Starting a watch collection can seem a daunting task, especially with the wide array of watch styles available and the dozens of diverging opinions on the subject from acclaimed horological experts. Watch collecting doesn’t need to be of Byzantine complexity, though. We’ve pulled together the five core styles that would make the perfect foundation to your bourgeoning collection.
1. The Versatile Dress Watch
These days, wristwatches tend to act more as fashion statements than as tools necessary to go about your day. As such, there’s nothing like a great-looking watch to class up an ensemble, especially one fit for a formal event. Choose a timepiece with a sleek, understated profile and a black leather strap to spice up that tux.
This is the timepiece you wear on an errand to the supermarket or on days out with friends or family. A stainless steel case would give this casual timepiece the protection it needs to endure the wear and tear of your weekend tasks. The weekender watch should also have a smaller face and low-key strap: we recommend canvas or nylon, which are both durable and easy-to-clean fabrics.
These lightweight timepieces are built to take a beating. Characterized by their large case and rubber or NATO strap, sport watches are made to be ultra-functional and low-maintenance. Their many built-in functions and easy-to-clean straps make these kinds of watches perfect for timing your daily workout. Choose a model in black or another dark color so that you can take it from the pool or the soccer field to dinner with a quick wipe-down to make it look snazzy.
4. The Business Watch
“Dress for the job you want,” they say, “not the job you have.” Nothing speaks better to such a classic adage than a professional-looking watch to match your new suit. This timepiece takes you through meetings and on business trips, so choose a watch that is versatile enough that it won’t look out of place with your traditional three-piece, but that also isn’t boring. We recommend a watch from a recognizable brand with a significant history behind it—something with a metal bracelet that won’t tarnish and a sleek, clean face.
Any watch collector worth his salt will tell you that the chronograph is first watch you should invest in to commemorate a milestone in life. These watches are celebrated for their especially precise timekeeping abilities, and often feature prominently in collections because of the incredible workmanship that goes into making each one. The chronograph is the timepiece you aspire to, and collectors often do: the most beloved watches in the collector community are chronographs, especially the Rolex Daytona and the Omega Speedmaster, which are renowned for their incredible luxury quality and impeccable precision.