When purchasing a wristwatch, you immediately face a great challenge: How do I make the right choice? The market offers so many price and quality classes that it is difficult to get an overview. In addition, knowledge of some of the characteristics of wristwatches is an advantage when making a purchase decision. Below is an overview of the key information you need to know when purchasing a wristwatch to help you make the right choice.
Table of contents:
- What are the benefits of buying a wristwatch?
- Aspect #1: Which clockwork may it be?
- Aspect #2: Which type of watch is right for me?
- Aspect #3: What are individual purchase criteria that I need to pay attention to?
- What are well-known manufacturers & brands of watches?
- Conclusion: Wristwatches are a luxury accessible to everyone!
What are the benefits of buying a wristwatch?
At a time when the measurement of time is no longer a privilege, but surrounds us everywhere, the question arises as to what is in favor of buying a wristwatch. Because if you can get your smartphone out and quickly check the time there, then the actual usefulness of a wrist watch is questioned at first glance.
But on closer examination and consideration of many aspects, a lot of arguments crystallise for the purchase of a wristwatch:
- Value development
- cost-benefit factor
Lifespan: Longer in operation than electronic devices
A smartphone that you buy today is on average owned by one person for two to three years. A wristwatch, on the other hand, lasts many years longer. Although this varies with model and technology, a clear line can generally be seen: Wristwatches have a long lifespan. So ideally, with such a watch you buy a companion for up to a decade or even longer.
Value development: Remarkably stable
Wristwatches do not suffer major losses as a result of their value development. It often happens - in this case with primarily more expensive luxury watches - that wristwatches are even sold for up to 80% of the original price after prolonged use or even record an increase in value (market price). This can hardly be realized with various electronic devices in daily use.
Cost-benefit factor: Profitable ratio
A well-considered and balanced decision for your own wristwatch will always result in a profitable cost-benefit ratio. People who buy a cheap bracelet watch will discover a nice little accessory in it. Again, those people who invest more money in a watch to enhance its appearance for business meetings will find an important status symbol for negotiations in a wristwatch.
Style: Always a striking design feature
Last but not least, don't forget: A wristwatch adds a useful accent to any style of clothing. Whether in a sporty version for golf or fitness, in an elegant version for parties or in the evening when going out with friends: Such a timepiece is one of the small accessories that can be the visual touch on the scales.
How do I choose the right watch? According to which standards do I decide how a wristwatch is to be judged qualitatively? We will explain this in the following!
Aspect #1: Which clockwork may it be?
The clockwork always regulates the drive of the clock: Mechanically or with battery? There are two different kinds of clockworks to choose from: automatic clockworks on one side and quartz clockworks on the other.
There are no optical differences, except perhaps for automatic watches with glass bottoms, which allow a view of the flywheel. It is also a misconception that some wristwatches do not allow certain types of clockworks to be installed. Basically every clockwork is suitable for every wristwatch. Consequently, the choice of mechanism is a matter of taste, but two other aspects also play a role: durability and comfort. To give you the most important information, we give you an insight into the two types of timepiece clockworks and their characteristics.
The automatic watch: an expression of longevity
The automatic watch is also called a mechanical wristwatch because it is driven mechanically. There are two subtypes:
- Winding: This involves winding-up the watch to get it going.
- Movement: In this case, the arm movements of the wearer of the watch are the energy source.
Mechanical watches have it in themselves that they have an almost unlimited life span with considerate use and regular maintenance. This regular maintenance is by no means expensive. It only costs around 100 Euros (maybe 120 USD) in a period of up to five years. So it's enough to put 20,- EUR in a piggy bank every year to keep your watch working for a potentially unlimited time.
Hint: It often bothers people that automatic watches have to be rewound after a long period of non-use and thus have to be reset. In this case it is worthwhile to buy a watch mover (watch winder) for home use. They are even able to keep several automatic watches running at the same time. If the wristwatch is put on again after a long time, it runs and it is not necessary to set it again. In addition, watch winders are a real eye-catcher and design element, for example in your own living room or office.
The quartz watch: comfort as a central feature
Quartz watches, on the other hand, mainly use batteries as their drive. In exceptional cases, they are solar-powered, which saves changing the battery. The central positive feature is the comfort, which refers to the fact that no winding as with the mechanical wristwatch is necessary. In the early years, battery changes are often even carried out by the manufacturer himself free of charge within the scope of the warranty. Otherwise, a visit to the watchmaker is an alternative. In any case, they are ready for use even after prolonged non-use and do not have to be provided. Another disadvantage of quartz watches is their limited service life. If this is over, the complete movement must be replaced or at least a repair is necessary.
Aspect #2: Which type of watch is right for me?
Not all watches are the same. There are several different types of watches. When deciding on one of these types, not only your own taste plays a role, but also the area of application: For example, hobbies and professions have a major influence on the decision. The following overview will show you in more detail how this behaves with the individual watch types:
Pilot watch: Large case & large digits. Timer & stopwatch. Speed measurement, different time zones, fits to casual outfits.
Chronograph: Sporty & elegant designs.
A chronograph is always provided with a stopwatch function. Fits primarily for sporty outfits. For noble models also to the suit.
Digital clock: Always with digital clock face. Often modern. Although digital digits, they are not always digitally operated. Timer & Stopwatch. More like sporty or casual clothing styles.
Analogue clock: In contrast to the digital clock, digits sheet & clock hands are analogue. Timelessly elegant. Depending on the model with optional day & month display. With high-quality models also display of the moon phases. Ideal for suits and special occasions, but also suitable for everyday use.
Diver's watch: Available in different styles; always robust. Characterized among other things by enormous watertightness. Luminous time displays, special timers. Ideal for divers who spend long periods in the water.
Pocket watch: Frequently stored in pockets and with chain. Newer models can also be worn around the neck. Usually foldable. Otherwise without special functions. It is supposed to keep up the centuries-old tradition. Fits to noble designs and with tradition-conscious celebrations and occasions.
Smartwatch: The latest generation of watches are rather small mini computers, and are manufactured by companies such as Apple (Apple Watch), Garmin or Samsung (Samsung Smartwatch). These smart wristwatches are no longer only used to measure time, but can also display the contents of the shopping list app / grocery list of your smartphone or measure e.g. kilometers and miles run during sports and calculate the respective calorie consumption during your fitness workout. More suitable for sporting occasions or as a casual timepiece.
There are also other watch types such as military watches, racing watches, sailing watches and many more, such as vintage watches and also special designs, which are manufactured for special locations, hobbies, professions or occasions.
This means that every type of watch has its own area of application, which can also be seen from the outside. It can be observed, however, that very many watches are now adapted in design to a wide range of applications and can be used almost universally. If you are not sure for which occasion you need a watch type, make sure you buy a wristwatch that is as versatile as possible. Chronographs and analogue watches are particularly suitable for this purpose.
Aspect #3: What are individual purchase criteria that I need to pay attention to?
Now that the most important aspects are covered - the clockwork as a type of drive and the type of watch as a question of correct adaptation to one's own purposes - we will now focus on some final details that round off the decision for the right bracelet watch and your future timepiece. These are the following points:
- Repair & maintenance costs
- Watertightness / Waterproofness
- Workmanship of glass, case & bracelet
- Adjustment to wrist
Repair & maintenance costs
The more digitized and equipped the watch is with more functions, the more repair and maintenance work the watch will require and the higher the costs will be. Models such as the pilot's watch and the Chronograph may, for example, have numerous extensive functions, but may also entail higher running costs. Ultimately, this is not the exclusion criterion, which is why complicated watches are an excellent choice for many groups of people. But it is important to consider this criterion when choosing the right watch.
Watertightness / Waterproofness
If you want to go into the water with your watch, it must be water-resistant to 10 bar. For everyday showers or hand washing, 5 or 3 bars are sufficient. In addition, the crown must always be closed so that the specified water resistance is reliably achieved.
Workmanship of glass, case & bracelet
The workmanship of the watch influences the appearance and longevity of the watch at three points. For example, a sturdy stainless steel case helps to keep scratches a long time coming. High-quality glass, on the other hand, is given by sapphire glass. But mineral and plexiglass are also considered robust. As far as the bracelet is concerned, this is always a question of taste and occasion. Leather, for example, looks noble, while it wears out more quickly. Metal bracelets convince with their resistance, but lose their fineness.
Adjustment to wrist
This means that you should match the size of your wrist with the size of the watch. There are some manufacturers who have committed themselves to a rather extravagant design. This is the case, for example, with the manufacturer Diesel. Sometimes, however, the watch cases are so large that they are almost as big as the fist for people with small hands. Accordingly, the diameter of the case should be taken into account when choosing a suitable wristwatch.
What are well-known manufacturers & brands of watches?
Finally, we will take a look at the market for wristwatches and chronographs. Given the size of the market, we can only give a small insight on this page. Anything else would go beyond the scope at this point, because besides the well-known watch manufacturers such as Breitling, Corum, TAG Heuer, IWC or Omega, almost every major fashion label also has its own watch collection (e.g. Calvin Klein, Emporio Armani, Esprit, Fossil). You are welcome to get an overview of some of the manufacturers and brands in our category and brand overview. Here we present five selected manufacturers of different price ranges in more detail:
- Michael Kors
With Rolex we start in the top price segment. Undoubtedly, these wristwatches run very reliably, are of high quality and available in a wide variety of designs. Rolex has made a name for itself as the ultimate in the watch business. There are already affordable models in the lower four-digit price segment, but Rolex is only really interesting when it comes to the high five-digit amounts.
Hamilton watches are also in the premium segment, but there are already numerous watches in the three-digit range, which is more affordable for the average citizen. This makes the Hamilton brand the affordable and high-quality alternative to Rolex watches. Nevertheless, the American manufacturer can boast that it has already had half of Hollywood as its advertising platform: Among others, Elvis Presley and Roger Moore alias James Bond have helped the high-quality watches with extensive history to become a respected standing in the world today.
Tissot is a Swiss brand that is making a name for itself above all with its wide range of products. Here you will find stylish wristwatches with a leather bracelet as well as those that feature a casual fabric watchband and thus fit in perfectly with a sporty look. Most models are priced in a lower segment, which makes Tissots watches accessible to an even wider range of customers.
The local wristwatches offer the most striking and modern optical and functional features at particularly attractive prices. This is how bargains with an elegance come about, which are available for men and women in an equally large selection. The various watches are available for every conceivable occasion and application. In addition, the designer Michael Kors, who is still very present today, is extensively involved in social projects. Thus a decision in favour of wristwatches of the brand Michael Kors also promotes the social balance to a certain extent.
As young as the Timecode brand itself is, just as much youthful and modern spirit is reflected in the watches. Despite their extravagance and futuristic appearance, these watches are priced in the lower segment. Thus Timecode watches are ideal for beginners or people looking for inexpensive models.
Hint: Each of the mentioned manufacturers has its own competitors, which are cheaper, but through out qualitatively very well with these can keep up. For example, a cheaper alternative to Rolex is Omega, Hublot or TAG Heuer. With regard to the other manufacturers, the following names are worth a look as further options:
- Maurice Lacroix
- Emporio Armani
- Hugo Boss
- Tietzian Heritier
These manufacturers serve the most diverse price ranges and all offer a wide selection: Whether luxury or bargain, extravagant or simple, modern or traditional!
Conclusion: Wristwatches are a luxury accessible to everyone!
Contrary to the sporadic opinions that bracelet watches and timepieces are an expensive pleasure, it turns out that they are affordable for everyone and that there is plenty of choice in every price category.
It is really impressive how high-quality the optics and workmanship can be, even with inexpensive watches. Every person who buys a wristwatch has the chance to purchase an individual and convincing fashion accessory.
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