Selecting a Watch
Mechanical watches are the traditional “wind-up” or analog watches with numbers or marked dials and moving hands. They are powered by a mainspring and operate via a series of interlocking wheels and gears. To set the gears in motion, mechanical watches must either be wound automatically or by hand. Since the mainspring of an automatic watch maintains full tension for a longer period of time than a hand-wound watch, it has greater consistency of power and, therefore, greater accuracy.
The moving parts or bearings of better-quality watches are usually called “jewels.”
Electronic Crystal Watches
An electronic quartz watch is a battery-powered watch that contains a tiny quartz crystal that vibrates to measure time. Usually the crystal is synthetic quartz and vibrates over 32,000 times per second. This high number of vibrations gives quartz watches extraordinary precision–many are capable of accuracy to within one minute a year. Quartz watches have fewer moving parts than mechanical watches and are less likely to break down over time.
Quartz Crystal Watches
The quartz digital watch displays time using numerical digits in an LCD (liquid crystal display) instead of moving hands. A battery causes the quartz to vibrate and a computer chip translates these vibrations into the display. These operate with the same accuracy as electronic quartz watches.
A watch should be marked “water resist” to confirm its level of resistance to moisture, as there are several degrees of resistance.
Common levels of water resistance:
Water resistant: It is wearable if water is being splashed, but it should not be exposed to any water pressure. It is protected from perspiration or accidental immersion in water.
Water resistance 50 meters (150 feet): It is wearable around household sinks, while playing sports, and in shallow water. It should not be worn while scuba diving.
Water resistance 100 meters (333 feet): It is wearable around household sinks, while playing sports, and while swimming or poolside diving. It should not be worn while scuba diving.