7 Ways To Tell If A Watch Is High Quality

There are some simple signs which give away the quality of a watch. Like wine, price is an indication regarding quality but it is not foolproof.  And it is becoming more challenging to separate quality with the emergence of boutique watch brands. We put together this list of 7 signs the watch you are looking at is a top quality piece.


First on the list is accuracy.  This is a measurement which all watch brands strive for.  The best indicator of accuracy in the swiss watch making world is a chronometer certification.  This is a seperate body which tests watches for their accuracy and the certificate is only rewarded if the watch is accurate to within +6/-4 seconds per day.

If you are buying a modern Rolex you should expect it to be accurate within +2/-2 seconds per day.   As you can imagine this quickly adds up, you will need to adjust your watch regularly to ensure it is displaying the correct time.  But that is just one of the ways you take care of your luxury watch after purchase. The watch movements are incredibly complicated, so it is a great feat of engineering to get a mechanical movement to this level of accuracy.


This point bleeds into point four, materials.  A high quality watch is crafted from steel, platinum, gold or a combination of these materials.   When you lift the watch it should have a weight to it that signifies it has been made from hard wearing, high quality materials.

If the watch you are lifting feels too light and plasticy it could be an indicator that lower quality materials have been used, and very likely a low quality movement or quartz movement has been used instead of a mechanical one.


Swiss watches in particular should come with a certificate of authenticity.  The certificate will include a number which allows you to check with the retailer if the watch is genuine or not.  Certificates also increase the sale price if you decide to sell your watch on in the future.

Buyers want to feel secure that they are buying a genuine for good reason, the fake luxury watch market is full of poor imitations and no-one wants to be left with a dud.  Another way you can ensure authenticity is to buy through Chronoexpert, we check every watch to ensure it is authentic which gives you peace of mind.


The best watches are made from high quality materials such as steel, platinum and gold. Hublot designed their own, scratch resistant Gold, Rolex uses mother of pearl, gold brass and stainless steel. Breitling uses titanium & steel alloy a combination which are some of the strongest metals available.

Quality manufacturers invest heavily into R+R regarding the materials they use which result in a combination of metals & jewels which give the best performance in terms of style, comfort, robustness as well as accuracy. If the brand you are considering buying from is unknown do a little bit of research, how heavily do they invest in the materials they use for watch making?


This leads us on to our 5th point, branding.   Most newbies will know of the big watch brands like Rolex, Cartier, Breitling & Tag Heuer. But did you know we have over 30 luxury watch brands to discover in the Chronoexpert store.

There are plenty of high quality watch brands out there to discover, especially for those new to the luxury watch industry.  One of the easiest ways to make sure you are buying from a high quality brand is to double check our store and see if the brand is listed there.  We only list high quality watch brands on our site!

The Movement

The 6th & 7th points are concerning the internal mechanics of the watch.    The movement is the primary mechanism which tells the time. There are three movements, Quartz, mechanical & automatic.  We’ve written about these movements on the blog in more detail, and suggest you check out, Difference between Quartz & Automatic watches, Why are mechanical watches worth more than quartz.

In Summary

  1. Quartz Movement – These movements create a ticking motion.  They only involve a few moving parts including a piece of quartz and a battery.
  2. Mechanical Movement – These movements are complicated because they are 100% driven by engineering & mechanics. They cause the second hand to sweep instead of tick (in more cases).  These watches need to be wound.
  3. Automatic watches – The movement is similar to a mechanical movement however it is automatically wound whilst it is being worn so there is less upkeep for these watches.

Mechanical & automatic movements are considered to be the highest quality & tend to cost more money for this reason.


The final point is regarding complications.  You can think of these as optional extras. Every watch needs to do one thing – tell the time! But watches can do so much more.

There are a huge range of uses for example, date, world time, speed, calendar, alarm & more. For every one of these uses a movement needs to be designed which enables this function.

The more complications a watch has, the more working parts there are inside the watch, as you can imagine it quickly builds in complexity, especially when all of this needs to fit inside a very small space.

The brand you are buying from should have watches on sale with multiple complications as it is an indicator of their premium engineering capability.

We hope this list has helped you decide if the watch you are looking at is high quality or not.  Don’t forget, we are known for our extremely friendly customer service. So, if you have any questions about the watches listed on our site please get in touch and wes are happy to help.

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