Buying a designer or luxury watch is no small feat, especially for new collectors or watch lovers who are saving up to buy their first heavyweight piece. These watches cost thousands of dollars and are made of the highest quality metals by artisans who use inimitable techniques that have been honed over hundreds of years, so they’re definitely worth treasuring. Before you take the leap and purchase that designer watch you’ve been eyeing, take a second to consider these four things first so that you can make the best purchase for yourself.
The first thing to keep in mind while contemplating the purchase of a designer watch is your budget. Luxury watches come in at a variety of price points based on the materials they’re made of, the complications they include, their rarity, and the prestige of the brand. You can expect to pay between $500 to $2,000 on the low end and $8,000 to $10,000 on the high end of the price point scale. The pieces that are deeply-coveted in the collecting community or are quite rare tend to go for upwards of $20,000. You can upgrade your collection by purchasing more elite pieces down the road, but we’d suggest sticking with something simple and low-budget for your first watch. However, if you really have your heart set on a more impressive watch, going the pre-owned route might be the best option for you. Check out this article about why buying Rolexes pre-owned is a smart investment.
It’s very important to think about how you’ll be wearing the watch, as some designer watches are better suited to certain lifestyles than others are. For example, if you work in a particularly formal or buttoned-up office environment, consider purchasing an impressive dress watch made of high-karat gold. However, if you work with your hands and want a watch that can withstand anything, we’d recommend going for something sturdy and made out of stainless steel or even platinum. The type of watch you purchase heavily depends on the kind of life you lead while wearing it.
Luxury watches often come equipped with various complications, or mechanisms that allow the watch to do other things besides tell time. Some common complications include a date display, a triple calendar, an alarm, and a chronograph. Complications that are popular in the collecting community and drive up the cost of a watch include the perpetual calendar, the moon phase, and second timezone. More than that, some watches come with helium release valves, tourbillons, and anti-magnetic features so that they can withstand the planet’s forces from in the clouds, on land, and underseas. All this means that you should keep in mind what you want to use your designer watch for. Whether you’re looking for a diving watch with a chronograph to time your underwater excursions or a moon phase watch to bring with you while stargazing, there’s a complication for everyone and everything.
This consideration is perhaps the most personal of all. If a designer watch has checked all the other boxes—fits your budget, is made of the right materials to fit your lifestyle, has the complications you need—then the last thing to do is make sure it checks the box for your personal style. If you’re the dressy type, you might prefer something sleek and leather-strapped. If you’re the rugged type, you might want something with a significant presence on the wrist and maybe a steel bracelet to withstand your adventures. Either way, the styles that appeal to you should definitely be factored into your purchase decision.
Feeling inspired? Check out this selection of the best entry-level luxury watches to get your collection started.