Five things to factor in when buying a timepiece.
1. Take Your Time
Ironically, gents too often don’t take their time when buying a timepiece. Rushing in is a danger because you’re more likely to buy a dud or simply get a watch that doesn’t suit your style or your lifestyle.
2. Don’t Buy Cheap
You get what you pay for and you’re unlikely to find style, accuracy and durability in a cheap watch. It is possible, just very unlikely. Your best option is to buy a high-end watch new or second-hand. If you’re planning to buy a mid-range watch, avoid second-hand fixer-uppers as the cost of repair/servicing is likely to be more than they’re worth. And if someone’s offering a Rolex for a couple of hundred, it’s a four-letter word starting with f – fake.
3. Research, Research, Research
While you’re taking your time, do your research. That means reading back issues of Men’s Style, going to watch aficionado websites and forums, and talking to jewellers and dealers. Read up on brands, their heritage and ethos, get a sense of the style you like and what you want in terms of functionality, accuracy, design, etc. Try on as many models as you want – and then think about it some more. A good quality watch should last a lifetime – so there’s no hurry. Your heart should play a role in your decision but it shouldn’t rule your head.
4. Service Costs
A watch you invest in needs to be serviced at least every five years (if not more regularly) and it can be expensive, especially if you bought a chronograph, for instance, with more complications. There’s a reason there’s such a market in used watches in need of work because blokes don’t always factor in what they’ll have to pay down the line. If you’ve got a collection of watches, those bills can pile up and you may find mid-range watches aren’t worth the expense.
5. The Price Is Right
The retail price doesn’t have to apply. Many jewellers will offer a discount and you can get cheaper high-end timepieces – new and used – at physical and online auctions or even at trade shows. You can also buy a used high-end watch that’s in need or service and repair, pay those costs and wind up with an investment timepiece for thousands less than you’d pay new. That said, you need to be sure of what you’re buying – read up, ask for receipts and service history. If in doubt, arrange for the watch to be inspected by a jeweller before parting with your bucks.