The desire to keep time by one’s side has been there for generations. Watches have not only been a mark of a disciplined personality but have also become one of the most picked accessories when we talk of fashion. There have been a variety of watches to choose from in the market and with the advent of technology, newer ones keep coming.
Watches can be categorized according to their shape of the dial, the technology that they work on, and based upon their application. Take a look at the basic categories we have assembled for you to get you the perfect watch!
A. Types of Watches by Dial Shape
- Rectangle Dial Watch
- Round Dial Watch
- Square Dial Watch
- Oval Dial Watch
- Triangle Dial Watch
- Tonneau/Cushion Dial Watch
When selecting a perfect watch, many would like to consider the dial and the shape. You get the following shapes easily when you explore the watches in the market. The Round ones are the most common until asymmetrical ones started coming in the 1950s. By the 1970’s we could get stainless steel dials in a variety of shapes. Watches come in the following shapes usually:
1. Rectangle Dial Watch
Rectangular dial watches had been there in the market; however, they never could make their space in the user’s heart. However, with the innovation of smartwatches, rectangular watches are becoming more and more popular. Moreover, a rectangular-shaped watch provides more screen space, which is highly effective in a smart touch watch.
2. Round Dial Watch
The round shape of a watch dial makes the most sense as the hands of a watch move in a circular motion. Moreover, circular ones are also the most popular due to their coherence with all kinds of outfits.
3. Square Dial Watch
You may rarely see a square watch. However, a metallic Analog square watch with pure leather straps actually can provide you with a trendy casual look.
4. Oval Dial Watch
Oval watches are pretty common amongst sportspersons as they are easy to wear, small in size, and do not restrict any kind of movement. The oval shape is also popular amongst fashion watches for its unique outlook.
5. Triangle Dial Watch
Triangular watches are mostly used for fashion purposes due to their non-functional yet cool-looking shape. Triangular shape may be a bit confusing for some, yet surely will provide you with a unique fashion statement.
6. Tonneau/Cushion Dial Watch
Tonneau refers to a rectangular watch shape with curved sides. This shape has been in production since old ages and only serves the purpose of providing you with elegance. This shape has no functional relevance, however, looks pretty cool and is also used vividly by watch collectors.
Tip: Make extra care in choosing the right size. You definitely don’t want to appear like wearing a big clock on your wrist. Still, we would recommend you give extra attention to the feel of the watch along with the working rather than just the looks.
B. Types of Watches by Mechanism
- Analog Watches
- Digital Watches
- Quartz Watches
- Hybrid Watch
- Tactile Watches
- Touchscreen Watches
- Solar Watches
- Kinetic Watches
- Chronometer Watches
- Spring Dive Watch
- Atomic Radio-Controlled Watch
Image Courtesy: Burnsjewellersgroup.com
1. Analog Watches
These are the watches that have traveled time with us throughout. Technically speaking almost all watches are analog watches, unless otherwise. Typical face watches have two-three hands with hours written from one to twelve on the face. These work on mechanical gears and are hence called analog watches. Owing to the craftsmanship involved these are one of the most popular luxury watches of the time. Although basic working is the same, each vendor adds its own functionality to their designs and these often turn out to be costly.
Some Pioneer Brands: Titan, Omega, Tommy Hilfiger, Rolex, Rado, Patek Phillipe
2. Digital Watches
Digital watches work on the principle of digital signals and hence can store information. These display time in numerals and can also give time in a 24-hour format. You can even set an alarm or timers in these. Usually, these find applications in sports watches where timers and other storing functions are required.
Some Pioneer Brands: Fastrack, Titan, Casio
3. Quartz Watches
These work on the world-famous Quartz technology that contains a piece of Quartz oscillating at 32,000 vibrations per second. Because of their extreme accuracy, these are widely used and are expensive. These are battery-operated.
These are the best option for people who are too obsessed with accuracy and consistency in the time and do not want their watches to go slow due to natural degradation.
Some Pioneer Brands: Rolex, Michael Kors, Omega, Omax, Citizen
4. Hybrid Watch
A Hybrid watch is an Analog watch, with a combination of all the features that are found in a digital watch. Most of the hybrid watches have an Analog outlook with intermittent digital screens that displays the time as well as the date. Many hybrid watches may even have advanced digital features like Alarm, Timer, as well as Backlight. These types of watches look really cool on casual and informal occasions. The only drawback it has is that it may turn out to be too busy for a few people.
Some Pioneer Brands: Michael Kors, Daniel Klein, Fossil, Fastrack
5. Tactile Watches
These watches are technically hybrid watches, with a touch screen. They have a combination of Analog and digital touch watch. Standard hybrid watches have buttons on the side of the dial to control the digital features. However, you can control the features of a tactile watch by touching particular parts of the display.
The term “tactile watch” is also used to define braille watches which are used by blind people to tell time.
6. Touchscreen Watches
A touchscreen watch has a similar screen to your smartphone and can be controlled by touching the icons on the LED touchscreen. Many advanced touch screens also enable you to send or receive messages, as well as manage calls, directly from your watch. These watches generally use a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery to power them.
Some Pioneer Brands: Apple, Samsung, Fossil, Fitbit
7. Solar Watches
A solar watch may use an Analog or Digital mechanism. The only difference is that it uses solar energy to power it instead of a cell. It usually has photovoltaic cells placed on its upper face and may run even up to 6 months when not in use.
Some Pioneer Brands: Casio, Garmin, Fossil
8. Kinetic Watches
A kinetic watch is essentially a combination of a digital and quartz watch. The watch uses a quartz mechanism to maintain the accuracy of time. However, it is powered by a self-winding mechanism, which does not require changing of the cells and produces its own power.
Some Pioneer Brands: Seiko, Tissot, Junghans
9. Chronometer Watches
It is an automatic watch that has been certified for its time accuracy. It was basically designed for industries where timekeeping is very crucial. Chronometer watches that have a COSC certification can only be termed genuine.
Some Pioneer Brands: Seiko, Casio, Breitling, Timex
10. Spring Dive Watch
This is one of the most advanced technologies in the field of watches. This watch also is a combination of an automatic and quartz watch, just like a kinetic watch. However, it has a mainspring that is used to store the power. The watch uses a combination of a Tri Syncro regulator, a quartz crystal, and an internal circuit.
Some Pioneer Brands: Seiko, Bulova, Casio
11. Atomic Radio-Controlled Watch
These watches are not yet in extensive use by the public. However, what if we tell you that there is a more accurate way to tell the time than quartz? The Atomic Radio-Controlled Watch can actually sync to the atomic watch and is the most accurate watch type on the face of our planet.
Some Pioneer Brands: Citizen, Seiko
C. Types of Watches by Applications
Watches have not only been a time-teller or a fashion element but also been serving variant purposes according to the need.
- Sports Watches
- Chronographic Watches
- Pilot Watches
- Diver Watches
- Luxury Watches
- Mechanical/Skeleton Watches
- Diamond Watches
- Water-resistant Watches
- Clip Watches
- Smart Watches
- Pebble Time
- Pocket Watch
- Military Watches
- Racing Watches
- Fashion Watches
- Dress Watches
- Luminous Watches
- GMT Watches
- Day & Night Watches
- Calendar & Moon phase Watches
1. Sports Watches
These are worn by sportsmen and have a variety of features added to them as per the requirement. You can get various types of watches when going for this one. These are high-precision watches and give a sporty look as well. Depending upon the requirement, you may get both digital or analog watches in these.
What to know before Buying a Sports Watch:
Picking the right watch depends on what training you want to use the watch in.
A mountain rider must check in for a good GPS system within. Runners and athletes should look for a pedometer and a heart rate monitor and prefer digital watches. A hiker may require an elevation tracker also.
These watches must be water-resistant and heavy-duty with a very sturdy strap. One must go for silicon and other water-resistant materials when buying these.
Definitely, you don’t want to compromise on the battery life of your watch, hence be sure to check on the quality of the battery as well.
2. Chronographic Watches
Athletes usually go gaga over a chronographic watch that provides the stopwatch function as well. These usually have sub-dials for hours, minutes and seconds as well. These watches can be either quartz or automatic.
Some Pioneer Brands: Diesel, Michael Kors, Tissot, Guess, Tag Heuer
3. Pilot Watches
As the name tells, these are adored by pilots, gliders, or skydivers. These show dual times in military format and are often a choice for people who keep changing time zones.
Some Pioneer Brands: Aviator, Casio, Citizen, Zodiac
4. Diver Watches
These watches are worn by Surfers, Divers, and Sailors and are pressure and water-resistant.
Some Pioneer Brands: Luminox, Omax, Nautica, Police, Rado
5. Luxury Watches
These watches are great for watch collectors or watch connoisseurs and the ones who appreciate great precision and handcrafted complications in a watch. Such watches are often encased in precious gemstones and other expensive materials.
Some Pioneer Brands: Rolex, Rado, Omega, Omax, Swatch
6. Mechanical/Skeleton Watches
These watches are liked by those who have an inclination to mechanical objects. These work by a mechanical winding of the mainspring to keep them working. There are two types of mechanical watches in the market:
Manual Mechanic/Skeleton Watch: In such watches, the person has to manually turn the button outside the watch case, crown, to keep the watch working.
Automatic Mechanical/Skeleton Watch: Also known as the self-winding mechanical watch, you do not need to wind the watch yourself. A rotor keeps winding the watch by the force of gravity as and when the wearer wears the watch.
7. Diamond Watches
These are adored by people who are in for a huge collection of expensive watches that also go along with their outfits. Women particularly use these as a piece of jewelry as these are studded with diamonds and usually are very expensive.
Some Pioneer Brands: Marc Jacob, Cadini, Burberry, Timex, Tiffany Co, Swatch
8. Water-resistant Watches
These watches are particularly designed and tested for being resistant to water and are standardized for the same. Not every watch is water-resistant even when they claim to be waterproof.
Some Pioneer Brands: Rado, Rolex, Versace
One of the very important facts to be known is that these watches are tested for water resistance in still water. Hence, it doesn’t take into account the resistance under turbulence.
Keep the following things in mind while purchasing one:
- If the water resistance of your watch is not measured in meters, multiply it by 10 to get it in BARS or ATM (atmospheres).
- Check the following water resistance levels:
Normally, water resistance will tolerate splashes of water or rain under 24-30 meters/100 feet
Image Courtesy: Burnsjewellersgroup.com
50 meter/165 feet- Swimming pools and showering without pressure
100 meter/330 feet- general snorkeling (minimal pressure)
150 meter/500 feet- general water sports
200 meter/660 feet- skin diving and free diving without scuba gear
300 meter/990 feet- scuba diving and snorkeling in depths that do not require helium gas
1000 meter/3300 feet- scuba diving at depths greater than 500 meters
DIVERS 150 meters/500 feet- best for scuba diving and meets ISO standards
DIVERS 200 meters/660 feet- suitable for scuba diving except professional deep water diving
9. Clip Watches
It’s a multifunctional tool that usually consists of a watch with a clip so that you can cling it to your backpack or your jeans. The watch also sometimes has other multi-tools built around it like a fold-out knife or a fold-out scissor making it a perfect outdoor accessory. Sometimes microlights and torches are also clung along with a watch. The Clip watch can be both digital or analog.
10. Smart Watches
With the technological advent, watches have now started coming with a whole new level of features. These watches have now come with Smartphone features. These can measure your pulse, provide training, play music, give alerts, and perform a wide variety of other actions.
11. Pebble Time
This one comes with an always-on-color e-display, unlike its predecessors.
Some Pioneer Brands: Garmin, Apple, Sony, Samsung
12. Pocket Watch
These can be of any type but are small and compact so as to come in your pocket. These also have a chain attached that you can sing along with your pocket.
Some Pioneer Brands: Casio, Pierre Cardin, Q&Q
There are 5 types of pocket watches and collectors often make a good point to choose them according to their type and age.
1. Open-face Pocket watch:
As the name suggests, this one has an open face and shows time without the need to remove any cover. These have been popular in recent times only and were not popular in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. As these were open to rugged environments, they needed frequent repairs.
2. Full-hunter Pocket Watch:
This pocket watch has a full cover that is often engraved with a name or a picture. Since every time the cover needed to be removed to check the time, a half hunter pocket watch was developed.
3. Half-Hunter Pocket Watch:
This watch had a cover that has a crystal or hole allowing the wearer to see the time without the need to open the cover of the watch.
4. Double-Hunter Pocket Watch:
This one has a front as well as a back lid that can be opened. The back lid enables the wearer to keep track of the mechanical movement of the watch as well.
5. Double Half Hunter pocket watch:
This one also has a front and back lid and a window in the back of the watch from where the mechanical movements of the watch can be clearly seen without having to open the back lid or the front lid.
13. Military Watches
Military watches have been designed to be used during military field operations. They are highly durable, accurate, as well as waterproof. They usually digital, have an illuminated display, and are very simple and easy to use. They are usually small and lightweight to avoid any kind of movement restrictions.
Some Pioneer Brands: Gosasa, Garmin, Fossil, Casio
14. Racing Watches
It is very important for racing watches to have two elements: a chronograph and a tachymeter. The chronograph backs up the stopwatch function, whereas, the tachymeter is used to calculate the running speed. Racing watches usually have a flashy look.
Some Pioneer Brands: Citizen, Ferrari, G-shock
15. Fashion Watches
Fashion watches are designed to be used more like a piece of jewelry instead of being highly functional. They are designed to look good and compliment your outfit, along with creating a fashion statement.
Some Pioneer Brands: Anne Klein, Swatch, Relic
16. Dress Watches
Dress Watches are also designed to complement your attire. However, they are designed to be more accurate and usually go well with formals. They are best for those who like to use a watch to keep track of the time, yet carry a style.
Some Pioneer Brands: Citizen, Anne Klein, Timex
17. Luminous Watches
Special watches that have been designed to glow in the dark, without a digital screen are known as luminous watches. They use photoluminescent pigments to glow in the dark. These pigments first absorb the light from the surroundings and then emit the same in the dark. They may be used for field operations as well as for fun.
Some Pioneer Brands: Seiko, Bulova, Invicta
18. GMT Watches
The only additional feature of a GMT watch is that it has a fourth hand, apart from the second, minute, and hour hands, that show the standard Greenwich Mean Time, from where time for the whole world is calculated. This GMT hand completes a rotation only once in 24 hours. This type of watch can be helpful for those who want to keep a track of any other part of the world
Some Pioneer Brands: Invicta, Citizen
19. Day & Night Watches
Day and Night watch also only has one additional feature, they will let you know whether it is day or night. It might be highly effective for people who might be working in mines or offshore.
Some Pioneer Brands: Peugeot, Casio, Orient
20. Calendar & Moon phase Watches
The Moon phase is a special feature that indicates the phase of a moon, based on the watch’s calendar. They also depict whether it’s day or night, similar to and Day & Night Watch.
Some Pioneer Brands: Peugeot, Casio, Orient
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