Asked and Answered: Three Pressing Questions About Watches

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We get a lot of questions from our customers about watches and we enjoy answering them all. We spend a great deal of time and effort improving our product knowledge and training so that we can provide thorough and accurate responses to your inquiries. This got us to thinking... Instead of just answering each customer individually, perhaps we should share a few of our most frequently asked questions and the answers.

Q: Why, and how often, should I service my watch?

A: All watches need maintenance. The extent of this service depends on the timepiece, its age and its movement (what powers the watch). Typically, quartz watches need battery replacements every two to three years. Mechanical watches, like cars, need a little more attention or service. The amount and extent of that service depends on the movement within the watch. Mechanical watches are lightly lubricated to reduce friction of the parts and to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Over time, the oils can deteriorate, resulting in increased wear and tear on the parts and decreased precision. Of course, some of today's higher-end luxury watches have movements that contain silicium or ceramic ball bearings that do not need oil to run friction free. A general rule of thumb is that a mechanical watch should be serviced every five years, and should always be taken to an authorized retailer. If the wrong gaskets or parts are used, more expensive repair problems can occur. Even quartz watches, when batteries are changed, have to be properly sealed and closed to ensure their water resistance.

Q: Is a watch a good investment?

A: While many people buy watches because they love the individual statement the piece makes about them, when it comes to more expensive timepieces, people also want to know that the watch they are purchasing will at least hold its value over time, and maybe even go up in value. The truth is that most do hold their value, but it is difficult to assess just how much they may go up in value. A lot of that depends on a few factors, including how rare the watch is (i.e., is it a one-of-a-kind or a very limited-edition piece), what materials the watch is made of (while noble metals like platinum and gold hold their value, sometimes a watch can have an unusual dial that is only offered on a limited number of watches, or it can have an unusual case material that has been specially developed).

Q: How do I start a watch collection?

A: If you are looking to start building a watch collection, do your research first. When buying new watches, you will want to do your homework in terms of which brands and which styles are most coveted and predicted to hold their value. Never buy a watch you don't love. The key behind building a collection is not to have the most watches, but to have the most loved watches — timepieces that you enjoy wearing. It is also smart to invest in different styles of watches appropriate for different situations, including a business watch, an elegant watch, a sporty watch and then, perhaps a complicated watch.

“Complicated” watches incorporate certain functions or features that are considered top feats of watchmaking. Which “complications” are considered the most coveted varies depending on personal taste and watchmaking progress. Among the top categories today are tourbillon watches (that house an escapement that compensates for errors in timekeeping due to the effects of gravity when the watch is in certain positions on the wrist), repeater watches that chime the time on demand via a series of gongs and hammers, and perpetual calendar watches that track the day, date, month, year and leap year (and sometimes moonphases and more) for years to come. No matter which genre or style of watch you are buying, remember to keep an eye out for special or limited editions and don't be afraid to ask questions and look for guidance from knowledgeable representatives.

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