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Watches Buying Guide

A comprehensive guide that will give you all the information you need on how to buy watches.

Getting Started

Watches have come a long way since their invention in the early 1500s. No longer are they simply used for telling time. A watch can now become an extension of who you are, what you like, and the personality you are trying to convey. At Abt Electronics, our wide selection gives you the opportunity to find what best fits your needs at great prices.

Types

When picking out a watch, there are several things you need to be asking yourself, such as where will I be wearing it? What will my attire be while wearing it? What activities will I be doing while wearing it? All of these are important to consider when picking out your watch.

Watch faces are available with many different features and colors. The most basic face has the hour-hand, minute-hand, and second-hand accompanied by the date. In the more sophisticated watches you will find any combination of the following: a stop watch, a barometer, a meter with the current day/month, a moon phase which will tell you when the next full moon occurs, and many other features.


Features

Technology Sitting On Your Wrist
You may have heard this slogan for a watch brand: "It takes a licking, and keeps on ticking." So what is it that makes a watch tick? Watches rely on several different energy sources to keep accurate time and that second-hand always ticking.

Automatic watches will wind themselves by the motion of the wearer. As long as there is movement, the watch will remain wound and working properly. The benefit of the automatic watch is the ease of use and natural charging. Self-winding watches require the wearer to literally wind the watch's crown, which is located on the right side.

Quartz watches are the result of watch makers' constant quest for accuracy. Prototypes of quartz watches were being developed around 1950. Quartz watches were not available to the public in any real numbers until the 1970s. The power source of a quartz watch is usually a battery. Exceptions exist, but as a rule, quartz watches depend on a battery for their main source of power, hence they are simpler in their operation than a mechanical watch. This frees the wearer of regular maintenance.

Solar technology is another way to power your watch. Solar watches rely on the energy from the sun to power them, just like those large solar panels you may see on buildings. There are built-in batteries on these watches as a backup, but their main energy source is the rays of the sun. This source of natural energy keeps your watch working for a very long time.

Straps
The face is the most important part when you're showing off your watch, but what would that face be without a strap? There are four kinds of straps that are used for most watches-- metal, leather, rubber, and nylon.. Each comes with its own characteristics. Metal straps are great for people who keep their watches for long periods of time. Of all the options, metal is the most durable. Over the years, though, the links will start to soften and give way, and you will need to replace your bracelet. In terms of lifespan, you can expect a steel, platinum, or titanium bracelet to last 15-20 years. A gold bracelet will only last about half that time, as it is a softer metal.

Leather straps can be used to dress up or dress down. Most of your really expensive watches come with a leather strap. These straps can come in different types of leather--croc skin, alligator skin, etc.

Rubber straps are great because they give you the comfort of a leather strap plus some extra durability. Rubber straps are not as durable as metal straps, but they tend to last around 5 year longer than leather straps. Newer advancements with rubber straps add benefits such as longer life and the ability to better absorb sweat.

Nylon straps work well for the active person. If you are an outdoors kind of person, having a nylon strap is perfect for you and the environment you are in. If you are around water, leather straps can become warped and crack over time. If you are a rock climber and wear a rubber strap it can easily get cut. The nylon strap is durable and can absorb water easily.

Watch Ingredients
Ever wonder what makes one watch a LOT more expensive than another? It's all inside. High end watches are created with the finest of materials such as gold, sapphire crystals, rubies, mother of pearl, and even diamonds. These materials are carefully chosen to complement the look, feel, and longevity of the watches.

Materials are also put through rigorous examinations before the parts even make it into the watch. For example, diamonds are looked at for their purity and carat weight. Sapphire crystals are second in "hardness" compared to diamonds, but they are the most expensive kind of crystals and are examined closely as they represent the window to the watch. Sapphire crystals are scratch-resistant and most of them have anti-reflective coating. A gold watch can be either gold-plated or solid gold. Gold-plated is less expensive and uses a process where the gold is bonded to a different type of metal. A solid gold watch is made almost entirely out of gold, using other metals only to strengthen its durability.

In less expensive models, watches are created using materials such as plastic, basic metals, and glass that is not entirely scratch resistant. These materials are still very reliable for a watch, however as with many things in life, you get what you pay for.


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