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Learning Lounge: Watches

| Chronograph | | Solar Power | | Quartz | | Caring & Cleaning Your Watch |


The earliest timepieces date back to 3500 BC. The "shadow clock" or "gnomon" consisted of an obelisk or vertical stick that cast moving shadows, and the ancient Egyptians were the first to divide a day into segments by the light of these markers. In the 14th century, large, mechanical clocks driven by heavy weights began to appear in bell towers. As these clocks featured only one hand, they were not very accurate.

The invention of the mainspring enabled the birth of the portable timepiece. In 1510, Peter Henlein designed a large, cylindrical pocket watch, which changed the face and size of tracking time. With the discovery of the pendulum in 1656 by Christian Huygens and later of the balance wheel, timekeeping became increasingly accurate. Since then, timepiece technology has greatly advanced from the primitive pendulum to the most accurate cesium clock.

“Chronographs” are typically sporty watches with the ability to measure continuous or discontinuous intervals of time.

These stopwatch functions may include measuring the speed, distance, and time of more than one event simultaneously.

Not just for athletes, chronographs cater to any active lifestyle.

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A recent trend in the watch industry is the solar powered watch.

Eco-Drive by citizen is one such brand. These watches use solar cell technology in which the face of the watch is a solar cell. When the solar cell receives light, artificial or sunlight, the watch will stay continually powered.

Citizen Eco-Drive watches use the simplest, yet most technically advanced power generating and storage system in the Watch Manufacturing Industry. A Solar Cell and a rechargeable battery is the power provider for these Quartz Watches. Eco-Drive's ability to use light from any source to generate electrical power means that the supply is limitless and free. The absence of any added complex power generating machinery that would require additional upkeep is another big advantage.

Most contemporary watches and clocks feature quartz movement.

This technology allows an electric current to pass through a quartz crystal that creates constant oscillations resulting in very accurate timekeeping.

A small battery supplies the power for a running time of one to three years.

Quartz timepieces are superior to mechanical timepieces because they have no gears or escapements to disrupt their regulating frequency.

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As with any other fine product, your watch requires regular care. By giving it regular care you will extend the life of your watch and enjoy it for a longer period of time.

Change the Battery at regular intervals or change an expired battery as soon as you notice it. Expired batteries may leak corrosive fluids into your watch causing serious damage which may result in expensive repairs. These fluids also have the potential of creating irreparable damage to your precious time piece.

As the watch band touches the skin directly on the user’s wrist, it becomes dirty with perspiration, dead skin and dust. Many watch owners are not aware of the necessity of keeping the watch case and band clean. However, perspiration absorbed by a leather band, in particular, can cause a breakdown of the leather, reducing the life span of the bracelet. Also a dirty watch band can soil the wearers clothing.

Leather Bands: Should be wiped down with a soft cloth regularly to prevent moisture and perspiration form saturating the leather strap. If for some reason your leather band is saturated with moisture it is important to take it off and let it dry completely before putting the watch back on.

Metal Bands: Dust, dirt and abrasive substances can easily dull the finish of a metal bracelet or even remove the gold plating on the band. If your watch is not water resistant to 50 m it is important to remove the band before cleaning. It is best to use warm soapy water and a tooth brush to clean between links and connections. Before reinstalling the band be sure to dry it completely. If you are not comfortable doing this visit your local jewellery who can do this for you. Or return your watch to the brands service depot and have them perform a professional cleaning.

Plastic and Rubber Bands: Perspiration, salt water and oils from your skin can reduce the life of these types of bands, causing them to crack and break. Rubber or plastic bands should be cleaned periodically with warm soapy water and an old soft toothbrush. When cleaning these bands it is important to clean both the inside and outside of the strap. Also after it has been cleaned dry it completely before returning it to your wrist. If you happen to submerge these types of bands in salt water rinse it immediately as the salt is corrosive to the band. Some people put a rubber protector on their bands; however, this is not necessary if you keep it clean and dry.

DO NOT under any circumstances clean your watch with solvents such as paint thinner or bleach as they may in fact corrode you band and even cause you skin irritation.

Remember regular maintenance, and proper cleaning, will definitely extend the life of your watch.

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