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How Watches Work Glossary of Watch Terms Automatic Watch Maintenance
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FAQs Buying Guide Water Resistance and Watches

Buying Guide

  • Water Resistance
  • Scratch Resistance
  • Automatic and Quartz Movements
  • Shock-Proofing
  • Strap Materials
  • Case Materials
  • Warranties

    Selecting a watch that you will use and enjoy for many years to come can be a fun, easy process, with a little bit of knowledge. If you’re not sure which watch to buy and what kind of functions it should have, follow these easy steps. In the end, a watch is a reflection of you and your lifestyle, just like the clothes you wear or the car you drive.

    The watch that you select should be appropriate for the activities that you intend to use the watch for. If your primary purpose is athletic, you may consider watches that are shockproof. If you will be using the watch for work and play, do you need water resistance and if so, to what degree? If you will be using the watch for swimming and diving, you may want to consider a watch that has a screw-down crown and a plastic strap. The trend in watch buying is certainly in the direction of all steel and other white metals. Also, the 'sporty' look in watches has become more popular than the 'dressy'. Again, the first step is to ask yourself the key functions or attributes that will be needed for the way you will wear the watch. Here are a few things to consider when purchasing a watch:

    Water Resistance
    A watch marked as water resistant without a depth indication is designed to withstand accidental splashes of water only. Do not submerge such a watch. Higher levels of water resistance are indicated by increasingly higher acceptable depths, usually indicated in meters.

    There are a variety of ways to make a watch water resistant. All such watches use rubber gaskets or "O" rings to seal the case back. A watch with a back that screws onto the case provides a higher degree of water resistance. Some crowns (the "winding stem") actually screw into the case to further increase water resistance.

    Usage Recommendations

    The following usage recommendations are suggested by the Seiko Corporation of America.

    • Water-resistant to 30 meters (100 feet). Will withstand splashes of water or rain but should not be worn while swimming or diving.
    • Water-tested to 50 meters (165 feet). Suitable for showering or swimming in shallow water.
    • Water-tested to 100 meters (330 feet). Suitable for swimming and snorkeling.
    • Water-tested to 150 meters (500 feet). Suitable for snorkeling.
    • Water-tested to 200 meters (660 feet). Suitable for skin diving.
    • Diver's 150 meters (500 feet). Meets ISO standards and is suitable for scuba diving.
    • Diver's 200 meters (660 feet). Meets ISO standards and is suitable for scuba diving.

    Please note that we do not recommend swimming or diving with your watch unless it has a screw-down crown (also known as ‘screw-lock’ or ‘screw-in’ crown) and is water-resistant to at least 100 meters.

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    Scratch Resistance
    The crystal is the clear covering over the face and hands of the watch. The material used in making the crystal determines its scratch resistance.

    These types of crystals are generally used in watches:

    • An acrylic plastic crystal is the least scratch-resistant, although shallow scratches can be polished out.
    • A mineral crystal is made up of several mineral elements that are manufactured and treated by heat procedures to create a hardness that helps in resisting scratches.
    • A sapphire crystal is the most durable and scratch-resistant crystal. It’s approximately 3 times harder than a mineral crystal and 20 times harder than acrylic plastic crystals.

    We recommend that, at a minimum, the watch should have a mineral crystal.

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    Automatic and Quartz Movements
    The movement is the inner workings or assembly of the watch that make up the main timekeeping mechanism. Most watches have either a quartz movement or an automatic movement. The type of movement you choose depends mostly on one's taste. Automatic movements are a tribute to the watchmaker's art and monitor the passage of time by a series of gear mechanisms. Most automatic movements (self-winding) are wound by the movement of the wrist. (No, you don't have to shake it to work! The normal, everyday movement of the watch charges the winding reserve.) When this type of watch is removed from your wrist, the movement winds down in 10 to 72 hours, depending on the size of its winding reserve. Quartz movements are powered by a battery and do not stop working once removed from the wrist. The battery in a quartz watch generally needs to be replaced every 1.5 years.

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    Most watches are sturdy enough to protect against normal everyday wear and tear, including light bumps. If you’re going to be engaging in intensive athletic activity, you may want a watch that is also shockproof. G-Shock by Casio makes an extensive line of shockproof watches. They are available here at the web site.

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    Strap Materials
    The choice is really a matter of personal taste. Strap watches may have bands made from a variety of materials, including leathers, exotic skins and synthetics. In general, it’s best to avoid fine leathers if you will expose the watch to water or perspiration from physical activity. Rubber straps are a little more durable against water and perspiration. Do keep in mind, that if you do not like a certain strap on a watch, it’s relatively inexpensive and easy to replace the band with one of many varieties, textures and colors. carries a variety of strap and bracelet watches in all different price ranges. Just search for 'strap' or 'bracelet' and you’ll find many watches to choose from.

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    Case Materials
    The material your watchcase is made from often determines how durable and expensive the watch is. The most popular metal used in better watches is stainless steel. This metal is very durable, resists rusting and discoloration and is reasonably priced. Precious metals may also be used. These include 10k gold, 14k gold, 18k gold, sterling silver or platinum. Recently, titanium—a very strong but lightweight metal—has become a popular alternative in sports watches. Titanium is stronger, but lighter than stainless steel.

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    A watch warranty will generally cover malfunctions in the watch movement and does not cover any damage to the crown, case, crystal, buttons, bracelet, strap or face. The warranty period is usually for 1 to 2 years. At, we offer our own warranty, which is serviced by our own experienced and knowledgeable watchmakers. Most reputable watch sellers encourage the customer to send the watch back to the seller for servicing. The watch seller coordinates the service process, which makes it 'hassle-free' for customers. offers a warranty, free of charge, on most watches. For more details, you can call us at 1.877.222.6660 or send us an Online Inquiry and receive a prompt reply from one of our trained experts.

    If the warranty has expired, most watch sellers can service the watch for the customer. The first step is to contact the watch seller. If the watch seller does not provide service, ask for a reference or check your local yellow pages under 'watch repair' or 'jeweler.' Most companies that service watches provide free estimates. When you have any work performed, be sure to get a warranty on the work in case the same problem occurs again in a short period of time.

    The watches that has on our site contain extensive descriptions. If you don't find what you’re looking for in the description, you can send us an Online Inquiry and receive a prompt reply from one of our trained watch experts.

    They will try to help you with any questions, whether or not it pertains to a watch on the site. Keep in mind that has access to watches that may not be on the site. E-mail us if you’re looking for a particular watch and you don’t see it on our site.

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