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Keeping and Repairing Time: Watches, Parts and Accessories

From office parties as a token of responsibility and authority, to the first and last nights of Hanukkah, to Christmas morning surrounded by lights and holly, to that jump start on New Year's resolutions, a watch makes a faultless gift during the holiday season, offering fashionable and useful style staples for anyone regardless of age, gender, or personal style. You might be presenting a young family member with their first timekeeper or offering a replacement for a lost and beloved accessory. 

These presents can be far more than simple timekeepers or statement pieces, and the many varieties in the listings on eBay make for an excellent place to start your search. Vintage gifts, for instance, offer a unique delight to collectors or historians. Used watches grant you the opportunity to obtain a much-coveted design, perhaps thought to be out of reach thanks to its rarity or usual price point. New models and designs, including smartwatches, offer classic, updated, and even totally futuristic features for the savvy wearer. 

What Types of Watches Are Available?

All you really need is to narrow your choices to individual preferences or needs, such as:

  • Digital or analog? Some prefer the utilitarian look of a digital face, while others may value the crystal type, the pins and dials, and the hand movement of the classic analog style. 
  • Sports and water-resistant watches. With moisture-wicking, active bands less likely to suffer damage or rust from active use, these options already come out ahead of the curve for fitness buffs and outdoorsy people. A water-resistant (or a diver's) watch can even survive submerging up to certain depths. 
  • Men's or women's watches. Some designers offer special models for men and women within the same collection. Women's watches tend to have thinner watch straps and smaller faces, perhaps with the occasional bit of luxury flare in comparison to men's, but not always. 
  • Vintage and antique watches. For the collector, a timepiece from a bygone era, especially a working one, is a joy to have and a point of pride. Many of these older pieces need a watch winder in order to work, which can be part of their charm. Some bill as self-winding. Check the details. 
  • Pocket watches. Unlike wristwatches, these circular devices, often with intricate engravings on their outsides, attach to a vest or coat pocket via a chain so there is little worry of it falling out and breaking. 

What Style Options Can I Consider? 

The style can mean everything from the face, to the watch movement, to the strap (measured in mm), and buckle material. A simple leather band in black or brown offer fairly neutral options for everyday outfits. A jewelry watch with a silver or gold strap (and hands) might better suit formal and work-related attire. Nylon bands tend to resist wear and tear for active wearers. Titanium and stainless steel watch straps tend to look very neutral for work wear and have a trendy look to them. Mechanical pieces that show the inner gear workings on the face look vintage and draw visual interest. 

What Brands Are Available?

With a holiday budget to consider, you can't miss the deals on new, used, and pre-owned timepieces eBay offers at multiple price points. While some luxury brands might seem unattainable, checking items in different conditions may yield fantastic results. Among multiple options, consider the following brands:

  • Classic and dependable. Try basic and affordable brands like Timex and Casio. 
  • Smartwatches. Try major brand offerings like iWatch, Apple Watch, Nike SportWatch, and the Samsung Gear line for devices that double as tiny personal computers and fitness trackers.
  • Designer on a dime. Some designer options at median prices include Invicta, Citizen, Seiko, Michael Kors, Movado, and TAG Heuer. 
  • The big leagues. Go for high brow watchmakers like Rolex and Omega for luxury timepieces. 

Repair and Maintenance

When a watch breaks or stops working, whether it is a faulty charger, an issue with the quartz watch movement, a broken spring bar, a hand that won't turn, or a dead battery, in most cases eBay's selection of part assortments and accessories can make the largest and most difficult step to a full recovery an instant success. Just remember that a replacement strap for one that has worn out can be simple and easy to apply by yourself, but for more technical fixes, you may want to speak to a professional. Having the parts on hand already can make the repair process much faster, though.

Keep your watches in good condition by keeping a working charger for your smartwatches, spare batteries, spare bands, and even a box, watch case, or pouch to keep your device free of dust when not in use.