Watch Buying Guide
Whatever style or type you’re looking for, choosing the watch of your dreams can be harder than you’d anticipated. Our Watch Buying Guide will help you navigate through the information about water resistance, movements and strap types to help you find the watch that’s perfectly right for you.
Your Watch In More Detail -
This is part of the case that surrounds the dial and may be fixed or rotating depending on the style of watch. Many fashion or dress watches are finished with a crystal or diamond set bezel for an extra touch of glamour, whilst sporting watches may have tachymeter scales for average speed measurement or uni-directional rotating bezels to measure elapsed time.
Designed to protect the dial and hands, the crystal must be tough and durable whilst allowing excellent visibility of your watch’s functions. Our watches predominantly feature two types of crystal: sapphire crystal and mineral crystal. Sapphire crystal is very hard and scratch-resistant whereas mineral crystal is slightly more prone to scratching but is less likely to shatter if it suffers an impact. Some watches may also feature anti-reflective treatment on one or both sides of the crystal to ensure optimal readability of your watch in all conditions.
Hour Markers +
Contributing to the overall look of your watch, the type and style of the hour markers can vary. Some modern watches may have no hour markings at all, whilst a more classic edge can be achieved by a watch with Roman numerals. Hour markers may also take the form of batons, Arabic numerals and even crystal or diamond dots. Particularly in sports watches, the hour markers may have a luminescent coating which will allow you to read your watch in all conditions. The colour of this luminescent coating can also add another dimension to the design of your watch.
The decoration and finish of your watch’s dial is where the artistry of watchmaking can really be appreciated. Intricate patterns may be applied such as sunbrushed, guilloche or Cotes de Genève to give your watch a touch of style and luxury. Dials may also be brightly coloured to add a sense of fun and individuality to your look, as well as being finished with mother-of-pearl or even carbon fibre.
Case back +
The seal which protects your watch’s movement, the case back can be a work of art in its own right. Some Limited Edition watches may have special commemorative engravings on them whilst others may have been ergonomically designed to make the watch more comfortable to wear. We also have a collection of watches with sapphire crystal or ‘exhibition’ case backs which allow you a glimpse into the beating heart of your watch.
Depending on your watch’s complications, the sub-dials may display the chronograph functions or, as in some fashion watches, may display the day, date and month. Sub-dials will give your watch a very sporty edge. Some watches, such as Casio for example may also include digital sub-dials to give you all the information you need at your fingertips.
The very essence of your watch, the case will determine the look, feel and functionality of your timepiece. The case size is perhaps the first factor in determining your ideal watch. Large, imposing case sizes are on-trend for both men and women, but more recently, smaller and more feminine sized ladies watches are becoming increasingly fashionable and are prefect for teaming with a stack of trendy bracelets. Normally made from stainless steel, the case can feature a variety of finishes as well as gold, rose gold or black ion plating. Increasingly, sporty and pilot style watches are being made from titanium which is lightweight and very durable.
Used to set the time, as well as possibly the day and date depending upon the functions, your watch will have either a medium-push-down or a screw-down crown. Normally found on fashion watches, a medium-push-down crown simply needs to be pulled out in order to change the time or date. A screw-down crown is normally found on sports watches and ensures a high level of water resistance – just remember to screw it back in after changing the time!
Strap Types +
The type of strap you choose can have a big influence on the overall aesthetic of your watch. Chunky, bracelet style watches are very on-trend this season, whilst a beautifully crafted leather strap can lend every look an air of timeless sophistication.
Classic and timeless, leather straps are available in all sorts of colours and finishes. Usually made of calf leather, although it could also be crocodile or alligator on certain models, the leather can be dyed in a wide range of tones as well as finished with a printed effect such as mock-croc or lizard. Leather straps are stitched together, and this stitching can add another striking feature such as tone-on-tone or contrasting colours. As leather is a natural substance it must be cared for to keep it looking its best. Watches with leather straps are not generally suitable for use in water and are normally fastened with a traditional pin buckle.
Becoming increasingly on-trend, a fabric or NATO strap is perfect for accessorising your off-duty look. Seen on brands such as Daniel Wellington, Elliot Brown and Tudor, they are lightweight, flexible and are sometimes offered as an extra, allowing you to change the look of your watch to match the occasion. Normally fastened with a traditional pin buckle or a sliding clasp, fabric straps are easy to adjust to get the perfect fit. For an even sportier look you could also try a silicone or rubber strap with is great for diving and more rugged sporting styles.
Crafted like pieces of fine jewellery, bangle watches can look fabulous when worn with a stack of on-trend bracelets. A stunning blend of jewellery and watch, bangle bracelets are elegant and feminine and are perfect for accessorising both evening and day time looks. Sometimes difficult to size, it is important to check you have the right fit when buying your watch.
Top tip: We offer a free watch adjustment service at all of our stores
The beating heart of your watch, the movement refers to the mechanism within your watch that keeps track of time. Whether your watch is powered by a mechanical, automatic, quartz or solar powered movement it may have further complications such as chronograph functions, day/date or moon phase displays. Each type of movement has its own characteristics which may determine which would suit your requirements best.
Water Resistance +
The water resistance of watches can cause a lot of confusion. The level of water resistance is measured in meters (m) and atmospheres (ATM) and relates to the amount of pressure that your watch can withstand whilst remaining water tight. It is important to note that the level of water resistance is measured on a watch that is static whilst it is submerged. In reality, if you were wearing your watch in instances when it would be moving through the water, for example swimming or diving, your watch would be exposed to far greater levels of pressure, even if you were swimming at the surface of the pool.
Watches that are water resistant to 30m are classed as splashproof and rainproof, these watches shouldn’t be submerged in water and should be removed whilst swimming or bathing. A watch water resistant to 50m can be fully submerged in water and can be worn for swimming however, these watches may not withstand the dramatic pressure changes when diving into a pool or even the high water pressure of a power shower for example.
Designed to keep pace with your underwater adventures, these are our top picks for high-performance diving watches.
Top tip: If water resistance is an important aspect in your choice of watch, it is also worth considering that your watch will need to be checked regularly to ensure the seals remain intact and in full working order. If your watch is battery powered it will also need to be re-sealed when the battery is changed.
Watch Your Style +
Because we believe that a watch should do more than just tell the time, the style of watch you choose will tell the world exactly who you are.
The ultimate combination of style and function, our collection of sports watches are designed for those that like to push the boundaries. Ranging from fashionable sporty styles to ultra-rugged watches that have been designed to endure the harshest conditions, a sports watch gives you all the information you need at your fingertips. Usually featuring a higher level of water resistance, they may also showcase additional functions such as a stopwatch, uni-directional rotating bezel for measuring elapsed time, tachymeters and even altimeters.SHOP SPORTS WATCHES
Featuring all the must-have brands in the most coveted styles and finishes, our selection of fashion watches are the thing to be seen in this season. Designed to make a statement, these watches will feature the latest finishes such as gold and rose gold plating as well as crystal bezels and ceramic or acetate details. Normally powered by quartz batteries which are long-lasting and very accurate, you can choose from metal or leather bracelets as well as chronograph or multi-function features.SHOP FASHION WATCHES
Evoking a concept of quality and engineering excellence that has been handed down through generations, a Swiss Made watch embodies the highest possible standard of traditional manufacturing, advanced technology and luxurious aesthetic qualities. Renowned as the centre of the watch industry for over 400 years, Switzerland continues to imbue its prestigious watches with uncompromising innovation, precision and high-end movements which in turn lend the wearer a certain uniqueness and excellence. Showcasing powerful brand names such as TAG Heuer, Omega, Breitling and Raymond Weil, our Swiss watches will give every look an air of authority.SHOP SWISS WATCHES
No matter what brand or model you choose, your watch is a sophisticated precision instrument which is constantly in motion and will require a bit of care and attention to keep it in tick-tock condition.View Our Watch Aftercare