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A Guide to Watches

A Guide to Watches
2012/07/02 Better Blueprint

A watch doesn't have to be diamond-encrusted or have a fully handmade movement like a Patek Philippe to be fabulous and heirloom-worthy.

Inexpensive men's watches

  • a watch is men's jewelry - it says who you are and who you aspire to be
  • know what you're looking at....
    • water resistant- you can shower with it but avoid swimming; it's resistant not waterproof
    • quartz- powered by a battery and more accurate than other movements
    • complication- anything beyond timekeeping like calendar
    • movement- all the itsy, bitsy stuff that makes up the inner workings of the watch
    • mechanical- keeps time from a wound spring and loses over one day of time across a given year
  • a leather watch is the most classic and a white face goes with everything
  • because a watch is an extension of your personality and style, generally speaking use the watch face to add a bit of "you" into the equation
  • the three watches pictured above are timeless: Bulova ($150), Seiko ($165), Timex ($50)
  • the Cartier Tank watch is the ultimate in classic - it's elegant, says power, and is timeless
  • sports watches are great if you're a runner - otherwise, go sporty without all the complications
  • oversized face says "look at me" and the elegance of your watch should say that alone
  • all that glitters isn't gold
    • gold-plated- this is what you find just about everywhere and once the plating is gone, metal is all you've got
    • 18K gold- the Patek Philippe is $40K+!
    • rose gold- copper is added to the gold to make pink, and it's a bit feminine
    • white gold- nice and it's hard to distinguish silver, platinum and white gold
  • Edward Faber, owner of New York vintage retailer Aaron Faber Gallery, says vintage means watches made between 1935-1985 and says you should
    • stick with a reputable dealer
    • do your homework
    • top two brands: Patek Philippe and Rolex
    • papers (it adds to the value of your timepiece)
  • nicer watches require maintenance
    • complete overhaul- it's nice but not totally necessary every three to five years; costs about $400; the Swiss take two to four months, Americans take one to two months; replacing parts means it will look better but you don't see anyone repainting the Mona Lisa do you?! Replacing parts means you'll be de-valueing it a bit....