Self-Purchase Watch Buying Guide

For many women, owning a mechanical timepiece is an affirmation of ‘making it’, a celebration of self – like owning a Mulberry handbag or treating yourself to a pair of Louboutin’s just because you can

As women we are bamboozled by choice at every turn, the shoes, the handbag, where to holiday – some of us (me included) even struggle to decide what to eat for lunch most days. As voracious consumers of every media the options are endless and new purchase lust or envy may strike at any time. Adding a new watch purchase into the equation can be rather daunting, so where to begin? Are you looking for an everyday wear watch, a specialist purpose watch, a quartz or mechanical and what do you want it to say about you? Perhaps you are investing in your first ‘proper’ watch or are adding to your already burgeoning watch wardrobe, but need help? Our guide to self-purchase takes you through the buying process. Happy shopping!

Quartz or Mechanical?

Taking the decision to foray into the world of mechanical watches comes at a price. A watch powered purely by the mini mechanics of cogs, weights and springs rather than a battery powered quartz takes many man hours to produce and its price tag will reflect this. Still for many women, owning a mechanical timepiece is an affirmation of ‘making it’, a celebration of self – like owning a Mulberry handbag or treating yourself to a pair of Louboutin’s just because you can. As an initial decision, this is an important one, a mechanical watch is an investment and you will be living with it for years to come. Considering that what you are paying for is the finest craftsmanship and materials, a luxury watch and especially a limited edition by a coveted watch manufacturer may appreciate in value over time, becoming a family heirloom. With many of the Swiss watchmakers finally responding to demand for mechanical watches designed with women in mind you may find you’re spoiled for choice. You have been warned!

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Rado’s D-Star, Frederique Constant Heart Beat, Longines DolceVita Rado’s D-Star model with its automatic movement and boyfriend styling or for the classicists among you a Frederique Constant Heart Beat or Longines DolceVita might fit the bill.

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Hublot Big Bang & Roger Dubuis

If you’re looking to make a statement with your wrist candy then consider brands such as Hublot with its Big Bang series which is anything but shy and retiring or Roger Dubuis’ exuberant Excaliber collection.

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Patek Philippe, Rolex or Jaeger-LeCoultre

If it’s a luxury heritage brand you’re after then you can’t go wrong with Patek Philippe, Rolex or Jaeger-LeCoultre.

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Manual or Automatic?

A manually wound mechanical watch requires the wearer to wind the watch frequently. The action of turning the crown winds the mainspring which powers the watch. For some the act of winding their watch is a chore for others a task they relish.

An automatic is a more advanced piece of engineering, designed to be wound by the motion of the wearer’s wrist. What happens if you leave the watch still on the dresser for a while I hear you say? Well good question and the short answer is, it will stop. However most automatic watches now have built in power reserves which allow them to remain still for a set period before you need to set the time again. A fantastic example of an entry level mechanical with a fantastic power reserve is the Tissot Luxury Automatic Lady COSC model, its Powermatic 80 movement provides an extraordinary reserve of 80 hours.

Tissot Luxury Automatic Lady COSC

Tissot Luxury Automatic Lady COSC

Style Over Substance

Looking at form over function now, for us girls how our timepiece looks is still the most important thing. It is a clear expression of style and one which you must feel comfortable with. The boyfriend sized watch has been popular for some time, yet recent trends show an inclination back towards the more feminine, smaller dial. What’s right for you will depend on many factors but often it’s a purely emotional ‘I gotta have it’ instinct that draws us to something we find beautiful.

When, What, Where, Why?

It’s imperative to consider how often and for what you will be wearing your watch. Does it need to see you from day to night and be an all-rounder which works as well with a suit as it does your ripped jeans and converse? Or are you in a physical job that requires a robust case and materials such as titanium? Perhaps you are a keen swimmer or diver and require a water resistance above splashproof. Go to brands for active watches include Oris with its Aquis Date collection, Luminox with its Navy SEAL collection or if you’re keen to relive your teenage years, how about a Casio G-Shock! For those who travel constantly for work and require a GMT (watch with another hour hand showing a second time zone) or world timer model (showing the time in multiple cities) then consider Citizen’s latest ladies launch, the World Time A.T collection.

luminox, oris, citizen

Luminox with its Navy SEAL, Oris Aquis Date & Citizen World Time A.T

These added extra’s range from a simple date window all the way to models with many complications. Whilst functionality is not to be sniffed at, it will hike up the price so consider what capabilities you actually need and use it to help you whittle down the choices.

Question Time

Research is key, if you don’t know your chronographs from your tourbillons then how will you know if you want or need one. Don’t be afraid to ask questions (feel free to pose your queries to us via our soon to launch Ask Eve section) or search online through our helpful glossary. When buying luxury, always ensure to purchase from an authorised retailer, this is especially important when buying online. If something has a price which is too good to be true then it probably is.

After Care

A mechanical object of precision such as a watch does require some after care and maintenance to keep it ticking over nicely – excuse the pun! In an ideal world, watches are serviced every three to five years to keep them running at their precise best. Most watch manufacturers will have their own servicing departments but this is an additional charge to consider. Even quartz models will still require some upkeep with battery changes and cleaning required.

In short, buying a watch, especially as an investment is a serious matter which requires some thought and research – after all you’re going to be looking at it day in day out. However like buying any new shiny object it’s an immensely gratifying experience and one which won’t fail to put a smile on your face and a spring in your step.

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