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Watches 101

Watches at Jared

Watches 101

With the time constantly available on our phone, watches have become a bigger style statement than a practical one. However, you may be surprised by how much you rely on your watch once you start wearing one regularly. Ultimately, the sophistication of a watch will never go out of style and they are considered a jewelry essential for both men and women. Enthusiast and casual wearers alike will always appreciate a fantastic timepiece.

Watch types
There are three main categories of watch mechanics, or "movements" as they might be called. The first is quartz, which is the most common. Quartz watches do not require winding and are battery operated, which make them quite reliable. They come in analog dials, digital displays and hybrid displays.

The second type is mechanical. Mechanical watches are little masterpieces that operate without any batteries or technology. There are two types of mechanical movements: automatic and manual. Automatic watches wind themselves by leveraging the arm motion of the person wearing the timepiece. By contrast, manual watches must be wound every day. Both require regular servicing to remain in working order.

The new kids on the block are the smartwatches. Unlike the minimalist microcomputers you may have seen advertised, fine watch makers have also begun to develop smartwatches with a more traditional look. These styles have brains and beauty, with the ability to connect to your smartphone and track your activity.

Common materials
Watches come in a variety of materials, and are perhaps the most diverse of any piece of jewelry. There are two main components to a watch: the watch case (which features the dial) and the band. These two parts can share the same material or be different. Some of the most common materials you'll find include traditional metals, alternative metals, ceramics, and plastics. Leather is also a popular material for bands. Depending on the style and features of a watch, a traditional metal (gold) may be seen in finer, more elegant watches, while performance watches will usually employ alternative metals or other innovative materials. Diamonds or sparkling crystals are often used as accents on the dials, bezels and bracelets.

Extra features
Beyond telling time and looking stylish, watches have other common features that can be useful to the wearer. Chronograph watches not only have a distinct and attractive style, they can measure elapsed time and fractions of seconds and even measure speed. Calendar watches can display moon cycles, and of course, tell you the day and date. Finally, an often-essential feature for many, is water-resistance. Whether you're an active person, an outdoor enthusiast, or just cautious, water-resistance is a handy and smart feature in a watch.