A watch is more than a timepiece that helps you to keep time. That’s what smartphones are for. A watch is an important accessory that can help you make a major style statement.
But not all watches are made equal. If you’re in the market for a new watch, it’s important that you know what to look for. To help you along, we’ve put together the ultimate men’s watch buying guide.
Guide to buying a Men’s Watch
While only a few watches existed in the past, there is a plethora of watch styles to choose from nowadays. You’ve got sports watches, aviator watches, luxury watches, smart watches, field watches, dress watches and everything in between.
All this variety can be very confusing. To help narrow down your choices, think about your lifestyle. If you’re the rugged type that does a lot of outdoor activity, then you’ll need a tough Sports Watch that’s made to withstand the elements.
But, if you’re a student that’s going on their first work interview, you should stick to something simple yet elegant like this Chronograph Stainless Steel Watch With Mesh Strap.
Think about the specific features you need from your watch. Do you need a water resistant watch? Does it need to have a pressure release valve? Do you need an alarm?
Perhaps you’re a frequent traveller and need a watch that can switch time zones. Writing the specific features you need in a watch will narrow down your options significantly, thus making it easier to find your ideal watch.
New or Used
The great thing about buying a new watch is that you’ll be the first to use it. It’s also warranty protected and you won’t have to worry about any wear and tear issues. But, a new watch is expensive because it’s coming right out of the shop.
You may decide to buy a used watch to keep costs down but this comes with a lot of ramifications. Most likely it has gone through a few owners and is a few decades old. It will probably come with a few issues as well, like a mechanical malfunction or a missing component. That’s why you need to take your time when buying a used watch, do your research on the seller and make sure that you’re getting a good deal.
Investment or Personal Watch
There are people who purchase watches as an investment. That’s because you can buy a sought-after limited edition watch and then flip it on the market later at a higher price. This requires a very mechanical thought process and you’ll have to look for very specific features.
Buying a watch for personal reasons means that you can allow a bit of emotion into the buying process. You’re also most likely spend a little more on a personal watch because you’re going to enjoy it for a long time.
You have to figure out how much complexity you can handle in a watch. Too many features in one watch can complicate your life if you’re not into it.
For example, a chronograph watch comes with complex features like moon phases, perpetual calendars and others that make a watch very confusing to use. Make sure that you can handle the complexity that comes with certain watches before you make a final decision.
It’s easy to overspend on a watch, especially if you don’t set your budget beforehand. Keep in mind that watches are available at different price points to suit different budgets. You can find great watches for under $100, while some models can cost upwards of $100, 000.
Luxury watches usually cost between $1000 to $10, 000. Most watches in this category are produced by a quality manufacturer and designed with a precious metal. Watches over $10, 000 price range are ultra-high-end and feature a specialized design.
Most of them have precious stones like diamonds or rubies. They’re usually limited editions as well which means they’re rare and accrue in value over time.
The weight of your watch will largely depend on the way it’s made. Most high-quality performance watches are lightweight even though they have a lot of features. This is so they don’t weigh you down when you’re hiking or climbing outdoors.
Luxury watches tend to be very heavy because they’re made with precious metals and stones. It’s a good sign when a gold or platinum watch weighs a ton because it means you bought the real thing.
The brand that you buy your watch from has a huge impact on the type of watch you end up with. Some brands have been around for centuries. This means they have a reputation to protect and thus put a lot of thought into their work.
There are also newer brands that have an important story to tell or whose values you may identify with. Next, you need to consider a brand’s quality control. Some brands have stricter quality control measures while others treat it only as an afterthought. As a result, the former tend to produce better quality and longer lasting watches than the latter.
Buying your watch directly from the manufacturer or an authorized dealer means that you’ll pay a higher price. But they also come with the benefit of a warranty.
On the other hand, you’ve got the gray market which consists of vendors like Amazon and eBay. The benefit of buying your watch from the gray market is that you’ll get it at a more reasonable price. On the downside, buying a watch from a dealer means that you’ll have to access your warranty through them and instead of the manufacturer.
Watches are available in a wide variety of materials. There are steel watches that feature a bit of leather. But, you have to be careful of the type of leather and steel that’s used because there are different grades of it available.
There are also white gold watches that are made from a combination of gold and steel. Certain manufacturers use certain types of gold or platinum that is unique and exclusive to them.
You also have to consider the different types of glass that watch manufacturers use. Sapphire crystal glass is one of the best and watches made from it have anti-reflecting coating. This helps to keep out the sun’s glare so that it’s easier to view your watch when you’re outdoors.
Pay attention to how many clasps your watch has. Most high-end models come with a dual or triple clasp which makes it easier to put them on and take them off. But, it’s still fine if your watch has a single clasp especially if it’s a small entry-level item. There should also be screws on the links of the bracelet as that’s a sign of good quality craftsmanship.