Selecting a watch that you or someone else will use and enjoy for many years to come can be a fun and easy process with a little bit of knowledge. If you’re not sure what kind of watch to buy and what kind of functions it should have, consider the following.
Choosing Your Style
More than just something you wrap around your wrist to help keep you punctual, a watch can help punctuate your personal style, as well. The first thing to ask yourself is, when and how will I be wearing this watch? In the end, a watch is a reflection of you and your lifestyle, just like the clothes you wear or the car you drive.
The watch that you select should be appropriate for the activities for which you intend to use it. If your primary purpose is athletic, you might consider watches that are shock-proof. If you will be using the watch for work and play, do you need water-resistance, and if so, to what degree? If you will be using the watch for swimming and diving, you might want to consider a watch that has a screw-down crown or a plastic strap.
You’ll also want to consider how much you want to spend on a timepiece. The $50 to $200 range brings durability as well as accuracy and stylistic flourishes. You’ll find some models sporting chronographs and other multifunction complications, as well as some with gold-plated stainless steel cases and bracelets. In the $200 to $500 range, style gets ramped up, often with more sophisticated movements, diamond accents, or solid gold cases and bracelets.
When shopping for a timepiece, whatever the price or style, the brand name can play an important part in determining the right watch for you. Brand choice can be very subjective and will vary from person to person. Ultimately, it comes down to how you perceive a brand and what it represents, as well as what speaks to your sensibilities – high style or horological history, modern or traditional, collectible or affordable.
Choose a casual watch that fits your personality and lifestyle. Think about the colors you wear the most and try to match them to the watch.
The watch face should be comfortable and easy to read. Look for watch features such as a seconds hand or date window that are useful to you.
Choose a comfortable band material. Keep in mind that leather is typically lighter weight with a closer fit, but is not water-resistant. A metal bracelet is usually heavier, water-resistant, and more durable. A rubber band typically has a casual look and is water-resistant.
See casual watches from Kenneth Cole, Nautica, Swiss Legend, Tommy Hilfiger, and more.
Think thin if you want the watch to fit under your sleeves, or think bigger if you want to stand out. Both men and women can add diamond or gemstone accents for formal occasions. Metal bracelet bands are usually preferable, but fine leather shouldn’t be overlooked.
Look for a sport watch that is easy to read, such as a digital watch. The case of the watch is typically larger to house the timer, alarm, and other features found in sport watches. Choose a water-resistance level appropriate for your needs. For instance, scuba divers should look for a minimum rating of 200 meters. On analog watches, look for a rotating bezel to aid in timing specific events. For serious runners and bikers, a digital watch provides a wider range of timing features. Watch band material should be based on personal preference and type of sport. The most popular material for sport watches is plastic or rubber.
If you’re in the market for a fashion watch, the rules go out the window. A great way to update your look or accentuate an outfit, fashion watches can be a rather personal choice. Look for a watch that speaks to your artistic sensibilities, or can be thought of as an extension of your personality. Today, oversized and chunky watch cases are in, with some men’s watches measuring well over 50 millimeters (2 inches) wide. To try out a new trend, try playing with your accessories. Not everyone can wear the hottest color in clothing, but everyone can wear it in a watch. Don’t be afraid to try different styles and colors in your watches. Now is the time to be fashionable.
With high-end luxury watches from Cartier, Omega, Movado, and TAG Heuer, you’re paying for the finest materials, expert craftsmanship, and exclusivity (fewer numbers are manufactured for individual models). A fine watch is a wonderful heirloom to pass down from one generation to the next. Consider one with automatic movement and a skeletonized dial or exhibition caseback which display the craftsmanship of the watchmaker. While fine watches are made all over the world today, Swiss watches still enjoy the highest reputation due to the wealth of knowledge and infrastructure built up in the Swiss watch industry over centuries. Keep in mind that a watch can only be given the coveted Swiss Made label if its movement is made, assembled, and inspected in Switzerland. A watch may have Swiss movement if the automatic movement was made in Switzerland and the watch was subsequently assembled elsewhere.