How to identify a high quality watch

by Jacob Kearnes on November 15, 2020

How to identify a high-quality watch

Be careful not to get sucked into the ‘high price means high quality’ trap. It is important to note that when it comes to watches, many factors contribute to the resulting price point. The cost of manufacture and the number of middlemen handling the watch before it makes it to market are significant factors in determining retail cost. In addition, price is also influenced by the company’s brand positioning which signifies if a watch is budget, middle range, or luxury.

 What to look out for…

  1. Consider the material:
  • Most quality watches are made from stainless steel - This ensures that the watch will keep its colour and not be affected by perspiration or moisture
  • High quality watch brands use 316L stainless steel, as its purity level is much higher than other forms of stainless steel – This is often used in surgical equipment
  • Other great quality watches are made from titanium and ceramic as these materials are even more durable than stainless steel - However, these materials are much more expensive and will typically result in a much bigger price tag
  • Watches made from alloys derived from less durable metals, such as zinc, are prone to discolouration over time and are much cheaper to produce – These would be considered lower quality watches

So, what does Archer Benson Offer?

  • The Hilton Collection is made from high quality durable 316L stainless steel.


  1. The watch glass:
  • Most watches will have either mineral glass or sapphire crystal glass covering the dial.
  • Mineral glass is very cheap to produce and is likely to scratch easily - Dropping your watch or swiping it against a wall is likely to result in permanent, unsightly scratches
  • Sapphire crystal glass is more expensive to make and is scratch resistant - It has extremely high durability and ranks an incredible 9/10 in the Mohs scale of mineral hardness
  • Nearly all high end and luxury brands exclusively use sapphire crystal

 What Glass does Archer Benson use?

  • Archer Benson’s Hilton Collection utilises high-quality sapphire crystal glass to ensure durability, longevity and quality.


  1. The Movement:
  • The movement is essentially the engine of the watch - It provides power to the watch’s functions
  • There are two categories of watch movements, quartz movements and mechanical movements - Quartz watches are an extremely popular option due to their affordability, simplicity, and reliability. What's the difference? Check out our other article here to find out more!
  • It is important to have a reliable and highly accurate movement to ensure the quality of a watch - A poor quality watch with a bad movement will have inconsistent tick speeds, resulting in the watch ‘losing time’
  • Japanese, Swiss, and German watch movement makers are renowned as the best in the world - They lead the industry in innovation and supply movements to the majority of quality watch makers

What movement powers Archer Benson watches?

  • The Japanese Miyota quartz movement powers the Hilton Collection. This movement is considered extremely reliable and exceptionally accurate.


  1. What other important factors should you look out for?
  • Water resistance: Water resistance of at least 3ATM (30 meters) is ideal - Archer Benson’s Hilton Collection are water resistant for up to 5ATM (50 meters), allowing them to be safely used in low velocity water activities such as swimming
  • The weight: Unexpectedly light weight watches – This may mean that the watch maker has omitted some important materials or used poor quality substitutes
  • Fine details: Observable details are important; consider uneven brushing, if the watch has a brushed finish, or poor-quality leather – This can help to identify lower quality watches
  • Warranty: This is a watch makers guarantee – The length of the warranty can be a good indication of the watches quality. A warranty of at least 1-2 years is ideal for peace of mind



There are many things to consider when looking to purchase a quality timepiece… and price should not be the main factor that determines your decision. The overall quality of the watch should be your first consideration when exploring the market, and high-quality watches can be easily identified when you know what to look for.

Archer Benson has done hours of research, liaising with the world’s finest in watch development, to produce high quality affordable watches. Our aim is to take the hard work and high prices out of watch buying. Allowing us to create luxury timepieces, without the excessive mark-ups.
1 comment
by Bec Tickner on January 14, 2021

Thanks for the insight to what to look for when buying. An interesting and easy to understand dialogue made it enjoyable to learn more about watches.