It's About Time: The Technicalities of Buying a Watch

The Scenario

As a modern male who cares about his style, one of the rights of passage is the inevitable purchase of a quality watch. Not just any watch, but a true reflection of his personal aura and the way that he carries himself. If you’re in the market for your very first “real” watch, it can be somewhat nerve-racking to walk into a store and ask for something you don’t know the first thing about.  There are plenty of timepiece styles out there for every fashion personality, but before we get into faces and straps (aesthetics), perhaps it’s best to begin with the nuts and bolts (technicalities). 

Men's Minimal Domenico Watches

Why does the movement matter?

For those who aren’t well-versed in watch terminology, there are generally two types of timepieces: quartz and mechanical. This Esquire article does a fantastic job explaining the difference between the two for newbies: “People like mechanical watches for the same reason they might prefer a classic Jaguar E-Type over a modern-day Toyota or vinyl records over MP3s. It’s not just what something does but how it does it.” In the case of watch movements, an automatic watch can be described as “a living thing;” it breathes with the wearer’s wrist. A quartz clock simply ticks with each second, regardless of being worn. If you want to make an impressive first purchase, it’s advisable to go with an automatic. But if you’re mostly concerned with simply telling the time, a quartz piece will be easier to use (and it’s much more accurate.)

Men's Minimal Movado Watches

What kind should I buy?

It all depends what you’ll be using your watch for. If you’re an avid adventurer, you might want to consider a diving watch to withstand the depths of your next underwater voyage. If you’re buying simply for sartorial merit, it all depends on your personal style and your budget. “Stainless steel watches are timeless classics,” Lyst explains, and they match a variety of looks. But if you’d rather change your watches with the trends, be prepared to broaden your budget, as you’ll be buying just as quickly as the store displays change. 

Currently, minimalist designs are dominating the market, and Business Insider wrote about some options that will make any modern fashion fiend happy. Another popular choice for men features a classic brown leather strap with a simple white face. This style is ideal for a man who has traditional style and needs a polished piece to pull his look together.

Men's Minimal 4th Dimension Watch by 22 Design Studio

Making a decision

At the end of the day, what you wear is all about you. Some people are not concerned whether or not their watches feature automatic movements. Some buyers are looking for an investment piece to hold onto for decades to come and possibly pass down to the next generation. Whichever type of timepiece you choose will be great as long as you choose it for you and your style. After all, you’re the one who will be looking down at it each moment you need to know the time.