A Rookie’s Guide to Luxury Watches

Luxury watches are a legacy—again. They’re back from being the status symbol, so if you’ve got one that you have inherited, now’s the time to wear it with pride.

Watches aren’t just accessories, but timeless symbols for a generation. Perhaps you’ve noticed that  luxury watches for men have been advertised recently as not only quality pieces, but as heirlooms.

Ads from Patek Philippe and Blancplain have recently outlined this importance, to an increase in sales and customer interest.

Mens luxury watchesBut why choose a luxury watch over a standard, well-made one? It might be difficult to tell what watches correspond with your needs. To make any smart purchase, your luxury watch will need to fit your lifestyle—from having GPS to a built-in computer.

First, ask yourself: do I want quartz or automatic? When you are shopping for a luxury watch, you’ll need to know the difference. Automatic watches work through activation of your own movement—the shake of your hand, the signing of a letter—while a quartz watch will need to have its battery replaced. Interestingly, in the world of men’s watches, automatics are more commonplace than the women’s side of wristwear, in which 90% are quartz. Automatic watches tend to be more expensive. It takes a lot of engineering and precision work for the proper functionality.

Consideration of quality is essential for a quality timepiece. Accuracy is part of that, and the Geneva Seal is the highest standard by which to judge a watch and its timekeeping mechanisms. A watch is certified with the Geneva Seal when its caliber operates at a consistent rate, and loses the same amount of time each day. Patek Phillipe watches are the only luxury watches that have their entire mechanical production qualified for certification.

With any automatic movement watch, over time, it will be slightly off time. The higher the quality of your watch, the greater the precision will be. A high caliber movement watch, like a thirty-six, will run for 50 days, while a standard caliber watch will run around thirty-six days before stopping, if either is not being worn. So you always get what you pay for, even with luxury watches!

Matching Your Personality

Different brands of luxury watches will specialize in different kinds of timekeeping, like a TAG Heuer, for instance. TAG Heuer’s newest brand ambassador is Tiger Woods, and it shows. TAG Heuer is already known for sports timekeeping, and now there’s one for the golf enthusiast, too: the Link Tiger Woods Limited Edition. It’s stylish, too, with a black face and burgundy subdial, complements of Woods’ personal design input.

If you’re more into traditional style, then perhaps TAG Heuer’s classic series of watches is for you. Cartier, Rolex, and Omega are some of the top choices for a quality luxury watch, as they not only are impeccably well-made, but are also recognizably luxurious. Luxury watch brand Baume is another watch to wear, with its classic styling that is not bulky in the least, and very practical, as is a Patek Philippe, another sleek watch to buy.

Cautions to Take

If you are looking for luxury watches at a good deal, be careful. Replicas can have qualities in common with the “real deal,” no matter what the mark. They can trick you if you’re not careful.

Let’s hope that first you’ve done your research on original watches—take Rolexes, for example. One highly recommended guide is The Rolex Report by John Brozack, which also details replicas and their common flaws. After arming yourself with this information, find a knowledgeable watch enthusiast and take him with you when you’re looking for your special timepiece.

If you’re not in the mood to pound the sidewalks searching and you’ve found your dream watch from a reputable retailer, then you simply need to protect your watch and enjoy it. Don’t wear your luxury watch in extreme weather, in the shower, or while swimming, unless it has been specifically designed for that. Care for your watch—don’t wear it while working with tools that could potentially damage it. Use a soft brush and lukewarm soapy warm to keep its luster. Store your watch in a soft cloth when you’re not wearing it, and it will last you a lifetime.