Who can give me a crash course in wristwatches?

I like wearing a watch. I like the way they look, and I like being able to see the time at a glance. I own four – two by Skagen, one by Diesel, one Victorinox that was a Christmas gift from my employer last year. (I prefer the first three.)

But I’ve always liked watches rather uncritically. I can certainly tell you if I think a watch looks good, but I don’t know much about what goes into designing a watch.

And I don’t know much about what makes a $100 watch (basically, the kind I own) different from a $500 watch or a $1000 watch or a $5000 watch.

I assume that, as a rule of thumb, more expensive watches are better-made watches (assuming they’re not crusted with sapphires or something). But what does that mean? More accurate timekeeping? More sophisticated design aesthetic? Able to be worn at greater depths? Licensing agreements with cooler people?

I’m not specifically looking for recommendations about what watches to buy – though of course referring to particular watches to illustrate a point would probably make a lot of sense.

Basically, I want to know: What makes a good watch? What makes one watch better than another, beyond just “I like the way that looks” and “I don’t like the way that one does”? Give me an overview of Watches 101.

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