Watch weight is a polarizing concept. Some people (like myself) love heavy watches. Others want something very light. On more expensive watches, you start to see materials such as titanium which are lighter than steel, but in this price segment, weight is often times a sign of quality. Even though titanium is available at this price level, it most likely is not the higher (grade 5) quality titanium that is what you’ll want. At this price level, you are only going to get that nice crisp quality look with steel. Like I said, weight often signifies solid construction using a high quality steel. So feel the weight of a case and bracelet to make sure it is substantial enough to justify your investment.
Signed Crown And Buckle Or Clasp
A good watch maker is more often than not a proud watch maker, and is fully invested in each watch they design. This means there are typically four places that you’ll watch to see the name of the watch makers. This is on the face of the watch, the caseback, on the crown, and on the deployant clasp or strap buckle. These are also known as “signed crowns or buckles/deployant clasps.” The manner of “signing” can vary, but at this price level are usually some type of light laser engraving. Higher priced watches have logos and graphics done in relief (raised, versus etched into the metal). Cheaper watches have bare crowns and deployants which make it too clear that these parts are taken from a parts bin and have no personal touch.
Good Dial Lumination
Not all watches are expected to have dials that illuminate in the dark for low light viewing – these are typically the more classic or formal watches. However, almost all sport and causal watches have some type of luminant that is applied on the hands as well as somewhere on the dial. The quality of luminant greatly varies. Some is so impractical that it should not even be there. An example being that you need to shine a bright light directly to the face of the watch for a minute or so, and then the dial dimly glows for a few minutes. Alternatively, you have luminant that charges easily when exposed to room or sun light and glows for hours. The Japanese tend to make the best luminant, but you get Japanese luminant on watches from all over (watches will never indicate the source of the luminant, but look for LumiNova, or better yet SuperLumiNova when possible). An alternative to luminant are watches that use tritium gas tubes. These tubes are made by just one company in Switzerland and glow by themselves for about 25-30 years. Tritium gas tubes are not tough to find, as a few watch brands almost exclusively use them, and they can be had for reasonable prices. Still, most watches will have applied luminant. Look for large surface areas of luminant that is applied richly (looks raised up a bit).