Wrist Watches: specifications, types
This parameter determines, first of all, the appearance of the clock, and only then — the functionality. In addition, the wearing of "men's" and "women's" watches by adults is related solely to the rules of style and social norms, and not to the technical characteristics of different models.
— Men's. Men's watches are characterized by a rather large case and a relatively discreet, dim design — which, however, can be different, from strict classics with a single scale on the dial to "hi-tech" with an abundance of additional features.
— Women's. This type of watch stands out primarily for its original design, more varied and bright than in men's models; this applies not only to the watch itself, but also to complete bracelets / straps. A fairly large number of such models are designed to play the role of not only a wrist chronometer, but also a fashion accessory. In addition, they are generally smaller and more elegant, and even rather large women's watches weigh less than men's watches of the same size.
— Unisex. A watch with a neutral (in terms of gender) design, without pronounced details that would characterize it as masculine or feminine. In general, the design of such watches is often quite bright and original, many unisex models are designed for a youth audience, lovers of the original style, etc.
— Baby.... Watches designed for children have two main features. One of them is a characteristic design: in bright colors, often in the style of popular cartoons or comics. The second is that regular bracelets or straps are designed for a small child's hand and are equipped with the simplest clasps so that the small owner does not have problems with putting on / taking off. Also note that children's watches are distinguished by relatively simple functionality — you will not find special features like world time, chronograph, barometer, etc. in them (see "Features").
Country of brand origin
The country of origin of the brand under which this watch brand is produced. Usually, the headquarters of the manufacturer is located in the same country. But production facilities may be located in another country, or even in several countries. Most of the brands under which modern watches are produced come from the following countries (in alphabetical order): Austria, England, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Korea, Russia, USA, France, Switzerland, Japan.
Note that in the modern world, the quality of a product is very weakly related to its country of origin (both declared and actual). Much more it depends on how carefully one or another manufacturer controls the quality in their production. So when choosing, it makes sense to focus not so much on “nationality” as on the overall reputation of a particular brand.
Official mark used for watches made in Switzerland.
Switzerland is actually the "world capital" of watchmaking, products from this country are considered the standard of quality. However, not every watch brand officially registered in Switzerland has a production in this country. In order to distinguish “real Swiss watches” on the market, the Swiss Made label was introduced. To receive such a marking, the watch must meet several formal requirements at once, prescribed in the legislation of the country — namely:
— have a Swiss mechanism;
— this mechanism must be installed in Switzerland;
— there the clock must pass the final check.
In turn, the movement is considered Swiss if it is assembled and tested locally, and also contains at least 60% of Swiss components (by value, excluding the cost of assembly).
It is worth noting that there are loopholes in the “Swiss Made” law that allow not too scrupulous manufacturers to actually bypass the criteria specified in the law, formally fulfilling them. For example, most of the movement assembly work can be carried out at a factory in Asia, but if the last wheel is installed in Switzerland, the movement can already be considered assembled in Switzerland. So when buying a “Swiss Made” watch, it doesn’t hurt to clarify how carefully a particular brand follows official requirements. Nevertheless, in general, such watches are superior in quality to analogues from other countries (but how much...this difference corresponds to the difference in price is another question).
Watches produced in a limited edition — that is, in limited quantities and with some feature that distinguishes them from more traditional models produced in larger quantities. Most often, this feature is an unusual design — for example, in the "flight" style, when the dial resembles the scale of an aviation instrument; in the style of a particular brand (with a logo) or country (with a coat of arms and/or flag); in the Skeleton format or with an open balance (see below), etc.
In general, you should pay attention to products with this feature mainly in those cases when you need not just a watch, but an exclusive fashion accessory. Models of limited editions are much more expensive than standard counterparts, while most often they do not differ (or almost do not differ) from them in terms of functionality.
— Quartz. A mechanism based on an electronic quartz oscillator. Such a generator produces a strictly defined number of pulses per second, and on the basis of this data, the clock keeps time. In common parlance, only clocks with hands are called “quartz”, but the same principle applies to “electronic” models (with a digital display). Anyway, the main advantage of quartz movements is high accuracy — even in inexpensive models it is about ± 15 sec / month, and in the most advanced it can reach ± 0.3 sec / month. And these watches are much cheaper than mechanical ones. The main disadvantage of "quartz" is the need for power supply; and although a miniature battery usually lasts for several months, it still has to be changed periodically. In part, this moment is compensated by the use of solar panels and automatic winding systems (see "Source of movement").
— Mechanical. A traditional type of watch movement that uses a compressed spring as the power source. One of the advantages of such watches over quartz ones is that they do not require a battery — it is enough to wind the spring regularly, which can easily be made into a habit; and in the presence of automatic winding (see the relevant paragraph), the matter is even more simplified. "Mechanics" is noticeably more expensive than "quartz", although this may be a virtue that emphasizes the level of the watch and the status of its owner. But the unequivoc...al disadvantage of this option is the relatively low accuracy: if in quartz watches the error is measured in seconds per month, then in mechanical watches it is already about seconds per day. So, it is worth paying attention to this option either to fundamental connoisseurs of the classics, or to those who, by the nature of their activity, it is important to have a watch that does not depend on batteries (travelers, sailors, military, etc.).
A device primarily used in mechanical watches that provides continuous winding of the watch by moving the wearer's hand. Most often, it is made in the form of a rather massive plate in the form of a sector, which is fixed with a narrow end on an axis in the centre of the mechanism. When the hand and the watch attached to it oscillate — for example, while walking — the plate rotates, providing a spring winding.
One of the advantages of self-winding watches is obvious: they do not need to be wound as often as classic mechanical ones, and if worn constantly, they can do without manual winding at all. The course of such watches is more uniform, since the spring is constantly in an almost compressed state — this has a positive effect on accuracy. Also , automatic winding in mechanical watches is useful for waterproof models, in which the crown is attached to the thread during non-working hours, sealing the case — since the thread does not have to be used often, it wears out less, which has a positive effect on reliability. On the other hand, the self-winding plate increases the weight and thickness of the case, as well as the cost of the watch. In addition, the use of this function in miniature female models is associated with a number of difficulties, and if the owner leads a sedentary lifestyle (for example, due to old age), all the advantages of self-winding come to naught.
Note that there a...re also self-winding quartz watches — these are models with Kinetic technology. For more information about them, see "The source of the move."
Number of stones
The number of stones provided in the design of the watch.
This parameter is relevant for models that have arrows and corresponding moving parts in the hardware (wheels, gears, etc.). The stones in this case are, in fact, a specific kind of bearings used to fasten rotating parts. "Stones" are made from synthetic minerals (for example, artificial sapphires). They provide slightly less friction than traditional metal bearings, and most importantly, they are more reliable and less prone to wear, which accordingly affects the durability of the entire mechanism. However, it is worth noting here that these advantages are relevant mainly for mechanical watches (see "Movement type"), quartz models in this sense are not so demanding on bearings.
It is believed that the more stones, the better, but here it is worth considering the functionality of the device. So, for a watch with a central second hand, 16 jewels are considered sufficient, with a side hand — 17, but if there are additional functions (calendar, days of the week, etc.), this number can increase accordingly. In addition, the presence of 40 or more stones is often not so much a real necessity as a publicity stunt.
A caliber can be described as the type of movement used in a watch. It is expensive and impractical to design a unique movement for each watch model, so most manufacturers often use the same movement in different watch models, sometimes with significantly different designs. The term "caliber" is due to the fact that initially the type of movement was designated by a number (in inch lines) corresponding to its largest size; however, today unique names or alphanumeric indices that are not directly related to sizes are widely used.
Knowing the name of the caliber on which the watch you are interested in is built, you can, if desired, find more detailed information about the mechanism and determine how its characteristics meet your requirements.
The presence of a tourbillon in the design of a mechanical watch (see "Mechanism type").
Due to the imperfection of the design of the first mechanical watches, the accuracy of their movement depended on the position in space. To correct this shortcoming, the tourbillon was invented — a special device that, during operation, rotates the entire clock mechanism around an axis, most often at a frequency of 1 revolution per minute. This virtually eliminated the influence of the position of the case on the operation of the watch. However, since then many changes have been made to watch movements, and as a result, today they are able to provide the necessary accuracy without the use of a tourbillon. And given that the tourbillon itself is distinguished by a complex design and high cost, in modern watches it does not so much serve a practical purpose as it demonstrates the high status of the owner and the skill of the creators.
The watch has a separate second hand. Note that the location and features of the operation of such an arrow may be different. So, in some watches it is installed on the same axis with the rest of the hands, in others a separate small dial is provided for counting seconds. On some models, the second hand is part of the chronograph (see Features/Features) and only moves when the chronograph is on.
The accuracy of the rate is usually determined by the largest error — the deviation from the reference time, which can occur in a month when the watch is constantly running in normal mode. Accordingly, the smaller the number in this paragraph, the more accurate the clock. In addition, the accuracy of the movement is a kind of status indicator: if the error exceeds the values stated in the characteristics, this may indicate a malfunction in the mechanism.
If the accuracy indicators are the same both in advance and in lag, one number is indicated in the characteristics — for example, 30 sec / month (i.e. +/-30 sec / month); however, many mechanisms have unequal deviations, for example -15/+25 sec/month. Also note that this parameter is relevant only for quartz watches (see “Movement type”): in mechanical models, the accuracy of the rate is noticeably lower, it is measured in seconds not per month, but per day.
Travel (power) source
The power source of a quartz watch (see "Movement type") — in other words, the type of power source used in it.
— Battery. A miniature battery, usually in the form of a characteristic "pill"; used exclusively in quartz watches (see "Movement type"). The main disadvantage of this option can be called the need for replacement when the charge is exhausted; at the same time, almost all replaceable elements of miniature standard sizes used in wristwatches are produced only in the format of disposable batteries, without the possibility of recharging. On the other hand, they provide a long time of work, are inexpensive and are sold almost everywhere.
— Solar battery. Power supply system consisting of a photocell and a built-in battery. The photocell generates electricity when exposed to bright light, and the battery stores this energy and feeds the watch mechanism. The convenience of such models lies in the fact that with the regular presence of solar (or at least bright artificial) light, the owner does not have to worry about the energy reserve. On the other hand, the photocell significantly affects the price, and if you constantly stay indoors or wear clothes with sleeves that cover your watch, it becomes practically useless. Therefore, this option has not received wide popularity, and it is worth paying attention to such models primarily because they are regularly and a lot outdoors and/or in...bright daylight.
— Autoquartz movement (“kinetic”). A kind of automatic winding (see above), used in quartz watches. This technology was originally released by Seiko under the name "Kinetic", but nowadays it can be found in other manufacturers. Anyway, such systems work similarly to mechanical self-winding — transforming the energy from the movement of the user's hand into the energy necessary for the operation of the mechanism. However, in this case, such a mechanism does not start the spring, but rotates a miniature generator that generates electricity. The resulting charge is stored in a special capacitor and used to operate the quartz movement. Models with such mechanisms are positioned as "quartz watches in which you do not need to change the battery", and in general it is so. At the same time, they are characterized by the same limitations as conventional self-winding devices — in particular, with a sedentary lifestyle, this technology is practically useless. Yes, these watches are quite expensive.
Power reserve indication
An indicator showing how long the watch can run without winding, changing the battery, recharging, etc. It is found in models with any type of mechanism (see the relevant paragraph). Although the power reserve indicator is quite approximate, it still makes it easier to monitor the status of the device and reduces the risk of being left without a working watch at the wrong time.
Note that the End Of Life function (see below) in this case is not considered a power reserve indicator, although its role is generally similar.
EOL (End of Life)
A function found in quartz watches (see "Movement type") with an arrow dial. In fact, End Of Life is an indicator that signals a critically low battery. It works as follows: when the charge is running out, the second hand begins to “jump” immediately through 2 or 4 divisions, moving not once a second, but once every 2 or 4 seconds, respectively. Such a warning is clearly visible to the user, and the slow movement of the arrow additionally saves battery power, increasing the time to find and replace the battery.
The amount of time that the watch is able to operate normally without winding the spring or changing/recharging the battery (for more details, see "Power source"). Modern mechanical watches (see “Movement type”) have a standard power reserve of 40+/-5 hours. However, this parameter is usually indicated for the simplest mode of operation, without the use of additional functions such as a chronograph(see “Functions / Capabilities” ), which also “eat up” the plant. Thus, such a watch is supposed to be wound every day, but nothing will happen if you miss the usual time and remember to wind it a few hours later than usual.
In turn, for quartz watches, the power reserve is often not indicated in the specifications. This is due to the fact that this parameter, firstly, is quite large compared to mechanical models (it would be measured in tens of days rather than hours), and secondly, it strongly depends on a number of external factors (for example, the quality of the next batteries). Therefore, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to reliably determine the power reserve in such cases.
— Arrow. A classic-looking dial with divisions to indicate the time and at least two hands — hour and minute — moving in a circle. This option limits the ability to display additional information and any additional function significantly complicates the design, but this classic allows you to make watches in any design, which is so appreciated.
— Digital. As the name implies, the time in such a watch is displayed by numbers, while the role of the dial itself is played by a liquid crystal screen. It is this type of watch that is commonly called "electronic". LCD screens are much more convenient for displaying additional information than arrow dials, they provide more options (for example, a stopwatch can easily count tenths and even hundredths of a second).
— Mixed. An option that combines both of the above types. Usually it is an arrow dial, supplemented by a small LCD screen. Thus, in one model, the advantages of both types of dials are combined — the visibility of the arrows and the versatility of the screen. Watches of this type can only be quartz.
— LED. In fact, it is a variation of the digital dials described above, in which LED screens are used instead of LCD matrices. The key feature of such watches is that they are, by definition, backlit — in the sense that the image itself glows. In addition, the color of the image may vary, and many of...these models have a bright and unusual appearance. On the other hand, such dials consume more energy than traditional liquid crystal ones, which consequently affects battery life. In some models, this moment is partly offset by the fact that the screen does not work all the time, but turns on for a few seconds at the touch of a button; however, this also creates certain inconveniences — in order to find out the time, you have to make extra movements.
— Disk. A rather unusual type of dials based on the use of rotating disks with numbers printed on them. There are virtually no arrows in the disk dials, their role is played by special windows in which the readings of a particular disk are displayed. Such watches differ in their original appearance, but in terms of convenience they are still somewhat inferior to traditional watch models (especially since the second hand — or rather, the disk — is usually not provided for in their design). Thus, this option has not received much distribution.
The type of markup used on the main watch face. This parameter is relevant for models with hands (see "Dial Type"), while the type of marking is indicated only on the main scale — additional marks on the bezel are not taken into account (although markings on the additional world time dial may be taken into account).
This parameter does not affect the functionality of the watch, and the choice depends solely on the tastes of the owner. The main types of markings found in modern watches include Arabic and Roman numerals (which can be supplemented with marks), a combination of these numbers, as well as the simplest marks themselves. Here are the main features of these options and their combinations:
— Arabic. Dials that have marks only in the form of Arabic numerals — that is, standard modern numbers "1", "2", etc. In this way, both all divisions of the dial, and only some of them (for example, 3, 6, 9 and 12 o'clock). However, anyway, there are no other types of marks in such watches.
— Roman. Dials that are marked only in the form of Roman numerals — combinations of the symbols I, V, X. This marking gives the watch a peculiar style, but it can take some getting used to — and therefore is less common than Arabic numerals. Again, in this case we are talking about dials that do not carry any other designations, excep...t for numbers of this type.
— Tags. Minimalistic design, in which the divisions on the dial are indicated only by a label, without a signature. Most often, marks are applied to all twelve hours; exceptions to this rule are possible, but they are rare nowadays. It should be noted that such a design can be found both in classic watches with minimal functionality and in advanced models with extensive features: in the first case, the marks give the product a neat appearance, in the second, they save space on the dial for additional scales and markings. Theoretically, such markup is not as convenient as notation with numbers; however, almost all dials in modern wristwatches use a 12-hour scale with a standard location of marks, so with a little habit you can completely do without numbers — the position of the mark on the scale already carries enough information.
— Arabic + Roman. Dials that combine both types of numbers described above at once (sometimes also with marks; in this case, the presence of marks is not specified). The most popular type of watch with this feature is the world clock (see "Features and Features"), where one dial is marked with Arabic numerals and the other with Roman numerals. There is also a combination of these symbols on the same scale — for example, when 3 and 9 hours are indicated by ordinary numerals, and 6 and 12 by Roman numerals. However, neither one nor the other variant received special distribution.
— Labels + Arabic. Dials, in which part of the markings are applied with Arabic numerals, part with marks (for both, see above). Moreover, the ratio of both can be different: for example, in some models there is only one digit (usually "12"); in others, key positions "3", "6", "9" and "12" are designated by numbers; thirdly, part of the dial is occupied by a display, near which the numbers simply do not fit and you have to manage with marks, etc.
— Marks + Roman. The dials, in which part of the markings are applied with marks, part with Roman numerals. This markup method is generally similar to the “labels + Arabic” option described above (and can also provide different design options).
Clock face background color. Indicated for models with pointer or combination dials (see "Dial type"); in purely electronic models, usually, either a gray substrate (for conventional LCDs) or a dark base (for LEDs) is used.
The most popular in modern watches are black, white, silver and blue dials. However, in addition to this, other shades can be found on the market — in particular, beige, yellow, green, golden, brown, red, orange, pink, gray and purple. A special case are watches with chameleon glasses (see below).
Some models are available in several color options, in such cases these options are listed separated by commas — for example, "white, red, silver." If the dial is painted simultaneously in 2 or 3 colors, they are indicated as a combination — for example, "white with red" or "white with yellow and red". And multi-colored models include models in which more than 3 colors are used for the dial.
The presence of a watch face with a mother-of-pearl background. Such a background usually has a light shade (white or grayish), and its main feature is the characteristic multi-colored reflections that change with a change in the viewing angle. Most often, artificial imitation of mother-of-pearl is used for this effect, but natural raw materials can also be used in expensive high-end watches. Anyway, this feature gives the dial a bright and unusual appearance.
A function found in models with mixed dials (see the relevant paragraph) or additional scales. One of the disadvantages of such models is that in a certain position, the hands can cover the screens or scales, making it difficult to read the information on them. For such cases, the function of moving the hands is provided: at the user's command, the hands move to a position in which they do not cover additional elements of the dial. Also, on command, the arrows can be returned “to their place”; in addition, in some models, the return occurs automatically after a certain time.
How to illuminate the clock face.
— Luminescent coating. A variant used in pointer dials: the hands, and sometimes the scale, are coated with a “phosphorus” coating that glows in the dark. This method of backlighting is inexpensive and can be used even in low-cost models; in addition, it does not require batteries and is suitable even for mechanical watches. On the other hand, coverage is often not as effective as it should be. The fact is that for work it must be “charged” from the sun or another bright light source, and this “charge” is enough for an average of 5-6 hours, and already in the first couple of hours the brightness of the glow drops noticeably.
— Electronic. Illumination based on LEDs or other miniature light sources. Usually, it does not work constantly, but turns on and off by pressing a special button; the exception is LED dials (see "Dial Type"). The main advantage of electronic backlighting is efficiency: it is guaranteed to be enough to view the image on the dial. In addition, such systems do not depend on external illumination, in contrast to the luminescent coatings described above. On the other hand, the lighting requires a battery to operate; therefore, this type of illumination is found exclusively in quartz watches (see “Mechanism type”).
— Luminescent coating / electronic. Systems that combine both types of illumination described above. This option is f...ound mainly among models with combined dials: the hands are coated with a luminous coating, and the electronic backlight is intended mainly for displays and additional scales (and also as a backup option for the hands). The combined backlight is very convenient, however, such watches are somewhat more expensive.
— Tritium illumination. Illumination option found on premium pointer dials. Miniature flasks filled with tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen, are responsible for the illumination in such models; from the inside, the surface of such flasks is covered with a phosphor, which glows under the influence of tritium radiation. Separately, we note that this radiation does not pose a danger to humans: it does not go beyond the bulb, and even inside its intensity is extremely low. Tritium illumination is expensive, but it is extremely convenient from a practical point of view: "flashlights" work constantly, without batteries and regardless of external lighting, and shine significantly brighter than a conventional luminescent coating. However due to the decay of tritium, they gradually lose their brightness, but this happens very slowly: it takes 12 years to reduce by half, and at least 20 years for the backlight to become useless.
— Alarm clock. A classic alarm clock is an audible signal that works at a time specified by the user. It can be used not only for getting up, but also as a reminder of a particular event. Note that in mechanical models (see "Type of mechanism") this function is almost never found.
— Stopwatch. A traditional stopwatch is a function that allows you to measure time intervals with an accuracy of seconds, or even fractions of a second. In modern watches, you can find two types of stopwatches. The first is the solutions used in models with displays (in other words, in watches with electronic and combined dials). In such devices, the countdown of seconds is displayed on the screen and is accurate to a tenth or even a hundredth of a second; Also, such stopwatches can have various additional functions: counting intermediate results for control points or laps, saving the results of the last measurement, etc.
The second type of stopwatch found in the arrow dials is the arrow on the main axis, which can be started and stopped at the request of the user. This is a rather rare option — for the reason that most often such an arrow is used in combination with additional scales and is no longer a stopwatch, but a chronograph (see below). And in watches where there are no chronograph scales, a rather unusual format for the operation of such a hand can be provided: in normal mode, it works like a standard second,...and when the watch is switched to stopwatch mode, it moves to zero and stops before the countdown begins.
— Timer. Countdown function; at the end of the countdown, an audible signal sounds. This function is convenient in cases where you need to measure a strictly defined period of time — for example, when cooking in the kitchen: “starting” the timer for the desired period is much more convenient than counting the hour you need to set the alarm.
— Day of the week. Ability to display the day of the week on the watch face. It is found both in watches with displays and in purely analogue models — they use a mechanical indicator for 7 days.
— Day of the month. The ability to display the current day of the month on the clock face. It can be either a number on the display or a mechanical indicator in the form of a window with a number. Note that in the latter case, regular adjustment of the calendar is required: the mechanical pointer is designed for 31 days, and if there are less than 31 days in the past month, the displayed date will have to be “scrolled” forward.
— Month of the year. Ability to display the current month on the watch face. Usually, it is combined with an indicator of the day of the month, and often also the day of the week; thus, the presence of this pointer means that the watch is equipped with a full-fledged calendar. Most often, the display is responsible for this function, but there are also purely arrow models with similar equipment. The month indicator of the year is often synchronized with the day indicator — so that the watch itself determines how many days are in the current month and after which day you need to switch to the first number.
— World time. The ability to use the clock to determine the time in other time zones than the current one. The specific way in which such a function is implemented may vary. Thus, the most popular option in hand models (see "Dial type") is the presence of an additional dial, on which the time of the time zone of interest is set. This format is convenient in cases where you constantly have to deal with a certain region — for example, to communicate with relatives or business partners from a particular country. Another option is the indexes on the rotating bezel (see below), corresponding to the main time zones of the world; to determine the world time, you need to turn the bezel so that the current time zone is opposite the hour hand — then the remaining marks will be opposite those divisions of the dial that correspond to the time in these time zones. This format is convenient for frequent change of time zones — in particular, it is found in watches for sailors. And models with digital dials usually provide switching the screen between the current and additional time zone (zones).
— 12/24 hour time format. This feature is indicated only for watches with pointer dials (and certain pointer-electronic models, see "Dial type"). It means that in addition to the main 12-hour scale, the watch also has a small dial with 24-hour markings. It allows you to determine what time the main scale shows — before or after noon: for example, at 6 pm the main dial will indicate 6 o'clock, the additional one — at 18 o'clock. — for example, in the conditions of a polar day / night, or during a long stay underground.
As for watches with electronic dials, even the 12-hour format is supplemented with the note "AM" or "PM" ("am" and "pm" respectively); for example, 20:00 would be 8:00 PM. So in such models there is simply no need to provide special functions for determining the time of day.
— The phases of the moon. The presence of an indicator in the watch that displays the current phase of the moon. Many processes on Earth depend on the phases of the Moon (in particular, the general physical and mental state of people), a number of signs are associated with them — not always 100% reliable, but not having an unequivocal refutation. A separate category of watches with a lunar calendar — "fishing" and "seafaring" models; the latter may even provide a separate tide calendar.
— Chronograph. Analogue of a stopwatch used in watches with pointer dials (see "Dial type"). Such watches have several additional small scales, each of which performs its own function. For example, one of these scales can be responsible for counting minutes (up to half an hour), the second — for counting hours (up to 12 hours), the third is the usual second hand, and the hand for counting seconds is located on the central axis and remains stationary until the chronograph is turned on.
— Tachymeter. A device for measuring the speed of movement by the time during which the measured section was passed. The tachymeter most often has the form of an additional scale for a stopwatch, and to measure the speed, you need to measure the time it takes to pass the control section with a stopwatch and see what number on the tachymeter scale the stopped arrow points to. In this case, the measurement time should not exceed a minute (otherwise the arrow will go to the second circle, and the readings will be unreliable), and additional calculations may be required to determine the final result. However, anyway, it is much more convenient to use tachymeter data to determine speed than stopwatch readings.
— Slide rule. Built-in mechanical calculator for some simple mathematical calculations, primarily multiplication and division. Such a device can be useful, in particular, for calculating travel time, fuel consumption, transferring money from one currency to another, etc. In hours, a slide rule usually consists of two rings with divisions (hence the second name for this function is a calculator ring ). One of these rings is motionless, and the second rotates freely; combining the marks on both scales according to certain rules, the user gets the desired result. Note that the slide rule is not as accurate as an electronic calculator and is more difficult to handle; on the other hand, with a minimum skill, elementary calculations on it can be carried out much faster than on the same calculator.
— Compass. A traditional compass is a device for determining cardinal directions. The accuracy of built-in compasses is usually not high, but they can be very useful for simple tasks or as a last resort when other navigational devices are not available.
— Altimeter (altimeter). A device for measuring the current height of the terrain. Often combined with a barometer (see below), in such cases the difference in pressure between the reference level and the current location is used to measure altitude. Technically, in this way it is possible to measure the height both above sea level and relative to a certain place taken as a standard; actual altimeter capabilities vary by watch model. Watches with this function are designed primarily for climbers and mountain hikers.
— Thermometer. Thermometers in watches are usually designed to measure the temperature of the surrounding air. This feature is found mainly in advanced sports models. It can be useful both for a general assessment of the environment, and for specific tasks such as weather forecasting, calculating the current altitude, etc.
— Barometer. A device for measuring atmospheric pressure. Data from the barometer allows you to assess the weather conditions and their favorableness for a certain type of activity — in particular, fishing. In addition, they can be used to predict changes in the weather: for example, a sharp drop in pressure is often a sign of an approaching storm. Also, the operation of the altimeter (see above) is often based precisely on the readings of the barometer.
— Bluetooth. The Bluetooth wireless interface is designed to communicate between various electronic devices over relatively short distances — up to 10 m. In wristwatches, it is mainly used to communicate with a smartphone or other gadget. The functionality of such a connection may be different, but anyway, it is much narrower than in smart watches. The most popular features include displaying notifications from Facebook and/or Twitter on the watch, using the watch as a remote control for music or video, as well as setting the world time (determining the time zone from data from an external device).
— GPS module. Built-in satellite navigation module that allows you to determine the current geographic coordinates of the device. How this data is used may vary depending on the watch model. So, in some models, data on time zones in different countries are sewn in, and based on the current coordinates, the device can determine the exact local time. Another option is to record the routes (tracks) traveled. Some watches use GPS data for altimeter operation (see related paragraph). Models with Bluetooth may provide the ability to work as an external sensor for a smartphone or other gadget (it is believed that the hand position of the sensor improves accuracy). But it is difficult to provide full-fledged navigation in traditional watches; wrist gadgets with such functionality usually refer to either smart watches or specialized navigators.
— Synchronization by radio channel. This function allows the watch to receive special time radio signals. These signals are transmitted over a special dedicated channel several times a day, and the exact time data is received from atomic chronometers used in scientific institutes. The error of such chronometers is 1 second for several thousand or even millions of years; accordingly, the accuracy of the clock synchronized with them is almost absolute. At the same time, it should be borne in mind that precise time radio signals are not available in all countries of the world — so before buying such a watch, it does not hurt to check whether they will work in your region.
— Chronometer. In this case, the designation "chronometer" is used for high-precision models that are certified by the Swiss Chronometer Certification Centre (COSC). To obtain such a certificate, a watch must pass a fairly rigorous test, checking not only for overall accuracy, but also for the ability to maintain it with changes in case position and ambient temperature. At the same time, it should be noted that in fact "chronometric" accuracy is required extremely rarely, and it affects the cost of watches quite noticeably. So compliance with the COSC requirements is not so much a practically significant moment as an indicator of the high class of watches and the status of their owner.
— Pedometer. Built-in counter of the number of steps taken by the user. This feature is found predominantly on sport touring models equipped with Bluetooth (see above) and digital or combination watch faces (see "Dial Type"). To count steps, usually, data from the built-in accelerometer is used, and the measurement results can at least be transmitted to a smartphone or other gadget, and in some models they can also be displayed on their own screen. However, it does not hurt to clarify the specific features of the functionality of a watch with a pedometer separately.
— Phone search. Feature exclusive to Bluetooth models (see above). In accordance with the name, it facilitates the search for a “lost” phone located in close proximity (for example, forgotten in one of the home rooms): just give a command from the clock and the device will “respond” with a sound signal. Usually, to use this function, you need to install a special application (other additional functions are usually implemented through it, if available — for example, a pedometer).
The shape of the watch case; most often the dial has the same shape, but there are exceptions (for example, a rectangular display in a round case).
This parameter practically does not affect the functionality, so the choice in this case is related solely to how convenient and pleasant-looking one or another option is for you. Also, shape data can be useful if the watch is chosen as a fashion accessory that plays a well-defined role in the image being created. As for specific options, round cases are the most common nowadays — they are easy to manufacture, look neat and fit almost any style of watch. Rectangular watches are also quite popular, they can also belong to different styles; however, such cases are more bulky than round cases, and therefore are used less frequently. The square shape is actually a variation of the rectangular shape. Oval is considered to be suitable primarily for women's watches, although there are also single men's models with such cases. There are other types of cases — polygonal, barrel-shaped, as well as products in non-standard design.
— Brass. Inexpensive material used mainly in watches of the corresponding price category. The composition is an alloy based on copper and zinc. Brass bodies have a pleasant golden color, but their resistance to corrosion is usually very low. Because of this, such watches darken very quickly, and oxides can stain the wearer's skin and even lead to irritation. To correct the situation, various protective coatings, stainless steel covers, etc. can be used; however, even these measures are not able to completely eliminate this drawback.
— Stainless steel. Inexpensive and at the same time very practical material found in watches of all price categories. "Stainless steel" looks good, perfectly resists corrosion and scratches, retains its presentation for a long time and does not cause allergies. However it has a rather large weight, but for many users, the massiveness of the watch is an advantage, not a disadvantage.
— Titan. Premium material used in watches of the corresponding price level. Titanium alloys combine lightness and high strength, in addition, they are less thermally conductive than steel, due to which they do not “cool” the hand. They are practically not subject to corrosion, do not require protective coatings and are hypoallergenic. On the other hand, such cases are quite sensitive to scratches.
— Plastic. Common features of all types of...plastic are ease of processing, relatively low cost, low weight, hypoallergenicity, moisture resistance and poor thermal conductivity. For a number of reasons, this material is considered optimal primarily for sports watches, including “diving” (waterproof) watches. At the same time, it should be noted that many types of plastic are used in modern watches, including high-strength varieties that are not inferior in reliability to steel. Therefore, this material is found in all price categories, from budget to top; The quality of the case is usually directly related to the cost of the watch.
— Aluminum. "Watch metal", considered a little more advanced than stainless steel. The aluminum alloy is also durable, resistant to corrosion and scratches, and has a solid appearance. At the same time, on the one hand, it is noticeably lighter, on the other hand, it is more expensive.
— Copper. By itself, copper has a pleasant reddish-brown tint, but it does not tolerate prolonged contact with the skin — the surface begins to oxidize, which leads not only to skin contamination, but also to irritation. Therefore, this material is usually used in combination with protective coatings. In fact, it has no advantages over the same "stainless steel", and therefore it is used quite rarely — and not so much for practical or even aesthetic reasons, but in order to distinguish watches from other models.
— Carbon. Composite material, in fact, is high-quality plastic: carbon fiber strands filled with polymer filler. Carbon is notable for its combination of low weight with very high strength; in general, it surpasses even steel in reliability; at the same time, it has many advantages of plastic, such as moisture resistance and low thermal conductivity. The disadvantage of such housings, in addition to high cost, is sensitivity to point impacts.
— Ceramics. Ceramics are various materials obtained by sintering and firing at high temperatures. Watch cases are usually made of high-quality ceramics, which are distinguished by their solid appearance and very high scratch resistance, and they cost accordingly. At the same time, they are quite sensitive to shocks, so a ceramic case is often combined with a stainless steel or other metal back cover.
— Gold. The case is made of jeweler's gold or has a gold-plated finish. Note that the color of such a case can be different: in addition to the classic yellow, there are also white and red gold. Anyway, such watches are very expensive, and look accordingly; they are designed mainly for those who need not so much a device for determining the time as a rich fashion accessory.
— Silver. Although cases made of silver jewelry are much cheaper than gold ones, this material still belongs to the status ones, and is used not so much for practical reasons, but as a symbol of the high cost of watches and the wealth of their owner. However, for a number of reasons, silver has not received much popularity in watches.
— Wolfram. Tungsten alloys are not cheap, but they are very strong and reliable, and also look stylish. Another feature of this material is its very high melting point; from the practical point of view, this point is not significant, but it is important as a fashion detail, emphasizing the high reliability of tungsten. At the same time, for a number of reasons, such alloys are not widely used in watches.
— Bronze. Quite a rare and specific option, used similarly to copper — in order to give the watch a stylish look. The basis of bronze, in fact, is copper, and tin is most often added to this alloy, but other components can also be used. Accordingly, the color of such material can be different — yellowish, reddish, brown.
The main color of the watch case.
Modern watches are quite diverse in color options. The most widespread models are in shades of " stainless steel ", golden and black ; however, in addition to this, on the market you can find, in particular, white, yellow, green, brown, red, orange, pink, silver, gray, blue and purple cases.
In general, the color of the case is a fairly obvious parameter; Let's note only some of the nuances associated with marking:
— Multi-colored models include models in which there is no clearly defined primary color. If there is such a color, it is indicated in the characteristics. And for two-tone cases, an additional color can be specified, for example, "stainless steel with gold " or "black with blue "
— Silver, among other things, are plastic cases without additional coloring.
— "Stainless steel" in this case is a color, not a material; other metals (e.g. aluminum and t...itanium) that are not complemented by PVD coating (see “Case Coating”) may have this shade. And the cases of gold watches, in turn, are not necessarily made of gold — red and white gold are also used in jewelry.
— Camouflage coloring is indicated separately — such watches are designated as "military", and here, again, the main shade of the coloring is given. However, not every military model has camouflage on the body; see below for details.
The material of the transparent coating covering the dial.
— Plastic. Transparent plastic (also known as "plexiglass", also known as "organic glass") is considered the simplest option and is found mainly in models of the initial and middle price range, mainly sports and tourist specialization. This material is lightweight, inexpensive, and also tolerates shocks and falls well: with a strong impact, it will crack rather than break, and plastic fragments are much safer than glass ones. These properties are indispensable for shockproof watches. On the other hand, plastic is very sensitive to scratches and tends to become cloudy quickly due to scratches; and in general it gets dirty more easily than glass.
— Mineral. Mineral in this case means ordinary, widespread glass — like the one used in windows. It favorably differs from plastic in high hardness: to scratch such material, you need to make considerable efforts. As a result, mineral glass varieties do not become cloudy and remain transparent for almost the entire life of the watch. Among the shortcomings, brittleness can be noted: upon impact, the glass surface can shatter into fragments. On the other hand, even for ordinary glass, such a blow should be quite strong; in addition, manufacturers often use various design solutions (“dial” recessed into the case, tempered glass, etc.) in order to reduce the ri...sk of such an accident to an absolute minimum. Thanks to all this, mineral glass has become widespread today in all types and price categories of watches.
— Sapphire. Glass made of artificially grown sapphire (transparent corundum — aluminum oxide). The main advantage of this material is the highest scratch resistance: such a surface can only be scratched with a diamond or a material similar in hardness to it. On the other hand, sapphire crystals are not cheap, but they do not withstand shocks well and are relatively unsuitable for "protected" watches. As a result, this material is found mainly in rather expensive models designed for everyday use (although there are exceptions).
A special coating on the dial that changes color as you change the angle of view. Chameleon glass is most often combined with a black or other neutral background of the dial, although there are also brighter shades — white, red, blue, etc. Anyway, due to such a coating, the visible color of the dial is different, depending on its position relative to the observer's eye. This gives the watch an original look.
With regard to practical characteristics, "chameleons" mostly refer to traditional mineral glasses (see "Glass material").
The presence of decorative stones in the outer decoration of the watch; also in this paragraph it is specified which parts of the product (dial, bracelet, case) have such a finish.
Note that such details should not be confused with technical stones (see "Number of stones") — here we are talking about an external design that performs an exclusively decorative function. This design does not affect the functionality, but gives the watch a sophisticated and rich appearance. The specific composition of the stones in the decoration can be different — from the simplest rhinestones to precious minerals; the only exception is diamonds — their presence is indicated in a separate item (see below). It is also worth mentioning that in the presence of a removable bezel (see below), it is one of the interchangeable bezels that can be decorated with stones, and not the watch case itself.
Note that the presence of additional decor significantly affects the cost. So if functionality is more important for you than a sophisticated appearance, perhaps a watch without stones and diamonds will be the best choice.
The presence of diamonds in the design of watches — at least on the case and/or dial. This feature does not affect the functionality at all, its purpose is to turn the watch from a simple wrist device into a luxury accessory, to emphasize the wealth and status of the owner. In theory, diamonds may well be complemented by other decorative stones, but in fact, such a design is extremely rare.
Note that the presence of additional decor significantly affects the cost. So if functionality is more important for you than a sophisticated appearance, perhaps a watch without stones and diamonds will be the best choice.
The rotating bezel is a swivel ring around the dial, with marks applied to it (ring).
Usually the bezel scale is similar to the minute/second scale of the dial, it is marked from 0 to 60, most often with marks every 5 or every 10 minutes (seconds). In such cases, this function is a somewhat simplified analogue of the timer or stopwatch / chronograph used in watches with analogue dials. To work in the stopwatch mode, you need to align the zero on the bezel with the position of the second or minute hand (depending on how long the period needs to be detected), and at the end of the measurement, look at what division on the bezel this hand has reached. To work in the timer mode, zero on the rotary scale is set at the end of the countdown, and the user can only monitor whether the arrow has reached zero. Thus, you can turn the watch into a timer or stopwatch mode with just one turn of the ring — it's faster and more convenient than digging into the settings. Such features are appreciated, in particular, by scuba divers who use a timer to control air supplies; at the same time, in diving watches, the rotation mechanism is often made one-sided, so that the bezel cannot be accidentally turned in the direction of increasing the remaining time.
There are other types of rotating bezels — for example, in the form of a scale with cardinal points used in watches with a compass.
The presence of a removable bezel in the design of the watch.
Recall that the bezel is a ring around the dial; it performs at least a decorative and protective function, and in many models it has additional markings and also provides various special features (this is especially true for rotating bezels — see above). However, most of the models with detachable bezels are women's watches designed for the role of fashion accessories. By replacing this detail, you can significantly change the appearance of such watches, adjusting them to a particular image: for example, you can use a strict dark color with a business suit, and take a bezel trimmed with stones for an evening dress.
The presence of a transparent case in the design of the watch.
Usually, we are talking about a transparent dial that allows you to see the watch "through". This feature does not affect the functionality of the product, but gives it an original and stylish appearance.
Separately, we emphasize that you should not confuse a transparent case with a transparent case back, a Skeleton-type case and an open balance (see below for everything); these features can be combined in one product, but each of them is a separate design feature. The key difference of a transparent case is that it does not necessarily allow you to see the watch mechanism — the working “hardware” can be hidden in an opaque casing (whereas Skeleton and an open balance make it possible to observe this “hardware” from the outside of the dial, and a transparent cover — from the back).
Transparent case back
The presence of a case back made of transparent material in the design of the watch, allowing you to see the mechanism.
This element does not play a practical role, but it gives the watch an original appearance. Note that the transparent cover can be combined with a Skeleton, open balance (see below) and/or a transparent case (see above) case. The key differences between these features are that Skeleton and the open balance allow you to see the movement from the front, while the transparent case can be seen through, but the movement may not be visible.
The presence of a Skeleton -type case in the watch.
This term refers to a case that is open on the side of the dial, so that the user can see the mechanism of the watch; in other words, in such cases, the mechanism, in fact, serves as a background for the dial. This gives the product an original and stylish appearance, emphasizing the complexity and quality of the hardware (and also allows you to easily control whether the watch is running, even if it does not have a second hand). For maximum visibility, such a case is often supplemented with a transparent back cover (see above), although this is not necessary.
We emphasize that it is worth distinguishing this feature from the open balance (see below) and the “ordinary” transparent case (see above). An open balance suggests that there is only a small window on the dial, through which a separate part of the mechanism is visible; this feature, by definition, cannot be combined with a Skeleton hull. In turn, in a transparent case, the mechanism can be hidden inside a protective casing and not visible from the side of the dial; if it is still visible, then two features are indicated in the characteristics at once — both the Skeleton and the transparent case.
An open balance means that the watch face has a transparent window that allows you to see part of the movement. Usually, such a window reveals exactly the balance — a special pendulum wheel, one of the most important details of the hardware (hence the name). Such a design detail is mainly decorative — it gives the dial an original appearance. In addition, during operation, the pendulum wheel constantly oscillates — this not only visually "revives" the dial, making it more dynamic, but also allows you to control whether the watch is running (this feature is especially useful if there is no second hand).
A similar function is performed by the Skeleton case (see above); the difference lies in the fact that in Skeletons almost the entire mechanism is made open, and not a separate part of it.
The crown (or the crown of the hands, if the watch is quartz), which is fixed on a special thread during non-working hours. Accordingly, for use for its main purpose, such a head must first be unscrewed, and only then it can be rotated.
A feature found on high-end dive watches that can be used at depths of 60m or more. At such depths, not compressed air is used for breathing, but special mixtures with a high content of helium; due to its physical characteristics, this gas is able to penetrate even through moisture-proof glands. As a result, when exposed to a high-pressure, helium-rich atmosphere (for example, inside a diving bell) for a long time, gas accumulates in the watch case, which, when rising to the surface, under conditions of lower pressure, can damage the case or even extrude the glass. To prevent this from happening, the design provides for a helium valve — a one-way throughput device that bleeds excess gas as soon as the pressure difference inside the case and outside reaches a certain value.
We emphasize that this function is hardly required for recreational diving at shallow depths; but professional divers cannot do without it.
The material from which the bracelet/watch strap is made. Note that the division into bracelets and straps is rather arbitrary, the basis for it is precisely the material. In modern watches, there may be such options:
— Nylon strap. Nylon is a synthetic material that has a characteristic structure in the form of interwoven threads in watch straps. In most cases, these threads are quite large, due to which the nylon straps are similar in appearance and texture to the ties of tourist backpacks; this option is typical for sports watches. However, there is another variety — finely woven nylon, which is used mainly in women's watches (see "Gender"). Of the practical properties of this material, it is worth noting, first of all, unpretentiousness and resistance to water, including salty; in addition, it can be given almost any color, and the combination of multi-colored fibers allows you to create original and bright straps.
— Rubber strap. In this case, rubbers mean elastic materials that, in terms of properties, are a cross between plastic and rubber. Rubber is denser, harder and stronger than rubber, while noticeably softer and more flexible than plastic, which allows it to be used for watch straps. Of the advantages of this option, it is worth noting, first of all, high wear resistance and moisture resistance, which, combined with the appearance features, makes these straps a good option for...watches in a sporty design. But among the classic models, rubber is usually used in inexpensive watches and has rather modest characteristics.
— Leather strap. Genuine leather straps are typical for quite expensive watches: this material is expensive, while it has a solid and rich appearance. In addition, it is notable for its high strength, moisture resistance and durability. Of the shortcomings of the skin, in addition to the price, it is worth noting a certain tendency to scratches, as well as increased care requirements — otherwise the product may lose its “presentation”.
— Leatherette strap. As the name suggests, leatherettes were created as an alternative to real leather. Their main advantage is a relatively low price: being practically indistinguishable from a leather bracelet, such a bracelet will cost much less. On the other hand, this material is less durable, wears out rather quickly and is generally not so reliable. Note that today different types of leather substitutes are used, and the quality of this material usually directly depends on its price.
— Steel bracelet. The watch bracelet consists of links connected to each other; in this case they are made of stainless steel. This material is strong, durable, practically not subject to corrosion, moreover, it has a solid appearance and is quite pleasant to the touch; at the same time, the cost of steel allows it to be used even in inexpensive watches. Such bracelets are quite “heavy”, however, some owners consider this moment to be a virtue, because. it gives a feeling of solidity and reliability. And of any significant shortcomings of steel, one can only note high thermal conductivity — the bracelet will noticeably “cool” the hand if the watch has lain in the cold for some time (though not for long — just a few minutes).
— Milanese bracelet. Milanese are called metal bracelets made of links of very fine weaving (about 1 mm in size, or even less). The material of such a bracelet may be different; most often it is steel, but more expensive metals are also found. Anyway, such a bracelet has an original appearance, and also provides good air access, allowing the skin to breathe. Among the shortcomings of Milan, it can be noted that the links can “bite” the hair on the arm, creating discomfort. Thus, and also to keep the cost down, some watches do not use Milanese weave on the entire bracelet, but only on part of it (usually it is about half of the entire bracelet).
— Titanium bracelet. Bracelets made of titanium alloy are much stronger than steel, with less weight. They also conduct heat less well, making them better suited for cold weather. At the same time, titanium is characterized by almost all the same advantages: high strength and reliability, solid appearance, resistance to corrosion. Its main disadvantage is the high price, due to which this type of bracelet is found mainly in premium watches.
— Gold bracelet. Jewelery gold bracelets are mainly used with cases made of the same material (see the relevant paragraph). A watch with a gold bracelet is not so much a device for measuring time as a status accessory, or even a piece of jewelry; the latter is especially characteristic of female models.
— Silver bracelet. Silver bracelets are found exclusively in watches with cases made of the same material. Like the gold described above, this material is used not so much for practical as for fashion reasons — in order to give the watch a rich appearance and emphasize the status of its owner. At the same time, for a number of reasons, silver bracelets are extremely rare.
— Ceramic bracelet. A premium material found predominantly in women's watches (although there are also men's models with ceramic bracelets). Ceramic not only looks good, but also retains its original appearance for a long time — thanks to its excellent resistance to scratches, dirt and stains. In addition, this material has a relatively small weight; and the high cost in this case is more of a virtue — it emphasizes the high level of watches. Among the shortcomings of ceramic bracelets, some fragility can be noted — a strong blow can split the links.
— Plastic bracelet. This category includes both the actual bracelets, woven from individual links, and straps made of flexible plastic. The second variety is similar to rubber straps, see the relevant paragraph for more details. As for the bracelets, they are usually combined with cases made of similar materials (plastic or carbon), and can be used in different categories of watches — both relatively inexpensive and quite advanced. The quality of plastic in this case, usually, is directly related to the price category of the device.
— Tungsten bracelet. Bracelets made of tungsten alloy are highly durable and reliable; these properties are further emphasized by the fact that tungsten has a very high melting point. And yes, it does look good. At the same time, it does not have key advantages over other premium alloys (titanium, see above) and is noticeably more expensive due to the complexity of production. As a result, such bracelets are extremely rare, mainly in combination with cases made of the same material (see "Case Material").
— Aluminum bracelet. Quite a rare option, found in single watch models. Bracelets made of aluminum are lighter than steel, they are not inferior to them in terms of strength and reliability, however, they are more expensive.
The main color of the watch strap/bracelet.
The most popular shades nowadays are stainless steel(the color of most metal bracelets, not necessarily steel ones), golden(bracelets made of gold and "gold"), black(strap made of different materials, including rubber and nylon, as well as separate bracelets) and brown(mostly leather straps). Other color options include beige, white, yellow, green, camouflage ( military style), red, orange, pink, silver, gray, blue, and purple.
In addition, some models of watches are equipped with two-tone straps. Most often, white, gold and black are used as secondary colors, and this color is specified after the main one — for example, “blue with white” or “stainless steel with gold”. If this paragraph lists several colors separated by commas — for example, "black, red, blue" — this means that...the watch is either sold in several versions that differ in the color of the strap, or comes with several interchangeable straps / bracelets of the corresponding colors at once. This nuance should be clarified separately.
The nominal width of the strap/bracelet supplied with the watch. It is indicated by the width of the fasteners for installing the strap on the case.
This parameter does not play a special role when choosing a watch, but it is key when choosing a third-party strap / bracelet — for example, to replace a broken one. If the width of such an accessory does not correspond to the characteristics of the watch, it will be very difficult to install it at best, and most often it will be impossible at all.
Also note that in most cases this width is about half the width of the watch itself (see "Diameter / Width"). For example, 32 mm watches are usually equipped with 14 mm straps, and for 43 mm cases this width is 22 mm. However, there is no strict dependence here, and models with the same case sizes may differ in the size of straps/bracelets.
The type of clasp used on the original watch band/bracelet.
In modern times, either fasteners of the classical design with a buckle or clip -on earrings are used. Velcro is extremely rare, and in some women's models (the so-called bracelet watches), there is no clasp at all. Here is a more detailed description of each of these options:
– Classic (with buckle). Clasp similar in design to a belt buckle. When it is fastened, one of the halves of the strap, which has holes, is threaded through the buckle and fixed with a pin placed in one of the holes, as well as with special loops. This procedure is somewhat less convenient than fastening the clip; in addition, the pin protrudes slightly above the strap and, in case of an unfortunate set of circumstances, can catch on something (the probability of this is extremely small, but still there). On the other hand, buckles are ideal for straps made from leather, rubber, and other soft materials. And compared to clips, such fasteners are much easier to adjust in size — when fastening, it is enough to choose a hole corresponding to the coverage of the hand.
— Clip (unfolds). A type of clasp used primarily on metal bracelets. The most widespread type of clip, consisting of two curved plates connected by an axis. When unfastened, they open like a book, increasing the overall l...ength of the bracelet and allowing you to easily remove the watch from your hand, and when fastened, they fold close to each other and are fixed, securing the bracelet on your wrist. The second popular type of clip is "butterfly": it uses two movable plates attached to the base with the help of rotary axes and opens like butterfly wings (hence the name). Note that there are also straps with clips on the market, most often leather ones; they are more expensive than buckle straps and somewhat more difficult to adjust in length, but are more secure and do not have a protruding pin that can cause inconvenience.
— Velcro. A traditional Velcro fastener consisting of two parts — a felt lining and a retainer with a set of microscopic hooks that, when fastened, cling to the fibers of the felt and hold the fastener in place. Such devices are used in straps made of soft materials, mainly nylon, and are very rare in modern watches. This is mainly due to the fact that as the felt part of the Velcro wears out, it quickly loses its working properties. Of the advantages of such clamps, one can note the simplicity and speed of fastening and unfastening.
— Is absent. This option is typical mainly for the so-called bracelet watches, designed mainly for a female audience. Such products, in accordance with the name, are not so much traditional watches as jewelry, complemented by watches; they are made in the appropriate design, often with the use of precious metals and stones.
It is also worth mentioning that not all bracelet watches are devoid of clasps — there are models that have such devices. However, the design of fasteners in such cases is usually quite far from the buckles, clips and Velcro used in conventional watches, so the characteristics for them also indicate the option "Clasp — no".
Long (double) strap
A long strap designed to wrap around the wrist twice when worn. This design gives the watch an unusual look and turns it into a fashion accessory. Double straps are used mainly in women's watches (see "Gender").
A mechanism that allows you to quickly change the length of the bracelet without disassembling it or using additional devices. Usually performed in the form of a miniature screw, by turning which, you can adjust the length; the range of such adjustment is most often of the order of 10 – 15 mm.
Such a mechanism is relevant primarily for watches with a clip-on clasp (see the relevant paragraph). With traditional adjustment, the clasp has to be disassembled, which requires both tools and certain skills. The quick extension system, in turn, is extremely easy to use and is available even in a complete "separation from civilization" — for example, in nature.
As the name implies, this parameter determines the degree of resistance of the watch to moisture. It is traditionally stated as the maximum depth under water at which a watch is able to remain watertight; however, it should be borne in mind that this number is very conditional. The fact is that when calculating the maximum immersion depth, only the static pressure of the water is taken into account, that is, the pressure at complete immobility; at the same time, any movement creates dynamic pressure, which significantly increases the load on the body. In fact, this means that a mark of, for example, 50 m does not mean that you can dive to a depth of 50 m with a watch.
Modern water protection markings correspond to such practical possibilities:
— 30 m(same as "Water Resistant" without any numbers). Entry level, water drops are allowed, but not strong splashes. For example, such a watch can be left in the rain or when washing, but while showering or washing a car, they must be left in a safe place. Of course, there is no question of immersion in water.
— 50 m. The minimum water resistance that allows the watch to be submerged in water. You can usually swim in these watches, and in some cases even jump into the water (but not from towers), but for more serious tasks like surfing, snorkeling or scuba diving, they are not suitable. Usually, do not allow the use of buttons under water....
— 100 m. This degree of water protection allows not only swimming, but also diving to shallow depths, however, it is still considered insufficient for surfing, jumping from towers and scuba diving.
— 200 m. Watches with similar water protection are classified as "diving"; models and can withstand scuba diving to a depth of up to 20 m.
— 300 m and more. Professional "diving" models suitable for diving to considerable depths.
Note that the characteristics described are approximate. Specific indicators of water resistance and the possibility of using the watch together with water should be clarified according to the manufacturer's official data.
The watch has anti-shock properties that allow it to endure, in particular, falls from a fairly large height (from a meter or more). The specific degree of such protection for different models can vary significantly; usually, it is indicated in the official specifications as the maximum height from which the watch can be safely dropped on a flat surface. It is worth noting that shockproof properties are not an absolute guarantee against damage — for example, falling with a dial on a sharp stone, even from a “safe” height, can end sadly. However, such models are anyway more reliable than those for which these properties are not declared. Shock-resistant watches will be useful, first of all, to those who regularly have to stay in difficult conditions: builders, climbers, military, etc.
The watch has special protection against magnetic fields.
Strong magnetic fields can adversely affect the performance of any watch. Mechanical models are especially sensitive to them (see "Type of mechanism") — in such devices there are many small moving parts, the magnetization of which can lead to a complete stop of the movement. However, for quartz watches, such effects are undesirable. So magnetic protection can be found in all kinds of mechanisms; it is usually implemented due to the special design of the case, and in mechanical models — also through the use of special anti-magnetic materials.
It should be borne in mind that this feature significantly affects the cost; at the same time, most household sources of magnetic fields (speakers, mobile phones, magnetic fasteners on clothes and accessories, etc.) are not so powerful as to seriously damage even an ordinary clockwork. So it makes sense to specifically look for magnetically resistant watches mainly for use in special conditions. For example, such a watch can be useful to a physician working with a magnetic resonance imaging scanner, or an engineer maintaining equipment at a power plant.
Watches with increased resistance to low air temperatures.
Such conditions are not favorable for either mechanical or quartz watches: in "mechanics" cold changes the properties of individual parts and leads to desynchronization of the mechanism, and in quartz watches it can also accelerate battery discharge. To avoid these annoyances, modern watches may include various design features that reduce the likelihood of failures in cold weather. This is, at a minimum, improved thermal insulation of the case; and in models with hands (including quartz), special materials with a minimum coefficient of thermal expansion can also be used for individual parts of the movement.
Separately, it is worth recalling that watches are usually worn close to the body (hand), and in cold weather they are most often also covered with a sleeve of clothing — as a result, the temperature at the location of the watch is noticeably higher than that of the surrounding air. And additional thermal protection significantly affects the cost. Thus, it makes sense to specifically look for frost-resistant watches if they are planned to be used in a "harsh" environment — with frequent frosts of -30 °C and above, during mountaineering ascents, long (from several days) winter hikes, etc. n. And for everyday use in a relatively mild climate, ordinary, non-frost-resistant models are quite suitable.
Watches with special protection against dirt.
This feature implies not only a high degree of moisture protection, but also an increased resistance to various contaminants — earth, sand, liquid dirt, etc. In this case, it is usually not only about preventing the penetration of dirt into the case, but also about so that the dial, even when heavily soiled, remains well readable, and if desired, the watch can be easily cleaned. In addition, such models as a whole are usually characterized by high strength and reliability. Most often they are positioned as solutions for extreme tourism and other adverse conditions and are equipped with many additional features — such as a compass, altimeter, barometer, GPS tracker, etc. (see "Features").
The nominal size of a watch case in diameter (for round cases) or width (for other options, see "Case Shape"). In the most miniature modern models, this size is 21 – 25 mm or even less, among the largest there are cases of 46 – 50 mm and even larger.
Larger watches are more convenient in the sense that the dial readings are better visible on them, and it is easier to provide various additional functions in the design. On the other hand, small watches look neater and create less discomfort directly when worn. In addition, female models (see "Gender") are traditionally made more miniature than male ones. So the choice for this indicator depends mainly on the intended specifics of the application: for example, large cases are best suited for outdoor activities and tourism, about 41 – 45 mm in size, for household wear (regardless of gender) — about 31 – 35 mm, and as an accessory to an evening dress, a small watch of 30 mm or less would be more appropriate.
Also note that the size of a compatible strap/bracelet is associated with this indicator — see "Strap Width" for details.
The thickness of the watch case. A fairly obvious parameter; we only note that nowadays it is customary to attribute watches with a thickness of less than 7 mm to ultra-thin models. This design has both aesthetic and quite practical meaning — a thin watch will be useful for those who wear narrow sleeves with tight-fitting cuffs.
The total weight of the watch. Usually, it is indicated taking into account the complete strap / bracelet.
In the lightest modern watches, the weight does not exceed 50 g. The most popular models weighing 50 – 100 g, indicators from 100 to 150 g are somewhat less common, and weight
Both small and large weights have their advantages: light watches create a minimum of inconvenience when wearing, and massive ones are subconsciously perceived as a solid and reliable device.
Additional items supplied with the watch.
One of the most popular options for additional equipment is an interchangeable strap or bracelet, which differs from the main strap/bracelet in material (less often, only in color). Such equipment will be appreciated, in particular, by those who would like to change the equipment of the watch for different situations: for example, use a stylish metal bracelet in a business setting, and change it for a practical strap for hiking trips. Often the package of such models also includes a special tool for changing the strap. And there can be several interchangeable bracelets / straps themselves, they can have additional equipment — for example, an additional bezel that gives the watch a more solid appearance.
Also, watches supplied in the form of sets can be completed with other items: a stylish case or box; additional protective covers worn over the body; jewelry (earrings, chains, pendants, cufflinks) in the same style as the watch; handles; and in men's models — even additional women's watches of the same design. Among other things, the set can be a good gift option.
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