First published: 30-06-2015

I'm looking for a man's watch, where do I start?

Article date: Tue 27th July 2015 03:32 PM
I'm looking for a man's watch, where do I start?
Image 1 (Source: Thinkstock)

Choosing a new watch can be a difficult task, with so many options to consider, from which style strap you like the look of to which brand you prefer. Whether you are picking one for yourself or for the man in your life, you need to consider carefully a few key points: when, how often, and for what purpose they will be wearing their new watch. Remember, different watches suit different men, and asking these questions will help you choose the perfect one. Take a look at some of our suggestions to help you determine the right watch for you, your look, and the life you lead.



When are you wearing it?

Deciding when, where, and how often you are wearing your new watch is very important. For example, you wouldn't want a delicate, metal watch if you're off for a spot of diving, and you may not want a chunky, digital timepiece on your wrist for a business meeting. This is where lifestyle will play a huge part in picking your watch, and here are a few points to consider.



Everyday

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If you're looking for a watch that you can wear day in, day out, you need to consider what colours you wear on a daily basis and make sure your watch is a good match. For example, if you're regularly seen in a black or grey suit, you may prefer something with a black leather strap, rather than a bolder colour such as green or red.


This model from Accurist London is ideal, with its clean, uncluttered face and simple black strap. Look for something understated, simple, and classic, since this will be a subtle enhancement to any outfit. An everyday watch must be comfortable and easy to read, so think carefully about what style of numbers you want on the watch face, too.




Work

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Depending on what your job is, what you look for in a work watch will differ greatly. If you work in an office, you want to look for something smart and professional ? nothing too chunky, and definitely nothing with a novelty, retro design in neon. If you work with your hands, for example, if you-re a plumber or a builder, then you need something very durable and secure.

People in the medical profession will need something hands-free, which can be found in the form of a fob watch. There are lots of options available for these, including this practical yet attractive Rotary model. Keeping on time is vital at work, so make sure you can read the time clearly and easily ? we can?t promise it will help you meet your deadlines, but it will keep you on top of how long you have left.




Occasion

The right accessories can make or break any outfit, and watches are no exception. Therefore, when you are dressed up to the nines, you don't want your well-tailored tuxedo to be let down by an ill-suited watch. With such a dynamic outfit, a luxury watch will work really well ? how better to complement your smarted suit than with a really outstanding watch?


Since occasion watches are usually paired with clothes that ooze sophistication, the smallest touches can bring these watches up to that standard, so perhaps opt for roman numerals rather than numbers. Since these aren-t likely to be worn every day, you can consider ones that are perhaps more luxury or delicate ? durability is obviously desirable, but not as much of a priority.




Sports

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If you're a regular in the pool or on the pitches, you may want to consider investing in a watch that is specifically designed for such use. Sports watches usually have a plastic strap, rather than metal or leather, which increases their durability. Although there are a lot of analog options available, they typically tend to be digital, and you can choose between a number of styles, from chunky and rounded to sleek and streamlined. They are usually available in a wider variety of colours than other types of watch, so you can pick something bold and dynamic. This Casio model is water resistant up to 200 metres, and includes a chronograph, compass, and temperature sensor.




Style

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Once you've decided when and where you?re going to be wearing your new watch, you can start to think about the style you want to go for. If you're after a classic watch, Fossil has a huge collection of timeless ones,

including this.

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Royal London bring a distinctly British sophistication to their designs, as you can see in this stylish little number.


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More contemporary, trendy watches may feature a more minimalist design, like this Armani, or this Diesel one.


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If you're looking to keep up with the old-is-new-again trend, you can opt for some 80s nostalgia with this Swatch model.


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A big, bold statement watch is easy to find, so you have lots of designs to choose from if you want something striking. This Michael Kors watch is certain to catch people's eyes, but without being over-the-top in its style or grandeur.


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With its contrast case, this dynamic Sekonda can be a real feature of any outfit. The rose gold detailing around the case and face soften up the black design, and make it easy to match with a number of outfits.




Getting techie
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Since James Bond burst into cinema screens with his gadget laden timepieces, watches have become increasingly multi-useful. Some watches come with Bluetooth capabilities, and many can serve as an alarm clock. Like phones and tablets, some watches have delved into the realms of touch-screens, so if you're after something that reflects your passion for technology, there are lots of options available.








Strapped up
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Choosing the strap is a big part of picking your perfect watch. There are four key options: leather, metal, plastic or fabric. Leather is very durable, and can often be the most comfortable choice, so is perhaps best suited to an everyday watch. Metal straps are usually paired with large, chunky watch faces, and suit the big and bold style.
Plastic straps are often used for the sporty, water-resistant watches, and many of the techie options come in plastic, too. Plastic is good if you?re after a dynamic colour. Fabric straps can allow for more unusual and quirky patterns, and are often very comfortable.





Water Resistant

Many watches are made with the added bonus of being water-resistant. There are different degrees of resistance, which will determine how much water-based action your watch can handle, from doing the washing up to more extreme diving.


If removing your watch whenever you wash your hands isn?t a problem, and you rarely do anything more strenuous than that, you may not need a water-resistant watch. However, if you know you want your watch while you swim, it will be worth searching for a water-resistant option that will suit your level of activity.


Always remember, though, ?water-resistant? does not mean ?water-proof?, so it?s important to remember that full submersion in deep water might have an adverse effect on many watches. (You should also never expose any watch to extreme heat, as this can damage the internal mechanisms.) With correct care and maintenance, a water-resistant watch can be a seamless addition to your active lifestyle.




How does your watch power up
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Your watch will operate on one of four different systems: Quartz (battery), mechanical (hand-wound), automatic (self-winding), or solar-powered.


Mechanical (or hand-wound) watches have a spring in the internal mechanisms, rather than a battery. This spring is wound up extremely tight, and as it slowly releases some of its energy, the moving parts of the watch operate to show the time. A mainspring controls this system, and the watch will stop once this has completely unwound. This type of system should be wound up regularly to keep the time accurate. Hand-wound watches are often renowned for the skill and technique that is required to make them.


Automatic (self-winding) watches have a very similar make-up to mechanical watches, except they have a weight added to the mainspring. This spins every time the watch is moved, making it ideal for everyday use, since the movement of the watch on your wrist will keep the spring and weight spinning. If an automatic watch is unused for a few days, it may stop working, at which point the time will need resetting.


Solar-powered watches are exactly what the name suggests. They can store a lot of power in the battery, and therefore the battery will not need replacing, so long as the watch is well looked after.


It may seem like there is a lot to consider when choosing a new watch, but making decisions about what you are looking for in a watch may make it easier to pick one. Whether you want a lightweight option for work or a sturdy one for sports, the right watch for you is out there. If bought from a reputable retailer (such as Watch Shop), and given the correct care, your watch can be not just a purchase, or an addition to your outfits, but an investment in style and quality.

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