Checkout Lane: Latest automatic watches run on sophisticated technologies, not batteries
The days of searching out tiny watch batteries are fading away. Today’s most popular watches run on motion and light.
“I’m selling a lot more automatics than I did two years ago, and a ton more than I did five years ago,” said Don Cirone, co-owner of Cohasset Jewelers.
Cohasset Jewelers sells the Ball, ESQ Swiss and Seiko brands, all of which include automatic watches that run based on the motion of your wrist. Kramer & Co. Jewelry in Canton sells the Citizen brand, including Eco-Drive watches that are powered by light and can sit in a drawer for up to six months without charging.
Whichever new technology you choose, some old rules still apply. Cirone said he always asks customers what they’re going to be doing while wearing the watch.
“What is your activity? Where do you plan to wear it?” he said. “That tells me where to lead them.”
Dress watches tend to be very simple, Cirone said – nothing but two hands and a set of numbers or Roman numerals. Casual or sport watches are more functional. Those that work underwater are rated, from 50 meters to 300 meters, based on their maximum depths.
Leslie Kramer of Kramer & Co. said her customers often look for versatile watches they can wear to work and out afterwards.
“Men are more interested that it has the date on it,” she said. “A lot of women’s watches don’t come with second hands.”
Kramer said the store’s watches range in price from $150 to $600, and Cirone said good watches can range from $100 to $3,500.
Cirone said quartz watches should last for about 10 years. However, at Kramer & Co., which fixes watches along with selling them, people sometimes come in with watches that are decades old.
“Watches are very personal things,” Kramer said. “People become very attached.”
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- Find out about the watch’s true origin. Switzerland has long been associated with fine watch-making, and many manufacturers try to take advantage of that cachet. Watches identified as a “Swiss watch” must meet certain requirements as to where production and assembly took place.
- Examine the watch case. Any top-quality watch has a screw-on back and screw-down crown (the winding knob) for the most protection from water and dirt. Some watches feature a display back that allows you to see the mechanism. Common case materials include stainless steel, gold, silver, platinum and titanium. All of these are highly durable (except gold, which is fairly soft) and provide a distinctive, classy look.
- Check the crystal, the transparent face that covers the watch. Acrylic crystals are the least expensive and offer good shatter resistance. Sapphire crystals are the choice for top watches, because of their clarity and scratch resistance.