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Learn About Watches

      At Stadler’s we would like for you to have as much knowledge as possible when thinking about purchasing a fine piece of jewelry or timepiece.  In this section of the website you can learn a little information about the basics of timepieces before shopping.


Table Of Contents

Figure 1 – Watches – Look Under The Dial Figure 2 – Watches – Water Resistance
Figure 3 – Watches – Watch Case Size Figure 4 – Watches – Watch Complications
Figure 5 – Watches – Jewels Figure 6 – Not Available

Figure 11 – Looking Under The Dial

In the broadest of terms, there are two types of watch; those powered by a mechanical movement, and those by a battery-powered quartz movement. Mechanical movements are made up of hundreds of parts and assembled by hand. Because of this, they are more expensive than quartz, both to buy and maintain. Watch lovers feel mechanical movements, which are either manually wound or automatic, are more romantic and have longer value, which is why so many of the top watch brands still make them, even though the technology is hundreds of years old.
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Figure 12 – Water Resistance

Water resistance is often misunderstood – the numbers on the dial or case back should almost never be taken literally. For example, a watch with 30 metres water resistance will repel rain, but shouldn’t be submerged in water. A watch with 50 metres water resistance can be worn for swimming; 100 metres for snorkelling; and 200 metres for more extreme water sports. Watches suitable for diving tend to be labelled with at least 500 metres water resistance, although those specially designed for professional SCUBA diving might come with 1000 metres or more on the dial. Water resistance isn’t permanent either – if you use your watch under water regularly, you’ll need to get it reproofed every couple of years.
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Figure 13 – Watch Case Size

Watch cases come in all manner of case sizes. The smallest ladies cocktail pieces can be as small as 20mm in diameter, while some men’s watches exceed the 50mm mark. Traditionally, 30-36mm was considered a suitable width for a man’s watch, but in the last decade case sizes have grown. Some say a classic 39mm is the ultimate case size, others feel a watch needs to be bigger, like the 42mm. It’s also worth considering the thickness – anything deeper than 10mm can start to play havoc with a cuff. That’s one of the reasons ultra-thins have become so popular again recently.
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Figure 14 – Watch Complications

Mechanical watches get really interesting when you start adding in complications. Many top-end Swiss watches come with complications, or functions in layman’s terms. Among these are what you might call ‘useful’ complications – chronographs, second time zones, annual calendars that show the day, date and month of the year and so on. Some of the most revered horological complications are more focussed on celebrating the art and craft of the great mechanical watchmakers – minute repeaters that chime the time on demand, tourbillons that counter the effects of gravity on a movement, perpetual calendars that never need adjusting, not even in a leap year. Learning about complications can become an obsession…
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Figure 15 – Watch Jewels

The predominant use of jewel bearings is in mechanical watches, where their low and predictable friction improves watch accuracy as well as improving bearing life. Manufacturers listed the number of jewels prominently on the watch face or back, as an advertising point. A typical fully jeweled time-only watch has 17 jewels: two cap jewels, two pivot jewels, an impulse jewel for the balance wheel, two pivot jewels, two pallet jewels for the pallet fork, and two pivot jewels each for the escape, fourth, third, and center wheels. In modern quartz watches, the timekeeper is a quartz crystal in an electronic circuit, so accuracy of timekeeping is not dependent on low friction of the mechanical parts and jewels are not often used.
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