By Chris Ward, Co-founder of English watch brand Christopher Ward, gives his advice on what to look out for when buying a quality timepiece
With so many watch brands and models widely available and advertised, venturing into the horology market can often prove an overwhelming experience for both new and seasoned watch enthusiasts alike.
To help first-time buyers or those looking to expand their watch collection, Co-founder of self-titled, premium Swiss-made watch brand, Christopher Ward, has provided a series of top tips to ensure you are on the right track to finding exactly the right watch for you, no matter your lifestyle or interests.
Tip 1 – Do your research
“When looking for the perfect timepiece, you firstly need to research the watch industry, the brands out there and the differences between them. Many consumers, especially first-time buyers, will head to their local watch retailer and simply pick a watch off the shelf that is within budget and ‘looks nice’. By failing to do any prior research, they won’t have any understanding of the brand and quality of a timepiece.
Instead, consumers should take the time to research the brands and models prior to any purchase. Doing so will ensure a greater appreciation of each brand’s ethos and exactly what differentiates a quality watch. Doing so can only help positively influence your choice of purchase.”
When considering different models and how the watch has been constructed I would suggest following these pointers:
1) What materials have been used?
Take close notice of the materials used in the production of a watch. Certain materials, such as stainless steel for example, are more prone to scratching. Quality materials such as ceramic and titanium will ensure that your watch remains resistant to damage, scratch-proof and light to wear. Titanium is about half the weight of steel, but around twice as strong.
You should ensure that the watch materials you buy are ethically sourced. If you have to purchase an alligator strap, it should be sourced from managed farms that are signed up to the United Nations CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered species of wild flora and fauna) certification scheme. At Christopher Ward, we are phasing out alligator straps in 2016 in favour of horse leather to ensure best ethical practice.
2) The quality of the movement and mechanisms
The Swiss have the best watchmaking infrastructure in the world which trains, develops and attracts the very best watchmakers in the world. As a result, watch mechanisms produced and assembled in Switzerland are the industry leaders.
A word of caution – many “Swiss” made mechanisms do not fulfill the strict criteria to be considered Swiss. A watch is only truly Swiss if the movement follows certain regulations, and is cased and given a final inspection in Switzerland. Watches that don’t meet this criteria may simply advertise themselves as ‘Swiss Movement’ or ‘Swiss Quartz’. Those that do meet the full criteria and are truly ‘Swiss’ will more likely be advertised as ‘Swiss Made’.
The rest of this editorial will be published at a later date.