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First Timers’ Guide to Luxury Watches: 7 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Buying A Watch

Buying a watch is no mean feat. There are so many things to consider about a watch - leather or fabric strap, automatic movement or quartz movement, diamond or no diamond… the list goes on and confusion ensues. Add on to the fact that information is easily accessible everywhere - online from watch review blogs and offline from well-meaning watch lovers. In the thick of it all, it is easy to make mistakes. Before you end up with a watch you don’t end up loving and $10,000 (or more!) poorer, here are 7 of the biggest mistakes people make when buying a watch, so you can actively avoid them.


Only buying what is in trend



Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date


Everyone knows the rush of buying something trendy, to know what you are one of the first few that owns the current special ‘It’ watch. One key tip to remember is that you are buying the watch for yourself to appreciate and wear in the years to come, not for your friends or your favourite watch reviewer. No amount of hype should make you buy a watch without your due research, as what might be popular now might not be tomorrow. There is no shame in selecting the ‘safe and conservative’ models either. Either way, take your time to understand the nuances of the watch brands and models you might like, before making your final decision.


Not considering if a watch matches your lifestyle


There is already so much to decide when it comes to considering how your watch should look like, but there is another side to this important decision-making process - ensuring that the watch complements your lifestyle. Here are some pointers to look out for:


Overall look and feel

A watch you are eyeing might be suitable for formal events, but would it be suitable for everyday wear?



Rolex Vintage Daytona


Water resistance

For those who like to go out to sea, is your watch well-adjusted to blocking UV rays and seawater like the Rolex Submariner?


Chronograph functions

Would you like your watch to tell more than just the time? Are there any particular functions eg. telemeter, pulsometer that would add value to your current lifestyle?


High contrast dials

Are you often in low-vision environments and therefore require the time on your watch to be easily readable?


This list is by no means exhaustive, it simply invites you to take a closer look into what the watch can potentially offer, so that you are able to match them accordingly to your likes, needs and lifestyle.


Focusing too much on the technicalities

This might seem to be running counter to the point above, but the gist here is that the more is not always the merrier. Unless it is for essential functions that could potentially dissuade you from wearing your watch out more often (see point above), other technicalities do not have to play too big of a consideration when purchasing your watch.


Manners might maketh the man, but movements certainly do not maketh the watch. While one is not dismissing factors such as considering the type of movement, the length of the power reserve, number of jewels on the dial, these need not and should not be an important part of the decision-making process. Ultimately, your taste will change - so just decide on a watch that you know you will love wearing out.


Caving in to watch reviews


This could be just a personal grievance of mine - but what I have noticed is that when I start reading watch reviews and product comparisons, I fall into a rabbit hole of copious information that both seek to educate yet confuse me at the same time. While learning more about a watch from multiple sources is all well and good, sometimes too much information cripples the decision-making process. I have since learnt to circumvent this by only focusing on the features that mattered to me, everything else was moot as far as I was concerned.


Under-emphasizing the watch band


Repeat after me: It is not just about the dial. Granted, the brand, aesthetics and functions will and should come first, but the band should not be swept under the carpet. The reason ties back in to how suitable your watch is to your lifestyle:


Leather straps


Leather straps primarily serve as casual office wear, without seeming overly formal. It is also more comfortable on the wrist, although one might need to take better care in maintaining the strap as compared to other strap materials.


Nylon straps


Nylon straps are generally more lightweight and durable compared to its counterparts - great for wearing your timepiece out over the weekend.


Metal straps



Rolex GMT Reference 1675


The most formal strap out of them all. Apart from instantly making your timepiece look more expensive, there are fewer concerns when it comes to watch maintenance, since it can get wet, and the material will not noticeably stretch.


While there is no one strap to rule them all, considering the watch band that is complementary to your lifestyle (notice the running theme here?) is an important consideration.


Not taking care post-buy


The investment does not stop even after you have finally decided to purchase your timepiece. Some time and effort should be spent on not only keeping the straps clean from dust and skin oils, but also ensuring that the watch goes for servicing every few years. Not sure how else you should be taking care of your watch to make it last? Check out our previous article on how to care for your timepiece.


Buying a watch in fast and furious mode


Assuming money is not an issue here, it might be tempting to build your watch collection as quick as possible - especially when a rare watch at a reasonable enough price beckons. Like any other purchase, buying on impulse might be tempting especially when you feel the rush we are so used to.


Selecting and buying your timepiece can be an amazing experience - just remember these handy tips the next time you walk into a watch retailer, and have fun searching!


Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are solely the opinions of the writer and does not reflect the view of Kee Hing Hung Pte Ltd.



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