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In the world of horology and watch collecting, there are various watch types. Whether you’re purchasing a watch for the first time or looking to collect, it’s important to be cognizant of these various watch types.
Each one has its own unique style and functions, and each one is definitely worthy of being part of your watch collection!
The automatic or self winding watch was invented in 1773, and has a long history. Automatic watches earned their name because it does not require any batteries to help it run. It can power itself with the natural motion of the watch wearer’s movement.
This special function makes it one of the most desirable watch type in horology. Especially, in today’s modern world, people don’t have to go to the jeweler or think about maintaining the watch. The automatic watch is the best option for these types of people.
They can simply go to work. They can sit at their desks and go about their duties, and their watches will continue ticking and tocking. As long as the watch is worn every day, it will maintain power without the need for manual winding.
Here are the different types of automatic watches available for sale:
The Chronograph watch style has a special place in history. It was first introduced in the early 19th century to help the King Louis XVIII to time horses in races. Since then, the chronograph has developed a reputation as a reliable timekeeper.
Many famous aviators of the past have taken chronograph watches with them in their voyages. From Amelia Hart to the British Royal Air Force, they have all used chronograph watches to help them navigate through the skies.
In fact, Omega (and its chronograph watch) is the only watch type to have been certified by NASA as space worthy for their astronauts.
Although today’s aviators and astronauts have more sophisticated equipment, the chronograph has not gone away. Today, it is still sought after for their style and also for their ability to tell time (which is what a watch is meant to do).
If you’re keen about learning about the chronograph style, then take a look at our complete guide on chronograph watches.
Here are some chronograph watches available for sale:
- Seiko Chronograph
- Hamilton Chronograph
- Over $1,000 Luxury brands
- From Germany
- The Swiss Touch
This particular type of watch has grown in popularity in the past few years, due to their ubiquity in social media. Although the older brands like Seiko and Citizen have their own line of minimalist watches, it’s the Daniel Wellingtons, the MVMT brand and the Linjer brands that have taken social media like a hurricane storm.
Traditionally, fashion watches have always been adorned with fancy crystal faces, with gold or silver straps and other bells and whistles. These “extras” have inflated the prices of traditional fashion watches. Then add the fact these watches can only be sold via a retailer… fashion watches historically have been pricey.
The premise behind the minimalist watch is threefold:
- Create a simple (cool) design
- Make it affordable
- Marketing and distribution online
First, many of these minimalist watches don’t have fancy silver straps or gold trimmings. They employ an accurate movement (mostly Japanese) and have a simple leather strap. Most have a brand name inside the leather strap or inside the face of the watch.
However, they are all simple by design and would work well in either formal or casual settings.
Second, they strive to be “affordable fashion watches.” Now, there is constant debate about the quality of these watches because many are imported from China. Although they employ the reliable Japanese watch movement, many see these watches as inferior to more established brands because they are Chinese made.
These watches from MVMT or Daniel Wellington are less expensive than what you can typically buy at Nordstrom or Macy’s. They mostly retail around $100 to $200.
Finally, these minimalist watch brands are mostly Internet based. You order them through Amazon, through their Shopify store or their website. You deal with a support team via the Internet. You pay for the watches via Pay Pal or credit card. Essentially, they cut off the middle man (the retail stores).
Traditionally, watches are manufactured in Japan or Switzerland. Then they are shipped to retail stores around the world and consumers can only buy them by visiting these stores.
What these minimalist brands have done is completely eliminate the middle man and go directly to the consumer. Regardless of how you feel about the quality of these watches, they certainly have revolutionized the marketing and distribution process of watches.
Minimalist brands, like MVMT and Daniel Wellington, have proved that it is possible (and even more profitable) to bypass the retailer and reach the consumer directly. Instead of using magazine ads or TV, use Instagram and the power of social media to launch a brand, build a brand and move product.
Today, you’ll see dozens and dozens of watchmakers going on Indiegogo or Kickstarter, trying to emulate the success of MVMT or Daniel Wellington. They’ve realized all you need is a hook to differentiate your brand and then it’s all about leveraging social media to get your brand in front of paying customers.
If you’re interested in learning more about the minimalist watch type, consider these brands:
Take a look around our site. I hope you find our watch content useful and serves as a useful guide to the various watch types available for sale.
Prior to the invention of the quartz movement, the Swiss dominated the watch industry with their mechanical watches. Finally, the Japanese decided it’s time to move away from the Swiss style of watchmaking and create something new. So in the late 1950s, Seiko led a consortium of watchmakers to develop the first quartz watch.
This revolutionary watch almost killed the Swiss watch industry, and launched the Japanese brands into worldwide prominence. Today, the quartz movement is the most popular style of watches. It powers luxury watches, fancy watches and many chronographs. Learn about this watch style in this review of quartz watches.
A dress watch doesn’t have a unique functionality like the chronograph or an automatic watch. It’s more to do with the watch aesthetics and how the watch is built.
Many of the automatic or mechanical type watches have a unique look that makes it stand out. Especially the chronograph watch, it can be large on a user’s wrist.
For a dress watch, it’s actually quite the opposite. You’re looking for understated elegance. It’s very important to go for a minimalist style when shopping for a dress watch. Dress watches are meant to be worn in funerals, weddings or formal settings. In these social events, you’re expected to pay attention to the festivities and not staring down your phone or watch.
It’s also not the best etiquette to wear an opulent gold watch to a funeral. Again, you’re looking for understated elegance. You’re looking for a watch that complements your outfit and not overpower your ensemble.
For my full guide on dress watches, check it out here.
If you’re a watch connoisseur, a collector or simply need an accessory to match that Ferrari in your garage, then it’s a must to own a luxury watch.
These watch brands and models are some of the world’s best and most sought after. Collectors and buyers of luxury watches understand and appreciate the history, the craftsmanship and precision of these timepieces (most of them handcrafted).
Moreover, many luxury watches are made of quality materials, like titanium, or precious materials, like gold and silver. These watches in particular makes watches an excellent investment. Gold or silver, handcrafted watches retain their value for a long time. Some brands or models rarely dip below their original market value.
Luxury watches aren’t for beginners. It’s a big investment, even if you’re purchasing one for the first time. If you’re looking to make an investment in a Tudor or a Breitling, make sure to check out my guide on luxury watches.
If you’re an eco-friendly consumer, then strongly consider a solar watch or two for your watch collection.
In the early 1900s, no one could have imagined a watch solely powered by the sun’s golden rays. It seemed like an innovation that could only be found in a Jules Verne novel. However, here we are in the 21st century, and it seems everything is going solar. From cars to homes to watches — human innovation has made what seemed impossible into a reality.
Solar watches can crossover into other watch styles. You can find sporty solar watches. You can find solar chronographs. These watches come in all varieties, but they have one thing in common —
No replacement batteries needed!
These watches are purely powered by a light source (whether it be the sun or artificial light). Moreover, many of these watches can go months without needing any recharging. If you’re an earth conscious consumer, definitely take a look at the solar style. You’ll find many affordable watches that would make a find addition to your watch collection.
Choosing the Perfect Watch Type
Buying a watch is a personal decision. It’s not a good idea to buy watch just because your favorite celebrity wears the brand or you saw it on an ad in a fashion magazine.
Watches are a personal item, and if you treat it as such, you can buy a quality timepiece that can last you a lifetime (or two).
When buying a watch, be cognizant of these three factors:
- Personal Style
- Personal Lifestyle
If you’re buying a watch for the very first time or you’re buying a watch for a non-collector, it’s simply not a good idea to break your budget on a Rolex Daytona. Know who the watch is for, and stick to a budget. Check out my guides that are sorted by price tiers, except for luxury styles which only have one price tier…
Next, think about your personal style. Some people like heavy watches. Then consider the automatic or mechanical style. The very best automatic or mechanical watches have a complex build and made of quality materials. Hence, they look “heavy” (and thereby expensive) on the wrist.
Others prefer the minimalist style. Consider MVMT or Vincero watches. They have what I call “understated elegance.”
Finally, consider your personal lifestyle. If you’re an active person (especially someone who loves water sports), look for watches with high ATM rating. In particular, check out the chronograph style watches. These are made for astronauts and aviators, and they can handle your tough guy lifestyle.
Perhaps you’re more the laid back type. You just want a fancy watch to wear, while you sip on your Vodka martini under the Aruba sun. Then a simpler watch would work. Again, think minimalist style. Look for watches with leather bands.
There are many types of watches to choose from. Check out all my guides, which cover the world of watches. There are a myriad of factors to consider when purchasing a watch.
But there is one undeniable truth about watches —