For over a century now, wristwatches have been a real status symbol all over the world. When people see brands like Rolex, they instantly think quality and luxury, which is why these brands have remained popular over time. However, relatively few people really know just what makes a good watch. Clearly, that’s bad for buyers- after all, how can you be sure you’re choosing the right watch- often an expensive purchase- when you don’t have a clue what to look for?

To help clear this up, we’ve put together the following “how-to” guide on what you should look out for the next time you’re thinking about buying a watch. Whether it’s a high-end brand, or a more affordable option, you should definitely check for these features, so that you can be sure the watch is worthy of your hard-earned money.

Is it made from solid metal?

Often, watchmakers will try to cut costs by using folded or hollow metal, instead of the industry-standard 316L stainless steel that’s a sign of a great watch. Luckily, if you know what to look for, you can easily spot these cheaper alternatives, and ensure you don’t get caught out. You should look closely at the bracelet links, which should all be a single piece of pretty hefty metal. Good quality watchmakers will usually use as much metal as they can, and will rarely use materials like plastic. The bottom line is, if you see a lot of plastic in the bracelet, or numerous points where two pieces of metal have been fitted together, then put the watch back down and look at something else.

A good weight

As we mentioned above, the best watches are nice and solid. So many people choose a watch just by looking at it- which is ridiculous, since you’re going to feel it on your wrist more than you look at it. Take the time to pick up the watch and weigh it in your hand, as well as trying it on. Some people prefer their watches to be lighter or heavier than others, so before you hand over your cash, make sure it is solidly constructed, but still at a weight that you feel comfortable wearing.

A smooth, silent sweep

A good watch isn’t just about what’s on the outside, though- the movement inside is just as important. As a general rule, good quality watches nowadays don’t make a ticking sound- instead, the hands smoothly glide around the dial.

Dial illumination

Nowadays, it’s increasingly common to see watches which offer some form of dial illumination. This will sometimes take the form of light that you can use to read the dial in the dark. However, unless you’re paying a lot for the watch, it’s more likely that your chosen timepiece will feature luminous, glow-in-the-dark hands, as well as boasting some reference points around the dial so that you can tell the time properly. You’ll naturally want to be sure that this luminant is actually bright enough for you to see in the dark, though, otherwise this feature is useless- and you’d be surprised at how many watches are out there that skimp on this. You’ll want to check for luminant applied over a large surface area, and which is slightly raised- this is how you can tell that a generous amount has been applied.

Brand-name value

Finally, a watch’s name can end up being far more important to its overall value than any other factor, so this is something to bear in mind. Rolex watches in particular are viewed as an extremely desirable item all over the world, and in most cases, brand recognition comes from the watches themselves being of high quality. If you’re looking for an awesome watch, then definitely go for a name that you recognize.

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