How long does a luxury watch last?
Quite simply, each luxury watch is designed to last a lifetime, as the culmination of vast expertise, care and passion, by some of the most prestigious watchmakers in the world.
Here at Leonard Dews, we’ve been supplying watches from iconic brands for over 140 years. Our dedicated team of experts are here to make your experience with us a joy from start to finish, and that includes answering any questions you may have about our prestigious timepieces. And with well over a century of experience to our name, we know that when you find your perfect timepiece, you’ll form an intensely personal connection with it that will last a lifetime. So, what is it that makes a luxury watch quite so long-lasting?
The standard of craftsmanship is obviously one of the single most influential factors in the longevity of each luxury watch, and the manufacturers of the watches we supply here at Leonard Dews are true masters of their craft. These manufacturers are widely recognised as the most prestigious brands in the world, including Patek Phillipe, OMEGA, and TAG Heuer, all of whom have been pioneers in horology for decades.
OMEGA, for example, have broken multiple precision records, which is part of the the reason its pieces have been the watches of choice for multiple NASA missions – an OMEGA Speedmaster could be glimpsed on the wrist of Buzz Aldrin as he set foot on the surface of the moon. Notably, OMEGA also worked with British watchmaker George Daniels to release a luxury watch with his patented co-axial escapement, which was widely considered to be the most significant horological development since of the last 200 years.
The complexity of the designs, and the sheer ingenuity of the craftsmanship behind these luxury watches, combine to create pieces of truly unrivalled quality, ensuring that these timepieces often remain family heirlooms for generations.
The calibre of the watch
Perhaps one of the single most important defining characteristics of any luxury watch is the watch movement, or calibre. This refers to the type of mechanism that powers the watch, and generally speaking, most watch collectors mainly concern themselves with the three main types – quartz, manual, and automatic.
Mechanical watches tend to last the longest of the three, but they need regular servicing by an expert to keep them ticking over. These eschew battery power in favour of intricate mechanisms that rely on physics alone to keep their hands moving. Techniques used in the creation of mechanical watches are centuries old, and they’re being continually improved by each new generation of watchmakers.
The co-axial escapement that we’ve mentioned above, for example, was a huge leap forward in minimising the friction and wear on the internal workings of a mechanical watch, and George Daniels rightfully earned worldwide fame for it. Advances like his are a large part of the reason why mechanical watches can last for an incredible number of years, free as they are from the limits of battery power and other common electronic limitations.
Care, maintenance and upkeep
This is a huge part of owning any luxury watch, even if you don’t wear it all that often. We’ve detailed some of the best ways to keep your luxury watch in first class condition in a previous post, but if we’re totally honest, some of it falls into the realm of common sense!
When you come to choose your next luxury watch, some of the most useful questions you can ask will revolve around its capabilities and durability. You’ll want to find out what kinds of environments it can withstand, and what to keep it away from.
Water resistance – this is a phrase that trips a lot of people up, since its meaning as applied to luxury watches is a little… opaque. Case in point: if a watch is advertised to be “water resistant up to 30m”, this does not mean that you can take it down to a depth of 30m without causing it damage. In fact, a watch with a 30m water resistance shouldn’t even be worn in the shower. If that sounds confusing, that’s because it is. Don’t worry though – we’ve explain everything in full detail in our expert guide to understanding water resistance in luxury watches.
Servicing – a luxury watch requires regular servicing from qualified experts throughout its lifetime, in order to keep it in perfect working order, and preserve its long-term value. In most cases, a mechanical watch will only need servicing once every four or five years (give or take) by an accredited service centre, or in some cases even the brand itself.
METAS certification – this comprehensive test puts the mechanics of your watch under rigorous examination. The test focuses on the functional characteristics of your watch, including its precision, resistance to magnetic fields, water resistance and power reserve. If your watch has achieved the highly prestigious METAS Master Chronometer certification, you can rely on it to continue functioning smoothly in a wide range of harsh conditions and environments. (Of course, it’s still worth looking after it very carefully though!)
Once you’ve got the answers to all that, you’ll know everything you need to keep your luxury purchase ticking over for a lifetime!
If you’ve got your heart set on a particular reference for your next purchase, we’ll be only too happy to assist. We’ve got a diverse mix of automatic, manual and quartz luxury watches in our Blackpool showroom, so whatever you want for your personal collection, you can be sure that we’ll have plenty of options to suit you. And if you’ve ever got any questions, don’t hesitate to ask one of our friendly team. We’ve been established since 1877, giving us more than 140 years of experience to draw upon, and several of our colleagues have received specialist training with Patek Philippe watches. If you ever need any advice, you can count on us to help!