving the quality of a watch.
Watch markings refer to the numbers that represent the time of day. Manufacturers can create watches that use the standard scale or Roman numerals. Some watch retailers believe Roman numeral watches possess more value, although the true value of the markings comes down to the capability of users to discern the time.
Most watches include a small metal knob that adjusts the watch hands to ensure the accurate depiction of time. The crown of a watch can attach on either side of the watch face, as well as turn both clockwise and counterclockwise. Since the crown is considered to be the most fragile component of the watch face, look for crowns made with durable metals that do not put much pressure on the interior spring that allows the hands to move.
What to Look for in a High Quality Watch
Understanding the common interior and face parts of a watch is one step towards becoming an informed consumer. However, consumers should also know about the five signs that define high quality watches. Ask about each of the following factors when shopping in a jewellery shop or online at eBay.
The recent trend towards producing lightweight watches implies that lighter materials define high quality watches. Follow the time-tested watch buying axiom that "heavy is important". Heavy watches typically are more durable, and thus, last longer than watches made with lightweight materials. A high quality watch should be made with heavy materials, such as anodised metals. Plastic parts do not cut it when it comes to providing reliability.
Some people buy clocks because of the soothing tick-tock sound that emanates from them. High quality watches do not produce any sound during the circular sweep of the hands. The best watches are constructed with such high quality internal mechanisms that the ticks occur as frequently as nine times a second, which create a flawless sweep.
Watch traditions have withstood the test of time, so to speak, and the most revered traditions involve brand names that conjure up high quality. Some of the more reputable brand names include Cartier, Rolex, and Casio. In fact, Casio watches have overtaken other brands as the most popular watch brand in the world.
Counterfeiting confuses, and sometimes overwhelms, watch consumers. Therefore, consumers want to look for something that guarantees high quality; that something comes from the Swiss government, which implements stringent standards for sanctioning watches made within Switzerland. Only watches that are assembled, cased, and inspected in Switzerland are allowed to carry the branding "Swiss made". Consumers who purchase Swiss-made watches receive the highest quality of all watches.
It should go without mentioning, but the most important factor that determines watch quality is accuracy. Despite the movement towards wearing watches as a fashion statement, the primary reason why people wear watches is to tell the time accurately. The best watches run on the precise movements of an intricate series of gears and springs. The most accurate watches in the world receive the most comprehensive testing to be certified as chronometers.
How to Buy a High Quality Watch on eBay
eBay offers buyers a wide variety of watches that encompass virtually every type and style. However, to find sellers who offer high quality watches, you should utilise eBay's powerful search engine to ensure you receive a high quality watch. The best keywords to use include highly reputable watch brand names, such as "Seiko watches" or "Rolex watches". You should also try the keywords "Swiss made" to find sellers who offer high quality watches. Once you find a watch seller who meets your shopping criteria, navigate to the seller's product page to review the accepted payment methods, delivery terms, and return policy.
Only consider buying from eBay watch sellers who have earned the top-rated seller designation. These sellers have established reputations for selling high quality products and offering generous return policies. eBay places an electronic icon by each qualified seller product photograph to designate the top-rated sellers. You can also review customer feedback that eBay places on seller product pages. Look for sellers who have received positive feedback for selling wristwatches or some other type of jewellery. You should buy a high quality watch from an eBay seller who provides pertinent information that relates to watch quality.
The advancement of digital technology may appear to make watches obsolete, but sales figures indicate that most people prefer to wear watches around their wrists to keep an accurate account of time. While some consumers purchase watches to make a fashion statement, a vast majority of consumers still place watch functionality above style. Therefore, consumers who want to buy high quality watches need to know what goes into making such watches.
The quality of the parts that comprise a watch interior form the backbone of high quality watches. Anodised metals must be used to construct the intricate pattern of gears and springs that seamlessly integrate to tell time. Watch faces must contain covers made of crystal to prevent scratching and streaking. Consumers should also purchase watches that contain hands and crowns that withstand the pounding that durable watches take. While watches comprise hundreds of moveable parts that can make the shopping process seem overwhelming, consumers can find high quality watches by analysing weight, accuracy, sweep, and brand name. Above all, look for watches that include the branding "Swiss made". Swiss-made watches represent the highest quality watches produced in the world.