Watches

When you are looking for a truly distinguished gift that can be passed down for generations, there is no better choice than a fine watch.

But how do you know which watch is the right one for you? Not only does Goldsmith Co. carry some of the world’s most sophisticated and sought-after watches, but we know how to help you find the perfect fit—in the style, the bracelet (AKA the wrist band), the movement, and the brand.

When buying a new watch, there are three questions every shopper should ask himself.

1. What type of movement is best for me?

The movement of a watch advances the hands and accuratly measures time. It is the engine of the modern watch. Although new technology is introduced regularly, there remains three main types of movements:

  1. The Automatic Movement
  2. The Quartz Movement
  3. The Hybrid Movement

The Automatic (Mechanical) Movement

automatic

The automatic, sometimes called mechanical, movement is the oldest type of watch movement. Automatic movements rely on winding a main spring by hand or by other movement. The tension stored in the main spring acts as the source of power to move the mechanical gears which are calibrated to keep time. Due to the stored power in the main spring, an automatic movement does not require a battery to run. Because of this, many diving watches use automatic movements to ensure that battery power will not run out during a dive. One negative of automatic movements is that they do not keep time as accurately as the modern quartz movement, often losing several minutes a month. The finer the automatic movement, the more precise the time will be. Several other drawbacks to automatic movements are that they require periodic cleaning and they are more costly than a quartz movement.

The Quartz Movement

timepiece_quartz

The quartz movement, introduced by Seiko Watch Corporation in 1969, utilizes the incredibly consistant vibrations of a quartz crystal to measure time. A battery sends an electronic current through a thin piece of quartz crystal that vibrates as often as 32,000 times per second. The movement measures the number of vibrations and advances the second hand one mark every allotted amount of vibrations. The quartz movement is the most commonly used type of movement in the world. Incredible accuracy can be achieved using a quartz movement, although very fine quartz watches will keep better time than cheaper versions. With incredible accuracy also comes reliance on a battery. The battery must be changed periodically, requiring that the watch be opened regularly. The process of changing a watch battery is the most common time for a watch to sustain damage.

Hybrid Movements

timepiece_kinetic

In recent years, several hybrid movement options have been made available. Some of these include Seiko’s Kinetic and Citizen’s Eco-drive. These technologies focus on harnessing the accuracy of a quartz movement without the need to periodically change a battery. Kinetic movements do this by using the wearer’s movement to continuously charge a capacitor (re-chargable battery). Eco-drive movements are similar, but use a solar panel in the face to charge a capacitor. Both options remove the need to ever open the watch to change a battery, the most common way of damaging a watch.

In the last several years, new advancements in these types of hybrid technologies have allowed Seiko to introduce Kinetic watches that can generate enough energy to run the watch, a perpetual calendar (a calendar that automatically keeps track of the right date from month to month), and even a chronograph (stop watch). Hybrid technology movements generally will cost about 50%-100% more than a comparable quartz movement.

2. What type of crystal will best suit my lifestyle?

A watch crystal is the viewing glass that protects and encloses the face of the watch. The type of crystal used on a watch is a very important factor to consider when making a watch purchase. The better or harder the crystal, the more likely you are to keep the crystal free of scratches. There are several different qualities of crystals available on watches today,. In descending order they are:

  • Sapphire Crystal
  • Saphflex Crystal
  • Mineral Crystal
  • Acrylic (Plastic)

Sapphire Crystal
Sapphire crystals are generally reserved for the finest watches due to their manufacturing expense. A sapphire crystal is literally a lab grown sapphire that has been shaped and polished to fit the face of the watch. Because of the incredible hardness of sapphire, these types of crystals are nearly impossible to scratch.

Saphflex Crystal
The saphflex crystal was introduced by Seiko Watch Corporation in the early 90′s. This crystal uses a thin sheet of sapphire crystal which has been bonded to the top of a mineral crystal. Due to the hardness of the thin sapphire crystal, these types of crystals rarely scratch.

Mineral Crystal
The mineral crystal is the most common type of watch crystal used in mid-range watches. This crystal is hard, but not as hard as a sapphire crystal, hence it is more likely to be scratched over years of wear.

Acrylic (Plastic)
This clear material has been used for many years as a way to protect and enclose the face of a watch. It is very soft and very susceptible to scratching. An acrylic watch face is the only face that can be buffed occasionally to remove scratches. This is the cheapest type of watch face, but has been used on all ranges of watches over the years.

3. Is the Watch “Swiss Made”?

A commonly known fact is that “Swiss Made” ( “Swiss” ) watches are among the finest watches in the world. This widely held belief remains true because of the strict regulation and testing required of any Swiss made watch. The Swiss government, in conjunction with The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, has passed numerous laws to protect the reputation of all Swiss made watches. They do so by regulating the quality of all watches that come out of Switzerland and establishing rules for how the “Swiss Made” title can be used.

The “Swiss Made” title can only be used if a watch meets the following requirements:

  1. Assembly work on the movement (the motor of the watch) and on the watch itself (fitting the movement with the dial, hands and the various parts of the case) must be carried out in Switzerland.
  2. Final testing of the movement must be performed in Switzerland.
  3. At least 50% of the components of the movement have been manufactured in Switzerland.

Certain regions in Switzerland also have their own “place of origin” labels. One of the most renowned is “Genève”, which identifies top-quality watches made in the city and canton of Geneva.

If the movement fulfills these conditions but is not assembled in Switzerland, either the “Swiss made” or “Swiss” titles can be put on the movement, but NOT on the outside of the watch. If the movement fulfills the above conditions and the the watch was assembled in Switzerland, the title of “Swiss Made” or “Swiss” can be put on the back casing of the watch and the words “Swiss Movement” can be labeled on the bottom of the watch face.

Due to the incredible amount of regulation put on any “Swiss Made” watch, they are among the finest watches available in the world.

Purchasing jewelry for your loved ones is both an investment and major decision.  As with any investment, we believe you should research what you are buying and be "in the know." So every few weeks we will be sharing a little bit of product knowledge and letting you in on the secrets of the jewelry business.

For our first installment, we want to focus on one of our most popular lines, Parade Designs. Parade is also our partner for our social media campaign,  Brilliant Beginnings.

In 1979 a wholesale gemstone business called CPS Gems was started by Howard and Kiena Pung. CPS Gems grew to be one of LA's leading dealers. Howard and Kiena started the tradition that still is around today and that is the ‘highest level of discipline, dedication and attention to detail’, we see this daily with the product we have in our store. In 1999, Parade Designs was established by second generation brothers Allen and William Pung.

Allen and William are still over Parade Designs making sure the family tradition stays alive. With their supervision, Parade is committed to "always provide customers with beautiful, detailed pieces. Only the finest and brightest 18K and Platinum metals, stone, and diamonds are chosen to make such a breathtaking collection. Today, there are 8 collections which are only available through authorized fine jewelry stores in the U.S, Canada and the Caribbean Islands."

You may recognize Parade pieces as having been featured in several prominent movies as well as frequently worn by stars on the red carpet. Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum starred in last year's romantic film, The Vow, where her featured ring was a custom Parade "Lyria" design.               Parade did a collaboration with the Disney film, "The Odd Life of Timothy Green."       Parade has been our Brilliant Beginnings' sponsor for several years here at Goldsmith Go. Jewelers.
 We find that every woman from a bride to right hand ring shoppers love Parade's detail work and unique designs.
The Parade Promise "While our designs and collections will continue to evolve and grow, our core business philosophy remains the same - hard work, discipline and attention to detail. Every member of the Parade family promises to deliver on the same high level of excellence in personal service, creative styling and fine craftsmanship that customers have come to expect for 27 years." Make sure you check out our Brilliant Beginnings 2013, going on now until Valentines Day! And come by the store to see if a Parade piece is the right investment for you! Goldsmith Co. Jewelers **All information and quotes about Parade Designs were found here.**

The Inside Scoop on Parade Designs

Tip from Wil and Trevor: Replacing the battery of a water resistant watch is the most hazardous repair you can do to a watch. It is imperative that the seals be checked, replaced if needed, and re-lubricated EVERY TIME the watch back is opened. Lucky for you, this happens standard with every watch battery replacement at Goldsmith Co.