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Last Updated on 13th November 2023
High-end timepieces are essential accessories to take any outfit up a few levels. They reflect your style and personality, and the right one can boost your confidence and personal image in any social setting. However, buying a luxury watch can be challenging for those who are new to this territory. There are many brands, styles, types of movements, materials, and price points to consider. And that’s where we come in!
This guide is designed to help you learn everything you need to know about buying your first luxury watch so that you can make a smart, informed decision the next time you have an opportunity to purchase one.
Be realistic about purchasing your watch
If you’re not sure about purchasing luxury watches, then don’t spend your money. You’ll be buying an extravagance that you never wear if you do. To confidently choose the luxury watch for yourself, you’ll need to ask yourself questions such as ‘What’s your budget?’, ‘Will you wear it every day?’, ‘Are you active?’. These simple but thoughtful questions will help you narrow down your search and if you explain your needs to a salesperson, they will be able to guide you.
It is also advisable that you choose a watch from a Swiss heritage house and purchase it from a trusted dealer to make sure you have recourse and service options. Always remember to try the watch on first, especially if a second hand purchase.
Learn what watch complications are
There is a lot of technical jargon surrounding watches, which makes understanding them difficult. Chronographs, tourbillons, and perpetual calendars are types of mechanical features that are also called complications. Here are some of the complications that you should know about.
Chronograph – Because of its motorsport roots and the satisfying tactile experience of operating the push buttons, the chronograph is the most visceral and adrenaline-fuelled complication, translated from Greek as “to draw the time”.
GMT – A watch with a second-hour hand that displays the home time in another time zone for perpetual travellers. You’ll have to remember that Worldtimers are not the same as this.
Perpetual Calendar – It always indicates the correct day, month, and year, even taking leap years into account, until the year 2100, when we will skip a leap year.
Worldtimer – A time zone indicator is provided around the dial, instantly indicating the time and a complication that, on demand, indicates the time.
Choose a watch that suits your character
Wearing a watch is about much more than just telling the time in a digital run world, where the precise hour is visible everywhere. It must also be appropriate for your actual lifestyle in addition to being a lifestyle choice. Of course, its ability to inform you if you’re running early or late is still highly valued.
The motorsport enthusiasts – For the motorsport fans who need a timing device that has been routinely tested on the track or for timing laps at the finish line. Give your wrist a precision analogue makeover by equipping it with a chronograph stopwatch feature.
The go-getter – You either stuck to your FTSE 100 app, chairing a board meeting, or packing for another trip to New York. You enjoy prestige, particularly when it includes a handy GMT time-zone function.
The classics man – You’re a traditional person with a classic style who most likely wants to pass his watch down the generations. You will most likely choose a watch that is designed in a timeless fashion.
The outdoor lover – You value your time in the open fresh air hiking up a mountain Rather than with your feet up relaxing at home. You go for water resistance, reliability, robustness, and versatility.
The urban connoisseur – You seek to discover the aesthetics in everyday life, and love to delve into art and critical thinking. You love to have a watch that is clean, contemporary, and crisp with many talking points.
The design enthusiasts – You’re all about making an unpredictable statement. You’re looking for something with a vintage feel but classed with new-age fun.
Consider the movement
The watch is powered by an internal mechanism. You should have a fundamental awareness of what you’re paying for, such as the distinction between classic mechanical movements (which include automatic watches) and battery-powered quartz movements, as the kind can have a significant impact on price. Quartz is typically more precise and less expensive, yet it is frequently viewed as being less intriguing.
Since mechanical movements are powered by an unwinding spring, there is no need to change any batteries. Mechanical movements are valued because they are more sophisticated, difficult, and expensive to create. Automatic movements are mechanical and use a rotor that spins as your wrist moves to maintain the spring wound.
Be confident in watch auctions
The Phillips watch auctions are open to the public and no tickets are needed to enter the auction. At some auctions, opening bids can start at as low as £500 so they are not just for the elitist groups. Philips can source watches from all price points and select the best cheaper models which have great resale value.
Knowing when auctions are held is the first step to buying a watch. Phillips holds live auctions twice a year (Spring and Autumn), with live events in May, June, and November in Geneva and Hong Kong, and an annual special sale occurs in New York in early December. All clocks are examined carefully before they are sent out on tour so that customers can see them, handle them, get a sense of their condition, and ask questions. Customers can therefore be assured that all watches are extremely controlled.
Do not look for a deal
Try not to look for a deal and do not search the grey market. It’s important to Google the watch model and reference number before buying on eBay or from a secondary retailer to see what established retailers charge. A damaged, serviced, or repaired model that has new parts (which can negatively impact the value) is more common than a fake watch.
Make sure to research the seller and check whether the watch is in the seller’s possession. You may want to ask for a picture of the watch next to the latest newspaper. You shouldn’t feel awkward by asking this question as any legitimate sellers will expect this and won’t feel insulted for proving to you whether they own the right watch. If you don’t feel like the seller is trustworthy, then search for another one.
Think about the resale value
Keep your choices open even if you intend to pass the timepiece on to your grandchildren. You can keep the original authenticity papers and packaging in light of this. These will sell for a high price when you resell them. Particularly sought-after timepieces from brands like Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Rolex may sell for a significant premium above their list costs.
A pricey watch can be sold on eBay, via Crown & Caliber, or through well-known online shipping merchants like TheRealReal. You can accept or reject the list price that the website suggests. If you utilize eBay, you must Google the typical resale price. Additionally, you can trade in your watch for an ad, buy something new, and pay the difference.
Choose the right strap
The strap is another expression of your personality and must match the rest of what you’re wearing, along with your wrist size and complexion. Just remember to choose a steel bracelet if you’re not sure if it matches the rest of your ensemble and never use a rubber strap with a suit.
Nato – Woven nylon NATO straps were first defined in the British Ministry of Defence Standard 66-15 of 1973, so that a lug failure would not cause it to come off the wrist. It is so named because it has a Nato stock number. They are at an affordable cost, and they are many to choose from.
Bracelet – The watch is affixed to the wrist using a strong material, and the style is an excellent design-meets-engineering expression. Make sure that the bracelet is properly fitted to your wrist if you choose this strap design. A dangly bracelet weakens the links.
Rubber – Dive watches have become increasingly popular as a smart-casual option and a rubber strap for omega watches is booming in popularity. These rubber diving straps come with an accordion rippled detail that stretches over a wetsuit.
Leather – No matter what type of leather strap you choose, (alligator, crocodile or calf skin) it is likely the most versatile option and it is available in multiple colours, and spans both casual and smart styles.