Watch Out Now: Cutting-Edge Quartz with Tissot

The Seventh in an Eleventh-part Series.

Whether you opt for an inexpensive everyday watch or a limited-edition collector’s chronograph, the watch on your wrist plays a big part in defining your style. Undoubtedly, the best watch is going to be one that you wear, one that fits your budget and matches your lifestyle.

No matter what you’re looking for, now is the time to get it. In the ports of call, take advantage of tax-free, duty-free prices and pick up a designer watch for hundreds—even thousands—of dollars less than what you’d pay back at home.

So even if you’ve never thought about buying a watch before—or if you’ve thought about it and didn’t know where to start—rest assured it’s not as…complicated as it looks. We asked Keith W. Strandberg, the international editor of the industry-standard Watch Journal, to put together an insider’s guide to the world of fine timepieces.

And so, welcome to Watch Wednesday–it’s watches 101 combined with a trend and news roundup.

There is a certain snob factor that comes into play when watch people start talking about movements, largely because most luxury timepieces use mechanical movements. And mechanical movements are tiny little wonders of springs and gears somehow working together to display the time and other such functions. The problem with mechanical movements is that the functions are rather limited—not to mention expensive to create. A perpetual calendar, one of the most difficult complications to manufacture, can increase the price of a watch by tens of thousands of dollars.

Quartz movements are powered by a battery, and quartz watches can offer a whole ton of functions at a much more affordable price. You can get a quartz watch that has a perpetual calendar plus a host of other functions for just a few hundred dollars.

A great example of the cutting-edge possibilities you can find in a quartz watch comes to us from Swiss watchmaker Tissot—“innovators by tradition” is the company’s tagline. Designing fine automatic timepieces since its founding in 1853, Tissot released the world’s first touch-screen watch in 1999—years before the touch screen made its way into the mainstream. The latest model is the T-Touch Expert Solar, which uses a solar-powered quartz movement to power twenty different functions such as two alarms, an altimeter, a compass, timers, and more—including, yes, a perpetual calendar—that can be controlled with the tactile dial.

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