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How to Choose a Watch

Updated on November 27, 2015

How to Choose a Watch

Determine Your Goals in Selecting a Watch

A watch should be appropriate

A man wants to look good. He needs to impress in meetings and at social engagements. The eyes of others constantly evaluate what they see. He maintains his suits and perfects his tie each morning. Everything is in order. The entire package, for a professional image, is completed with an appropriate watch. Your watch conveys your mindset, what you think of yourself, and how you want to be perceived. While most people do not consciously observe individual aspects of people like Sherlock Holmes or Shawn Spencer observe them, the subconscious does record every detail.

More importantly, the overall impression is absorbed and sets the tone for analysis. A well-planned appearance sets an excellent tone of expectation with those you meet. A watch can be a crucial component of this impression.

Choose Quality

A quality watch remains with you for decades

A watch is an investment. It tells people where you are and where you intend to go. Buy a back-alley watch, and it depreciates your image. If you are in a service industry, the appearance of success is as important as having big guns to a national army. A man with a professional, neat, appearance commands more respect than the one who just stepped off the red eye in an off-the-shelf polyblend suit.

What Should Your Watch Say about You?

A watch should identify the man. Consider your title, role, family situation, hobbies, and aspirations. Each of these five factors (plus others) will affect your decision. After all, if knowing the time is all you need, that is available on every cell phone made. The watch’s primary function is just one: to enrich appearance. In some cultures, where attire is greatly dictated by climate, the main separator, the only real way to stand out, is the wristwatch. Consider the Arab culture in which the distasha is acceptable professional attire, or in other cultures where cool garments are very common. A quality, fashionable watch is a must. Even the way the watch is worn can establish an attitude, as a friend from Tehran told me, “You have to wear it loose, like this, with an extra link. It shows class and style.”

Stay within your social niche. Slip on a cheap watch, and you may be underevaluated. On the other hand, show up to an interview with a quality watch, and an image of success is projected. (If you don’t think appearance counts, explain why tall men earn more than shorter men). Place a very expensive watch on your wrist and others may perceive you as irresponsible or a person who values appearances too highly. Your watch must match your status. The founder-CEO of a multinational should be wearing a different watch than his assistant. Of course, people of outstanding caliber, iconoclasts in their field and specialty, can wear whatever they want and risk only being called eccentric.

How Much Should You Spend?

Set a Price Range

A diamond engagement ring should cost three months’ pay. The diamond industry has a standard. In buying a watch, there is no such standard. In the above section, pairing a watch to one’s work situation is discussed. Likewise,social position and social aspiration are factors in selecting an appropriate watch.

Two main cut-offs for most watch buyers are at $500 and $1000. These are popular search terms. So, some people budget for their watch using a standard cost benchmark. Remember, a watch is an investment, so spending a little more is not money wasted. Investing time in your study and research can also net you more watch for your money.

10 Times the Price of a Lunch

However, I put a lot of thought into this. Each person exists in different castes of social expectation, and different scales of cash flow. So, the budget for a watch should be based on another standard of social position and cash flow. Commonly, these two factors intersect in the cost of a lunch. New York executives spend more for lunch than do school teachers and engineers. So, consider spending 10 times the price of a business lunch for two. Of course, multimillionaires are permitted to spend amazing amounts. Consider this article: 10 Watches that Cost More than a Honda

Best Brand

In your opinion, which of these watch makers carries the best reputation?

See results


Select the Watchьaker(s) You Prefer

Several watch makers dominate the watch industry: Cartier, Citizen, Invicta, Patek Philippe, Rolex, Skagen, and Timex (listed alphabetically). Each maker works in a style unique to their lines. Investigate each and determine which appeal to your sense of style. The style of Skagen stands distinct from a watch in the Rolex style, for example.

LB1652 Accurist Ladies' Watch, Ceramic.
LB1652 Accurist Ladies' Watch, Ceramic. | Source


Size of Watch & Band Size

Try on several watches. Men’s watches range in diameter from 30 to 42 millimeters (rap stars and blingsters have even larger options). A large watch has a different appearance than those slightly smaller. Consider also the band make and width of the band. Bands are available in many materials. Leather, steel, and gold are the most common. One of the newer styles in watch bands is ceramic. About ten percent of all people cannot tolerate metal against their skin. They prefer bands of other materials: leather, plastic, or ceramic.

Where to Find a Good Watch

Some of the places to find a watch are obvious. Others are not. I know a wealthy man who enjoys flea markets and second hand shops. He owns several collectible pieces worth tens of thousands of dollars. He paid between $20 and $300 for each one.

The local market place always has watches for sale. Many small watch shops (including the one in my local mall) are independently owned. If you enjoy haggling for a good price, this may be something you will enjoy. The local watch maker may also be able to show you something you would not have considered.

Shop Online

There are several all-watch sites on the web. These display massive collections. However, some of the very best prices are likely to be found at auctions, including online auctions like eBay. expanded offerings far beyond books long ago. A shopper can do very well looking for a watch at Amazon. The ads below are for watches available right now on these two sites:


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    • Ryan-Palmsy profile image

      Ryan Palmer 

      6 years ago from In a Galaxy far, far away

      Another great hub! I do love a good watch! I've had a lot in my time, but the very best was a cheap-o one I got as a present a long time ago, and it lasted a VERY long time!


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