Watch Buying Guide

Buying a fine timepiece from Orr’s Jewelers is about matching the piece to your lifestyle. You and the brand you wear become life-long partners, so we at Orr’s Jewelers, take the time to learn about your watch requirements. Then, we introduce you to the lines that would suit you best. If you are new to purchasing designer watches, don’t stress. Here you can familiarize yourself with the vocabulary and the culture.

Quartz vs. Mechanical Movements

When you begin looking for a watch, you will quickly see that there are literally thousands of watches to choose from. However, when it comes down to selecting the movement – or the method by which your watch tells time — there are only two choices. You can either get a battery-powered quartz movement, or a spring-driven mechanical movement.

Quartz Movements

Quartz watches have become increasingly popular, due to fact that they can be accurate to within a minute per year. This outstanding performance is due to the simple facts that there are less moving parts involved than in a mechanical watch and that the watch is powered by an extremely reliable integrated circuit that contains a quartz oscillator. Powered by a small battery contained in the watchcase, the oscillator creates a regular series of vibrations that drive the watch movement. The battery can typically power the quartz movement for several years, and the constant vibrations created by the oscillator (32 kHz) provide accuracy lacking in most mechanical watches. Most quartz watches utilize the very latest technology.

Mechanical Movements

The more traditional mechanical watches are made up of about 130 parts — though this number can increase dramatically with so-called “complicated watches,” which provide the date, moon phases, etc. The basic 130 parts, however, make up its three main components: its energy source, its regulators, and its display. Most often, the “e’bauche” — which comprises nearly half the parts — is fitted with the regulating components that form the movement. The e’bauche maintains the constant tension required on the spring, once the watch has been wound. Given the number of parts at work, the mechanical watch is considerably less accurate – and can loose or gain eight seconds in a day. Mechanical watches – due to the sheer number of moving parts – also require periodic maintenance, such as cleaning and lubrication. The appeal of a mechanical watch lies in the appreciation of the craftsmanship involved in manufacturing this “Micro-machine”. The technology involved with mechanical watches is 200 years old. It is the love of and for mechanical art.