Think of luxury watches in terms of automobiles: You have the high end (Maybach) brands, the mid range (Cadillac) brands, and the “basic luxury” (Volvo) brands. Although any of them could cost you a small fortune, some are more exclusive and more highly coveted than the others. Yet, aside from their hefty price tags, these brands have something else in common: Owning a luxury car, no matter how expensive or how exclusive it is, is an investment, as it is with a luxury watch.
Whether you’re in the market to start your own collection or to purchase a gift for someone else, here are a few things to remember when shopping for time.
The unspoken rule about luxury watches is that if it doesn’t go well with your suit, then you cannot consider it a “luxury”. Of course, this rule is moot if you’re purchasing a sports watch. Despite this, consider a watch’s versatility before purchasing. Determine if it’s an everyday watch, for more formal evening gatherings or for sporting events. For this reason, a classic watch is always a wise choice for those who are just beginning to build their collections.
When choosing watches, most men value brand performance (as each brand has a distinctive advantage in terms of consumer loyalty over its competitors, but we’ll get to that in a bit), build quality, features and the watch’s exclusivity, regardless of the price. On the other hand, most women prefer exclusive brands and beautiful, intricately designed and crafted watches, such as those embedded with rare gemstones or those with gold and antique finishes.
If you’re purchasing a gift for your special lady, consider the Cartier La Dona watch; a beautiful and elegant timepiece with a diamond bezeled case and bracelet set in 18k white gold with an elegant, polished finish. Given the fact that this six figure watch has already been discontinued, giving one to your lady love would surely earn you some brownie points
For men, the Breitling Navitimer combines the appeal of aeronautics and the beauty of a chronograph. With a rose 18k gold finish set on a black dial, an elegant brown crocodile leather strap and a five figure price tag, the Navitimer is sure to turn heads.
Again, the first thing to consider when buying luxury watches is that you are making an investment. Figure out if you want to invest in a specific but unique watch, or if you want a classic watch that you can wear everyday.
Given that luxury watches come with expensive tags, it only makes sense to purchase one that will last. That being said, make sure you invest in a watch that is at least 50m water resistant. This means that you can use it while swimming in shallow water or bathing. If you need a watch for snorkelling or other similar water activities, try a watch with 100m resistance. Finally, get a diver’s watch that is at least 150m water resistant if you’re into scuba diving.
When it comes to diver’s watch, the IWC Aquatimer Chronograph Blue is always a popular choice. With a blue dial that provides maximum legibility, even on night dives, it complements every frequent diver’s ensemble.
In the same way a car enthusiast would know the value of your car, watch aficionados will be able to spot a watch’s exclusivity and rareness from afar. That being said, the brand plays a pivotal role in determining a watch’s desirability.
Before we begin discussing different brands, it would be worth pointing out that such brands often carry many products on a single line, meaning that a brand may offer a range of both high end and mid range luxury watches. High end luxury watches showcase exclusive design and astonishing craftsmanship, considering that the majority, if not all, of the watch’s components are handmade. High end luxury watches are also produced in smaller quantities, thus making each piece extremely valuable in its own right. Such items are available only at specialised watch dealers and jewellery stores and prices start at around $5,000 for stainless steel watches and can reach into the millions for other types. Mid range watches are the “stereotype” of luxury; durable, beautiful watches that are both elegant and valuable. Mid range luxury watches are found at watch dealers and jewellers. Stainless steel models start at around $1,000 and the most expensive of the gold on gold variants could reach as much as $20,000. Luxury watches, on the other hand, are sold in department stores and malls. While their prices may be a bit more expensive when compared to “normal” watches, this range of watches is still at the lower end of the luxury spectrum. Nevertheless, luxury watches are elegant, stylish and trendy. A stainless steel model could go for as low as $500, while a gold on gold bracelet variant could sell for as much as $4,000. A watch’s brand, however, is only as impressive as its appearance. If you neglect to properly maintain your luxury watch, then it could appear as ordinary as the ones you will see on the street.
With these guidelines in mind, you are well on your way to purchasing a fine luxury watch.