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Buying A Watch: Lesson 1
By: Matthew Simon on Mon Sep 8, 2008
Purchasing your first serious watch is a masculine rite of passage. Those of us not blessed with a WASPy father who’s had the information transmitted to him by his Yale fraternity, a bespectacled horologist neighbor, or an avuncular neighbour to call on, will have to do some research so we don’t look like the hapless half-men we undoubtedly are, and thank God for the anonymity of e-commmerce. Alright young captains of the nouveau riche, let’s do some book-learning before we talk Bulova, Cartier, Movado or Tag Heuer!

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Bezel
A bezel is the ring surrounding the watch face or dial. It’s usually made of stainless steel, gold, or gold plate.

Complications
In the lingua franca of the horologist, this refers not to the quality of your current crush having previously date a best friend, but instead means any function of a watch beyond just keeping time. A stop-watch, a calendar, an alarm, or even power reserve indicators.
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Gear Train
A system of gears transmitting power from mainspring to escapement. Wha? It takes energy from the spring and makes the wheels, and thus the hands of the watch move, basically.

Jewels
A race of blonde, terribly earnest Alaskan folk-singers, the most prominent member of which is known by the race’s name, and is also a published poet. I kid, jewels in watchspeak refer typically to rubies or sapphires synthetically manufactured that act as bearings in a watch, reducing friction, ensuring accuracy in time-keeping and a longer lasting life.

Movement
The internal mechanism of the watch – it’s what keeps time, keeps the hands moving. Movements may be mechanical or quartz.

Quartz
As per above, quartz is a battery-powered movement regulated by a quartz crystal’s oscillations, and is far more accurate than other watch types at keeping time, but are mass-produced, and require lesser craftsmanship, which reduces the character.

Self-winding
A particular mechanical watch type that contains a rotor on a pivot, wound by the kinetic movement of a wearer’s wrist, sometimes referred to as automatic.

Water-resistant
Water-resistant doesn’t always mean that it’s going to be safe to wash the dishes or shower with it on your wrist. “Water resistant to 100 meters” indicates that you can wear the watch underwater to that depth, and will be safe to take into the bath with your rubber ducky.


Try to get a handle on some of these terms, and we’ll return with other lessons, including how to pick a vintage watch, and what to do when your watch breaks!
 
Article Submitted By: Neoform

 
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