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Watch Collecting 101

Watch collecting can be one of the most rewarding but complex of all pastimes. Horologists study for years to learn the workings of timepieces. Below is some essential info you need to know about watch collecting and getting started on your newest obsession!

Sport Watches - These watches cater to the individual on the go, with special functions to meet their intended purpose. For example, pilot watches perform vital flight plan tasks, while diver's watches are waterproof to impressive depths and time the oxygen left in the air tank.

Chronographs - Like sport watches, chronographs are designed for functionality, incorporating a stopwatch function. Often there is more than one dial, recording second, minutes and hours.

Quartz Watches - Quartz watches achieve the greatest accuracy using tiny crystals that vibrate at a specific frequency. Almost all other forms of watches will lose their accuracy over time, and many cannot easily be fixed.

Mechanical Watches - Best loved by collectors, mechanical watches are prized for their design, beauty and engineering. Most luxury watches, or haute horlogerie, are mechanical and the best examples feature a number of "complications": the name given to any feature of a watch that is not telling the time.

The "movement" of a watch, also known as its calibre, is its internal mechanism. There are two main types of watch movement: manual and automatic. Manual requires the user to turn the crown in order to wind the mainspring for energy, while the motions of the wearer's wrist wind an automatic while it is worn.

For many collectors, complications - or simply, the features of a watch - make the hobby worthwhile. Watches can have hundreds of different functions, including:

Moon Phases - a display with the current phase of the Moon
Time Zones - found on world traveler watches
Perpetual Calendar - a calendar that spans many years, providing the day of the week for future dates

There are a lot more complications out there and so much more to discuss about watch collecting, which we'll save for next time. For now check out our social media in April to see the latest releases of some of the finest Swiss timepieces around that were introduced at Watches and Wonders 2021.


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