A luxury watch is a considerable purchase and with all the information available on the web from watch experts, it is easy to educate yourself and ascertain that you acquire the perfect timepiece.
TIP #1: CHOOSE THE MOVEMENT
The movement is the motor that powers the watch. They fall into three main categories of movements:
Quartz Movements are battery powered movements that require little maintenance other than a battery change every so often, regular cleaning & water resistance testing. A quartz movement is typically the most consistently accurate watch and will have the lowest maintenance requirements & costs. If you want a nice watch but are not inclined to be “in tune” with the mechanics of a watch or have to pay out a hefty service fee every time the watch needs maintenance, then this might be the best choice.
Manual Wind Movements are mechanical movements that must be manually wound, typically via the crown, in order to power the watch. The duration of power is known as the power-reserve. While most watches will have a power-reserve of 30-40 hours there are watches which have a considerably longer power-reserve, which is a complication that generally increases the cost of the watch. Be sure to check the specifications of each watch to determine the power reserve duration.
Automatic / Self-Winding Movements are mechanical movements with a mainspring that powers the movement, similar to that of a manual wound watch. A weighted rotor (similar to a pendulum) is mounted to the movement and spins freely by the wearers’ wrist movement. The rotor is attached to the movement’s mainspring via a series of gears, as the rotor spins it turns the gears which in turn wind the mainspring. Caveat: While an automatic watch does self-wind, an initial manual wind is usually necessary to get the watch started and depending on how active you are a booster wind may be necessary.
Some people prefer quartz movements as they are relatively low-maintenance, while others feel that mechanical movements are more worthy, as with regular maintenance they can possibly last forever.
TIP #2: CHOOSE A PRICE RANGE
While some may consider bringing up the topic of pricing this early in the game unprofessional or poor etiquette, there are some real advantages to establishing a price range. With so many watches out there it is easy to get distracted with too many options; however once you have established a price range that you are comfortable with, it will further help you to narrow down the choices & help you zero in on a selection of watches from which you can choose.
TIP #3: CHOOSE YOUR STYLE & COMPLICATION
There are three general styles of watches
1) Dress watches: slim in profile, usually with little to no complications and on a thin dressy strap or polished metal bracelet. A no-complication watch would be a watch with only time telling functions (hour, minute, and second hands) and a date. Any additional feature would be considered a complication. Here are some terms: Two-Hand watch for a watch with only hour & minute hands, the ultimate dress watch. Three-Hand watch or Time-Only watch will feature hour, minute and seconds hand. You may sometimes see the seconds hand in a reduced format as a sub-dial for both aesthetic purposes and because it saves on the height of the watch since a central seconds hand would need to be mounted on top of the hour & minute hands.
2) Casual watches: more of a day to day wear, but with a dressy twist. It needn’t be that thin and it’s ok if it has some satin/brushed finishes to the metal. You want it to wear easy and be comfortable for a longs day’s work, so it should still be thin enough to fit under a shirtsleeve and allow for light activity such as typing without adding stress to the wrist. An added complication such as a power reserve, a chronograph, or a day and date is fine.
3) Sport watches. A more rugged design with a robust look. Great if you are doing manual labor, exercising or swimming. Most will be somewhat more bulky. You can also find some watches durable enough for extreme sports. As a side note, as with most watches there is a level of shock-resistance and water-resistance watches are specified too. Please be sure to take a look at the water resistance ratings if you intend on taking the watch swimming or diving. You can find more on water-resistance topic here.
TIP #4: CHOOSE A BRAND NAME
If you have an affinity for well-known brands or perhaps you are choosing a gift and wish to make an impression with a watch from a famous prestigious brand. If so, we would recommend looking at the big-name watches, such as TAG Heuer, Longines, & Raymond Weil for entry level brands; Breitling, Omega, Cartier, Chopard & Rolex for the mid-level brands and Vacheron Constantin, Breguet, Patek Philippe & A. Lange & Sohne for top tier brands.
However, if you are looking for great value & a nice watch, the not-so-well-known brands make quality timepieces, sometime even exceeding the quality of their counterparts, yet at very good value. Jaeger-LeCoultre, Glashutte-Original & Zenith are a few brands that, in our opinion, offer watches at more reasonable pricing value for their quality. This is obviously not an exhaustive list & does not diminish from one brand or another – just a list of a few brands that immediately come to mind. Take time to research the brand, see what captures your imagination & proceed from there.
TIP #5: WHERE TO MAKE THE PURCHASE
Like any other purchase, do your due diligence and read through some customer reviews. Talk to the sales people at the store or online company – do they know a thing or two about watches? Do they show honesty and integrity? Do they treat you, the potential customer with the respect and patience you deserve? In the world of high-end watches there are different types of watch dealers. There are authorized dealers which are usually brick and mortar stores authorized by the brands to sell their products. These stores allow you to walk in and actually try on the watch. Then there are online watch stores such as PrestigeTime.com, which are typically not authorized dealers but offer watches at a discounted prices which authorized dealers are not allowed to offer. If you choose to go the online route, be sure to research the company thoroughly, make sure they are as great at after-sales service & warranty related issues as they are at selling you the watch!
With all the above considered, we hope you find this information helpful in narrowing down your choices so that you can enjoy a safe and sound experience when you purchase the perfect watch.