Two Watches Walk into a Bar…: The Many Faces of the Watch

You might not realise it, but there’s actually a ton of differences between watches. Obviously you can spot the difference between a digital watch and an analogue – after all, one beeps every hour and looks like a calculator on the wrist. But there’s far more to it than that.

For instance, you’ll sometimes see the word watch and chronograph used interchangeably – so you’d be forgiven for thinking that there’s no difference, except a few extra letters. So how do you know whether your instrument of horological precision is a watch or chronograph?

 

Well, if it’s an inexpensive option, it’s probably a standard watch. Nice, clean, and with no extra functions. You’d expect it to generally be quartz movement – that is, you won’t have to wind it or wear it in order for it to tell the time. And boy, are they accurate, as the battery activates a quartz crystal, which relays impulses to a chip which controls an electronic motor. It’s the easy option if someone wants a watch with convenience, minimum fuss and precise time-keeping.

Chronographs can run on quartz, but also mechanical movements – so you may have to wind it for it to maintain accuracy, or it might be automatic. All those extra functions like stopwatches, and sub-dials on the face, which might measure hours or seconds, generally point to it being a chronograph. Because of this, chronographs also typically cost more than watches.

 

But wait – there’s more! How about the difference between a chronograph and a chronometer? Well, as accurate as a chronograph is, a chronometer is superior. Chronometers are certified as the highest standard of precision instruments. They are, essentially, perfect in maintaining time, having passed the highly rigorous Swiss Official Chronometer Control. These last 15 days, and test everything from water depth to pressure and temperature. As such, they are listed as chronometer certified.

 

Here at Martins of Glasgow we love watches of all kinds, and the craftsmanship involved. We specialise in Rolex, Omega and Tag Heuer watch repairs – so if you’re looking to give your watch some love, please contact us on 0141 946 6333 and our professional staff will be happy to help.