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Guide to Watches - CaliforniaSupreme - 02-09-2014 10:49 PM

Decided to throw together a little guide to buying a wristwatch!

Step 1: Decide if you really want a watch. Is this going to be something you'll wear often and care about? Or are you going to let it tick away in some drawer.

Step 2: What kind of watch do you want?
-Do you want analog, digital, or analog/digital?
-Dress watch, dive watch, beater watch, or general wear?

Step 3: Budget- How much do you want to spend?
<$100 will generally be inexpensive quartz pieces, some solar/automatics
$100-$300 gives you a wider selection, but not true "luxury" watches
$300-$2000 gives you many, many options: generally consider them entry-level luxury
$2000+: Luxury watches

Step 4: What kind of movement do you want? Automatic, Quartz, or Solar?

-Automatic: Doesn't rely on a battery or sunlight, instead it uses kinetic movement to power itself. Automatic watches need to be worn/moved often to keep them ticking, or put in a watch winder. Some watches have a hand-wind movement as well, but this is a general hassle unless it is in combination with the automatic movement. Pros are no need for a battery and they're unique. Cons are that they should be maintained, need to be moved regularly, and can be expensive.

-Quartz: Most watches are quartz, they keep time well and generally run off a battery. When the battery dies, the watch dies. Replace the battery and you're good. Pros are simplicity and availability, cons are the reliance on batteries and the generic nature of them.

-Solar: Solar watches generally run off solar energy to keep power, some of them charge a "power reservoir" which is basically a rechargeable battery. Most solar watches are quartz and keep good time without the need of regular battery changes. Pros are that you don't need to change batteries often, cons are that they need sunlight once in a blue moon (not a big deal)

Step 5: Features- I have listed some to consider below
-Date Indicator, Timers, Chronographs, and Alarms
-Hacking movement for Automatics (Stops the second hand from moving when setting the time)
-Water Resistance Rating (Will you be diving? or do you want it to just survive the shower?)
-Band: Some types of watch bands are NATO (cloth) bands, metal bands, leather bands, and rubber bands. Here's a good site about watch bands: http://www.pmwf.com/Watches/BraceletDifferences.htm
-Face: Do you want a complicated, clean, or sterile ("blank") bezel?
-Crown: Screw down or standard crown?
-Bezel: Do you want a turning diver's bezel, fixed, or something different like a slide rule/compass?

Step 6: Find the watch you want!

Some of my personal favorite brands are:

Digital: Casio G-Shock, Suunto, 5.11
Analog: Seiko, Orient, Skagen, Citizen, Rolex, Omega, B&R, Brietling, Hublot, Bremont, Cartier, IWC, Longines, Panerai, Tag Heuer, Sinn, and JLC.

Feel free to contribute any suggestions and ideas!
-CaliforniaSupreme