Today, our phones tell us the time. Inexpensive watches are everywhere. However, neither has the gravitas and impact of a statement watch.
A statement watch can elevate any outfit, from shorts and flip flops to a business suit.
Statement watches tend to look mechanical, classic, traditional, or otherwise complicated and expensive. They are often conversation pieces. For a statement watch, most people are looking at a range of $500-$7,000, although you can always spend more.
To select a watch with confidence, first understand the materials, movements and case sizes, and then think about your personal style.
The Case The case is the outer covering, generally made of metal, designed to protect the inner workings.
Stainless steel is the most common case metal used in high-quality watches. It resists tarnishing and discoloration.
Titanium is gaining in popularity because it's as durable as stainless steel but lighter.
Ceramic is highly scratch-resistant and durable. White is popular for statement watches.
Solid gold (not gold-plated) is expensive, and is the standard for luxurious men's and women's watches.
The Band The right watch band can really elevate the look and feel of your watch.
Bracelets are made of interlocking metal links, usually in the same material as the case. Metal is common for statement watches.
Watch bands come in a variety of leathers, rubber, fabric and other materials. Choosing a high-quality strap can add a level of elegance and luxury.
The Crystal The watch crystal covers the watch face. The type of crystal varies according to the quality of the watch.
Most likely, your watch will have a sapphire crystal (made of lab-created sapphire) which is used in almost all watches over $500. It withstands scratching best and often has an anti-reflective coating to reduce glare.
Mineral glass is regular glass that has been heat or chemically treated. It's more resistant to scratches, but can crack or shatter under extreme conditions.
The Movement The movement refers to the inner workings of a watch. Watch enthusiasts each have their favorites. The three most common types are mechanical, automatic, and quartz.
Mechanical movement is classic and feels expensive. It's wound by hand. They can lose or gain time of up to 10 seconds a day.
Automatic self-winding movements also feel expensive. They run on the energy you produce by swinging your arm. You may still need to reset it once a month, as this watch commonly gains or loses a few minutes, even if you wear it daily.
Quartz movement uses a tiny quartz crystal that vibrates at a precise frequency when electricity is passed across it. It is battery powered, extremely accurate, and widely used.
Light-driven power: Light transmitted through the dial is absorbed by a solar cell, converted into energy, and cached in a lithium-ion cell in the movement.
Case Size For a statement watch, consider size carefully. In the end, a watch that overwhelms your wrist may not look elegant.
The average women's case diameter is 34mm and the average men's case diameter is 40mm, which is a little over one and one-half inches. With the trend toward larger faces, it's not uncommon to see case diameters of 48, 50 and even 55 mm (2.2 inches).
The Dial The dial greatly contributes to the style of your watch.
Analog: High-end watch dials are almost exclusively analog rather than digital. Analog watch dials have numbers, Roman numerals or markers.
Chronographs: A chronograph is a highly technical watch that includes at least one sub-dial for features like a stopwatch, split-seconds, ability to measure two time segments simultaneously, or tachymeters.
Calendars: Calendar watches display the day, date and year, and may offer the option of showing military time. Some watches also have a moon phase indicator.
Decoration: Dials can also be enhanced with jewels and stones, such as a mother-of-pearl, diamonds or crystals.
These factors will help you select the ideal statement watch that matches your style, quality, requirements, and budget.