Leather – The classic leather watch brands are always a popular option because they are simple, comfortable, and stylish.
Stainless Steel Bracelets – Considered durable and long lasting, stainless steel watch bands are popular with both men and women. Easy to wear and take off, they offer flexibility by matching formal and informal attires, much like other forms of jewelry.
Military – Crafted from a variety of materials, military watch bands can offer both a casual and sophisticated look.
Titanium – Titanium is commonly used these days for sports watches. Light and durable, these bands are an obvious choice for many divers’ watches.
Types of Display
LCD Display (Liquid Crystal Display) – A digital display where the numbers are formed in a liquid layer enclosed between a pair of clear crystals.
Analog – traditional watch display with hour and minute hands
Digital – numeric watch display
Ana-Dig – A watch that has both an analog (hour and minute hands) and digital (numeric) display
The “movement” refers to the interior mechanism of the watch that drives the timekeeping functions.
A quartz movement is powered by a battery. In this design, a vibrating quartz crystal drives a step motor to move the hands at a constant rate. Passing an electric current through the crystal keeps it oscillating at over 32,000 vibrations per second, which makes the movement extremely reliable. Quartz movements are also cost effective designs for the manufacturer, and the most affordable watches usually have this feature. Swiss quartz combines the movement with the chassis and jewels of a mechanical watch to form the most accurate and most durable quartz watches. On average, the battery needs to be changed every 1.5 years; however, a few quartz watches have solar-powered rechargeable batteries or kinetic technology.
A mechanical movement uses a spring that must be wound by hand. The spring slowly unwinds to release the energy that powers the timekeeping functions. Consumers who appreciate the skill of gifted watchmakers choose these fine watches for their intricate composite of gears and other parts. Well-built mechanical watches can last for generations.
Automatic watches have mechanical movements that harness the energy produced by the wearer’s arm to wind the spring. Thus, the wearer does not need to manually wind the watch every day; however, it is recommended that you manually wind the movement every two weeks or use a watch winder. Also, adjust the time once a month as automatic and mechanical movements can gain or lose a few minutes per month.
Chronograph – The ability to function as a stop-watch.
Moon phase – Displays the lunar phase
Tourbillon – A device used to counter the affect of gravity, said to improve accuracy.
Perpetual calendar – A continual calendar that needs no adjustment
Waterproof vs. Water-resistant
Water resistance is an indication of the degree to which a watch can withstand exposure to water. A static pressure test is used to assess leakage and the result is then expressed in bars, atmospheres or meters. A watch’s ability to withstand water degrades over time.
Technically, no watch is truly “waterproof.” Even divers watches, which are held to an extremely high water-resistant standard, are still not officially referred to as waterproof.
Fine watches are sophisticated and precise pieces of equipment; the price often reflects the skilled workmanship that goes into a fine timepiece. In order to get the most satisfaction out of your watch, you should follow some simple care and cleaning guidelines:
• No matter how handy you are, don’t attempt perform watch repairs yourself. Only an expert jeweler/watchmaker, like the ones at Herman Hiss & Company, should be trusted to put your watch back into working condition.
• Give your watch a quick check on a regular basis; making sure that the strap or bracelet is securely attached to the watch face.
• A mechanical watch should be checked regularly by Herman Hiss and serviced according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
• Wind your watch in a clockwise direction, preferably about the same time each day. Remove the watch from your wrist when winding so as not to place undue pressure on the stem.
• Replace broken or scratched crystals immediately. Even a hairline crack can let dust and moisture into the timekeeping mechanism, threatening its accuracy.
• Unless the degree of water-resistance is clearly specified when you purchase your watch, do not wear it into the shower or pool, or on a moist wrist.
• Herman Hiss & Company suggests replacing the battery in a quartz watch before it runs out. Dead batteries left in the watch can leak or corrode, ruining the timepiece. Do not attempt to change the battery in a watch yourself. If your watch is water-resistant, a water-resistance test should be performed after the battery has been replaced to ensure that water will not leak into and damage the watch.
• Battery life varies considerably according to the type of watch and its functions. Refer to your owner’s manual for more information.
• Oils from your skin can build up on a watch. If your watch is water-resistant, you can give it a quick cleaning with a mixture of warm water and either a mild soap or a dish detergent. Dry the watch with a soft cloth after cleaning. If your watch has a strap made out of leather or another material, you should clean only the watch face and not the strap.
• If your watch is not water-resistant, or you’re not sure, do not immerse it in water. Clean the piece with a slightly damp cloth and then dry.