What does a ‘movement’ mean?
The movement or caliber refers to the mechanism that drives the hands on a watch face and powers its ‘complications’ such as calendar, chronograph or a dual time zone.
Although any people look at the exterior of a watch when deciding which watch to buy, the true connoisseur will also appreciate the mechanism on the inside of a watch.
Most of the time spent by a skilled watchmaker is on designing the interior of a watch. Their amazing work is the difference between a masterpiece and a mediocre watch.
There are four types of movement:
Quartz – the movement causes the second hand to move in individual ticks. It is powered by a battery.
Mechanical – the movement will cause the second hand to move in a smooth sweeping motion. You need to wind it manually for it to work.
Automatic – kinetic energy from the wearer's wrist is transferred automatically and drives the mechanism inside the watch.
Solar Powered – Instead of using a battery, these watches use light to power a capacitor that runs the quartz movement.
Key watch features to look out for
Some of the key features of a watch are:
The material – a good watch is at least made of stainless steel. Titanium or ceramic watch is even better, but more expensive.
The watch movement – quartz, mechanical or automatic (see Q1). Most mechanical watches in the luxury watch market are automatic.
The kind of watch glass – a good-quality watch will have sapphire glass. Crystal glass or mineral glass usually indicates a more average watch.
The case - the container that protects the watch movement from dust, water and shocks.
The bezel - the ring that surrounds the watch dial (or face) and holds the crystal in place.
The watch strap – you can usually choose between stainless steel, leather, precious metal straps.
A brand name associated with quality – such as OMEGA, Zenith, Longines, Montblanc, Piaget, Baume & Mercier, Maurice Lacroix, Breguet, Chaumet, Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Redo.
High water resistance rating (if it is a dive watch) - a luxury dive watch usually has a water resistance rating of 200 metres or more.
Some of the most sought-after kinds of watches
Some of the most popular watches on the market are dive watches also known as diving watches), elegant/classic, pilot, sport and casual.
A dive watch is a watch designed for underwater diving that features, as a minimum, a water resistance greater than 100 metres. A typical diver's watch will have a water resistance of around 200 to 300 metres, although there are dive watches that can go even deeper than that. Dive watches are antimagnetic, shock resistant and saltwater resistant. It also has to be easy to read, even in complete darkness.
The OMEGA Seamaster Diver is the perfect example of a dive watch which enjoys a legendary following. This 42 mm model is crafted from stainless steel and 18K yellow gold and includes a blue ceramic bezel with a Ceragold™ diving scale. The dial is polished blue ceramic and features laser-engraved waves and a date window at 6 o’clock.
Classic/elegant watches are considered timeless and will never go out of fashion, even though enormous technological advances have been made since their inception. A classic watch uses the mechanical movement which uses a clockwork mechanism to measure time. Although not as accurate as quartz watches, these watches are a work of craftsmanship and are highly regarded by most watch aficionados.
The Clifton Baumatic 10400 epitomises the modern urban-chic aesthetic with a crisp white dial with the iconic date aperture, a powerful, yet luxuriously comfortable metal bracelet with triple folding clasps and the clean lines of simple, polished time markers and rhodium-plated hands. This mechanical self-winding classic watch for men is perfect for those with an appreciation for masculine refinement.
With the Longines 1832, Longines pays tribute to the year it was created, reflecting the aesthetic codes of the brand, combining tradition, elegance and performance
The Piaget traditional watch is a gold jewellery watch with a charmingly retro look, representing Piaget's historical expertise. Round, elegant and fitted with the ultra-thin 430P mechanical movement just 2 mm thick, it is available in two sizes, varying the bracelets set with precious stones.
A pilot or aviation watch is a watch type which is specifically designed to the needs of aircraft pilots. Characteristics include a large and legible dial, high luminosity, an oversized winding crown, extra bezel markings, and dual time or GMT complications.
The relationship between Zenith and aviation is long-standing. The Zenith Chronomaster Sport is a serious piece of watchmaking and a genuinely fascinating timepiece. This highly-praised wristwatch has a fresh and sharp look and is the culmination of over 50 years of mastery of the sporty chronograph and the automatic chronograph calibre by the iconic watchmakers.
A sports watch is a durable, water-resistant wristwatch that includes features such as an alarm, stopwatch, compass and a heart rate monitor. It should be easily legible, fairly shockproof and resistant to scratches and physical contact. A casual watch is the less formal kind of timepiece that goes well with all sorts of outfits.
Here are three stunning timepieces that are considered sports/casual and would be an excellent addition to anyone’s collection:
The Longines Hydroconquest is a watch dedicated to men and women looking for a high-performance timepiece that combines technical innovation and elegance.
The Piaget Polo Watch is a men’s steel chronograph watch is the expression of relaxed elegance, perfect for any occasion.
The Baume & Mercier Clifton Club 10337 is an automatic watch for men which features a round 42 mm diameter satin-finished steel watch with a crisp white dial.
Q & A
What type of watch movements are there?
There are four types of movement – quartz, mechanical, automatic and solar powered.
What are the key features of a watch?
The watch material, watch movement, case, bezel, kind of watch glass, watch strap, brand name and high-water resistance rating are all key features to look out for.
What is a complication watch?
Put simply, a complication is any function on a watch that does anything more than just showing time.
A great example of a complication watch is the Montblanc Star Legacy Full Calendar which indicates the hours, minutes, seconds, day, date, month and moon phase. The date is read via a hand that culminates in a little red crescent that sweeps along a wreath of 31 digits around the dial’s periphery. The day of the week and the month appear in apertures on the upper half of the dial, while the lower half is reserved for the moon phase display.
The Longines Master Collection features hours, minutes, small seconds with 24 hours indicator at 9 o'clock. The date is indicated by the half-moon central hand. The moon phase display is at 6 o'clock.
The Chronomaster El Primero Grande Date Full Open features its central chronograph hand - 30-minute counter at 3 o'clock, the moon & sun phase indication at 6 o'clock, the hours and minutes in the centre, the small seconds at 9 o'clock and the large date indication at 2 o'clock.
What are the different watch complications?
Watch complications can include calendars, moon phase indicators, multiple time zone indicators, tourbillons, chronographs and chiming mechanisms.
What is a dive watch?
Dive watches are designed to withstand at least 100 metres of water resistance.
What is a classic watch?
The term ‘classic watch’ (or ‘dress watch’) usually refers to watches that stand the test of time.
What is a pilot watch?
A pilot or aviation watch includes a large and highly legible dial with big numeral hour markers, an oversized crown for easy handling, an anti-magnetic seal and usually also a dual time or GMT function.
What is a sport watch?
A sports watch is a tough, water-resistant watch which is also easily legible and shock-resistant.