Buying a Watch? Read This Buyer’s Guide Before Reaching For Your Wallet

There’s always time to tell the time, and that’s why we love watches. The watch industry is so popular that just one brand, Swatch, brought in almost $8 billion in 2017 alone.

And the classic wrist-piece is not just a driver of industry, but a showcase of beauty, elegance, and class. If you’re going to buy a watch, you can’t just pick up any old model. 

It pays to know your stuff.

Give us a little bit of your time, and we’ll share our top tips for buying a watch.

How to Choose a Watch

When buying a watch, it’s crucial to know what its primary function will be — other than telling the time.

Will the watch accompany you on business trips? Will you wear it as a sign of luxury? Or do you need it to keep time when you’re going on long runs?

Know the “why” of your watch, and you’re halfway there.

Types of Watches

There are many basic types of watches. The major types are Diving watches, driving watches, dress watches, and aviation watches. Pocket watches and device watches are also available for sale.

When choosing your first watch, know what kind you’re looking for. Do your research or ask around. Check out trends in watches when you’re shopping at a mall or online.

Using an Heirloom Watch

One fantastic way to honor your family’s legacy and name is by wearing or carrying a watch from someone in your past. If your grandfather had a pocket watch during one of the world wars, you might want to carry this around as a remembrance of him. It’s easy to get old pocket watches updated with modern components, and many people prefer this to working with old gears and minute hands.

The key feature of an heirloom watch is actually twofold: Keeping it functional for your daily use, and preserving it for the next generation. Make sure to keep batteries or watches wound so you can tell the time with your heirloom watch.

Wearing a Luxury Watch

If you’re a big spender, you can buy a Rolex, Breitling, Louis Vuitton, or another luxury watch to add a bit of flair to your business suits. The most important thing about your luxury watch is finding the perfect one that fits your style.

Buying a watch can be fun in these cases, as you can take your time deciding what best suits you and your interests. Some people like diamond or jewel-encrusted watches, while others like sleek aerodynamic designs. Others like understated or simple elegance and others still prefer upscale digital watches.

Even an Apple Watch or similar device can be made into a luxury. A good quality watch doesn’t have to be analog. What matters is that you express your style with charm and class.

When buying a watch from an upscale brand, make sure to purchase the buyer protection or insurance plan. This will save you from making costly mistakes — especially if you’re a rookie at buying watches.

Going Digital

There are countless digital watches for athletic performance and ease of use, so take extra care figuring out the best watch to buy. The newest watches are Apple Watches and the like that feature much more than just a computerized timepiece. 

Make sure you know what you need in a digital watch. Anglers, divers, and outdoorsy types often want something waterproof up to a certain depth. Runners and amateur athletes, on the other hand, might need something they can use as a stopwatch and sweat in. 

For the techie crowd, biometrics and the ability to check messages are big draws for device-style watches. These can be expensive and come with many features. When buying a watch with lots of bells and whistles, make sure you have a care plan or warranty.

Buying a Watch

One of the necessary tasks of buying a watch is going to a brick and mortar store. Although you can learn a lot about watches online, it’s best to speak with an actual watchmaker or watch seller when buying a watch. They can show you examples of different kinds of watches, and will likely have lots to say on the subject.

And don’t forget to read all the watch reviews you can!

The best place to buy a watch is always in a store because you can try on bands, get measured, and feel the different weight of watches. If you don’t know how to buy a watch, asking a professional is a smart idea. Horology — the study of clocks and clockmaking, including watches — is a nice art mastered by a precious few.

Seek them out, and buy from them. 

Buying a Watch as a Gift

If you are buying a watch as a gift, check out magazines and online stores to get an idea of what you are looking for. Models and availability will change often, so have a few options in mind.

Always get a gift receipt, and make sure the receiver knows there will be no hard feelings if they exchange it. Watches are an intensely personal gift, and you can’t always tell what someone will like.

A good rule of thumb is to gift a digital watch to a child under 18, and a dress watch to the person who doesn’t have one. Both men and women wear watches, and women’s dress watches are especially beautiful.

Anyone who works outdoors or can’t have their phone during work hours should love an aviation or diving watch. Something sturdy and weatherproof will always go over well.

Don’t stress about buying a watch as a gift. It’s the thought that counts! 

And we’ve got a lot of great gifts to read about. Check out our top reasons to get a coffee subscription box. It makes a great gift, too!

Upgrade Your Lifestyle

Buying a watch isn’t the only thing you can do to upgrade your lifestyle. Men can dive into grooming habits, as beard care and men’s hygiene is in a true heyday. Women can lean into fashion in any season.

We’ve got the hottest and most elegant trench coats for 2019. After you’re done buying a watch, check out a coat to match!