For some people, achieving a certain status or level of success in life necessitates a celebration of sorts. For many men, this means purchasing their first luxury watch.
For those who don’t consider themselves collectors and aren’t well-versed in the world of luxury watches, the first purchase can be a challenge. Here are some key considerations when investing in one of these luxurious status symbols.
What’s the Budget?
Even those who consider themselves successful are often confined to a budget; it’s just higher than it once was. As luxury watches can range from the low thousands to the low hundred thousands (and beyond), it’s important for first-timers to enter the market with an idea of how much they want to spend when watch shopping for men’s watches or visiting sponsored retailers.
Most luxury brands offer a wide range of price points. However, not only does having a budget help the buyer make a wise investment, but it also helps reduce the overwhelm of options available on the market. Setting a budget range will automatically cut out a significant portion of the options, making it easier to decide which watch is right.
How About the Brand?
There are generally two types of first-time luxury watch buyers: those who want the notoriety of the brand and those who are more interested in the design. In other words, there are those who want a luxury watch and those who want a Rolex because everyone knows the name. There’s no right or wrong answer when deciding if brand matters; it’s purely subjective based on the buyer.
For those who find themselves interested in a specific brand, there will still be a lot of different looks and styles to choose from within that category. However, it’s also worth looking at comparable brands to see if there are other style options that appeal as well. In many cases, first-time luxury watch buyers don’t know what they like until they see it.
Finding One’s Personal Style
There are a lot of different watch styles and designs available in the luxury watch market. First-time buyers should start by considering the basics. What color scheme appeals? Do they prefer square or round watches? Do they like the strong, metal look or are rubber, leather, and cloth straps more appealing? Bold and ostentatious or sleek and subtle?
Fortunately, the diverse options mean that there’s a watch for everyone, as long as they take the time to find it. If possible, a first-time buyer should try on a few styles to see how they look and feel when worn. Taking a few photos to be able to go home and compare them side-by-side can also help narrow down the decision.
Is Swiss Made a Must?
In addition to considering the brand and style, it’s also important to take a broader perspective and consider whether the Swiss made label matters or not. Switzerland has long held the majority of the market share when it comes to luxury watches, as their name has become synonymous with quality craftsmanship. That being said, there are a lot of incredible designers from Japan, Italy, and even the USA that offer high-quality luxury timepieces.
For a watch to be eligible for the Swiss Made stamp on its face, it must meet three main criteria: the watch movements (the gears that make it function) must have been made in Switzerland, the components must have been assembled in Switzerland, and the final inspection must have taken place within Swiss borders. Thus, there are Swiss watchmakers who operate outside of Switzerland that can’t use the Swiss made label and watchmakers from other regions who move to Switzerland specifically for this purpose. It’s up to the buyer to determine how much this distinction matters to them.
New or Used
One might wonder why someone would invest so much money in a used luxury timepiece. There are multiple reasons to consider. While luxury timepieces do hold their value over time, collectors can often get a bit of a price break when buying used. Additionally, there are many limited release special edition watches that are hard to acquire after the fact. Collectors who wish to purchase a limited production watch or have their eye on a vintage piece will buy used.
When buying used, it’s important to go through a reliable source and ensure the authenticity of the piece. While it’s challenging to create a replica or knock off when someone knows what to look for, it’s significantly less challenging to fool a newcomer to the luxury watch world. It’s important for first-timers to use caution when purchasing a used luxury watch and to remember that if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
For some first-time luxury watch buyers, the first purchase will be the last. Others will feel as though they’ve stumbled onto something amazing and become a collector. Whatever the case may be, look for high-quality timepieces beyond the main Swiss made brands. There are hidden gems scattered throughout the world of luxury watches if one knows where to look.