featured 20, Aug 2018 12:03pm
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10 Steps to the Perfect Watch

Have you ever wondered “What’s the perfect watch for me?” Perhaps you framed the question like this: “Which watch should I buy?” Here’s a 10-step plan to help you find the one that’s perfect for you.

Step One

If you’re just starting out in the world of watches, visit online communities and ask questions. No, don’t ask “Which watch should I buy.” The forum participants don’t know you, so their advice is likely to be off the mark. Instead, ask specific questions about watches to build your knowledge. Ask questions based on the guidelines below. In any online community, keep in mind that the answers may reflect a built-in bias. Regular forum participants may have already formed strong brand allegiances. A site dedicated to a particular brand will be populated by devotees of that brand.

Step Two

Make a list of the features and qualities you seek in a timepiece, prioritise them, and then look for watches that fit your list. Really think about the features. Will you use the watch in the water? Do you need to be able read it in the dark? Do you need a particular complication? Do you need a large date for better legibility? If you like to swap straps, do you need standard lugs? Will you trade overall legibility for a cool look? Are service costs a concern? The list goes on.

Step Three

The more time you devote to the search, the happier you will be in the end. Avoid impulse purchases. Be methodical.

Step Four

"The more time you devote to the search, the happier you will be in the end. Avoid impulse purchases. Be methodical."

If at all possible, do not buy a given watch because you think it will please or impress other people. You can purchase any watch, and people will line up to tell you that you should have purchased their favourite watch instead. Putting your happiness in the hands of others is risky business. Learn to shrug off criticism. Be confident in your choices. The only opinion that counts is yours.

Step Five

Every time you see an image of a watch you like, save it. Try to locate multiple images of the same watch. Don’t focus on professional beauty shots – try to find good live shots. Look at the saved images every day (or more often). Keep a list ranking your favourites. If a watch stays at the top for a while, it may be a winner. On the other hand, once you spot something that bothers you about a watch, you will notice it every time you look at the watch, so you should probably eliminate it from your list.

Step Six

Do your best to pinpoint the two or three things about a watch that really make you like it. Don’t just say “It looks nice” – be specific. Once you do that, you can seek out other watches with those qualities.

Step Seven

Be as thorough as possible in your search. Nothing is worse than buying a watch, only to find one you like better the following week. (Though for some, that is a way of life. They are “flippers” or “catch-and- release” collectors who live for the hunt, and this article is not for them.) If you’ve found a watch you really like, visit the watch communities, tell the good people which watch that is, and ask them to recommend similar watches. In this regard, advice from others can prove useful.

Step Eight

TRY BEFORE YOU BUY! Try on as many watches as possible. Watches can definitely surprise you once on your wrist. Watches that prove too big, too small, too thick, and/or too heavy generate much buyers’ remorse. If you see a watch you like online, find the same watch locally and try it on. If you can’t find that watch, find one that’s close in size and try it on. If you buy long distance without a test drive, make sure you can return the watch, no questions asked.

Step Nine

When you’re trying on watches, pay close attention to how they make you feel. Ideally, one watch will “call to you” from among the many you’re considering. That may be the one to buy, assuming it continues calling over a period of time. Don’t get married after (or during) the first date.

Step Ten

Once you’ve made a decision, try it on for a few days (the decision, not the watch). Act as though you’ve already purchased the watch, and your search has ended. Any other watch you were thinking of buying is now beyond reach. Are you still happy with your choice?


Finding the perfect watch can be a challenge, but the hunt is part of the fun, and the right choice can bring years of enjoyment. Why don't you get started now on our Perfect Gift widget?

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