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The most common type of watch is the wristwatch, worn on the wrist and fastened with a watchband made of leather, nylon or other plastics (then called strap), metal links (called bracelet) or even ceramic. Before the inexpensive miniaturization that became possible in the 20th century, most watches were pocket watches, which had covers and were carried separately, often in a pocket and attached to a watch chain or fob.

In the 21st century, technological advances in metallurgy, composite materials development and physical vapor deposition greatly influence watch design and manufacturing. Solid stainless steel, titanium, tungsten carbide, carbon fiber, high-tech ceramic and ion plating processes dominate a considerable market share of today's modern watch-making industry. Sapphire crystals are often incorporated to complement and enhance the durability of a quality watch.

Most inexpensive and medium-priced watches used mainly for timekeeping are electronic watches with quartz movements. The most accurate watches have radio-controlled movements that are miniaturized, portable versions of radio clocks. Expensive, collectible watches valued more for their workmanship and aesthetic appeal than for simple timekeeping, often have purely mechanical movements and are powered by springs, even though mechanical movements are less accurate than more affordable quartz movements.

A chronometer watch is a watch tested and certified to meet certain precision standards. In Switzerland, only timepieces certified by the COSC may use the word 'Chronometer' on them.

Water resistance
Watches may be crafted to become water resistant. These watches are sometimes called diving watches. The International Organization for Standardization issued a standard for water resistant watches which also prohibits the term "waterproof" to be used with watches, which many countries have adopted. Water resistance is achieved by the gaskets which form a watertight seal, used in conjunction with a sealant applied on the case to help keep water out. The material of the case must also be tested in order to pass as water resistant.

The watches are tested in still water, thus a watch with a 50 meter rating will be water resistant if it is stationary and under 50 meters of still water. For normal use, the ratings must then be translated from the pressure the watch can withstand to take into account the extra pressure generated by motion. Watches are classified by its degree of water resistance, which roughly translates to the following:

Water resistant - Will tolerate splashes of water or rain
50 meter - Usable while showering, bathing, dishwashing, and swimming in shallow water
100 meter - Usable while swimming, and snorkeling
150 meter - Usable during general water sports
200 meter - Usable during general water sports, including free diving
Diver's 150 meter - ISO standard for scuba diving

Some watches use bar instead of meters, which may then be multiplied by 10 to be approximately equal to the rating based on meters. Therefore, a 10 bar watch is equivalent to a 100 meter watch. Some watches are rated in atmospheres (atm), which are roughly equivalent to bar.

Kinetic power
Some watches are powered by the movement of the wearer of the watch. Kinetic powered quartz watches make use of the motion of the wearer's arm turning a rotating weight, which in turn, turns a generator to supply power. The concept is similar to that of self-winding spring movements, except that electrical power is generated instead of mechanical spring tension.

Breil Chronograph gents

Breil gents chronograph watch with quartz movement, silver dial, stainless steel case and bracelet with deployante clasp, water resistant to 100 meters

Oris Gents TT3 Black Dial with Titanium Bracelet

Oris gents TT3 automatic watch, black Arabic dial with day and date function, Titanium case with Titanium Bracelet, water resistant up to 100 metres

Rado Integral gents with black dial

Rado gents Integral watch, swiss quartz movement, black dial with ceramic link bracelet, scratch resistant sapphire crystal glass, water resistant to 30 meters.