The modern watch consumer has more choices when it comes to the style of which wristwatch to wear than any other time in history. For my first blog entry I’ll briefly explain the basic types of watches available.
The most commonly worn watch is the sport watch. Sport watch is a broad, if not over used term which simply means a watch designed for a specific purpose, ie diving, running, driving, etc. The sport watch has become the quintessential every day watch for beginning watch collectors and the most popular types are the chronograph, the dive watch, and pilot watch. The sport or “sporty watch” is usually a round shape, made from stainless steel, and most commonly attached to stainless steel bracelet, although leather straps are usually offered as an option. Dial color choices are usually the basic black, white, silver, blue, and sometimes yellow or orange, depending on the manufactures’ offerings. Some great examples are the Omega Seamaster Dive Chronometer, the Breitling Chronomat Evolution, and the IWC Mark XV.
When shopping for a more formal timepiece one has seemingly countless options to consider. First, there are many shapes of watch cases used in modern watches; the traditional round, the rectangular, the tonneau or barrel shape, the square, and the elliptical shape watch. Then there is the dial color choice, black and silver being the most common, but the catalogs of various manufactures offer mother of pearl, blue, gray, white, salmon, champagne and even green. Metal choice is very important because it not only affects the look of the watch, it can dramatically affect the price of your new watch. Dress watches are offered in stainless steel, but with a larger budget one can find gold or platinum watches. The choice of metal bracelet vs. leather strap is important to the look of your watch as well as your budget as gold or platinum pieces with bracelets command much higher prices. Another option for your dress watch is a diamond bezel and or dial. This is becoming an option on many models from most manufactures and is an excellent way to add flare to your timepiece.
Beyond sport watches and dress watches there is the complicated watch. In horlogical terms complication is defined as any function of a watch other than the basic time. Some examples include a perpetual calendar, a minute repeater, a power reserve indicator, a tourbillon escapement, moon phase indicator, and a GMT function. Highly complicated watches are usually considered more collectible, more formal, and are offered in the range of metals and colors as are lesser complicated dress watches. Complicated watches are even offered in some sport collections as well. Complicated mechanical watches are produced by the finest watch manufactures because they are more difficult to build and command higher prices. Some important examples are the Girard Perregaux Vintage 45 Perpetual Calendar, the Roger Dubuis Golden Square Tourbillon, and the IWC Portuguese Minute Repeater watch.
These are the basic style choices and types of wristwatches available today. There are many more to talk about but I just want to share the basics with you as most watch buyers fall into the following categories: the casual watch wearer, the formal watch wearer, and the serious collector. Respectively they shop for the sport watch, the formal dress watch, and the complicated watch.