Buying a special watch is important, so what do I need to look out for?

There comes a point in every man’s life when you either buy your first proper watch yourself, or someone special buys it for you.

Either way there are certain factors that need to be considered when doing this. A proper watch is something important to a man. It’s unique to almost every other possession in a man’s life, except for maybe a man’s car.  A real watch is a statement about the man himself. So, what factors should be considered?

First of all, the movement

The movement or calibre (as it’s also known) is the heart and soul of the watch. It’s what powers the hands and controls the time. These days there are two types of movements, quartz or mechanical. A Quartz movement uses an oscillator, which is regulated by a piece of quartz and powered by a battery. Quartz movements have taken the world by storm for two main factors. Firstly, they keep time like nothing else out there, (in the watch world obviously) and secondly, they are extremely cheap. Perfect, right? Well not if you are a true watch enthusiast. The fact is that the “hardcore” enthusiasts will only ever choose a mechanical movement and they have a compelling argument too.

Mechanical movements are either automatic or hand wound (the latter chosen for the Noir Blanc which we are launching soon) and they are definitely more special. The first watches ever made were mechanical after all. All the top manufactures use mechanical movements and some of them, such as Omega, Rolex & Patek Philippe, will only use movements they produce in house themselves, but as you know they charge a healthy premium for this exclusivity. Mechanical movements might not tell the time as well as Quartz, but in fairness, they are not exactly that far off, +/- 5-10 seconds a day. They have heart and soul and are almost always decorated beautifully.

Let’s not forget that a good mechanical movement, that is taken care of, should last forever. They are more durable and because they don’t require any other power than that which the wearer provides, they could actually outlive us all. Men like mechanical watches for the same reason they like their classic cars, they’re simply special…

Secondly, style & use

There are many different styles of watch, from the dress watch to the divers watch, the aviator watch to the drivers watch as well as the minimalist watch. Each have their merits and each have their place in this world. Ideally one day, we will all have one of each to choose from but until then it’s really an individual’s taste and lifestyle that influence which style comes first.

Personally, I love them all but if I was really made to choose, I would go with the minimalist watch which is the style of the Noir Blanc (launching on Kickstarter.com at the end of January). There is something so perfect about the subtle detail and simple elegance of this style that captivates me. I always find myself lost in the dial, staring into it, as if hypnotised by its beauty.

Finally, there’s the price

Unfortunately, this is usually the biggest influencer these days for most of us, and a lot of the time it has to be. There are so many watches and brands that are out of reach for the majority of us, with prices in the high thousands and in some cases into the millions. Having said this there are also many levels and price ranges that offer so much as well.

Yes, most watches under 300 euro are Quartz movements but they are far from all bad, on the contrary, you can get some really stylish watches in this range but don’t expect them to become a family heirloom. Then you have the mid-range, 300-1,500 euro mark, where there is an incredible depth of choice that would leave your head spinning. After this, you have the “normal” luxury range from 1,500-10,000 which is where we would all ideally like to be. Finally, everything above this is the super luxury range that most of us, if not all of us, will never afford. But hey, we can still dream.

To sum up, we can all fantasize about owning the most luxurious and expensive watches known to man but if we can’t afford them, it’s not the end of the world. Why? Well, there is all the choice in the world out there, for every type of budget and lifestyle. So, take your time and make sure that whatever you choose, you choose it for yourself and you choose with your heart.

Written by Will, Toc Watch.