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Watch Basics

Learn the Basics of Digital Watches, Analog Watches, Mechanical Watches, and more.

Looking for a new watch? REEDS Jewelers has a wide selection of watches from digital watches to dress watches. Whether you want to wear your watch to work, dinner with friends, or a black-tie affair, we have a wide selection of watches to meet your needs. How do you know which watch is best for you? The first step in deciding the perfect watch for you is understanding a few watch basics.


The first area to consider is the watch type. Here are the most commonly offered watch types and more information about each type.

Analog Watches

An analog watch is a traditional type of watch that includes hour hands, minute hands, and numbers or markers that show the twelve-hour day. Analog watches are usually considered to be more formal and are perfect for wearing to work, on dates, or at any other appropriate occasion. Some people even enjoy wearing their analog watch as an everyday timepiece to complete their look. Either way, analog watches are a timeless accessory that can complement any style.

Digital Watches

Digital watches have an LCD or LED face that displays the time in numerals and is generally more casual compared to analog watches. But, that doesn’t mean they can’t be your next favorite timepiece. Well-known brands like Nixon, Omega, and Gucci make fashionable women’s and men’s watches. These digital watches aren’t like the clunky, outdated timepieces of the past. Today’s digital watches are slim, stylish, and feature the latest in timekeeping technology. Digital watches run using a special watch battery and our jewelers can help you find the batteries and other accessories you need.

Sports Watches

Sport watches are designed to be very durable to withstand even the harshest of environments. They are usually made of high-quality plastic and are generally water resistant to a high degree. Due to the high-quality plastic, many of these watches are scratch resistant, as well. Sport watches also tend to have many additional features like altimeters and compasses. High water-resistant watches are perfect for swimmers and scuba divers.

Quartz Watches

Most watches you see today use quartz technology and are powered by a watch battery. The easiest way to tell if a watch is quartz is by observing the second hand and seeing if it ticks. If so, that shows the watch is being powered by a vibrating, electrified quartz crystal. Quartz watches are very accurate and don’t have to be manually reset.

Mechanical Watches

The most popular type of mechanical watch is an automatic watch. Automatic watches have a fully mechanical movement that consists of hundreds of gears and springs. The word "automatic" means that a metal rotor rotates around the movement, winding the watch. The rotor will move when the watch is in motion, meaning that the watch will run off the various motions of your wrist as you go about your day. The easiest way to check for mechanical movement is by looking at the second hand, which should have a sweeping motion rather than the ticking motion of quartz. "Automatic" is also called "self-winding,” as opposed to a hand-wound watch.


Another element of finding the right watch is to understand the different types of wear. To understand this element of watch basics, let’s take a look at each category more in-depth.

Casual Wear

A casual wear watch is designed to be an everyday accessory. It focuses on practically over flash but can still be quite stylish in appearance. This type of watch tends to be made of durable materials and feature fewer embellishments or details. The world of timepieces continues to evolve so there are many styles and options available for this much-needed accessory, including both digital watches and analog versions.

Athletic Wear

An athletic wear watch has a higher focus placed on function and durability than casual wear watches. The bands will be made of materials such as rubber or silicone, designed to handle sweat, heat, and water without showing signs of wear and tear. Leathers and most types of metals are not a suitable band choice for this type of watch. Athletic wear watches will also include improved technology with features such as GPS tracking, weather alert capabilities, and improved water resistance. The G-Shock digital watch is a great example of a beautiful watch worn for athletic occasions.

Dress Wear

A dress wear watch will most likely have a higher focus on beauty and appearance rather than keeping up with the latest technology or ensuring durability. This type of watch tends to be of higher value with its rich details. These details might include diamond encrusted bezels or faces, fine leather or precious metal bands, and a level of artistry and attention not commonly found in casual wear or athletic watches.

Finding the right accessory can take time and diligence. When choosing a watch for your collection, focusing on watch type and wear style will help you narrow down the expansive array of options.