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Frequently Asked Question

What are Sapphire Crystals?

Strictly speaking Sapphire crystals aren’t really Sapphire. The correct name for the material is corundum. Sapphire is used to describe the blue variety corundum, while ruby is used for the red variety.) A Sapphire crystal is a lab grown crystal that has the same properties as a Sapphire; which rate a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Diamonds which are the hardest substance on earth rate a 10. This crystal is then cut and polished and placed as the lens of the watch to protect the hands and dial. Sapphire crystals, which are often coated with an anti-reflective substance, are the hardest lens used on watches and are very difficult to scratch. The time consuming and labor intensive process used to create and finish these crystals to exacting standards add to the rarity and value of a watch with a sapphire crystal.

What is an Automatic movement?

Movements are the motors which make a watch tick. An automatic movement is a type of mechanical movement that runs off the energy created by moving the watch. Mechanical movements are hand assembled and only a master watch maker has the fine honed skills to assemble them properly. An automatic movement has a perfectly balanced rotor in the back of the watch, and as the watch is moved the rotor turns which winds a spring which in turn powers the motor which keep the hands moving accurately. If the watch is not moved the spring will not be wound and the motor will stop. When the movement is fully powered the watch should keep accurate time for 36-48 Hours. Once the watch stops reset the time and either shake the watch or wind the stem. To fully power your watch wind the crown 20-30 times. As every person’s activity level is different a movement is assembled to benefit the average person. If your watch is not keeping accurate time (whether it is going to fast or to slow) you may need a professional watch maker to adjust the movement to your wrist. At Croton we offer a limited lifetime warranty on your watch so you never have to worry about adjustment charges. Because years of learning and training are required, master watch makers are a rare breed, and therefore mechanical movements are generally found in better watches. This adds to the rarity and value of your fine timepiece.

Automatic Vs. Quartz Movement?

A movement is the motor which runs the watch. Automatic movements are a type of mechanical movement. Quartz movements run off the power of a battery. Automatic movements are powered by the movement of ones wrist which wind a spring which powers the hands to keep accurate time. Quartz movements are more accurate then Automatics. They are accurate to within 30 seconds a year. Automatic movements are accurate to plus or minus 10 seconds a day. Because a quartz movement works off the power of a battery when the battery dies it must be replaced. A battery should last between 1-1/2 to 2 years (depending on the complications, including day, date, chronograph etc.) Croton recommends that you do not leave a dead battery inside a watch as it will corrode (eat away) the movement. Automatics do not require batteries. Most collectors seek only timepieces with mechanical movements to be part of their collections.

Who is ETA?

ETA is the largest of the 3 major movement manufacturers in Switzerland, making all types of movements, including quartz and mechanical. ETA makes 85% of the movements found in fine Swiss watches including such brands as Omega, Longines and Croton. ETA has a number of specialty movements which are made available only to the select few on their approved list of watch manufacturers. Croton is an ETA approved watch manufacturer and therefore we are able to offer these movements in the fine horological masterpieces that we create. The other two major Swiss movement manufacturers are Rhonda and ISA. All three companies manufacture high quality, Swiss made movements.

How does a screw down crown work?

A screw down crown helps protect your watch from moisture and dust. While wearing the watch, the crown should always be left in the locked position. Release the crown by turning counter counter-clockwise (down toward the 6 O’clock position). You will then be able to extend the stem in order to set the time, date, day, etc. When finished setting the timepiece, lock the crown back in place. Make certain that the stem is pushed all the way in, then apply light pressure and turn clockwise (up toward the 12 O’clock position) until the crown tightens into place.

What is a chronograph?

A chronograph is a stopwatch. Depending upon the particular chronograph movement, a watch can time from 1/20th of second increments, up to 24 hours, although most chronographs time in one second increments. The majority of chronograph movements is quartz and therefore run on a battery. Because of the difficulty in making mechanical chronograph complications, the movements are hard to come by and are therefore very valuable.

How do I set the time?

To set the time, gently pull out the stem all the way. Do not over extend the stem. Turn to set and then push stem in all the way.

How do I set the Date?

To set the date, gently pull out the stem half way. Turn the stem clockwise (up toward the 12 O’clock position) until you get to the desired date. You can only go up in date not down. After you have reached the desired date push the stem in all the way.

How do I set the Day?

To set the day, gently pull out the stem half way. Turn the stem counter-clockwise (down toward the 6 O’clock position) until you get to the desired day. You can only go up in days not down. After you have reached the desired day push the stem in all the way.

What type of warranty does Croton have?

Your Croton timepiece is warranted for lifetime against failures due to defective materials or workmanship. Should a defect occur it will be repaired free of charge (plus a $19.95 Shipping and Handling fee) within a reasonable period of time from the date of its receipt at our factory service center. This warranty does not cover free repair or replacement of batteries, cases, watch bands, straps, dials, crowns, or crystals within the warranty period since such items are subject to “wear and tear” of daily use.

What if I need my watch sized? additional links?

You may take take your watch to any professional jeweler to be sized. If you desire you may send it back to our company repair facility. Additional links are available on certain models only. For links, their is an additional charge. Their is also a shipping charge of $4.95 for shipping parts. There is a nominal charge for new straps. For gold watches, there is a charge for additional links based on the price of gold. We can send the links to you to take to any professional jeweler or you can send us your watch and we will add on the links free of charge. (There is a $10 shipping and handling fee on all returned watches).

Can I get a diamond bezel?

Diamond bezels are available for certain models. It generally takes 6-8 weeks for the bezel to be made. Pricing is based on the price of gold and diamonds. Please call for an estimate.

What is so special about Crocodile leather?

Crocodiles are farmed for their exotic meat as well as their beautiful leather. Crocodiles roamed the earth with dinosaurs many millions of years ago. They have had an enormous influence on many cultures throughout history. In ancient times crocodiles were worshipped as gods of power, protection, fertility and wealth. Today, crocodile leather has become synonymous with luxury and elegance and is an enduring symbol of success.

What is so special about Ostrich leather?

Ostrich leather is one of the most durable and soft leathers available in the world today. Ownership of genuine ostrich leather products is a must to the person with discriminating taste, who recognizes and admires the distinguished look of the naturally occurring quill textures.

What is so special about Stingray leather?

Stingray is a delicacy in the diet of those who live in the Far East. Sought after for millennia, Stingray has had many uses. In ancient times, only the elite Japanese warriors, and Samurai used Stingray leather for the handles of their swords. The natural non-slip texture of the Stingray along with its flame retardant properties makes Stingray leather one of the most difficult leathers with which to work. Today Stingray is prized for its beauty and texture. Every Stingray has a unique identifier diamond shape mark on its back like a fingerprint so no two are alike

Aren’t Crocodiles, Ostriches and Stingrays endangered?

There is an INTERNATIONAL agreement known as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) which protects endangered species. The US is a founding member of CITES and therefore the US fish and wildlife services monitors and controls importation of such wildlife. All animal products being brought in to the United States must be filed with U.S. Fish and Wildlife services. A special license is needed to import and export these products. Most Crocodile species are no longer endangered and therefore some wild hunting is permitted. However, most crocodile meat and hide is farmed. Ostriches are not endangered but are also farmed for their unique meat, feathers and hides. Stingrays are not endangered and are a common food in the Far East diet.

What does Water Resistant mean?

Water resistance of watches is rated based on laboratory pressure tests based on a static position. But many water-based activities involve a lot of movement and other environmental changes. These exceptions to how a watch was rated may challenge or defeat the water protection features of a water resistant watch. In particular, the water resistance rating of a watch does not take in to account sudden, rapid, and repeated water pressure changes, high water temperatures, and sudden changes of temperature.

Can I shower or bathe with my watch?

Taking a shower or bath with your watch is not a good idea. There are a number of things that can affect the water resistance of the watch. Steam can get through a rubber gasket and at times causes condensation on the crystal. Steam is water and therefore can rust a metal movement. A drastic change in temperature between the inside and outside of your shower can also affect the watch. In addition to the hot water issues regarding water resistance, most people do not realize that bath soap is a fine level abrasive. Soap can build up in the small precision joints of the watch bracelet links and over time can wear down the link joints and ruin the bracelet. This is a more serious issue with softer metals, such as gold. But steel can also be worn down this way.

What is the difference between the terms “waterproof” and “water-resistant?”

The Federal Trade Commission in the U.S. discontinued the term "waterproof in the late 1960's. This change was brought about by several government organizations, who were investigating truthfulness and accuracy of product labeling and advertising. "Waterproof" was considered to have misrepresented the products as more capable of preventing the entry of water under normal use circumstances than they were actually capable of. The term "water resistant" is now used to describe such watches. There are no technical differences between a waterproof watch and a water resistant watch. They use the exact same methods and technologies to keep water out. The difference is only in what term was considered appropriate to describe it at the time it was made.

What does a Helium release (or relief) valve do?

The purpose and function of the helium relief valve is a common point of confusion. It has nothing to do with normal underwater diving. Helium does NOT seep into the watch while the watch is in water at any depth. At approximately 250 feet, air becomes toxic due to changes caused by the high pressures at such depths. Special types of ocean exploration vessels are used by those who do very deep sea research. In some of these, a highly helium-saturated atmosphere is used to avoid the air toxicity effect. The purpose of a helium release valve is for people who wear their watch inside the helium-saturated environment for an extended period. Because helium is the smallest atom, it will seep through the watch's seals under the high air (not water) pressures in this environment. If the watch stays in this environment for an extended time, helium will continue to seep in to the watch until the air pressure inside the watch (initially surface air pressure) equalizes to the air pressure in the environment. This becomes a problem when the vessel is brought back up and depressurized. The helium which seeped into the watch over a couple of days cannot seep out any faster. The excess pressure inside the watch needs a way to release faster than it seeped in. It is only in this situation that a watch needs a helium relief valve at all. If a relief valve was not on the watch, the excess pressure would likely escape by pushing the crystal out.

What is a Chronometer?

A chronometer is a watch whose movement has been certified by the Controle Officiel Suisse des Chronometeres (COSC). The term chronometer came in to use to describe timepieces accurate enough for ship navigation. In 1973 COSC came in to existence as the official testing and certification control board. The COSC measures the movement’s accuracy over a few days at various temperatures and positions. The COSC certifies both Mechanical and Quartz movements however, since quartz movements are inherently very accurate and have little or no variation based on temperature or position most watchmakers do not go through the expense to certify quartz watches. A few things to note is that some watch companies have more stringent tests done then the COSC provides and therefore they do not go through the expense of testing their movements. The COSC certificate does not certify future accuracy. A mechanical movement’s accuracy can change over time based on the conditions of its environment.

What is a “Certified Chronometer”?

The term Chronometer means that the movement is certified by the Controle Officiel Suisse des Chronometeres (COSC). Therefore a “Certified Chronometer” is a superfluous repetitive and redundant statement that repeats itself.

What is the Mohs scale of hardness?

In 1812 the Mohs scale of mineral hardness was devised by the German mineralogist Frederich Mohs (1773-1839), who selected the ten minerals because they were common or readily available. The scale is not a linear scale, but somewhat exponential.

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