How Can You Tell If A Watch Is High Quality?

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In recent years, timepieces have been enjoying a robust resurgence of interest. The advent of connected timepieces has repositioned the watch as an important, youthful fashion accessory. Also, it has revalued mechanical timepieces.

If wearing the latest connected timepiece is trendy, having a high-quality automatic timepiece is a highly cherished sign of taste. But it’s still vital to understand a high-quality timepiece’s main signs and features.

A watch is a personal fashion accessory. Everyone has their taste in terms of style and design. Therefore, this piece of content won’t explain what a bad or good timepiece is but what the features and signs of a high-quality watch are in general. Let’s identify these features and signs.

Material Used

A high-quality timepiece is, at minimum, made of stainless steel. While ceramic and titanium timepieces are better and harder, they come with an expensive price tag. Many watch enthusiasts prefer stainless steel to normal steel since perspiration and moisture affect it negatively. Also, stainless steel doesn’t lead to skin irritation.

Additionally, a PVD coating is necessary to ensure that a silver, rose gold, gold or black timepiece reserves its colour. By frequent use, any watch PVD coating may easily discolor within the first twelve months. The used materials are usually displayed on the watch’s back.

The weight of the timepiece may also be its quality sign. It provides a sign of how solid the used material is and the kind of movement used. Furthermore, leading timepiece brands use 316L stainless steel material. This type of stainless steel features a high level of purity. The type of PVD coating and stainless steel is, in most cases, not indicated on the watch.

It’s always advisable to confirm with the timepiece provider to know the stainless steel type used. But you can assume the watch is high quality, especially when its price tag is higher.

Watch Movement

Let’s move from the outside to the inside of the watch. Timepiece movement is another key factor to consider if you want to know whether a watch is high quality. Quartz timepieces are quite common and durable.

A quartz movement doesn’t make a timepiece low quality or less desirable. This type of movement usually offers the seconds “ticking” instead of smooth sweeping seconds. Top-rated brands, including Breitling, Cartier, Rolex, Omega and Citizen, all have quartz in their respective collections.

These brands usually submit their quartz movements for COSC certification. High-quality timepiece movements are also going to be hand-crafted and polished. The industry leaders produce a lot of unique movements and feature high-quality finishing.

An excellent, affordable timepiece has a certified mechanical movement (COSC) or a quartz movement. A huge benefit of quartz is that the watch features fewer moving parts. This makes timepieces more affordable and accurate.


A high-quality watch must keep its time reasonably well. Timepieces operating on a quartz are usually the most accurate. But a watch running on a certified mechanical movement is still the luxury standard.

These timepieces operate on the precise movements of gears and springs complex series. Kept moving through a manually-wound mainspring or a self-winding pendulum movement, these timepieces lose tiny amounts of seconds daily.

Precise timepieces in the industry usually undergo rigorous testing, which is known as chronometers. For example, the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute tests Swiss-made watches.

Timepieces that have gone through this testing are usually accurate within ten seconds each day. These certifications can mean the difference between watches that stand the rigours of time and those that your grandchildren will need to service weekly.

Leather Quality

If you’re a leather enthusiast, you need to find a watch with high-quality material. Top brands usually describe the type of leather material used, which may include one of these:

  • Full grain: This is the highest leather quality. It means the leather retains its high-quality top layer, which is the most durable part. The highest quality of hides can only be used for making full-grain leather.
  • Top grain: This is simply a step down in quality. It uses relatively lower-quality hides with more defects and imperfections. The top layer is usually removed, so it is somewhat lower quality and less durable. Top grain leather can vary in terms of quality level depending on the amount of top layer removed.
  • Genuine leather: This sounds like an innocent phrase that verifies that it is real leather and not fake leather. However, it’s one of the industry terms used for hide layers that remain once the top part is split for higher-quality leather. In genuine leather, the fibers are loose, making the leather not so strong.

Full-grain leather is the most durable and ages nicely. It is unlikely to disintegrate or rip in the same manner that lower-quality watch straps will. Many timepieces have genuine and grain leather.

A high-quality watch will have either a full or top grain. If you are paying a pretty penny for a leather timepiece, it would be helpful to check the leather quality you’re paying for.

Mineral or Sapphire Crystal

Many watches manufactured these days have either a mineral or sapphire crystal. A top-quality timepiece will have a sapphire crystal. Mineral crystals are easy and cheap to make and, in most cases, feature in lower-end timepieces. Also, they scratch easily, and any heavy impact can make them break.

On the other hand, sapphire crystals are exactly what you should be after in a high-quality watch. They’re more expensive to make, scratch-resistant, and highly durable. Today, sapphire crystals are the gold standard, and top-quality timepiece makers almost use them exclusively.

You could pass a knife on a sapphire crystal, and it would not leave even a single mark. If you’re after a quality watch that’ll look perfect for many decades to come, go for a sapphire crystal instead of a mineral crystal.

These are the main features and signs that make Citizen watches high quality. Apart from Citizen watches, you can also explore high-quality timepieces from top brands such as Breitling, Rolex, Cartier, and Omega. When you’re after your next high-quality timepiece, be sure to check out these features and signs.

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