Greetings from the cutting edge – or should that be beating heart? – of horology!
And as the small hand turns once again, ushering in our 12th annual survey of all that’s great and good about men's watches, it seems timely to note that, right now, the business, like most others, finds itself in a state of (relative) flux.
Granted, long gone are the forlorn years when it struggled to get past the sheer ubiquity (not to mention convenience) of quartz power. Today, both traditional and more novel methods of regulating time stand and prosper side by side. Right now, the discussions centre around not simply reliability and accuracy (the twin pillars of all reputable watchmakers) but the real-time changes that are going on in materials, technologies and the same disrupting influence of our linked-in, networked world.
So expect ever more interesting ‘routes to market’ by some enterprising new-joiners (there are a few crowdsourced examples in this year’s A-Z), as well as innovative new approaches from traditional manufactures aligned with the need to change-up their working and marketing practices.
All of which is a long way round saying, there’s never been a better time to be interested in – or consider buying – a new watch. Helpfully, our chronometer-rated consigliere, Simon de Burton, has hewn the wheat from the chaff to deliver his final adjudication of what actually matters in the world of watchmaking. Enjoy.
1) Swiss brands are usually the safest bet
If the movement in your automatic or mechanical timepiece is built in-house by a major Swiss marque, it’ll most likely be of a better quality than one which has been mass-produced externally.
2) Check the lugs for sharp edges
If the lugs or case of your watch feature any sharp edges, the watch hasn’t been finished properly and is a wider sign of poor manufacture.
3) Make sure you can swim with it
Aways opt for a watch which is - at the very least - water resistant to 50 meters. This doesn’t mean you can take your watch to a depth of 50 meters, but rather that you can swim with it normally.
4) Invest in scratch-resistant glass
Try and opt for a watch finished with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass. Anything less and the slightest bash will leave your watch in a very bad way indeed.