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What Should I Look For When Buying My First Watch?

Jun 13, 2017

Watches do a whole lot more than tell time. A fine timepiece is a combination of art, history, and engineering. Many watch brands have their own extensive history, dating back to the 1800s in some cases. From Brietling‘s history in the sky to Rolex embracing motorsports, there is always much more than meets the eye when […]

Ben Bridge Jeweler

Watches do a whole lot more than tell time. A fine timepiece is a combination of art, history, and engineering. Many watch brands have their own extensive history, dating back to the 1800s in some cases. From Brietling‘s history in the sky to Rolex embracing motorsports, there is always much more than meets the eye when it comes to watches and the brands that create them.

If you have never owned a watch, especially a higher-end watch, the whole process can seem overwhelming. Similar to purchasing your first diamond (or other piece of fine jewelry), there are a slew of questions to ask yourself before taking the plunge.

Most importantly though, you should be thrilled. Treating yourself or a loved one to a first timepiece is a memory to cherish forever.

Here are some steps to help you out:

Ask Yourself Why

Why are you buying this watch? (Hint: there is no wrong answer!) Determining the purpose behind the purchase is a great way to narrow down what you need. Are you looking for a watch to help you keep track of the time? To rely on while camping or hiking? To impress your friends and family? To commemorate a big event in your life? To wear daily as an accessory with your professional wardrobe? There are many, many different watch styles and purposes. Asking yourself what your watch will do for you is a great way to help narrow down your search.

Watch on man's wrist

A great watch is enduring. Over time, it can become a symbol of your personal style and a marker of significant moments in your life.

Set Your Budget

Just like any other major investment — from jewelry to a car — having an idea of your budget makes you a savvy shopper. Are you going to spend $500 or a couple of thousand on this watch? It is your first serious watch purchase, but only you know how much you can afford.

You can find a great watch for $250 or for $10,000. Whatever you are willing to invest for your first timepiece is completely up to you.

What’s Your Style?

From sporty to super sleek, there is definitely a watch style to fit you and your life. However, like watch expert Marc Bridge advises:

“Don’t worry about having the appropriate watch for a specific occasion. There is no reason you can’t wear an ultra-thin dress watch with shorts or a dive watch with a tuxedo. If it feels right to you, go for it!”

There is no limitation on watches. Whatever style you fall in love with, you will assuredly make it your own.

Chase Your Inspiration

Watches are so much more than a decoration for your wrist. All of our favorite watch brands have spent a great deal of time telling their stories, following their inspiration, and creating gorgeous timepieces for the world. Where does your inspiration come from? Is it from a movie that changed your life, or your favorite song? Do you find your creativity when you are on top of the tallest mountain you could possibly scale, or when you are surrounded by your family?

There is a story behind every brand, every company, every watch. Whatever speaks to you — whatever marks you “inspired” — is the watch you should go for.

“As a watchmaker, you don’t follow rules, you follow your passion.” Patek Philippe: The Heart as an Assistant

Accept Your Gift

Treating yourself to something so nice is hard for some people. A timepiece or any piece of jewelry is pretty different than purchasing a new t-shirt or even a nice pair of shoes. But don’t lose sight of what’s important to you. If you have been itching to treat yourself to a new watch — your first watch — that inkling is not going anywhere. A watch is about connection, history, family, love, and time. Your time is valuable, and for as much time as you have put into this decision, you deserve to be delighted and proud of your choice.

Watch on man's wrist

Happy watch shopping!

Read more: 

Shop Watches

What is a Quartz? The Most Popular Watch Terms Defined

Interview With a Watch Expert: Jeff Grieff

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