Watches are a seemingly simple object in 2021. Once you start shopping for a watch, however, you quickly realize that there are some big differences between watches. Also, the industry has a unique vocabulary which can be quite confusing.
Buying a new timepiece is easier than ever, thanks to Amazon. Choosing a new timepiece is probably more challenging than ever.
Back in the day, people would have to physically go to a shop to look at a limited selection of watches. Now, you can access all the world’s watches with one google search.
This type of accessibility is as much of a blessing as it is a curse. Luckily, there are a couple of things to think about that’ll make the process much easier.
Below, I will share with you 10 tips on how to choose a watch that suits you.
1. Figure Out The Type Of Watch You Want
Before even thinking about designs and colors, you first have to figure out what kind of watch you’ll get.
While there are too many subcategories to mention in one list, watches can be generally categorized as analog, digital, analog/digital, and more recently, smartwatches.
Analog watches have the classic face and dial we are all familiar with. This type of face brings with it an air of class and prestige. Because of this, analog watches are recommended to be worn at formal events, but they can also be worn casually.
Digital watches are easier to read and have the potential to display more information. However, their design is not typically formal. It is because of this that digital watches are generally considered to be casual pieces, not to be worn at formal events.
Analog/digital pieces are pretty fun to look at. They combine two types of displays, giving it a unique aesthetic. Popular analog/digital watches are sport and utility watches such as the Casio G-Shock.
These pieces can be worn every day, and look great with casual work suits, but typically aren’t worn at more formal happenings.
Smartwatches are fairly new to the game, but they have a very sleek and classy look if you choose the right one. They can also be sporty and more casual. These pieces have an unprecedented amount of function, however, the debate is still ongoing among the fashion elite as to whether they should be worn formally.
2. Think About Movements
The “movement” of a watch is simply the mechanism by which it keeps the time.
If you’ve chosen to go digital or to get a smartwatch, you won’t really have to worry about which movement to choose. Modern digital watches all keep time with a quartz movement, while smart watches, like the Apple Watch, keep time by being connected to the internet and checking with atomic clocks to know the time.
However, that isn’t the case with analog pieces. There are three main movements to choose from with analog watches, eachwith their own benefits.
These are mechanical, automatic, and quartz movements.
Mechanical watches are the most classic ones, with a series of gears, springs, and jewels that keep that timepiece ticking. These gears and springs get their energy by the winding of the watch. These are considered a prestigious and classy movement, hence these pieces are more expensive. While this movement is associated with class, watches that use it tend to lose a couple of seconds a day, and the watch will need to be wound every now and then to keep it ticking.
Automatic movements are similar to their mechanical counterparts, but with the need for rewinding eliminated. Automatic pieces usually get power from arm movement, so as long as you wear the timepiece regularly, it will keep ticking. The gears, springs, etc… inside of an automatic watch are very similar as those in a traditional mechanical watch, it is simply the source of the energy that differs (arm movement vs. watch winding).
Quartz movements, on the other hand, are the most inexpensive movements for analog pieces, as well as some of the most accurate. Quartz watches keep time based on the vibration of a quartz crystal. This vibration is caused by electricity, and the electricity comes from a battery. Quartz watches are sometimes referred to as battery watches and are available in all price ranges and styles.
Battery powered quartz watches typically only lose a couple of seconds per month on average, and you’ll only have to worry about maintenance when you change the battery.
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3. Choose Your Functions
Another great way to narrow down the selections is to choose what functions you’ll need.
There are times that people can be overwhelmed by watches with a bunch of complications and spend money on that piece, even if they won’t use half of those functions.
Common functions you’ll find are calendars and stopwatches. These are very useful for almost anyone, however other features such as altimeters, moon phase displays, and barometers, may only be useful to a select few.
So remember to do proper research on these functions to figure out if you will actually use them, or at least to determine if they are worth paying for.
4. Figure Out Your Comfortable Price Range
The key to choosing a watch is narrowing things down. So once you have the type and movement you want, it’s time to figure out how much you’re willing to spend.
Picking a price range prior to shopping will help narrow down the field and eliminate confusion. Once you able to state that you are looking for analog quartz watch for under $300, or whatever the choice is for you, you will be ahead of the game.
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5. Find Out Your Size
This is pretty simple, but also does wonders for helping people choose watches.
There are a lot of different sizes for watches, and they are usually determined by dial diameter.
Right now, the most popular ones are the large 40mm watches.
These pieces look great on an average to an above-average wrist as they complement the body’s dimensions well.
For those with smaller wrists, however, it would be best to but pieces with smaller dials.
This will not only fit your body dimensions better, but it will also allow you to explore styles compatible with body type.
6. Choose The Brand
With the price, functions, and size decided, the next logical step will be the brand.
Now there are a bunch of great pieces no matter what price range you are shopping in.
And there’s no arguing quality when it comes to luxury brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe.
All of these brands have their pros and cons, and with a bit of research, you’ll have your choice in no time.
7. Choose The Line Or Series
Once you’ve figured out the brand you’d want, it will be time to choose what series you’ll be shopping in.
All watch brands have their unique selections, and each of these selections has their own unique qualities.
For example, Bulova’s Precisionist line has a unique quartz-driven movement, or how Citizen’s Eco-Drive uses a different solar-powered quartz movement.
The line you choose will all depend on your preferences, and the decisions you made to narrow down your choices earlier.
It may take a bit of research, but knowing the details of a timepiece you plan on buying will do no harm.
8. Figure Out The Design
There are a bunch of different silhouettes for watches.
Classic ones such as the dress watch or diver watch are very familiar to everyone, while more obscure ones such as sports watches or field watches deserve just as much attention.
The design you chose needs to be something that complements you and your personality.
This basically means choosing what you like in watch design and not what’s popular.
So unless you really enjoy a certain design, it isn’t advisable just to follow the trends.
9. Research The Details
Once you have a couple of watches to choose from, it’s time to pay attention to detail.
This includes obvious one such as hour markers and straps, to the grittier details such as the bezel and crystal.
These minute details are what separates a good watch from a great watch.
Compare and contrast these details with each other, figure out which ones appeal to you and which ones don’t.
After a bit of time, you’ll surely figure out which watch in the list caters the most to your needs and tastes.
10. Know Your Taste
At the end of the day, the perfect watch for you is one that you personally love.
It isn’t about the brand, price, or features, it’s about your taste because this is your timepiece and no one else’s.
This is why it pays to really know and understand what you want from your timepiece.
This is in terms of design, function, and comfort.
While all of this may have been a lot to take in, the last tip is the most important one.
No matter who you are, no matter where you are, just remember that you’re getting a watch for yourself, so your preferences go first.
Nothing makes a watch look better than a wearer who’s confident and happy with their piece.
So with all this in mind, the next step is to get out and choose the next timepiece for you!