Buying a new watch is always exciting. Whether you’re getting it for the style, functionality, or some other purpose, we can all benefit from a high-quality watch. There are all sorts of companies, materials, features, and designs to look through. While it’s usually exciting, some of us get stuck between one or the other.
So, how are you supposed to know which watch is right for you? After all, most of them look great, and they have similar features. Instead of picking one in the dark, we’re going to dive into all the details and information you need to start your watch collection.
What is the Purpose of Your Watch?
The purpose of a potential watch is debatably the most important reason to buy it. Some of us prefer advanced smartwatches with heartrate sensors, sleep monitors, and more. On the other hand, you might want a simple analog watch that only tells the time. In any sense, your watch should always match the functionality that you need.
If you’re an athlete, getting a modernized smartwatch is the way to go. Not only can you track the aforementioned stats, but you’ll also be able to track your pace, improve your health, and take note of the routes you take most often. Many people who use smartwatches are more inclined to continue their road to healthiness since they have the physical results right in front of them.
Smartwatches are also a great investment since you can usually send messages, start phone calls, listen to music, and more. Some of them even allow you to view your voicemail, emails, and track where you are using built-in GPS. The latest models of smartwatches also let you use most of your favorite apps, connecting to your smartphone via Bluetooth.
Basic watches, such as the one mentioned above, are also worth looking into. A watch is not only convenient for viewing the time, but it’s also a symbol of art, classiness, and style. The timepiece that you choose is a strong indication of how you see your own wardrobe and professionalism. That’s not to say you shouldn’t get a casual watch; they certainly have their place too.
Analog vs Digital
If you decide to go with a traditional watch, you’ll be able to choose between either digital or analog. Digital watches tell the time without any hands. You can find the time right in the center of your watch, exactly how it is on an oven, microwave, car, and so on.
Analog watches display the time with Arabic numerals, Roman numerals, time markers, and a few other methods. Regardless of which one you choose, you’ll have to read the hands to understand what time it is. It might take a little getting used to before you can read it immediately, but you’ll love the classiness when you can.
It’s often believed that digital watches are better for sports and casual clothes, whereas analog watches are better for high-class events and gatherings. There are certainly instances in which you can cross either watch over to the other side, but these are simply general guidelines.
Materials and Size
The materials that your watch is made out of matter for two reasons:
Durability is directly affected by which materials are used.
Some materials look better than others with certain outfits.
The main four materials used to create watch bands are stainless steel, leather, silicone, and canvas. There are also plenty of expensive watches that use titanium and gold-plated materials, but they tend to cost quite a bit more. If you’re a beginner in the watch industry, you probably don’t want to spend a fortune just yet.
Let’s check out the pros and cons of each material for watches below.
Stainless steel is a classic choice for all watch buyers. It can be worn with any outfit or any event, making it a popular pick for many people. Stainless steel also has the added benefit of being much tougher than leather, silicone, and canvas. Removing or adding links to adjust the size is also very quick and easy.
The only two downsides of stainless steel watches are that they can rust or corrode if they’re cheaply made, and they’re not good with hot or cold temperatures. A stainless steel watch band can heat up or freeze very quickly, so you shouldn’t wear them on days that are too extreme.
Leather is a fantastic pick if you want something that shows elegance combined with a rustic look. It’s one of the most comfortable watch materials, and you can change out the bands quickly as well. Simply removing the top pins will let you replace the entire leather band in under one minute.
However, leather doesn’t do too well with moisture. Even if the watch is waterproof, leather can start to get dry and waterlogged. It also molds and stiffens if you leave it sitting around too much.
While they don’t symbolize class, silicone watches are the best choice for athletes and everyday exercisers. They’re sweatproof, and water slides right off of the surface. Another reason that people like silicone watches is that the bands are cheap to replace.
The only con of silicone watches is that they’re not great looking with nice clothing. You typically wouldn’t style a silicone watch with a nice suit at a wedding or family reunion.
Finally, canvas watches offer the best compromise for all of the benefits with very few drawbacks. They’re comfortable, affordable, and they don’t have an issue with being soaked in water. Canvas watches are also very rugged and ideal for people who go hiking along with other outdoor activities.
Unfortunately, canvas straps can get stained very easily. If you drop any liquid on it that’s dyed or bright, then you’re probably going to stain the strap permanently.
Which Watch Company is the Best?
Now that you have your sights set on the style and materials for your brand-new watch, it’s time to pick out a brand. There are thousands of watch brands on the market, but only a handful of them are worth the investment. Here are the five best watch companies to buy from for beginners.
- Timex is a great watch company that sells low-priced watches. They sell classy watches, casual watches, and everything in between. You’ll also be able to look through analog and digital timepieces as well as all the materials previously mentioned.
- Fossil is another top company for beginners and experienced collectors alike. Their watches are comfortable, long-lasting, and they look wonderful when paired with any outfit.
- Rolex is debatably the most well-known classic watch brand in the world. They’re much more expensive than the other two options above it, but people who invest in a Rolex often find that they never need another watch again.
- Seiko watches are designed and created in Japan. They’re another classic brand that’s much more affordable. If you’re looking for a well-rounded watch that you can wear for business meetings and other professional situations, Seiko should be highly considered.
- Finally, Citizen offers a wide variety of watches in the mid-range of prices. They’re all made to last a very long time without fading or losing track of time. You can easily adjust them, each strap is comfortable, and most Citizen watches have top-notch waterproof ratings.
Just because your favorite brand isn’t on the list doesn’t mean it’s not a great choice. Keep in mind that this list is for beginners who want to get into the industry. You might also consider Casio, Garmin, Michael Kors, Invicta, or Calvin Klein. Don’t forget that most mobile carriers these days have their own watches as well, including Apple, Samsung, and LG.
How to Store Your Watches
Once you’ve started to amass a collection of watches, you shouldn’t leave them lying around. Even if they come in their own boxes, you could lose them. Not to mention the fact that most individual watch boxes are bulky, and they take up too much space.
Instead, you should consider getting your hands on a watch collecting box. These cases usually come with see-through glass to let you look at your watches without opening the lid. It also prevents them from getting damaged, and it makes your watches much easier to travel with.
Some watch cases are just boxes with six individual slots for each watch. On the other hand, you could take it to the next level and buy a valet watch box. These cases have 12 to 18 watch slots and a slide-out drawer underneath to store additional jewelry and glasses.
You could even go as far as investing in a watch carrier that’s designed specifically for traveling. The only downside is that they often don’t have glass tops, but it’s only designed that way to prevent your watches from falling out. Regardless of which case or box you choose, you should definitely find one that has a lock on it to secure your watches.
Owning a watch can be a passage into adulthood, a gift for a promotion, or a present to one’s self as a new style point. There are all sorts of brands and features, but you should only pick what you’re the most comfortable with.
Here’s a TL; DR for the guide:
- Choose between analog or digital
- Find out which material you prefer
- Look through the top 5 beginner brands (or find ones that you like even more)
- Get yourself a watch box to start protecting your new watch collection
- Start searching for your next watch to fill up the box!