Everything You Need To Know About Luxury Watch Features | The Watch Hut
Bluetooth, heart-rate monitors, activity trackers, and GPS are just some of the features that are becoming more commonplace in the world of watches.
To help make your quest to find the perfect luxury watch easier, we run through some of the features you can expect to find, whether you opt for a Bond-worthy sports watch, a feature packed, smart watch, or a specialist diver's timepiece.
Chronograph: Measure your time
Men's Maurice Lacroix Pontos automatic chronograph (£2,730)
A chronograph is essentially a sophisticated version of a stopwatch, and is used to accurately record speed right down to the millisecond.
This men's watch from Maurice Lacroix features a ML112 automatic chronograph calibre, based on the Valjoux 7750 movement, which guarantees refined reliability and accuracy. The stop/start button used to activate the feature on this piece is hinged to protect the crown, unlike most chronographs which utilise traditional pushers.
As with many luxury sports watches, this model features scratch-resistant sapphire glass, both on the front and the back.
Tachymeter: Measure average speed
Men's Raymond Weil Nabucco Rivoluzione II Aautomatic Chronograph (£3,995)
Another popular sports watch feature is the tachymeter, which is used to measure average speed or distance travelled. While many smart watches utilise a digital version, most classic sports watches still use marks on a bezel (usually found round the rim of the watch) against the second hand for measurements.
The Raymond Weil Nabucco Rivoluzione II automatic chronograph features a stylish black ceramic tachymeter bezel, marked with grey numbers. It's super-precise, thanks to the meticulous Swiss craftmanship you'd expect from the brand.
GPS: Track your route and measure speed
Men's Casio Oceanus Hybrid Alarm Watch (£2,100)
GPS uses satellite signals to pinpoint your exact location, wherever you are in the world. This is handy for tracking your route and measuring the time it takes you to get from A to B.
Casio's Oceanus goes one step further with its very own GPS Hybrid Wave Ceptor, which blends traditional GPS satellite technology with terrestrial time-calibration signal reception for the most accurate recordings. The watch automatically adjusts to your current time-zone too, making it the perfect wrist accessory for jet-setters.
Diving watch features
A serious diver needs a seriously good diver's watch, and the features available vary from model to model. The most basic of diver's watches feature water resistance of at least 200m, however the Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Titanium chronograph boasts so much more.
Able to withstand depths of up to 600m, this watch has 21 gas tubes on the hands and markers which provide remarkable low light visibility with no need to be recharged. The case has a patented helium release valve, located in the crown, which protects the watch from being damaged during saturation diving.
It's sapphire crystal screen is coated with anti-reflective material to ensure optimum visibility in any light, and the titanium casing guarantees its robustness.
Activity tracker: Count steps, sleep, calories and more
In case you haven't already noticed, activity trackers are a big deal right now and we're seeing more innovation in their design and features than ever before. The Polar A300 is a fine example of a feature-packed smart watch that will satisfy the most discerning of fitness fanatics.
This digital timepiece is like having a miniature computer strapped to your wrist, able to count every step you make, how many calories you've burned, and monitor your sleep quality. Over time, as the watch becomes accustomed to your actions, it will also measure your aerobic fitness at rest and evaluate your maximal oxygen intake.
When synced with the Polar app on your smartphone, you can easily view data more comprehensively, allowing you to assess your performance and adjust accordingly in line with your fitness goals. Smart notifications allow you to see incoming texts, calls, and social media updates, so you'll never miss a beat, even while working out.
Voice control: Let's talk
With iPhone's Siri and Amazon's Alexa more popular than ever, it comes as no surprise that some smart watches now feature voice interaction. One such watch is the stylish Guess Connect, which is compatible with iOS and Android, and able to use Siri or Google Now.
If your phone runs out of battery, you can still receive text messages on the LED display and ask your watch to send your reply simply by speaking into it. With a 3-5 day battery life and a distinctively designer look, this is one serious piece of kit.
Bluetooth: Stay connected
Men's Alpina men's horological smartwatch (£1,030)
Bluetooth technology is integrated into most modern smart watches, allowing you to connect your watch to your smartphone. This can be useful for receiving social media updates, calls, texts, and emails, as well as accessing the app linked to your watch.
This beautiful horological timepiece from Alpina looks more like a sports watch than a smartwatch. It houses powerful Bluetooth technology which can be used to unlock a host of activity tracking features on your phone, including calories burned, distance travelled, sleep tracking, and sleep cycles.
Compass: Get your bearings
Ladies' Suunto ladies' essential altimeter barometer compass watch (£585)
Whether you're summitting the highest peaks or jogging through your local forest, a compass is an essential feature for anyone who loves the great outdoors.
The ladies' Suunto Essential Gold is handmade in Finland, and comes with a built-in digital compass, making it the perfect navigation tool when embarking on an orienteering adventure.
Barometer: Get a weather warning
Used to measure atmospheric pressure and able to forecast short term changes in the weather, a barometer is another stable feature for explorers, mountaineers, and hikers. This men's Casio G-Shock Premium Gulfmaster features a sophisticated barometer, which alerts the wearer to any sudden changed in barometric pressure via a dial hand, digital display, and alarm.
Designed to resemble ocean-going vessel instrumentation, it also boasts Casio's radio-controlled Wave Ceptor feature, which ensures the most precise readings and timings, no matter where you are in the world.
Heart rate monitor: Listen to your heart
When it comes to your fitness regime, a heart rate monitor is a fantastic feature for tracking progress, and can let you know when it's time to push a bit harder or reign it back in. There are some great wrist-based heart rate monitors around today, including the unisex Garmin Vivosmart.
As well as measuring heart rate 24/7, this nifty little smartwatch alerts you about calls, texts, and social notifications, and shows all fitness-related stats on its digital display.
When it comes to finding a luxury watch packed with awe-inspiring special features that enhance performance, we've never been more spoilt for choice. Browse the entire collection at The Watch Hut for further inspiration.