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  • Why is a Swiss Made Watch a Better Watch?

    Why is a Swiss made watch a better watch?

    wacg0101_1I was waiting on a guest the other day when he told me he would like to get himself a nice dress watch for work.  I asked him what he did for a living and he told me he was an account executive for a large company.  I immediately thought a Movado watch would be a great fit.  It would look great with the suit he was wearing, show he had great style, and let his clients know he was successful.  I showed him my choice and he looked at me with a little shock.  The price on the watch was about $750 and he could not understand how a watch could cost that much.  He pointed to his current watch and noted it had cost around $200.  I explained that the watch on his wrist was not made like the Movado and was worth about $200......and the Movado was worth every penny of the $750.

    So what makes the $750 watch a better watch??


    Let's start with the actual metal the watch is made out of.  Swiss made watches are almost always made with 316L surgical steel.  This is done for a couple of reasons.  First, it makes the steel extremely hard.  This allows the metal to both take and retain a polish better than other, lower grade steel watches.  Simply put, the watch will look better for longer.  Second, this steel alloy is the most corrosion resistant of all steel alloys.  That means the watch is more resistant to rust than lower grade counterparts.  Lastly, because the steel is so hard, it can be re-polished to almost new condition anytime it gets scratched (with the exception of plated parts).



    wbug0110_1If you inspect a Swiss watch, you will notice it is usually rather heavy in comparison to non-Swiss watches.  This is due to the fact that all Swiss watches use solid steel links and cases.  Many non-Swiss watches use hollow links that can bend or distort under pressure.  Some, in fact, are made by rolling steel.  This makes a link which can be distorted rather easily, sometimes resulting in scratchy or "rough" spots against the wrist.  In many cases, non-Swiss watches are not even made out of steel.  They can be plastic or a mix of base metal.  If you have ever had a band corrode, you have owned a base metal watch.  Steel will not do this to you.


    The clear face of the watch, or the crystal is also different.  Most Swiss watches generally use a synthetic sapphire crystal.  They are used due to their extreme hardness (a 9 on the Mohs scale.) for scratch resistance.  If you have ever owned a Swiss watch, take a look at the crystal.  You will find it most likely looks as good as the day you first purchased it.  They are hard enough, in fact, that you can take a car or house key to them and they will not scratch.  Standard watches usually use a hardened mineral glass crystal.  These are not nearly as hard as the sapphire, nor ore they near the expense.  A sapphire crystal can start at $90 or more versus a hardened Mineral at about $25.

    Link pins

    The pins that join the links together and to each other in a Swiss watch are usually a pin and sleeve versus just a pin in non-Swiss watches.  This seems like a small detail until you understand that the links must rotate.  In a pin watch, the link rotates on the pin.  As we all know, metal on metal wears.  Where the pin is also the source of the tension, the wear makes the pin smaller and eventually allows the pin to slide out of the band.  On the pin and sleeve model, the band rotates on the sleeve while the pin retains the tension.  No wear on the pin means it takes much longer to wear out the pins in a Swiss watch.

    Band caps

    The band caps, or the connecting link that links the band to the case of the watch is solid on a Swiss watch.  Other makes are hollow.  Again, this seems rather minor until you break pin after pin.  The solid cap actually works to support a large percentage of the watch pin holding the band on.  Force against the pin is therefore distributed over the entire length of the pin.  Compare that to a non-Swiss.  The band cap is hollow and only contacts the pin in small areas.  When force is applied, it will tend to first distort and then break the pin because all the force is concentrated in those few small areas.


    The movement, or the mechanical works of the watch is the heart of the watch and can account for 1/3 to 1/2 the overall price of the watch.  In Swiss watches, these movements are hand assembled and made with metal gears.  that means a watchmaker actually is responsible for ensuring each watch is put together correctly.  Not so in non-Swiss.  Most others use plastic gears and assembly lines to make their watches.  There are certainly quality control checks, but not on every watch.  Like most manufacturing plants, they verify a select group in each production run.  In terms of longevity, the Swiss watch has the edge here as well.  Metal gears do not wear as quickly as the plastic ones.  Also, many plastic movements are sealed and must be replaced, whereas the Swiss movement can be serviced.....that means you can hand it down!

    The verdict


    wesl0199_1Swiss watches are much better made than their counterparts.  They are not made to be "throw away" watches, but instead are designed to give generations of wear.  When you consider a watch, ask yourself a simple question:  "How will I feel when this watch wears out?"  If you love it, what a sad day that will be......unless it is Swiss....then you can fix it.

    As to my guest - he did not buy the Movado, but understood the differences and the price.  In the end, he picked a $400 watch which offered some of the upgrades I mentioned above.  In the end, he was better able to choose a watch that fit his budget and expectations, that's the best anyone could want.

    About the Blogger:


    mark-poulin2-web20111Mark Poulin, Store Manager, 
    Auburn Day's Jewelers

    Originally from Michigan, Mark decided to settle in Maine because of the wonderful quality of life and because it is a beautiful and safe place to raise his children. Read more...


  • Movado BOLD is the Watch for Me!

    Movado has always has had an air of sophistication surrounding it.  Clean lines, branded details - everything someone would look for in a good, quality watch.  My only issue is that as a 22 year old grad student, Movado is out of my financial reach.  I love the style, but my limited budget doesn't love the price.  Much to my enjoyment, Movado has created a new line of watches known as the Movado BOLD line.

    I first saw these styles in the Manchester, NH location of Day's Jewelers and I was blown away! The colors and overall feel of the line are fresh and inviting.  Greens, blues, pinks and purples add a younger touch to the brand.  The styles have the same quality and appearance of an original or traditional Movado, but with a splash of color and a lower price tag! What more could a girl ask for!?  Yes, one of these watches will be on my wish list for the 2011 Christmas season.

    This is my favorite style! What's yours?



  • Movado Watch Hits Homerun with New Style

    New York Yankee Derek Jeter recently became a member of the 3000 hit club in July of 2011.  Jeter is the first Yankee to ever reach this milestone.  To celebrate this momentous occasion, Movado created a watch that honors Jeter and his great accomplishment.  The watch is simple and stunning as a part of the Movado Bold line.  Sales of the watch benefit Jeter's Turn 2 Foundation - an organization that was created by Jeter to help teens and children avoid drugs and alcohol.


    Other Movado watches have been created to honor the athlete in previous years.  Many hold the easily recognizable Yankee pinstripes on the face.  This watch was designed to be unlike any other. Only 300 watches have been created for a retail price of $550 each - $100 of which will directly benefit his Turn 2 Foundation.  Enclosed in each stainless steel case is a thank you letter from Jeter.  The watch features a blue metallic face, Jeter's number "2" placed at 2 o'clock and Swiss quartz movement.  It's sophisticated style is sure to satisfy any baseball fan even if they favor the Yankees or not.  This accomplishment of Jeter's is one that all baseball fans can appreciate.

    Movado has always favored the arts and modern styles when creating their watches.  The company supports the New York City Ballet, The John F. Kennedy Ceter for the Performing Arts and various other organizations.

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If for any reason you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase within 30 days of receipt, you may return any merchandise that has not been altered, engraved or customized for a refund, credit or exchange. Merchandise returned must be in its original condition.


All orders are fully insured and require a signature at time of delivery. Each item is cleaned, polished and inspected before it is wrapped and shipped to you. For engravings and ring sizing, please add an additional 2-3 business days to your order. Special orders or customizations may take 3-4 weeks. Please click here for full shipping information.


Day's Jewelers requires suppliers to provide a written warranty, for every diamond purchased, that it was acquired from non-conflict sources. Furthermore, as a certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Council, Day's is committed to supporting and promoting the highest level of social, ethical and environmental responsibility in our communities and in the areas of the world where our products are sourced. Learn more...


If for any reason you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase within 30 days of receipt, you may return any merchandise that has not been altered, engraved or customized for a refund, credit or exchange. Merchandise returned must be in its original condition.


Your jewelry purchased from Day's Jewelers is warranted for a lifetime against defects in materials and craftsmanship. To be eligible for this warranty, your piece of jewelry must be inspected at any Day's store at least once every six months. If you should live in an area where there is no Day's store located, we would be happy to recommend a reputable jeweler to perform the required semi-annual inspections. Day's also offers a low cost extended care plan that covers normal wear and tear of items not deemed as defective.


Day's adheres to an everyday low price policy so you can always shop knowing you’re getting the best price possible from an authorized retailer.


Day's adheres to an everyday low price policy so you can always shop knowing you’re getting the best price possible from an authorized retailer.