Timeless Timepieces: Understanding the Growing Obsession with Watches

Did you know that the luxury watch industry is on the rise? A report from Deloitte stated that in 2014, the Swiss watch industry exported nearly $21 billion. The question is: Why?

Allow Biltmore Loan and Jewelry to explain why many individuals are developing a growing obsession with timepieces, and why many are quick to invest in expensive watches.

A Watch is an Extension of Who You Are

A watch represents something incredibly profound. It is much more than a device that tells time; it is also an extension of ourselves. A timepiece speaks volumes in terms of identifying its wearer. From diamond-encrusted bezels to sleek and simplistic dials, these characteristics offer a unique window into the life of a person we have never met or may never meet.

Generally, a timepiece highlights many facets of your life, including your personality, sense of style, taste, wealth, and even humor.

A Watch is a Piece of Art

For a watch to come to life, a highly skilled artist must put together raw materials in such a fashion that it results in a beautiful, intricately functioning piece. According to Josh Srolovitz, watch collector and founder of Govberg Jewelers, “Of these parts the escapement, or heart, is at the center of it all. A simple wind of the crown gives the escapement the power to start “beating,” which in turn brings life to the rest of the movement.”

A Watch May Represent a Time in History

Several collectors and enthusiasts remain immensely fascinated by the design and movement of a watch. However, another profound factor in many’s growing obsession for timepieces lies on the story behind its creation. For instance, the Cartier Tank with Mechanical Movement hails from the early 1900s, with the now-world-renowned brand only making less than a hundred of its kind from 1910 until 1960. Some public figures who wore this timeless timepiece include Princess Diana of Wales, former First Lady Michelle Obama, and former First Lady Jackie Kennedy-Onassis. Another example would be the antique Longines chronograph, a timepiece that could very well have entrenched in battle on the wrist of a military personnel during a great world war. Many collectors love to imagine who may have worn the watch on their wrists, where in the world it had traveled to, and how old it truly is.

Van Cleef and Arpels 1970 Zodiac Sign, Tiffany Jewelry and Cartier Lighter

Popular Timepieces Worth Investing In  

The following are some of the world’s most popular types of watches:

1. Analog Watch

An analog watch is a true classic consisting of a traditional clock face with 12 hours. It is inclusive of both an hour hand and a minute hand, although several analog watches now have a second hand. Some analog watches display traditional numbers, while others consist of Roman numerals.

2. Digital Watch

Roughly 40 years ago, Hamilton made waves by introducing the world’s first commercial electronic digital wristwatch. This particular type of time-telling device has hours, minutes, and even seconds indicated by digits instead of hands on a dial.

3. Automatic Watch

An automatic watch, otherwise known as a “self-winding” watch, continues to operate with or without a battery. According to Gear Patrol, an automatic wristwatch works by “using a weight inside the watch that oscillates to put tension on the mainspring through the random motion of the watch wearer’s arm,” meaning Some automatic timepieces may continually run for as long as the wearer makes random motions. On the other hand, most self-winding watches, when fully wound, will run continuously for over 40 hours.

4. Chronograph Watch

I layman’s terms, “chronograph” simply means “stopwatch” or “timer.” A standard chronograph watch consists of an independent sweep second hand that can be started, stopped, and returned to zero without interfering with the watch’s ability to tell time accurately. This specific watch is perfect for timing races, competitions, and workout goals, among others.

5. Quartz Watch

An electronic oscillator synchronized by a quartz crystal is what allows the intricate quartz timepiece to operate. The electric current causes the quartz to vibrate back and forth with a precise frequency. The frequency is then broken down through an integrated circuit, where power is released through a stepping motor to set the watch’s hands in motion. All quartz watches require battery replacements from time to time.

6. Dive Watch

A diving watch is specially designed for to function underwater and is inclusive of diving features, such as water resistance of up to 100 meters, though modern technology allows the creation of diving watches that can go much deeper.

7. Field Watch

A field watch boasts rugged functionality and classic aesthetics. Military men and women sport this practical and stylish timepiece to tell time during wee hours of the night and coordinate attacks, all while withstanding the rigors of battle. Field watches are gaining massive popularity among people of all classes because of their quality and unique style.

8. Aviator Watch

What once only graced the wrists of pilots are now widely available to the public. Aviation timepieces, known for their style and durability, feature a circular slide rule or “whiz wheel,” which performs all kinds of time, fuel, distance calculations, and unit conversions for pilots.

9. Luxury Watch

Luxury timepieces are for individuals who prefer the finer, more extravagant things in life. These watches are ideal for watch collectors or connoisseurs who adore precision, uniqueness, and handcrafted complications in a watch. Although many luxury watches are simple, they are still crafted from the best quality golds and silvers. Furthermore, several luxury timepieces may also veer away from simplicity by boasting precious gemstones and other expensive materials as adornments.

Watches Can Survive Beyond the Digital Era

There is so much more to a wristwatch than the simple function of telling time. Unlike a smartphone, a quality wristwatch is made to last for generations. It is unlikely for your smartphone or smartwatch — whose technology could become obsolete in just a few short months — will ever compare to the artistry, sentimental value, and rising cost of a classic timepiece. In the event that you are looking to sell your watches, bring them to Biltmore Loan and Jewelry for a free market appraisal. For service inquiries, you may contact our Scottsdale office at 480-991-5626, or our Chandler office at 480-705-5626.