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Useful Watch Features We’re Thankful For

At Feldmar, we are not just retailers of fine timepieces, but die-hard watch fanatics as well. This should come as no surprise. When you spend your days in the presence of horological perfection, it’s bound to rub off! And since it’s the season for giving thanks, here are the useful watch features and innovations that the #FeldmarFam is thankful for.

girard perregaux laureato absolute rock

Chronograph

Chronograph comes from the Greek words “chronos” (meaning “time”) and “graph” (meaning “write”). These “time graphers” can tell time, of course, like any other watch, but they also do much more than that. A chronograph can function as a stopwatch, with the ability to stop, restart, reset, and even track different sets of timed events. Depending on the model and complications, chronographs can calculate average speed, measure your heart rate, and do any number of other things, all while keeping perfect time. And to think, we have King Louis XVIII to thank for the popularization of the chronograph! Because of his love for horse racing, the French monarch wanted a way to time the ponies as they raced around the track. Thus, the chronograph was born. Thanks, King Louis.

iwc pilots watch chronograph

Day/date complication

The idea seems so simple now – a watch that tells you the day of the week and the date. But the day/date watch complication was considered a revolutionary innovation when Rolex debuted it in 1956. The complication works thanks to two rotating disks beneath the watch face, one with days of the week, and one with dates of the month. One of the most useful of all watch features, the day/date has also proved divisive, with some purists insisting that only “no date” watches truly capture the essence of watch design. Whatever your preference, there is a watch to match your tastes!

prospex seiko spb143

Rotating bezel

Like all the most important technological innovations in watchmaking, the rotating bezel was born of a need—in this case, the need of aviators, particularly in the military, to sync up time precisely to the second. The ingenious answer was an external rotating bezel calibrated from zero to sixty seconds. While aviation was the first to claim this feature, it was in the world of diving that the rotating bezel truly found its home. On a diving watch, the bezels are graduated into sixty equal sections, representing the sixty minutes of air in a tank, and rotate uni- or bi-directionally. This allows divers to keep track of time spent under water – an important thing, so that they know how much oxygen remains. Not just useful, a rotating bezel is potentially life-saving!

blancpain fifty fathom chronographe flyback quantieme complete

Water resistance

Speaking of diving watches, let’s talk about water resistance. First, some definitions. Water resistant doesn’t mean waterproof. If a watch is described as water resistant, it doesn’t mean you should just jump right in the ocean for a dive. Water resistance is a bit more complicated (see what we did there?). When watch manufacturers talk about a watch’s water resistance, they are really talking about a watch’s resistance to water pressure. In other words, how deep underwater a watch can go before the water’s pressure overcomes the watch’s ability to resist it. Diving watches are designed and engineered with extra heavy gaskets, a screw-down crown, and other features that allow them to withstand extraordinary depths, as much as 1000 meters in the best diving watches.

frederique constant manufacture monolithic manufacture

Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal

The hardness of minerals is scored on something called the Mohs scale, which numbers from one to ten. Sapphire hits a solid nine on the scale, second only to diamond, which makes sapphire crystal far superior to mineral glass when it comes to watches. When sapphire crystals were introduced to watchmaking, it was a game changer, with much more scratch resistance than other materials used for watch crystals. Considering the abuse we put even the finest timepieces through on a daily basis, scratch-resistant sapphire crystals are hard to beat.

Discover watches with these useful features and many others at Feldmar. Browse our online store or stop into our flagship location.

About The Author: Tom Roth

author

Born in Washington state, Tom developed an interest in photography during college at University of San Diego. There, he got started in music journalism, interviewing artists and taking photos at concerts. A life-long tinkerer and collector, it wasn’t long before Tom became fascinated with fountain pens and watches.

Those interests collided in November 2020 when Tom started at Feldmar Watch Company where he lives out every watch geek’s dream: photographing and writing about timepieces. When he’s not tinkering with his watch collection, Tom can be found traveling, biting his nails while watching PNW sports teams, and taking flying lessons.

Read more from Tom Roth

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