The Ultimate Guide To Men’s Luxury Watches: How To Choose The Best One For You
With so many renowned luxury watchmakers and different timepiece styles, finding the best luxury watch for you might seem a little overwhelming at first. It doesn’t have to be!
Whether you’re looking to invest in your very first luxury watch or you’re adding to your ever-growing timepiece collection, we’ve got you covered! Let’s dive into the world of luxury watchmaking and explore what makes these coveted timepieces so amazing.
How are luxury watches made?
While there are many aesthetic differences between brands and models, it’s what’s beneath the surface that matters the most. After all, we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover - or a watch by its design.
While there’s a lot to the art of watchmaking, the two most important things to know before you decide on the perfect watch are the different movements and mechanical complications. Let’s take a look at movements first.
Luxury watch movements: quartz vs mechanical
The essence of every watch comes from its movements. That’s why understanding the difference between quartz and mechanical movements is so important.
Mechanical watches are intricately made of pieces which rely on a series of wheels, gears, springs, and other mechanisms to keep time. As the name suggests, the entire timekeeping process is solely mechanical.
On the other hand, quartz watches substitute those intricate cogs, gears, and multiple moving parts for a small quartz crystal. That crystal then vibrates as you move your wrist, which, in turn, generates the spring movement, making it a more natural form of timekeeping.
Luxury watch mechanical complications
The word “complication” might sound like a bad thing, but in reality, complications are simply any additional functions watches have besides just telling time, such as a date display or a stopwatch feature.
Some of the most popular complications found in luxury watches include:
While there are numerous types of watch complications and unique features to each particular watch brand and model, when it comes to aesthetics, luxury watches fall into one of five categories: dress, field, diver, aviator, racing, and yacht. Let’s take a closer look at each watch type.
These watches are all about understated elegance. They feature a slim profile to make it easy to slip in and out of a dress shirt cuff or a cashmere cardigan. Usually, dress watch cases are made using precious metals like white, yellow, and rose gold; silver, or platinum.
Their simplicity oozes sophistication, so these watches don’t draw attention to themselves, but instead, seamlessly complement your get-up. Dress watches tend to feature sleek leather straps, but metal options are also popular.
Though some modern iterations of the dress watch have additional features such as moon phase displays or date windows, by and large, dress watches are a “time only” type of watch, with little to no mechanical complications.
A minimalist military watch, the field watch is the descendant of the WWI trench watch, which was designed for officers to wear in battle, at a time when pocket watches were still the norm.
These days, field watches still have a military feel, but they’re also super versatile and perfect to wear both as an everyday watch or as a handy tool to have on any adventure.
Different from other utility watches, most field watches have little to no mechanical complications due to their simplistic, iconic style. They’re built to last, using the sturdiest metals, such as stainless steel and titanium. Besides that, field watches also feature easy-to-read numerical indexes, and a timeless, minimalistic design.
Although divers watches were first created to be reliable tools for divers, these days these iconic watches are just as adored for their beauty as for their function. Diver watches are one of the most popular watch types - and have been since the 1960s - in part thanks to James Bond’s iconic watches.
A defining feature in diver watches is a unidirectional bezel on the case, which allows a diver to track how long he’s been underwater. Another one of their best features is, you guessed it, water resistance.
Since they’re primarily designed to be worn in the water, both the case and the band tend to be made using corrosion-resistant metals, such as stainless steel or titanium. However, their iconic metal casing and band also make diver watches perfect for everyday wear, and will leave you looking elegant on every occasion.
Aviator or pilot’s watches
The aviator watch was born in 1904, when the Brazilian aviator, Alberto Santos-Dumont, asked his friend, Louis Cartier, to design a watch that would allow him to tell time while flying, without removing his hands from the controls.
At that time, men still wore pocket watches, so many people regard the watch Louis Cartier designed for his friend as not only the first aviator’s watch but also the first wristwatch ever.
Since then, aviator watches have evolved to what they are today, most notably with the addition of a chronograph. Though their design can vary widely, every aviator watch features an easy-to-read dial, usually oversized, with legible numbers and luminous hands. Some also include GMT complications to track multiple time zones.
These stylish watches are perfect for everyday wear and business casual looks, making them a staple in any collection.
Racing or driving watches
Race cars and watches have always relied on precision and accuracy, so it’s only natural that the racing world and the art of watchmaking are strongly connected.
The two defining features of a racing watch are the chronograph and the tachymeter. Most racing watches display a large dial in order to accommodate the chronograph, and they usually feature bright, clear Arabic numerals, for easy reading.
Designed to withstand the speed, impact, and all the rigors that come along with auto racing, these watches are typically made of stainless steel and feature a leather or metal strap.
Due to their bigger size and bold design, racing watches make quite a statement. For that reason, they’re more suitable for casual or business casual wear rather than formal wear.
Yacht or sailing watches
Another watch designed for precise timekeeping in races, Yacht watches were initially created to time regattas and sailing races, while keeping in with the nautical theme.
Yacht watches are incredibly popular among yachtsmen and watch aficionados alike. Their defining features are the fact that all yacht watches are water-resistant and have some sort of countdown timer, which could be a disc system in the dial, markings on the bezel, or any other feature which allows the wearer to count down to the beginning of a race.
Due to the conditions that many racers face in the water, these watches are ultra-durable, which only adds to their popularity. Not only that, but their elegant design makes them perfect for any event you have onshore, too.
Now that you’re basically an expert on luxury watches, here comes the most fun part: choosing one for you!
At Blakeman’s Fine Jewelry, we’ve been helping customers find the watch of their dreams since 1987. Here, you’ll find a curated selection of luxury watches by the best brands in the world.
Visit us at 3202 South Pinnacle Hills Parkway, Rogers, AR, or give us a call at (479) 845-0088. And, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with our latest news and get some stunning watch and jewelry inspiration!