Watches serve a wide variety of uses; from being a fashion accessory, serving as diving instrumentation, to assisting as a workout aid. Before purchasing a new watch, here are some points to look at:

1. Find out what you will be using the watch for, and how many watches you will own. If you only want to have one watch, that watch must serve in a variety of settings dependent on your lifestyle and intended usage. If you plan on buying many watches, you can consider specialty watches that are built for the activities in which you take part.

2. Look at other characteristics that may be of interest to you. Some watches combine both digital and analog faces on one watch. A water-resistant watch is fine for occasional water exposure and general use and can be worn in the shower. But for diving, be sure to check the depth rating. If you are a triathelete or you take part in other competitive activities, a timer (often referred to as a chronograph) will be a requirement. If you travel a lot, an alarm feature is very convenient, as is the ability to support multiple time zones. If you are picking out a watch as a fashion statement, gemstones are beautiful addition high-end watches.

3. Understand the mechanism of the watch you are interested in. Nearly all contemporary watches use a battery-powered quartz crystal to produce very accurate time. Mechanical watches use gears and springs to keep the time. While mechanical watches are evocative of times past, they call for periodic servicing. The elite watch makers build their own mechanisms. Lesser watch manufacturers acquire their mechanics from third-parties.

4. Take a close look at the watch casing. Most expensive watches will have a screw-on back and screw-down crown (the winding knob); this provides the most security from dirt and water. Some watches feature a back that lets you see the gears and mechanisms that make up the watch. Common case materials used for watches include stainless steel, gold, silver, platinum and titanium. If you are looking for a durable material for your watch, avoid gold. While gold looks fashionable, it is the softest case material used and more likely to be scratched.

5. Carefully consider the crystal on the watch (this is the clear surface covering the watch face). Acrylic crystals are cheaper, they offer reasonable shatter protection but they may be more easily scuffed than glass. Sapphire crystals are terrific, and the most costly, option for watches. They offer superior clarity, shatter resistance, and scratch resistance.

6. Be certain the band is comfortable and secure. Leather bands provide a timeless, rugged look. Nylon bands are strong, secure, and quick drying. Nylon bands are the best choice for sports watches, but you won’t be setting any fashion trends with one. Segmented metal bands have a clean look, a good feel, are one of the most popular options. They can be troublesome to adjust however.

7. If you are considering a self-winding watch, consider how often the watch will be worn. Self-winding watches don’t in fact wind themselves. They make use of the movement of your body to charge their winding mechanism. If your self-winding watch will often spend several days on a self, you will discover that it will slow down and often need to be reset after sitting.