Below are are few terms regarding watches together with what to look out for.....
Before the 1980's nearly all movements were mechanical, i.e made up of cogs, springs and flywheels etc. Then came the quartz movement revolution and mechanical movements were used les and less in favour of price and accuracy.
Mechanical watches have now made a big comeback, but do cost a more than quartz because of the work that goes into making them.
Many mechanical watches have a plate on the back that whirls around and winds the watch as you wear it.....automatic watches.
Modern mechanical movements are quite accurate depending on factors such as orientation, temperature etc. Normal use should see only a few seconds fast or slow per day although manufacturers usually state larger margins of error for safety.
As well as quartz and mechanical movements there are now hybrid movements, usually in chronographs, that offer the accuracy of quartz, but with the mechanical feel of the chronograph.
What covers the dial is quite important and all have pro's and con's.
There are three main types of glass used in watches.
Sapphire Crystal: the most expensive material and incredibly hard and very resistant to scratching or breaking. This is the main choice for most customers. On the downside, if you do manage to get it scratched it cannot be polished out, but this is a fairly unlikely occurrence.
Mineral Crystal / Hardlex: a fairly hard glass used by some manufacturers. It is resistant to scratching, but it probably will happen. The good news is that lighter scratches can be polished out with good quality watch glass polish.
Organic / Acrylic Glass: This is used on a lot of old dive watches and is still used on many of the Vostok's that we stock.
It is relatively soft, so can scratch quite easily, but because of its softness it bends slightly under pressure to form a better seal with the watch case - hence its use in dive watches. On the plus side, fairly deep scratches can be polished out using a watch polish or Autosol.
Some glass has a magnifier built in that makes the date easier to read and is often referred to as a "cylclops" lens.
This is what glows in the dark to help read the time at night. The luminescence is charged with exposure to daylight and then glows for a time once it goes dark. The time luminescence lasts really depends on the quality of the lume.
Many watch manufacturers use Swiss SuperLuminiova *(trademark) which is mostly available in blue or green as seen in the photo on this Steeldive watch.
Lume is usually applied to the watch hands, but may also be added to the indices on the dial as well as the bezel.
Watch cases are mostly constructed from Stainless Steel, Brass, Titanium or Aluminium Alloy. There are wooden ones and other materials.
316L Stainless Steel: one of the best materials as it is resistant to acids, salt water and most other harmful substances. Also quite resistant to scratching, knocks and dings.
Brass: softer than steel, but great in sea water, so ideal for diving watches.
Titanium: a lightweight, very hard metal and being more widely used these days. It will mark, but can usually be cleaned up with a plastic pencil eraser
Alloy: often an aluminium alloy, so much softer than steel and more prone to scratches and dents. Often found on less expensive watches.
All sorts of coatings can be applied to the metal to give black, gold, rose-gold and many other colour ways.
Many watch descriptions give an indication of water resistance that the watches can accommodate. This is usually defined in Atmospheres (atm) or in metres (m).
As a rough guide the following ratings suggest uses:
3 Atm (30m): OK for splashing from washing your hands or being out in the rain. No swimming.
10 Atm (100m): As above plus surface swimming and in the shower
20 Atm (200m): As above plus snorkelling and diving
30 Atm (300m) - go where you want up to 300m or 1000 feet
Caseback: what is on the reverse of the watch. Mostly either solid screw back (often with engraved design) or exhibition caseback which is clear glass and the movement can be viewed in action.
Crown: the winder / time setter, day / date setter. Can be non-screw down or a screw down crown for better water resistance.
Bezel: the disc around the dial on the top of the watch. Can be fixed or rotating (one way or both ways. Divers use a uni-directional bezel that clicks as you rotate it whilst most of us like the bezel because they look nice!