Finances & Money

Do You Have the Time? How to Find the Best Watch for Your Style and Budget

Modern watch on a businessman’s wrist

Are you the type of guy who treats himself to luxury items? Or are you more the type who avoids spending money?

Whichever category you fall into, the day will come when you need to invest in a watch. Maybe you’ll land that big promotion at work, or maybe your old watch from college finally falls apart.

Whatever the case, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to shopping for wrist watches. With so many different types of watches on the market, how can you choose the best watch for you?

The good news is you don’t have to sign up for a horology course to understand watches (although you certainly can if you like).

Here are some important factors to consider before you go watch shopping.

Determine Your Style

The first step in finding the right watch for you is figuring out which style appeals to you most.

It doesn’t matter if your dad prefers a diver’s watch and your boss wears an aviator-style watch. If you’re more drawn to g shock watches, that’s fine!

Like ties, shoes, and other fashion accessories, there are many styles to choose from. Why? Because we all like different things.

Put simply, the best watch for you is the watch you love the best (more on that later).

Do you want a digital display, analog display, or a combination of both? Are you trying to make a statement or select a watch as a status symbol? Or do you just want something that looks nice and tells time?

Do you want a luxury item to wear to the office? Or do you want something rugged you can wear while playing sports? Does it matter to you if the watch is sturdy and waterproof, or are you okay with a piece that’s more fragile?

There are no right or wrong answers here. The idea is to determine why you want a watch and which features (if any) are most important to you.

Understand Watch Pricing

Now that you’re thinking about different styles of watches, let’s discuss another important factor: price.

The cheapest watches at Walmart might set you back $5, while high-end ultra-luxury watches cost tens of thousands of dollars. There’s also a thriving market for replica watches of major brands–but we highly discourage taking that route.

What lies between cheap plastic and 24 karat gold and diamonds? Plenty!

Here’s a quick rundown of the pricing structure for different categories of watches:

Consumer Watches (Under $250)

If you’re trying to save money (but don’t want to buy crap), you might consider a nice consumer fashion watch.

These are the watches you see in malls and department stores. They look nice, run well, and may offer a few select features. Because of the low price point, you may be able to buy a few different types to suit your lifestyle and hobbies.

Keep in mind that watches in this category are not meant to become family heirlooms or last for decades. If you get a few years out of a consumer watch, you’re doing well–and can easily replace it when the time comes.

Enthusiast Watches ($250-$1,000)

If you’re ready to move out of the “fashion watch” category, there are plenty of affordable enthusiast watches out there.

This is the place for you when you have a bit of disposable income and you’re looking to make a fashion statement.

Many smartwatches fall under this category, as well as attractive diver’s watches and aviation style watches. You can also find themed watches inspired by racecars, yachting, or different branches of the military.

Luxury Watches ($1,000-$10,000)

Most of the famous brand names you know fall into this category. Rolex, Omega, and TAG Heuer are a few that come to mind.

With heftier price tags, luxury watches set you apart. They’re a statement in themselves, signaling to onlookers that you have the means to buy such an item.

Unlike cheaper watches that roll off an assembly line, luxury watches are carefully hand-crafted by expert watchmakers. Expect them to look beautiful and last for a very long time.

Ultra-Luxury Watches (Over $10,000)

Most of us can’t afford to drop five figures on a watch. But if you’re among the elite few who can, there’s virtually no limit to what you can expect in a watch of this caliber.

24 karat gold, diamonds, and other precious gemstones are common in ultra-luxury watches. To add to the appeal, many are not even available to the general public!

Consider Your Budget & Values

To a certain extent, your budget will determine what type of watch you buy. But there’s more to consider than just the price tag.

The true value of the watch comes from the pleasure of wearing it. How often will you wear the watch–every day? Only to the office? Only on special occasions?

How do you feel when you wear the watch? Confident, attractive, powerful? Are you concerned about how others perceive you when they see your watch?

There’s no point in buying a luxury watch if you think it’s ugly or you don’t enjoy wearing it. There’s also no point in buying a watch that will sit and collect dust in a drawer–no matter how expensive or flashy it is.

The best watch for you is the watch you enjoy wearing the most. This is true no matter the style or price point.

Which Watch Is the Best Watch for You?

Ultimately, the best watch for you depends on your personal style, budget, and taste.

So stop worrying about the type of watch your father/boss/neighbor wears. Instead, use the tips outlined above to find the perfect watch for you–one you’ll enjoy for years to come!

Now that you know all about men’s watches, it’s time to think about gifts for Father’s Day. Click here for our best ideas and recommendations.

About the author

Susan Paige

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