The Appeal of ‘Real Watches’

Who would have thought that so much watch news of the early 21st century would concern not quartz modules, alternative energy sources, or digitals, but rather good old-fashioned mechanical watches? That's what's been happening recently, and the growing popularity of mechanical watches was evident at 2004's Swiss watch fairs in Basel and Geneva. Consider the following: Mechanical watches for women are an active category. More fashion and mid-priced watchmakers are adding mechanical timepieces. More timepieces feature once-arcane complications—such as tourbillons, flybacks, regulators, and retrogrades—in addition to more common ones like perpetual calendars and moon phases. And more mechanical watches are intended not only for enthusiasts or collectors but also for an increasingly watch-savvy public, including working women. Limited-edition timepieces also are booming. It's almost

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