My top tips for choosing a new watch

Many of us go without a watch these days, myself included and I’m forever rummaging in my handbag to find my mobile phone just to check what the time is. I was out shopping this week and after this same old struggle to check the time, I decided there and then that I needed to buy a watch – and actually wear it! I used to wear a watch all the time as a teenager; with running to and from lessons and needing to catch buses at the right time, it was essential. I wore my jazzy green-and-black watch so much so that I even had a bit of an indent in my arm when I took it off! What changed eh? It must have been the invention of the mobile phone that has stopped me from wearing a watch. But all that is about to change, so I thought it was about time (!) that I did a bit of research into watch trends and I wanted to share these tips with you in case you’re looking to start wearing a watch again.

Ever since the first pocket watches were built in the 15th Century they have been seen as treasured items that often hold a lot of sentimental value for the wearer. As we reach the point in watchmaking history where ‘smart watches’ are beginning to slip onto the market – Samsung’s new offering is looking to be a market leader – it may be a good time to find a watch that doesn’t require software updates (!) and prevents you from looking dated.

pocket watch

Here are some things to bear in mind:

1.      Traditional Brands Are Key

Traditional brands of watches such as Tissot, Raymond Weil, and Rotary never go out of style. These brands have lingered for a reason and, if you are looking for a watch to mark a special occasion, a graduation or a wedding, going for one of these will always be the smarter move.

2.      Asses Your Activity Level

This is one of the most key elements of choosing a watch. There is no point whatsoever in buying a Rolex if you are someone who is always active; climbing mountains, riding bikes, sailing etc. If you frequently partake in activities like these, you can find a watch that suits them, and also looks good when you’re in the city. Omega makes great Seamaster watches for example.

seamaster watch

3.      Work In An Office? Avoid Digital

This is one of those slightly OTT rules, and you will see plenty of people breaking it, but it has been said that subconsciously an analogue watch gives of a greater sense of authority. If you are not sure of the exact style of analogue watch that might suit your trade, browse through the watches on a good site like It might be worth noting the kinds of watches that other efficient looking people in your offices wear, and then buying a better model.

4.      Use Sophisticated Metals

If you buy a watch made from platinum, titanium, or rose gold it send the correct messages. These materials are more expensive, but that doesn’t come without benefits. They are stronger and they look better too.

5.      Assess The Watch’s Form

Sometimes a watch will tick all the right boxes but in the end it just doesn’t suit your wrist. It may be too flash for your appearance or it may not be comfortable. Make sure you try on a watch before buying it. I once bought a watch that had a large face, which was much too big on my wrist – it looked like a clown’s watch! Needless to say, I never wore it – so consider that you’re going to be putting this on your wrist day-in-day-out and choose something that actually suit you!

6.      Understand The Resale Value

If you are buying watches from the more expensive end of the market, it is worth considering what the resale value for that watch is – this could affect the price you are prepared to pay dramatically. Omega Speedmasters bought in the 70s can now sell for 3x their purchase price.

7.      Most Importantly: Ignore the amount of ‘jewels’ inside the watch

These are often advertised generously by the people selling expensive watches but really the ‘jewels’ are of little importance. They are also worth only a few pennies and add no real value to the watch. The exact number required for a watch depends on the design of the watch but the average mechanical watch requires about 17. They are just used as low friction pivots for parts of the mechanism.

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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