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How to Identify a Well-Made Watch

How to Identify a Well-Made Watch

October 10, 2018

In the vast universe of watches, finding one that looks great, lasts long, and is reasonably priced may be a daunting task. As a result, many people resort to compromising with a familiar brand rather than an underground one of superior quality. When shopping for a watch that looks great and is made to last, here are some of the distinguishable traits that will set them apart from the rest.

MODASI The Executive Rose Gold & Matte Black made from Italian leather.


What is the crystal made from?

A watch crystal is the first and only line of defense that protects its dial from the elements. Most commonly, the crystals are made from three different types of materials:

Resin Glass: also known as Plexiglass, Lucite, Acrylite® and Perplex®, "resin" is another word for acrylic. It is found in almost all sunglasses and some budget watches. Resin will not shatter or crack, but it has low scratch resistance, making it the least desirable crystal for a high-end wristwatch. It is frequently used for digital or outdoor watches because of its shatter-resistant quality. 

Mineral Glass: most commonly found in watches priced anywhere under $100, although some companies will charge upwards of $300 depending on their brand positioning. Mineral glass is ordinary glass that has been heat-treated or chemically treated to withstand scratches. While it is more scratch-resistant than resin glass, it is much weaker than the sapphire crystal. Mineral glass is known to crack or shatter upon impact under harsh temperatures. Dropping a watch made from mineral glass onto a sidewalk, for example, will likely damage it and give it an unsightly scar that is beyond repair.

The Executive Brown & Sapphire cased in a beautiful dual-coated dome sapphire crystal.

Sapphire Crystal: almost exclusively used in the luxury watch field. Sapphire is second only to diamonds in hardness, meaning only a diamond or another sapphire can scratch its surface. In addition to being highly scratch resistant, sapphire crystals have more ability to withstand cracks and breakage than the previous two materials. Furthermore, due to its crystal clarity, anti-reflective coatings can be added to both sides without any blurring of the crystal itself. 


What is the case made from?


316L Surgical grade stainless steel cases, pushers, crown, and buckle.

Unlike watch crystals, watch cases can be made from a variety of materials, ranging from platinum to plastic to paper. Our watches are crafted from 316L surgical-grade stainless steel. Here are some of the many benefits stainless steel has to offer:

- Stainless steel is known to be long-lasting and durable. It will not tarnish or rust and is scratch resistant. 316L grade stainless steel is particularly useful in acidic environments and can resist corrosion from sulfuric, hydrochloric, acetic, formic, and tartaric acids, as well as acid sulfates and alkaline chlorides.

- Stainless steel is hypoallergenic. The "surgical-grade" in its name means that this is the same type of material you would find in surgical instruments that doctors use. Due to its high corrosion resistance, you can also find 316L stainless steel in jet engine parts and submarines.

- Stainless steel is much more affordable and in many cases looks precisely like sterling silver. However, one benefit of stainless steel is that it is easy to clean. Many precious metals require jewelry cleaner, but with stainless steel, warm water is enough. 

What is the caliber?

The Citizen Miyota 6S11 movement powers our Executive collection.

In an earlier blog, we explained watch calibers, otherwise known as movements. In a sense, the movement is the heart of the watch, breathing life into it and pushing its hands forward. Without a good heart, a person cannot function properly; without a good movement, a watch will not be able to do its job.

The Japanese Citizen Miyota is regarded as one of the most reliable and accurate quartz movements in the world, which is why we have decided to build our watches with the Miyota. The 6S11 line from this brand, which powers our Executive line of watches, features 3 hands, a working chronograph timer, a date window, and 2 eyes (small dials).

The movement is the most critical component to a watch. That is because, without a reliable movement, a watch will not be able to tell the right time. Inconsistent or slower tick speeds can cause a watch to lose seconds to minutes within a day. Choosing a watch with a reliable movement is essential. Look for movements made in Japan, Switzerland, and Germany. Some of the more notable ones are Seiko (Japan), Miyota (Japan), and ETA (Swiss), Rhonda (Swiss), and Lange (German). 

Are there any production errors?

This one is self-explanatory. A well-made watch needs to have gone through stringent quality control inspections and material compliance testing, as well as scratch, pull, burn and waterproof tests. Here at MODASI, we conduct two rounds of quality control inspections every production cycle to make sure the watches are made to specification. They are then put through a series of compliance tests as well as quality tests. Lastly, each watch is hand inspected and carefully repackaged in-house before we send it out to our customers. That's 3 rounds of quality inspections before the product finally reaches our customers. 


We have only scratched the surface of what makes a good quality watch. From the movement to the materials, every component plays a significant part in how valuable a timepiece is, as well as how long it will last. When choosing a watch, remember that high price does not always mean good quality. Make sure you buy a watch that won't crack, scratch, fall apart or stop ticking in a week by using the guide above. Good luck with your venture and we hope you will grow to love watches as much as we do.

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