Watch Buyer's Guide
What can a watch do for you? - is reading the time important? Are you buying for functions to help you, or for something that speaks to others about you? Looking to impress your friends, then a well known luxury brand is probably required. A bit more sophisticated, then perhaps a boutique brand with an individual style to reflect your own persona? Are you buying a watch that reminds you of an era gone by, or have you reached a stage or milestone in life that you feel like rewarding yourself with something just a little more special? Answering some of these questions will help understand the reasons you want a watch in the first place.
Price range - know your budget. Buying a single watch will rarely satisfy many of the requirements you may have for a timepiece. Our lives take place in many different situations. If you want a watch for work to go with more formal wear, it usually won’t be ideal for outdoor pursuits, or if you have kids and want to play with them, then an expensive watch may not make sense. The point is that often people have different watches at different prices to suit different uses in their life. So establish what you want to spend for which occasion.
What's inside – for the ultimate in practicality, then a solar powered watch is for you. Good time accuracy and very little maintenance is ideal. If you like to possess items of engineering excellence and inner beauty then an automatic or mechanical wind-up watch would be better. Mechanicals are a statement and speak volumes about an individuals’ character. They are generally higher in cost and can require more maintenance, but have an authenticity and worth like no other watch can.
Looking after it - Surprising to many, the higher the cost of purchase can mean higher costs of maintenance. Expensive engineering masterpieces with added complications can make for a delicate watch. It’s not a given that the more you spend the more reliable the watch will be. The more luxury the brand you opt for, the more the brand will control the supply of spares and hence the costs if they go wrong.
Size matters - The physical size of a watch is entirely a personal choice, but fashions in size do exist and seem to fluctuate between small and large over the years. If you aren't used to wearing a watch then slipping on a large timepiece can feel very cumbersome. It takes a while but it’s amazing what you get used to. Current trends seem to be split between very large bulky men's, and for the women, oversized but slim cases with extra narrow bracelets. If you're the more outdoor type then a larger sportier watch may be better as the case is normally thicker and more robust to protect the movement inside.
Water and watches don't mix - Watch brands go to great lengths to keep water out. So much so that the water resistance of the watch is often used as a measure of watch quality, especially with sports models. With this comes the inevitable added costs though. Whatever the water resistance capabilities are when you buy the watch, they can degrade over the years to come. If you plan to use it in water for swimming, pay the extra to get batteries and servicing done with a sealing test. For a mid to higher end watch it’s false economy not to!