Designer Watches Shopping Tips

Designer watches and luxury timepieces can be expensive; they can represent an investment of anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few hundred thousand dollars.  As such, for most people, they’re not the sort of purchase to be made lightly or on a whim.  On the other hand, people frequently buy without giving enough thought to a few factors that are actually important.  Below are a few things you should consider before buying designer watches:

Chopard watches - women's happy sport mediumWhen are you going to wear it?  Luxury watches come in a variety of styles, but many of them are designed for elegant occasions and to be worn with formal wear.  That doesn’t mean that you cannot wear a watch that features gold and diamonds with blue jeans and a tank top, but if that’s how you find yourself dressed most of the time, you should find a design and/or a brand that reflects your sense of fashion.  You don’t want to buy a watch and then discover that you never wear it because it doesn’t match the way you dress most of the time.  Of course, some brands, such as Lacoste watches, are affordable, and in that case, this is less of an issue.

What is your budget?  That’s a serious issue for many buyers.  Sure, buying a luxury watch is fun, but not if it’s going to take you years to pay off at 19% interest on your credit card.  Decide how much you can spend and stick to that figure.  It’s very easy to get talked into buying something that costs more than you can afford, especially if you’re buying in person.  There are hundreds of brands out there, so it’s a pretty good bet that you can find something suitable in your price range, no matter what it might be.

Skagen watches - women's gitte leatherWhat is the warranty like?  Warranty terms vary dramatically in the luxury watch industry.  While the average is two years, some companies offer only a 12 month warranty and others offer three years, five years, and even a lifetime warranty.  Don’t automatically assume that spending more money gives you a longer warranty, either.  Many high end companies offer only a two year warranty while some companies that sell watches that are priced at less than $200 provide a lifetime warranty.  Things do break from time to time, and if you spend a fortune on a watch with a short warranty, can you afford to pay to have it repaired?  This is part of the cost of ownership and it’s something you should consider before making a purchase.

Are you buying as an investment?  If so, be sure to check to see how well your chose brand performs in the second hand market.  Some brands and models are quite popular with collectors, while others, even if they are fifty years old, don’t draw much attention from collectors.  Models with gold an diamonds are often a good bet, as are reputable brand names, such as Citizen, Rolex, and Cartier.  You want to do your homework, however, so you don’t find yourself investing a lot of money in a watch that you aren’t going to wear and which isn’t going to appreciate.  That’s a terrible way to spend your money.

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What features do you need?  Most luxury watches offer nothing other than the time, and for most people, that’s enough.  Others want the date, the day of the week, chronograph features and more.  Do you need a diving watch with a depth gauge or a watch with an altimeter?  If not, don’t buy one; you’ll pay a lot for features that won’t be of any use to you.  Worse, they take up space on the dial, making it harder to read the time, which is why you own a watch in the first place.  Match your desired features to your needs and don’t get talked into buying a timepiece that has features that will be of little use to you.

Bvlgari watches - Grande SonnerieWhat about sizing?  Today, lots of watches are oversized.  In years past, a watch bigger than 33 mm in diameter was considered large, but today, companies such as Fossil, U-Boat and TW Steel make watches that are huge, with sizes up to 50 mm and beyond.  That’s fine if you know what you’re getting, but sometimes you can miss that, especially if you’re buying online.  When you’re shopping in person, it’s easy to see the relative sizes of one model versus another, but when you’re shopping online, you often just see a photo of one model at a time, and it’s easy to miss noticing just how big it might be.  If you’re small and don’t have large wrists, a huge watch is going to look rather strange, so be sure you get the sizing right before making your purchase.

What about weight?  Along with size comes weight.  Part of that has to do with case materials; gold weighs more than steel or carbon fiber, for instance.  In addition, watches with quartz movements weigh less than those with mechanical movements with added complications.  Of course, the latter type often includes gold cases, as well, so in the end, you’re likely to end up with a watch that’s rather heavy when compared with a smaller, lighter quartz model.  Carrying a weight around on your wrist takes its toll over time, so be sure to consider the weight of the watch, along with how often you’re going to wear it, before making your purchase.

Buying online or in person?  Where you buy is a factor, too.  You can certainly buy discount designer watches online, but there is some benefit in buying in person.   By shopping in person, you’ll get personal attention from a knowledgeable salesperson who can answer your questions and make recommendations.  On the other hand, shopping online gives you access to hundreds or thousands of models at once, and it’s easy to compare prices and features quickly.  In addition, the lower overhead of online stores means that you can save a lot of money that way.  Consider your needs and then decide where it makes the most sense to shop.

There’s a lot of things that need to be taken into consideration when buying a designer watch. Be sure to give them some thought before you buy in order to ensure that you’re spending your money in the best possible way.

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