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Considerations of Precious Time – II

Taking things forward from the previous column, this one explores more points which you should keep in mind while selecting a watch just made for you.

Taking things forward from the previous column, this one explores more points which you should keep in mind while selecting a watch just made for you.

Hoping that my previous column helped to clear some confusion, or rather, helped put some hitherto unthought questions in your mind, I mention some more charateristics which you should look for in your perfect watch.

If your lifestyle is a little less active, and you overall prefer a lighter watch, or you do not like the black matte finish, you may want to look at metals like steel, gold, platinum and titanium. Steel is generally very light and cost effective, but the most popular is gold. Generally the watch unit is lighter than the DLC or PVD options. Though if you choose a watch with a solid gold strap similar to the Rolex Oyster Perpetual, the full creation would be a little heavier.

Opting for gold doesn’t mean you have to look at ‘run of the mill’ brands like Rolex or Patek Phillppe. There are boutique brands such as Thomas Prescher  known as the ‘Master of Regeneration’ and ‘Master of Tourbillon’ by connoisseurs and critics alike, but also recognised as the ‘worlds first and only bespoke watch service’. With some exceptionally unique designs in classic materials, they have managed to maintain an excellent balance between classic and modern. The Thomas Prescher Tempus Vivendi collection is a prime example of this. Wearing such as rare yet revered creation would immediately identify you as a unique and bold personality who does not want to conform to the old norms, and has carved a name and reputation for him/herself. Such a watch can set the precedence for many business & personal engagements to come.

It is not just the bezel, body and material which effects the weight and perception of the watch. Each movement is unique in it’s weight and placement, giving the watch a very small left to right weight ratio. Some will sit ideally in the centre, others will feel as they lean a little to the right or left. This is key to comfort. Not everyone can wear a perfect centre-focused watch, thanks to our wrist bone bumps. With thousands of movements, it can be very difficult to analyse and choose, hence it is best to focus on functional categories.

There are three main categories of movements: Manual/Mechanical, Automatic/Auto-Mechanical and Quartz movement. Each movement is popular in its own right. When you are choosing a movement, you should bear in mind the level of interaction and the aftercare needed. A watch with a mechanical movement gives you the most interaction with the watch – similar to how some prefer a manual car over automatic. With a Manual/Mechanical watch, it is the handwinding that makes the watch run. When the watch runs out of energy produced by the handwinding, the watch stops. In some cases, some manual wind watches are more efficient then other manual wind watches and can have more then a week long power reserve. Additionally, the famous tourbillon movements, are mechanical and can be manual or automatic, contrary to most peoples knowledge. If you buy a mechanical movement, you should be prepared to have it serviced every five years on average. 

Automatic watches wind themselves by the motion of the wearer. As long as there is movement, the watch will remain wound. When not wearing an automatic watch, it would be a worthwhile investment to look at a watch winder. Quartz movements are the most ‘computerised’. These watches are powered by a battery, very little maintenance. Ninety five per cent of luxury Swiss watches are either manual or automatic, with very few Quartz movements. Investing in a Swiss handmade watch is not only a wise decision due to its long life and high quality, but also having a Swiss watch is a status symbol. People begin to identify with you on a global level.

Though the tourbillon will be discussed in my next few columns, such a beautiful piece of art and workmanship needs to be mentioned. Owning a tourbillon is one of the most prestigious watches to own. They not only stand for workmanship, but are a testament of true luxury and exclusivity, with prices only few can afford. One company specialising in tourbillon only is Cecil Purnell, with handmade movements. The brand is fast becoming a popular choice, but with 50-65 watches a year, the waiting list continues to grow. However, if you are within the buying circle for a tourbillon, you could look further towards diamonds.

With many watches you will find there is a diamond bezel or fascia alternative. Though, in the past, diamonds have been more popular with the ladies collections, now diamonds are fast becoming a man’s best friend as well. For example, the Spectrum Collections by Armaan Swiss Watches, gives the terms luxury and bling a whole new definition. The gents watch is available in 48mm bezel with bracelet and bezel dressed with 14.72crts of VVS1 diamonds and ladies in 38mm bezel 10.66crts. Wearing such a watch would capture every passerby’s attention, without fail!

One of the final considerations is the strap width. It is a small but aesthetically important detail. The colours of the strap is something of a personal preference always, but the width of the strap should be considered inline with your current wrist size. If you have a broad wrist, think about having a narrower strap. It will give your wrist a more sleeker appearance and allow for the focus to be on the watch piece itself. Likewise, if you have a narrow wrist, look at a broader strap, to give your wrist a more structural appearance while maintaining its sleekness.

Like I mentioned last time as well, a watch has to, first and foremost, look right and meet your requirements. Expand your horizons and looks towards unique and prestigious brands, which often turn out to be hidden gems. After all, your watch should be so exclusive, that you are able to see the steam coming out of your neighbours ears!

Rahul Kapoor, co-founder of Excedo Luxuria, works with exclusive boutique brands including Thomas Prescher Haute Horlogerie. Aided with experience in bespoke creations, Excedo Luxuria has also created the first all-services bespoke and customized accessories boutique for the ‘media-shy’. An avid watch collector, he loves scrutinizing and talking about watches as well.