Do you have an old watch that you no longer wear? Maybe the strap or bracelet is worn out, or it is no longer keeping good time. Our full service watch service department can evaluate your watch and estimate the cost of repair or maintenance. In some cases, the cost of repair can be great enough that it makes more sense to shop for a new watch. Many innovations and improvements have occurred in the watchmaking business in recent years that make exploring a new watch compelling. Before deciding on a new piece, it is important to consider some of the latest features incorporated into watches in recent years and determine if they are right for you.
Durability is one of the most common requirements consumers desire when searching for a new watch. Thanks to innovations, watches today are more durable than ever before. Some watch manufacturers are now incorporating ceramic materials into their watch designs. Ceramic is an extremely durable and scratch resistant material. Ceramic bezels, bracelets, and even cases are now available from some of the most common names in watchmaking. Bering, Omega, Breitling, and Rolex are just a few of the brands that are now using this material. Rolex has even patented a special ceramic component called Cerachrom. This material is a significant improvement over anodized aluminum and other types of bezels used in the past.
If you have a watch produced prior to 1985, it is possible the dial on your old watch is protected by an acrylic or plastic crystal. If this is the case, you most likely have accumulated some scratches over the years. To help address this problem, the use of sapphire crystal has become very common in most modern timepieces. Much like ceramic, it is extremely scratch resistant. Synthetic sapphire crystals are available on watches from brands in a wide range of prices.
In addition, many watch brands over the years have upgraded the quality of stainless steel used in their pieces. For example, some are now using 316L, an anti-corrosive grade of stainless steel. Rolex uses an even higher grade of stainless steel in its watches, 904L. The 904L steel has superior corrosion resistance and strength and many consumers believe it has exceptional luster not found in other grades of stainless steel. A watch with a higher grade of stainless steel is more durable and easier to polish.
Improvements have also been made to the timekeeping mechanisms found in most modern watches. Brands, including Citizen, have developed technology which allows a watch to function for a long period of time without the use of a battery or self-winding movement. For example, the Citizen Eco-Drive is capable of charging through the exposure of not only natural light, but artificial light as well. This is an improvement from the traditional solar watch. Other brands like Seiko, have developed capacitors in their watches that charge using kinetic energy provided by the wearer. Some watches have been developed that receive signals from radio and GPS sources. A watch wearer flying from New York to Los Angeles will have peace of mind knowing that their timepiece will adjust itself automatically to the proper time zone upon arrival using a rather hassle-free process.
Even improvements in internal parts in recent years have dramatically affected accuracy in some cases. One example is the use of silicon hair-springs in Omega movements and Parachrom in Rolex. Traditional hair-springs are notorious for being affected by magnetic waves. Magnetization can result in poor timekeeping in even the best timepieces. Watch movement components made of silicon are not affected by the magnetic waves that we are exposed to on a daily basis. In addition, silicon hair-springs are known to be more resistant to shocks that can have a negative impact on a mechanical watch's ability to keep accurate time. These are just a few of the advancements that one can enjoy after purchasing a modern watch. Luckily, there are professionals in the business who enjoy taking the time to discuss such features and finding a watch that is perfect for your needs. If you are considering a new timepiece, visit Meierotto Jewelers and visit with me, Jake, or any of the other watch experts. With our exceptionally large inventory of watches and experience, we are sure to find the right timepiece for you.