You have $500 to spend on a watch.
Assume they are equal in both price and quality.
What should you spend your money on?
A rugged watch built to withstand adventures?
Or an elegant timepiece that will look amazing with a suit?
To be honest – there isn't a wrong answer.
There is just the right answer for you and your needs at this point in your life!
Before making your decision make sure to take the following 5 points into consideration.
But be careful reading this – I may convince you to purchase 2 watches instead of just one 🙂
#1 Frequency Of Wearing A Watch
Price should not be your first consideration when making a watch purchase.
It is more important to consider the value of a watch before discussing pricing.
Use this simple formula to assess the value of a watch: (Frequency Of Use * The Feelings Associated With Wearing It) ÷ The Price Of The Watch
The frequency of use determines the real value of the watch for you. When are you going to wear the watch the most?
Few watches will work with every outfit. You may need two to really round out your wardrobe.
If you lead an active lifestyle, your watch has to complement your adventurous spirit. You need a timepiece that has a sturdy build, offers ample water resistance and a scratchproof sapphire crystal outer covering (a sapphire crystal is more durable than plastic, and scratches less easily).
A luminous dial and hands make it easy to keep tabs of the time in the dark.
On the other hand, if you are on the lookout for a more elegant option for the office, opt for a slim timepiece without the bells and whistles mentioned above.
Your choice here is typically steel or gold, or some sort of polished metal. Dress watches are often uncomplicated and simple. They are made to complement an outfit rather than a rough-and-tumble lifestyle.
If you plan to wear your watch daily, choose an automatic watch. The mechanism on these watches is powered by the movement of your arm.
Do you want a tough, no-nonsense tool watches?
There are other things to consider as well – affordability, childhood memories, and is it important to have a FUN watch?
#2 Your Personal Needs
Pay attention to the look and feel of the watch on your wrist.
- Shape: Do you need a watch dial that is square, round, rectangular, or cushion shaped?
- Size: A watch that measures 45 millimeters across the dial is considered large, medium at around 40 millimeters and small in the 35-millimeter range.
- Thickness: A 15-millimeter case looks fat and 8 millimeters is a standard slim dial. Rather than focusing on the size of the wrist, you should pay more attention to your height and weight. Make sure that the watch matches up with your physical frame. If the watch is too big for your wrist, it can look like you strapped on a wall clock. If it’s too small, it ends up looking too delicate on your wrist.
- Material: A classic rule of thumb might have suggested gold for a dressier look and stainless steel for a sports watch, although there are now plenty of options for elegant steel watches and sporty gold watches.
- Dial Color: Black or white dials are the classic options. White faces are more formal than any other color. In recent years, there has been a trend toward more colorful watches, with dials ranging from charcoal to chocolate, and from light gray to midnight blue. Sports watches offer a variety of colors, with bright orange and yellow classic colors for dive watches.
#3 The Signal You Desire To Send With Your Watch
Rugged watches give a different feel from elegant watches.
The rugged watch sends the signal of an adventurous man. The status of a man who lives a no-nonsense life and has a live life to the fullest attitude. Think modern day hunter and gatherer of his tribe. There is nothing subtle about this man. He knows who he is and what he stands for.
The elegant watch sends the signal of the refined gentleman. The man who uses his influence and financial status to attract who and what he wants in life. He portrays social, political, and financial power to those around him.
Which signal do you send? Which status do you want to portray?
Maybe you fall into a mix of the two.
#4 Resale Value Of The Watch
Similar to art or real estate, some watches can be considered an investment.
Nowadays you must approach everything with the attitude of what can you get for the ROI. With watches, we are not talking about the traditional investment of “buy low sell high” but rather, will it be of value to an individual (an avid collector) later in life?
Someone may be willing to pay a large sum of money later and it's to be considered before making a purchase. If the “collector” is of high influence it could be enough to sway the entire market.
This could be a deciding factor in which watch you purchase as you may want to trade it in down the line at some point.
#5 Your Professional Needs
Where do you spend 80% percent of your time?
Allow your career choice dictate your watch selection. Do you need an elegant watch or one that can stand up to the weather?
If your job is pretty physical with a lot of opportunities to scratch the face of the watch, consider a timepiece that is built to be abused.
If you're a bank manager or you deal with clients throughout the day that requires you to send signals of power, take that into consideration.
In the end what watches you should own is determined by your lifestyle and personal preference.
Find the right one for you……and then wear it with confidence!
This post is inspired by Ballast (Rugged!) & James McCabe (Elegant!). I own watches from both companies and LOVE them!
The Ballast model in this article is the Trafalgar – it's incredibly unique thanks to a patented bezel adjustment feature that is used both to wind the watch and adjust the time and date. This type of adjustment, besides being unique also harkens back to the time when submarine clocks had to be opened to be adjusted! The Trafalgar has at it's core a customized 21 Jewel Miyota Automatic self-winding movement crafted in Japan.
Overall the Ballast Trafalgar is a powerfully rugged watch, emulating the attitude of submariners and their need for precision, attention to detail, and strength.
The James McCabe watches featured have push button dual deployant clasp buckle, customized 21 Jewel Miyota Automatic self-winding movement with custom built rotor with Cote de Geneve finishing and JM logo stamped out. They also have a double layer dial with applied baton and roman index & a lower level dial with vertical print.
James McCabe Watches embody a classic elegance evoking the history of the brand. Seriously – George Washington and Lord Horatio Nelson owned watches from this company. It's safe to say your watch from James McCabe will stand the test of time and be a piece you can pass onto your heirs.