Buying your first luxury timepiece is undoubtedly an exciting endeavor, but there are some considerations that you need to make in order to buy the best watch that suits your needs, style, and personality. While there’s nothing wrong in picking a watch that you like and just going for it, in this guide we’re going to breakdown the things you might want to think about in the lead up to buying your first luxury timepiece or when you begin to branch out and build your collection with watches you love.
Size Matters (Kind of)
Perhaps one of the most common mistakes that beginners make when they buy their first luxury timepiece is neglecting to ensure the watch fits them – particularly when it comes to online purchases. While you might get lucky with your first watch, it is best to look at how big your wrist is and equate that with the case diameter of the watch you are looking to buy. If your wrist is 7” or so, you should be able to pull off pieces up to around 42mm. If you are below that, you might want to stay within 36-40mm, and if you are larger, you can pull off whatever you want.
While it’s not an exact science, as things like thickness and lug-to-lug, i.e., the measurement from the tip of one lug to the next, can vary wildly from watch to watch, the general styling rule of thumb is to wear a watch without having the lugs overhanging your wrist. This is ultimately down to how you want your watch to look, but these conventions have arisen as a matter of comfort through the decades, so they’re pretty solid advice.
Style and Type
When you know what size watch you want, the next thing for you to figure out is the style of watch you want and the broader categories that style of watch fits within. With a multitude of styles to go for, identify how the watch will match your personal aesthetic. If you are someone that dresses casually most of the time, you’ll want a sports watch, maybe a Diver of Chronograph. If you like to dress business casual, then a leather-strapped Pilot’s watch might suit, or if you often find yourself in suits, then a classical dress watch might be to your taste.
Within these styles, you will find various categories of watches that you can match to the kind of look you are going for. Within the sports watch category, you have divers, chronographs, pilots watches, and so on; within dress watches, you have everything from simple three-handers to complicated tourbillons and anything else you can imagine. Generally speaking, the style and type of your watch should match what it is you want to get from your watch and how you want to present yourself while wearing it.
If you want a weekend watch to wear when you’re out of your work clothes, a stainless steel sports watch will be more appropriate than a dress watch. Likewise, if you are styling a suit with a watch, a sports watch wouldn’t be the best option unless you put it on an outfit-matching leather strap. Instead, a thin precious metal dress watch would be the way to go.
Perhaps a smaller point to mention than the others, but when you buy your first watch or even one of the earlier pieces in your collection, you might want to try sticking to somewhat conservative dial options. Thus, these dials will be more likely to match outfits better than daring colors like reds or yellows. While you can always add color to your watch by changing its strap to one of our HORUS Straps, a muted dial in either black, white, blue or green, will ensure you will be able to match your watch to most of your outfits without having to sacrifice on aesthetics. A versatile dial means your watch is versatile too, while daring color options are usually one-dimensional as outfit accessories.
As someone looking to get into watches, you may be under the impression that there are strict codes that you have to abide by with regards to actually wearing your watch. Within horology, we have gatekeepers who try to dictate that a watch is worn on your non-dominant hand above your wrist bone and that should be loose on your wrist, but not loose enough that it slides past the bone or rotates. Those are simply not things you have to worry about when buying, wearing, or styling your watch.
Wear your watch on the side it feels best, as loose or tight as you feel comfortable and as high up or low down your arm as you want. These are simply archaic styling conventions that nobody pays attention to anymore, and for a good reason. Wear your watch how you feel it suits your style best. If you wear comfortable clothes and don’t like restrictive garments, then rock a loose watch; you’ll always look better than someone uncomfortably following conventions that don’t suit them just for the sake of it when you wear your watch how you want to.