The Expert Guide to Luxury Watch Functions and Features

A guide to special watch functions and features from Frost of London.

The world of luxury watches can be intimidating. With all the different features and functions available today, it can be hard to know where to start.

Most luxury watches regularly feature a plethora of “complications”. Complications are the name of any function on a watch besides telling the time. These functions make them incredibly useful for all kinds of activities. 

In this guide, we’ll explore some of the most common and exciting features and functions found on luxury watches so that you can make an informed decision when purchasing your next timepiece.

Find what you're looking for:

Types of Watch Movement

One of the most basic functions of a watch is the watch movement. Watch movements are the heart of any timepiece, and there are two main types to choose from: quartz and mechanical watches.

Quartz Watches

Quartz watches are prized for their accuracy and low maintenance needs. Unlike mechanical watches, which require regular winding and servicing, quartz watches keep time with the help of a battery. This means they can be left untouched for long periods without affecting their performance.

They also tend to be more accurate than mechanical watches, as they are not subject to the same degree of wear and tear. As a result, quartz watches are often the preferred choice for those who value precision. In addition, quartz watches come in a wide range of styles, from simple and understated to elaborate and luxurious. 

Mechanical Watches

Mechanical watches use a complex system of gears and springs to keep time, and each movement is unique. Mechanical watches are split into two categories: automatic and manual. 

Automatic watches are powered by the movement of the wearer’s body; they have a weight inside that winds the mainspring as it moves. Automatic watches are often less expensive than quartz watches, but they require more maintenance and are sometimes not as accurate.

Manual watches must be wound by hand; they have a dial on the side of the watch that is turned to wind the mainspring. Manual watches are often the most affordable type, but they require more maintenance and are not as accurate as quartz or automatic watches.

Luxury Chronograph Watches

franck Muller King

Chronograph watches feature extra dials on the watch face that can be used in conjunction with the pusher functions — the buttons chronograph watches have next to the crown — to accurately time events in seconds and minutes. These dials are separate from the main watch face, allowing the wearer to track time without focusing on the central watch hands, which would otherwise make timing events tricky.

The chronograph function acts like a stopwatch, making these watches useful for all kinds of sports and many other day-to-day activities. Chronograph watches have been manufactured for centuries and remain a popular choice of watch for anyone looking to get extra functionality and added aesthetic in their timepiece.

Explore our range of luxury chronograph watches. 

Luxury Watch Bezels


Luxury watches often feature additional details in the bezel — the ring that surrounds the watch face. These details give the watch wearer additional functionalities without crowding the watch face itself, which can sometimes make telling the time more complicated. 

Bezels usually have one or more of these features: 


Tachymeters can be used to track an object's speed by accurately measuring the time it takes it to travel a given distance — an ideal feature for fans of motorsports or aviation. Numbers on the watch bezel indicate the speed in miles per hour, starting with 400mph at the 2 o'clock position and ending with 60mph at 12 o'clock. 

To use a tachymeter, the wearer will need to track how long it takes a car, motorbike or plane to travel one mile by monitoring the watch's second hand. For example, if one mile is travelled in 30 seconds, it can be assumed that the object is travelling at 120mph.


Compasses make a popular addition to watch bezels, allowing the wearer to rotate the bezel in conjunction with the watch's hour hand to orientate themselves. This is an ideal feature for boatmen, hikers, adventurers and explorers alike. 

GMT Bezel

GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) watch bezels can help the wearer track time in different time zones. The Blaken Rolex GMT Master II 40 features a 24-hour wheel on the bezel that can be rotated to account for time differences across the globe, making it a perfect addition for avid travellers.


This type of bezel is typically found on higher-end watches and is used to measure heart rate. The bezel is usually metal, with markings corresponding to different heart rate zones. 

To use the bezel, simply align the markings with the seconds hand on the watch face and count the number of beats in 30 seconds. This information can then be used to help optimise training and monitor fitness levels. 

While pulsometer watch bezels are most commonly found on sports watches, they are also becoming increasingly popular among fashion-savvy consumers who appreciate the added functionality.

Water Resistance for Luxury Watches

franck muller skafander

Water resistance is a highly useful feature in many contemporary designer sports and diving watches. The greater the level of water resistance the watch features, the more resistant to liquids the timepiece will be. As you can see in the example above from the Franck Muller Skafander collection, the water resistance is clearly displayed on the watch's face. 

The chart below will help you establish how water-resistant a given watch is for different activities.


Water-Resistance (Metres)

Water-Resistance (Pressure/Bar)

Rain or accidental splashes

30 only





Snorkelling or Water Sports



Scuba Diving



Deep-Sea Diving




It's important to note that water-resistant seals will degrade over time, especially if your watch is frequently exposed to water. It's advisable to get your waterproof watch resealed when serviced to maintain its water-resistant qualities. 

Explore our collection of water-resistant watches.

Multi-Time Zone Watches

franck muller vanguard

Multi-time zone watches are helpful for anyone who frequently travels between countries in different time zones. These kinds of watches are also ideal for business people who need to keep track of time for their international clients, allowing them to effortlessly keep on top of deadlines for their clients operating abroad. 

This watch allows the wearer to tell the time in two or more time zones using additional hands on the watch's face. These hands can be set to indicate the time at any given moment across the globe. Brands such as Cvstos are master artisans of multi-time zone watches and are available to purchase from our online boutique or in-store.

Discover our complete collection of multi-time zone watches.

 Designer Skeleton Watches

Franck Muller Geneve

Skeleton watches are some of the most intricately designed and expertly crafted watches available. The minute detailing allows you to see your timepiece's inner workings and mechanics, creating a unique, eye-catching aesthetic. There are few better examples of this than the example above from the Franck Muller Round Collection

World-renowned designers like Cvstos and Franck Muller specialise in creating luxury skeleton watches, all of which are available from Frost of London.

Explore our range of skeleton watches from top designers. 

Luxury Date and Time Watches

Rolex Submariner

Date and time watches can vary significantly in complexity, but in essence, they all tell the date and time. Some designs feature many complications, featuring a multi-time zone tracker around the watch face and a perpetual calendar function. This unique complication can track the exact date for up to 100 years, even factoring in leap years. 

Other luxury date watches, like the Blaken Rolex Submariner Date 40 timepiece, remain relatively simple yet highly sophisticated while offering the wearer added functionality.

Find the perfect date and time watch in our collection.

Luxury Tourbillon Watches

Franck Muller Grand Central tourbillon watch

Tourbillon watches are the pinnacle of luxury watchmaking. These timepieces feature a complex movement with a rotating cage containing the escapement and balance wheel. This design helps cancel out gravity's effects on the watch's accuracy. As a result, tourbillon watches are highly accurate and prized by collectors and watch enthusiasts.

In addition to their exceptional accuracy, tourbillon watches boast exquisite craftsmanship and intricate detailing.

As you can see from the Franck Muller Grand Central tourbillon watch above from the Cintree Curvex X collection, these timepieces are truly works of art, and their prices reflect their rarity and quality.

Discover our collection of luxury tourbillon watches.

Other Luxury Watch Functions and Features

Crazy Hours

Franck Muller Geneve - Crazy Hour

Franck Muller's Crazy Hours watches are some of the most unique and unforgettable timepieces on the market. Part of the Cintree Curvex Collection, the iconic design features a randomly assorted array of numbers on the dial, making it an authentic one-of-a-kind watch. 

But while the watches may look like something from Alice in Wonderland, the Crazy Hours watches are also highly accurate and reliable timekeepers.

Explore the Crazy Hours collection. 


backes and strauss moonphase

The moonphase watch function is one of the most popular complications among watch enthusiasts. And it's not hard to see why. Moonphase watches are not only beautiful, but they're also a reminder of the natural cycles that govern our lives. Like the tides, the moon's phases have a powerful impact on our planet. And while we may not always be aware of it, the moon plays a vital role in our day-to-day lives.

The moonphase watch function is a way of keeping track of these cycles and remaining attuned to their ebbs and flows. For some, this may simply be a matter of aesthetics. But for others, it's a way of connecting with something larger than themselves and gaining a greater understanding of the world around them.

Explore our collection of moonphase watches. 


backes & Strauss Time Only

While we've covered a wide range of complications in this guide, time-only watches are still a popular choice. Time-only watches are one of the simplest watch types but also some of the most elegant. A time-only watch tells the time and nothing else. There are no complications or extra features — just a beautifully designed face that displays the time clearly and concisely.

This simplicity is what makes time-only watches so special. They are the perfect choice for those who want a classic, sophisticated watch that will never go out of style. Time-only watches can be dressy or casual, depending on the design, and they can be worn with any outfit.

Explore our collection of time-only watches. 

Find Your Favourite Luxury Watch Brands at Frost of London

At Frost of London, we understand that a luxury watch is more than just an accessory. It's an expression of your style and should be treated as a work of art. That's why we carry only the finest watch brands worldwide. 

Whether you're looking for a classic timepiece or something more modern, we have something to suit every taste. And because we know that price is often a consideration when purchasing a luxury watch, we offer competitive rates on all our brands.

Looking for a new luxury timepiece? Explore Frost of London's extensive collection of luxury watches from some of the world's most revered watchmakers.


Blog updated 09/25/2022