Watches are fantastic accessories as they can be worn with just about any outfit in any situation. While there are plenty of watches on the market, the high-end luxury watch sector is perhaps the most interesting. Here, watches can go for many thousands of dollars, making them a rather expensive addition to your wardrobe.
Nevertheless, many people continue to buy luxury watches for a few reasons:
- They last a lot longer than cheaper watches
- They tend to feature the most innovative and standout designs
- They retain or gain value, making them a smart investment
- They add to your reputation
Consequently, you’re reading this article as you’re thinking about buying a luxury watch. This is the first luxury watch you’ve ever bought, so you’re a bit unsure of what to expect and how to buy one. After all, there’s a lot of money being thrown around in the luxury watch market; you want to be sure that you’re getting something that’s a) worth it, and b) suitable for you.
Below, you will find a guide that will teach you how to buy your first luxury watch with zero issues to worry about. Have a read and follow it to find the watch of your dreams:
Set your budget
What sort of budget should you set for a luxury watch? As you can imagine, the scope is pretty vast in this market. At the lowest end of the scale, you will find some luxury watches that cost around $1-2,000. Clearly, that’s still a lot of money to spend on a watch, but it is what some people would consider a ‘budget’ luxury timepiece. So, if you’re not too fussed about the watch and just want something high-end that will last for a long time, opt for a low budget that maxes out at maybe $2,500.
Of course, you can increase your budget as you wish – it depends on how much money you’re willing to spend. As mentioned in this WatchBox Rolex comparison, you can get timepieces that go for between $84,000 and $150,000 dollars. Here, we’re looking at the higher end of the scale for sure. Brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe will typically have watches in and around this region, with some products being even more expensive. Plus, note that luxury straps for Rolex or PP watches cost around $200-$500
One way to figure out your budget is to consider what brand you want. This can help you as you can see how expensive their watches tend to be. Here are some brands and rough pricing ranges below:
- TAG Heuer – $1,500 – over $10,00
- Chopard – $5,000 – over $60,000
- Cartier – $2,300 – over $2 million
- Omega – $1,000 – over $700,000
- Patek Philippe – $15,000 – over $1 million
- Rolex – $5,000 – over $650,000
Pick a durable watch material
In most luxury watches, you will see four different material options:
- Stainless steel
Stainless steel tends to be the best material as it provides excellent durability, doesn’t corrode, stays shiny for a long time, it’s lightweight, and stainless steel is relatively affordable. Well, affordable is the wrong term – it is more cost-effective than the other materials on this list.
Titanium watches are also excellent, but they look duller than stainless steel ones. That – and the heftier price tag – are why many people still opt for stainless steel over titanium. Gold-plated watches tend to just add a layer of gold over stainless steel, which gives a classier and more elegant effect. If you want a gold luxury watch, this is the recommended choice over picking one up that’s made of pure gold.
Lastly, ceramic watches do offer great durability and lightweight dress, along with a very cool and unique style. However, they aren’t shatterproof and tend to be on the expensive side. Do you want to risk paying for a luxury watch that could shatter if it got dropped?
Ultimately, it comes down to your personal preference and budget; just be aware of the different watch materials at your disposal.
Choose the right watch face & strap materials
Aside from the watch itself, you need to choose materials for the face and strap. With the face, you can pick from:
- Acrylic crystal
- Sapphire crystal
- Mineral crystal
Acrylic crystal is the least expensive, but it isn’t scratch-resistant. Mineral crystal tends to be the most common material used because it offers scratch resistance and durability. Sapphire crystal is three times stronger than mineral crystal, but it is extremely expensive. Again, the choice is yours, but it would be smart to opt for a material that is scratch proof, particularly when you’re paying thousands of dollars for a watch.
As for the strap material, this is entirely up to you. The options go from stainless steel to rubber – it really depends on your own style preferences. Also, you should think about your lifestyle, but we’ll touch on that in a bit.
Know the different movement types
The movement of a watch refers to the hands moving around the clock. Typically, you have three options in the luxury catalog:
- Mechanical – the mechanisms are made by hand and wound up, this is the most expensive option.
- Automatic – the mechanism isn’t wound up but is powered by the movements of the wearer.
- Quartz – a battery-powered movement
Mechanical watches are the most expensive and high-end because you’re paying for the craftsmanship. Automatic ones tend to be the longest-lasting, so they are highly popular. Quartz ones are the only ones that provide a ticking motion on the second hand, the other two give you a smooth sweeping movement.
Think about your lifestyle
What do you do every day, and how often will you wear this watch?
If you live quite a rugged lifestyle, you need a luxury watch that matches this. It will need to be durable enough to counter any bumps and scrapes you get into during the day. If you’re constantly around water – or you’re a diver – you also need to take water resistance into account.
However, if you only plan on wearing your luxury watch to special events, you’d be better off investing more money and getting something a bit more elegant and fancy.
Overall, it all comes down to you and your personal preferences. We’ve supplied the key points to consider, now you can go out and find a watch that ticks all the right boxes for you.