Treating yourself to a timepiece should always be a special moment. Make the most of every second by visiting a boutique that offers both a wide range of choice and a warm welcome. The experience of choosing a watch is all part of treating yourself and should be a moment you cherish. First things first: you have to try before choosing. You’ll know straight away from the dimensions and thickness of the case and the shape of the crown whether or not a watch is right for you, depending on the size of your wrist.
Next, think about where you’ll be wearing your new watch: in the office, on holiday, on your bike or perhaps for other sports? Maybe you want a watch you can wear for all of the above? If so, check that your watch is waterproof and opt for a metal or all-purpose strap such as the NATO nylon strap. If you’re looking for a city watch to wear with a shirt, make sure the strap isn’t too thick so you can button the cuffs. Otherwise you might have to think about updating your whole wardrobe – a project that you should only consider if you’re buying a very special watch!
If this is your first watch, start with a round face in steel or gold with two or three hands. Then, depending on your tastes and the level of accuracy you need, consider extra features such as extra windows or faces (displaying date, seconds, calendar, etc.).
Already own a classic watch? Go for something a little more daring and opt for a sports watch with a stronger identity (one with a built-in stopwatch, for example, or a watch specially designed for diving, aviation, etc.) and alternate between your watches according to your schedule.
There is also a very wide range of oval faces available (usually on women’s watches), as well as rectangular, barrel and even square faces. There are no rules when it comes to materials – simply choose whatever you like best. However, it’s important not to choose a watch just because someone you know has the same one. Your watch should match your personality (serious and reserved, or perhaps extroverted and eccentric).
Whatever your personality, there’s a whole world of watches waiting to be discovered. Remember, it’s your watch, not anyone else’s! The range of watches on offer has expanded significantly over the last few years and there is now a whole world of digital watches to choose from, too. These often provide lots of useful and interesting information in one small package so you don’t feel like you’re carrying a scientific calculator on your wrist.
Seasoned watch enthusiasts and those who expect a bit more from their watches often opt for mechanical watches of various levels of sophistication. With a practically unlimited lifespan, these watches are often passed on through generations. There are two types of mechanical watch: the automatic, which doesn’t need to be wound up because the energy from your movements is enough to power the “motor”, and the manual watch, which has to be set each day (or more frequently if the watch has a power reserve made by a good brand).
If you’ve got a smaller budget or are not particularly interested in the finer details of horology, a quartz (battery-powered) watch might just do the trick. Although these watches tend to be the least expensive, they’re also the most accurate timekeepers. In terms of features, frequent travellers will appreciate having a second time zone (GMT), while aesthetes might enjoy a watch with a lunar calendar (tracking the movements of the moon).
The features available on watches are endless, whether technical (tourbillon, perpetual calendar, stopwatch) or purely for effect (chiming function, world map, etc.). And one thing is certain: they have a way of making you want to come back for more. Once people discover the world of watches, they usually find that just one watch isn’t enough. Just wait and see for yourself how easy it is to go from amateur to collector!