A luxury watch is one of the most powerful status symbols. A high-end timepiece instantly adds sophistication to any outfit, but purchasing your first luxury watch can feel like a leap into the unknown. Naturally, quality comes at a cost, so making a wise decision may save you more than just the embarrassment of a fashion faux pas. We’ll walk you through the key points to consider before parting with your hard-earned cash in this beginner’s guide to luxury watches.
WHICH LUXURY WATCH BRAND IS THE BEST?
When it comes to purchasing a luxury watch, the first thing that comes to mind is the brand. A small number of high-quality manufacturers have come to dominate this niche market, and some of them have become household names as a result
Rolex is without a doubt the most well-known watchmaker in the world. Owning a Rolex is a lifelong dream for many people, but the Geneva-based brand carefully limits production numbers to ensure their watches remain truly exclusive items. As a result, Rolex watches frequently outperform rival brands in terms of value retention.
Breitling is yet another top-tier Swiss watchmaker. This brand is associated with aviation, as indicated by the wings in the Breitling logo. With their large dials and impressive ‘complications,’ many Breitling watches are a visual feast (extra functions beyond timekeeping).
Cartier, a watchmaker and jeweller based in Paris, has a history dating back to the mid-nineteenth century. Cartier produces watches in a wide range of shapes; their styles are far more diverse than those of Rolex and many other luxury watch brands. Cartier has also embraced quartz technology more aggressively than most competitors.
Excavate a Little Further
When you first enter the world of luxury watches, it can be difficult to look beyond Rolex – but the effort is well worth it. We’ve only scratched the surface here, but in addition to the brands mentioned above, our online luxury watch store carries Hublot, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Panerai watches.
QUARTZ VS MECHANICAL WATCHES
First-time watch buyers frequently inquire whether quartz or mechanical watches are superior.
The Scientific Method
High-quality quartz watches are extremely precise. A quartz crystal is charged with a very small current (from the watch’s battery), causing it to vibrate (or oscillate) at an extremely precise frequency. This vibration activates a digital counter, which generates one pulse per second and powers the watch.
A traditional clockwork mechanism powers mechanical watches. When you wind the watch, energy is stored in a spring. This energy is gradually released by the spring via gears connected to a balance wheel. This wheel, like a quartz crystal, oscillates at a regular rate. Every oscillation causes the escapement to advance the watch’s hands.
Although quartz watches are slightly more accurate, many discerning buyers regard quartz technology as sterile. Creating a highly accurate mechanical watch is the ultimate test of craftsmanship; this specialised, labor-intensive process results in a miniature engineering miracle that you can wear wherever you go!
Watches: Manual vs. Automatic
Manual watches must be wound by hand to add tension to the mainspring; automatic watches have a weighted rotor. As you move, so does the rotor, which spins to automatically add tension to the mainspring. Automatic watches are sometimes preferred for their convenience, whereas some manual watches are slightly lighter and slimmer.
Tip: Manual watches are sometimes referred to as ‘hand-wound watches’ or ‘manual-wind watches,’ whereas automatic watches are also referred to as ‘self-winding watches.’
THE ANNOYING BUT IMPORTANT BITS
Choosing your first luxury watch is only the beginning. There are some important steps you can take to ensure that your new high-end timepiece keeps running like, well, clockwork.
Guidelines for Watch-Care
There are some things you should never do on your own. Repairing or servicing a watch necessitates the use of a skilled hand, especially in the case of high-end mechanical watches. It’s best to have your watch checked by a professional if it doesn’t keep accurate time, if it’s damaged, or every few years.
Insuring Your High-End Watch
Should you insure your high-end timepiece? We are unable to provide an answer to that question. It all comes down to how much you’ve spent versus how much you can afford to lose. Certainly, if you purchased a luxury watch as an investment with the intention of selling it later, you should consider purchasing insurance.
Finally, luxury watches are designed to be worn, admired, and enjoyed, so if insurance gives you the confidence to do so, it is well worth the cost.