WatchesAndBeyond.com

1-866-593-8525 / 1-845-573-9833
Brand Name Watches & Cufflinks
Savings of up to 75% on 100% Authentic watches   
Special Requests Help Desk Privacy Policy Bookmark This Page Return Policy
GENDER
STYLE
PRICE RANGE

SHOP BY BRAND
Accessories
Accutron
Audemars Piguet
Bedat & Co.
Breitling
Bulova
Certina
Charmex
Chopard
Christian Dior
Chronoswiss
Concord
Condor
Corum
Cuervo Y Sobrinos
Ebel
Fortis
Frederique Constant
Geneve
Glycine
Gucci
Hugo Boss
Ice-Watch
Lacoste
Longines
Lucien Piccard
Movado
Oris
Patek Philippe
Paul Picot
Philip Stein
Porsche Design
Rado
Raymond Weil
Seiko
Swiss Army
Technomarine
Tiffany & Co.
ToyWatch
Ulysse Nardin
Valentino
Vintage / Antique
Wenger
         

Don't miss our

Weekly Specials


 

"Watches 101"

What's the best way to store a watch?
What's a "movement"?
What is the legal definition of a Swiss watch?
Which leads to the question: What is a Swiss movement? They have a ready answer, of course:
What does the word "Geneve" on a watch mean?
What's the difference between a mechanical movement and a quartz movement?
What does 17-jewel movement mean?
What does the word "chronometer" mean?
Who is the COSC and what do they do?
What's a "chronograph"?
What do the letters "T" and "O" mean on my watch?
It is possible that this comes from the French word for gold, Or, is it true that tritium is radioactive?
Is there such thing as a completely waterproof watch?
What does "Shock Resistant" mean?
Is it true that only a diamond will scratch a sapphire crystal face?
 

What's the best way to store a watch?
Storing a luxury watch properly requires a little extra care. Diamonds and other gemstones are hard enough to scratch metal jewelry and to mar the surfaces of other stones they come in contact with. Store diamond and/or gold watches in their own individual soft cloth pouches, place them in a jewelry box that has separate compartments for each piece or store them in their original box.

back to top

What's a "movement"?
A movement is the mechanism that actually calculates the passage of time--the "guts" of the watch, if you will. Like the engine and transmission of a car, watch movements are so fundamental to the quality of the watch that they are often manufactured by separate companies, or by the same company in a different factory. The movement is also the part of the watch which is usually covered by a warranty--much like the "engine and drivetrain" warranties that come with new cars.

back to top

What is the legal definition of a Swiss watch?
As the universally-acknowledged manufacturers of the world's best watches, the Swiss are understandably rather persnickety about what watches qualify as "Swiss." To protect the integrity of their good name, several organizations have formed with the specific intention of regulating quality and defining standards for the industry. The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry has produced a list of "Verordnung Swiss Made" rules that state that a Swiss watch must:

  • Have a Swiss movement that
  • Was set into its case in Switzerland
  • By a manufacturer of Swiss origin.

back to top

Which leads to the question: What is a Swiss movement? They have a ready answer, of course:
It must have been assembled in Switzerland under the supervision of a Swiss factory and the parts of the movement that are Swiss in origin must constitute at least 50% of the movement's total value. Movements that meet these exacting requirements earn the right to be stamped with the word "Swiss." Sometimes the stamp will instead say "Suisse," "Swiss Quartz," "Swiss Made," "Produit Suisse," or "Fabrique en Suisse." These all mean the same thing. However, if the case is not of Swiss origin, then this inscription cannot be visible--it must be concealed by the case. However, the case may be stamped with the words "Swiss Movement" to indicate that it's Swiss on the inside, if not the outside. In the case of the reverse--a non-Swiss movement in a Swiss case, only the words "Swiss Case" are permitted.

back to top

What does the word "Geneve" on a watch mean?
Just as Geneva is a more specific location than Switzerland, the designation "Geneve" is a more exacting mark of prestige given to watches by the Bureau de controle des Montres de Geneva. To qualify, in addition to matching all the above criterion for a Swiss watch, it must have had one of its major manufacturing steps take place within the Canton of Geneva. The theory is that at least 50% percent of the manufacturing costs will have been incurred "locally," protecting the trade and ensuring quality assembly.

back to top

What's the difference between a mechanical movement and a quartz movement?
Mechanical movements are what most people think of when they talk about the fine art of watch making--a precise, intricate system of tiny gears and springs which use mechanical energy to operate. These watches have a mainspring, which is wound either by hand or by "automatic movement" (self winding). The spring power is then transferred to the hands of the watch via a precise timing mechanism known as a balance.

A quartz movement is a simpler, less expensive timing mechanism which regulates time by sending an electric current from a battery to a tiny quartz crystal, which vibrates at precise and predictable rates--32,768 cycles per second to be exact. Quartz movements are superbly accurate and reliable. Because they can be mass-produced, quartz movements are used in everything from clock radios and digital watches to some very fine timepieces. However, what is gained in efficiency is lost in elegance, according to some epicureans.

Interestingly enough, the first quartz watch, introduced by Seiko in 1969, cost over a thousand dollars!

back to top
 

What does 17-jewel movement mean?
In spring-powered mechanical watches, conservation of energy is practically an art form. To reduce friction, many of the spaces between gears are set with tiny synthetic gem crystals, which resist temperature changes better than metal and hold lubricant much longer.

back to top

What does the word "chronometer" mean?
Strictly speaking, anything that measures time is a chronometer (chronos = time, meter = measure). An hourglass or a sundial is technically a chronometer. However, in modern watchmaking the term "chronometer" is a specific designation of accuracy, assigned only to high-quality watch movements that have been tested by the COSC.

back to top

Who is the COSC and what do they do?
The Control Officile Suisse de Chronometers is a Swiss testing laboratory that certifies watches, or rather their movements, as "chronometers." Each movement is individually tested over a 15-day period in different positions and temperatures, and passes only if it shows a loss of fewer than five seconds per day. Watches that have certified movements will usually be stamped with an inscription that says "Chronometer," "Certified Chronometer," or "Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified."

back to top

What's a "chronograph"?
By definition a chronograph "records time." In modern watches this refers to a stopwatch function of some sort.

back to top

What do the letters "T" and "O" mean on my watch?
The letter "T" on the face of a watch stands for tritium, the greenish-white substance on the hands and numbers that glows in the dark. The letter "O" means that the indices on the dial are made of gold.

back to top

It is possible that this comes from the French word for gold, Or, is it true that tritium is radioactive?
Although tritium is a radioactive substance, the amount of radiation from tritium-coated watch faces is less than 25milliCuries, which isn't even enough to penetrate the watch case or crystal.

back to top

Is there such thing as a completely waterproof watch?
Not really--in fact it's not even a legal term in the US anymore, and for good reason. Even deep-sea submarines have maximum depths beyond which they cannot safely travel. That's because deeper water means higher water pressure, and eventually water pressure will break the windows. Watches are rated for "water resistance," which is an evaluation of how much water pressure the moisture seals can withstand. Most watches are rated to 50 meters, which is more than most of us will ever need. Sport and diving watches are often rated to 200 meters or more. Ironically, humans can only safely dive to about half that depth, and extremely high depth ratings are more an indicator of craftsmanship and status than actual utility. Water resistance is also measured in ATM, or atmospheres. One atmosphere is equivalent to 10 meters.

back to top

What does "Shock Resistant" mean?
Shock resistance is an American government standard of durability which means that the watch can survive a drop of three feet onto a wooden floor.

back to top

Is it true that only a diamond will scratch a sapphire crystal face?
Not quite. Another sapphire or ruby will scratch it. Also remember that scratch-proof is not hatter-proof. A sapphire crystal is remarkably durable, but far from impervious. It's best to treat a quality watch like any other piece of finely-crafted jewelry.

back to top


Watches and Beyond Home : Watches : Cufflinks : About Us : "Watches 101" : Help Desk : Return Policy

we accept visa master amex discover

         
      
ęCopyright 2000-2017
Watches & Beyond
1-866-593-8525
info@watchesandbeyond.com