10 Things to Consider When Buying a Watch


Men, this article is specifically for you. If you’re looking to buy a watch, you should know that there’s more to the process than simply selecting the first one that catches your eye. Here are ten things to consider when buying a watch.

10. Price

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The cost of a watch depends on the materials used to make it, the length of manufacture, and the brand heritage. In general, quartz watches are less expensive than mechanical watches (You’ll learn more about these two types of watches later.). If you’re looking at vintage watches, know that the condition of the dial determines its cost. The priciest brands in vintage are Rolex and Patek Philippe. A classic Rolex Submariner can cost a cool half a million bucks! And, if you’re considering a smartwatch, know that most will cost between $100 (for older devices) and $1,600 (for newer devices).

9. Materials

Watch Materials
Source: Wikimedia Commons By Kozuch [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

Michael Ayres, Valuation Manager at H&T Pawnbrokers, and Anna Lyly, Buying Manager at Watches2U, recommend a steel grade of 316L and above. High-grade steel does not oxidize, which means it won’t rust. It’s also magnetic resistant to corrosion from seawater and acidic liquids.

As for the dial, if you’re looking to purchase a watch that’s under £500, Lyly suggests opting for sapphire crystal instead of mineral glass because it’s more durable and scratch resistant.

And, last but not least, the strap. Brown leather is a popular choice among men, Lewis Phillips, founder of online retailer The Pommier, said in an article published by The Telegraph. “You can get authentic leather in that price bracket of £200,” he added.

8. Movement

Quartz Movement
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When it comes to watches, there are two types of movement: mechanical, which includes manual and automatic, and quartz. Manual mechanical watches have to be wound by the wearer, usually once a day. Automatic mechanical watches, on the other hand, use the motion of your wrist to gain momentum and wind itself. Quartz watches are battery powered. There are several advantages and disadvantages, depending on which movement you choose. For example, mechanical watches are less accurate. Even the best ones lose about 5 to 10 seconds a day. On the plus side, they have a high degree of craftsmanship and engineering, and they last longer than quartz watches. Quartz watches, on the other hand, are far more accurate and reliable. They’re also less expensive and more durable than mechanical watches. However, you’ll have to replace the batteries every few years.

7. Size

Watch Size
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The size of your wrist will determine the size watch you’ll need. According to Esquire magazine, most watches have a case diameter of between 34-44 mm. If your wrist is on the small side, consider getting one with a 34-40 mm case, perhaps a vintage watch, since they are typically smaller than today’s watches. If your wrist is on the large side, you should consider a 46mm case.

TIP: Keep in mind the thickness of the watch when it comes to long sleeves. Opt for one with a thickness of no more than 10mm. It will fit much better under your cuff than larger sizes.

6. Complications

Add Ons
Source: Wikimedia Commons By othree [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Complications are simply extra features that some watches have. These include things like dates, days of the week, annual calendars, chronographs, and more. While all of these bells and whistles may seem cool, it’s important to keep in mind that the more complications a watch has, the less durable it can be over time. Therefore, you may want to opt for a more traditional timepiece–unless of course for some reason you need a watch with complications. Pilots, for example, often use GMT watches, which provide a rotating 24-hour bezel to track additional time zones.

5. Maintenance

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If you’re in the market for a luxury watch, you need to have it serviced regularly by a certified watchmaker to make sure it functions properly and has a long life. Paul Altieri, founder of online luxury watch boutique Bob’s Watches, said in an article published by Maxim magazine that a classic Rolex Submariner should be serviced every five years. That’ll cost you about $500 each time. More complicated watches will cost even more than that to service–about 50 percent more, to be exact. It may be expensive, but it’s worth it. Besides, if you’re gonna spend thousands of dollars on a watch anyway, a few hundred bucks to service it is a mere drop in the bucket, Altieri added.

4. Vintage Watches

Vintage Accessories
Source: Wikimedia Commons By Jennifer Astudillo [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]

The word “vintage,” when it comes to watches, refers to anything at least 30 years old. And, as you know, there are a lot of things that come with age. Vintage watches, for example, are more fragile and less durable, reliable and worry-free compared to contemporary timepieces. They also don’t keep time as well as newer watches. On the plus side, your watch’s value may increase over time.

If you have your heart set on buying a vintage watch, here are some tips to follow, particularly if you plan on selling it at some point:

-Make sure it has all its original parts and it comes with the original box, manual, and receipt.
-Make sure it’s in good working condition.
-Don’t go swimming with it on.
-Don’t accidentally bang it against anything. You could seriously damage it.

3. Smartwatches

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If you’re considering purchasing a smartwatch, here are a few helpful tips to make sure you make the right choice:

-Make sure it’s compatible with your smartphone.
-Pay attention to the battery life. Hybrid smartwatches that look more like analog watches generally have the longest battery life.
-Color displays let you view photos and other media in brighter, richer color. Unfortunately, they have a shorter battery life.
-Choose a smartwatch with built-in LTE if you want to use it to make calls.
-Choose one with a heart rate sensor and GPS if you’re into fitness.
-Most smartwatches use wireless charging.
-You’ll have plenty of customization options at the time of purchase.

2. Pre-Owned Watches

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If you’re thinking about buying a pre-owned watch, there are some things you need to know. Here are some helpful tips offered by Maxim magazine:

-Make sure it’s not a fake.
-Know what you’re buying, be it a vintage watch, a contemporary watch, or a discontinued watch. Keep in mind that vintage watches are not as durable and reliable as contemporary and discontinued watches.
-Be aware of correct market value so you don’t overpay.
-Watches that come with their original boxes and papers will be worth more and hold their value better. This is important if you plan on reselling it.
-If it’s a bit on the expensive side, consider financing it.

1. Women’s Watches

Womens Watches
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Since the holiday shopping season is upon us, perhaps you’re in the market for a watch for your girlfriend or wife. For many women, a watch is something more than just a device that tells the time. It’s a way for them to express their individual style. With that said, there are many popular women’s watch styles. They include smart watches, skeleton watches, boyfriend watches, rose gold watches, bracelet watches, and interchangeable watches, which allow for even more style expression. Pair one of these styles with the tips listed above and you’re sure to get her a timepiece she finds absolutely irresistible!


Who knew there was so much involved in the watch selection process? But, now that you have a few tips, you’re prepared to go out and select the perfect watch for yourself or that special someone in your life. Thanks for reading, and happy watch shopping!