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A Guide to Purchasing Your First Mechanical Watch

Purchasing your first mechanical watch can signify many things. Maybe you’re in need of a reliable timepiece or commemorating an important event. Perhaps you want to spruce up your wardrobe or want to signify a rite of passage into adulthood. Occasion aside, purchasing a mechanical watch may seem a bit daunting considering the countless options available on the market. Here are some things to consider when picking out your first or next mechanical watch:

What kind of mechanical watch would you prefer?

First, it's important to understand the difference between a mechanical and a quartz watch. The aspect that separates mechanical from quartz watches are the power source: a quartz watch uses a battery, while a mechanical watch has its power stored in a mainspring.

Now consider that there are two kinds of mechanical watches: automatic and hand-winding. How the mainspring is wound is what differentiates an automatic from a hand-wound watch.

An automatic watch is wound by an oscillating weight, often referred to as a rotor. The rotor spins and powers the mainspring with natural movement, like from your swinging arms when you’re walking. A high majority of Orient watches are automatic, and Orient's hardware have proven to be more efficient at winding than other movements in the market. An automatic watch is really a “grab and go” kind of timepiece.

A hand-wound watch is powered by the turning of the watch's crown. Watches were traditionally manufactured this way before the time of automatics and this function is found mostly in classic-styled timepieces. Note that there are some watches that actually possess both automatic and hand-winding capabilities. The Orient Star and M-Force collections are perfect examples.

How will the watch be used and worn?

When you're searching for a new watch, a key question to ask is what you will be using the watch for. The great thing about Orient’s catalog is that there is a watch for any kind of activity: whether it will be an everyday watch to wear to work, go diving with, for formal events, or even to wear while traveling. The use of the watch dictates which case materials (stainless steel, gold, etc.), the type of strap (leather, rubber or stainless steel), and features should be in the watch.

Functionality and Look

The look of the watch is the deciding factor for many. Watches come in all different shapes and forms, from round cases, to square and tonneau shapes. The customization of watches has grown in popularity, especially in swapping the bracelet or strap to fit one’s look and/or personality. The size of the watch also matters, and even though the average watch size has grown larger over the years, these larger sizes may not be suitable or appropriate for your wrist all of the time.

Aside from pure style, the functionality of the watch may influence its overall look. It’s important to determine what kind of features (or movement complications) you’d like in watch. Many Orient watches offer a combination of date or day and date calendars along with other capabilities. Orient also has a great variety of watches that feature the power reserve indicator—a handy function that lets you know how much power is left in the watch. Other useful complications include GMT/Dual Time (displays another time zone on the watch), chronograph (to measure and record time), and/or sun and moon indicators.

The function of watch isn’t limited to its movement; the case structure adds additional value as well. The M-Force and Pro Saturation divers are examples of Orient’s proprietary structures at work. The case allows for a certain water resistance of the watch which is something to consider if you’re an active person. You can find a breakdown of water resistance meanings here.

Now that you are armed with some information on choosing your first mechanical watch, check out what we have in stock/our wide array of watches here. There is something for everyone!


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