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August 25, 2021 10 min read

For some, watches are a humble time-teller and trusted companion, sticking by their side through thick and thin. For others, they’re no more than a noble accessory, elevating any outfit with a touch of elegance and grandeur.

However you choose to look at it, watches have occupied an integral part in our lives, evolving in their design along the way.

It’s no surprise then that a certain amount of thought goes into picking the perfect watch, right from its fit to its very purpose.

In our watches buying guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about buying a watch, along with a handful of tips to help you make the right selection.

Watches Buying Guide: Top Things to Consider

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re spoilt for choice and, considering the sheer number of watches out there, spoilt is an understatement.

So how do you know where to start in your quest to find the perfect watch? And does it even exist? Well, as you may have guessed, it really comes down to your unique needs and what you want out of a watch. Think of a watch as an extension of your personality.

Once you have a rough idea about what you’re looking for, you’ll need to factor in various features, sizes, and styles. So, let’s dive in and see what these include.

The Fit

A comfortable fit should neither be too loose nor too tight.

Perhaps one of the most important things you need to consider when buying a watch is how well it fits. Even if the watch looks like a dream, it won’t be of much use to you if it either keeps slipping off your wrist or is too tight.

For wider wrists, a sturdy band paired with a big dial will look much better than a small watch. Similarly, smaller wrists will do well with medium-to-small-sized dials.

In order to find the right fit, there are two key features that you need to check for.

Band

Traditionally, watches typically come with metal and leather bands. The choice of the band, of course, depends on the type of occasion you want to use your watch for, your style, and your personal beliefs.

Nowadays, there are many more options when it comes to band material.

  • Canvas or Cloth: Durable yet budget-friendly, these bands are low maintenance without compromising on comfort. You can find these bands in a number of vibrant colors which make them quite appealing to young adults and children.
  • Metal Bands: There’s no denying the charm of a well-crafted, sleek metal band. While they’re certainly a lot nicer to look at, these bands can be quite expensive, especially if they are crafted from gold or silver.
  • Leather: Often considered the classiest of them all, leather watches exude a touch of elegance. If you are looking for something low maintenance, you should avoid leather bands as they require upkeep to continue looking their best.
  • Rubber or Plastic: If durability is important to you, then you’re better off with a band made from plastic or rubber, since these tend to be resistant to scratches. Preferred by divers, swimmers and outdoor enthusiasts, they offer shock absorption, resistance to moisture and added protection. On the downside, they are less like to be environmentally-friendly.
  • Wood: Then, of course, there's wood — stylish, versatile, and sustainable. With a large variety of textures and hues to choose from, wooden watches lend an effortless and natural look to any outfit, all while keeping the planet safe. But more on that below.

Dial

When deciding on the size of a dial, it is important to consider the size of your build, particularly the size of your wrist and forearm. Depending on the size of your wrist, a large dial will either look right-at-home or completely mismatched.

Having said all this, style is absolutely personal. If you have the desire to wear a massive watch on a tiny wrist, then own your style and carry it with confidence.

The Style: Evergreen or in Vogue?

Choose between classic and contemporary designs to find your style.

A common question that arises in the minds of most buyers is whether they should stick to the classics or experiment with the latest trends.

Truth be told, this is yet another consideration that comes down to your personal taste and preferences. Both these styles have their own appeal. If you’re still confused, you could always mix things up and balance them out with timepieces that are contemporary yet classic.

Neutral colors, for example, never go out of style and will complement almost all your outfits, no matter the setting.

We’ve listed some of the most sought after watch styles below:

  • The Pilot’s Watch: A combination of luxury and utility, these watches are a great accessory for formal wear. The style was designed for a pilot in 1911 and has since been a favorite of generations of watch wearers.
  • The Dress Watch: These are thin watches that pair leather straps with dials carved from precious metal. Definitely a great choice for those who enjoy luxury watches.
  • The Minimalist: On the other hand, if you happen to be a lover of simplicity and uncluttered timepieces, a minimalist design will be right up your alley. These watches are a perfect blend of traditional and modern aesthetics.
  • The Driving Watch: Big, bold and brilliant, the driving watch was purposefully created for anyone operating a vehicle. For this reason, these watches come equipped with both a chronograph and a tachymeter. Given their sporty nature, these watches are best suited with casual wear.
  • The Diving Watch: This watch is particularly built for divers who often find themselves in the depths of the ocean. They are characterized by their waterproof ability to deep depths, sturdy features, and luminous dials to help the wearer while underwater. Because of these advanced features, these watches are not easy on the pocket.

Analog or Digital?

The basic and most noticeable difference between analog and digital watches is their display. While digital watches can more closely resemble your mobile screen, analog watches are old-school with 12 static numbers and hands for the hours, minutes, and sometimes seconds.

Digital watches are more common in sports watches whereas vintage or casual watches are typically analogs.

With the additional functionality that many digital watches come with, it is important to consider that digital watches can be more complicated to set up and adjust than their analog counterparts.

Pros of Analog Watches

Unlike digital watches, an analog watch features a traditional clock face, dial, and hands.

Though buying a watch is completely a matter of personal choice, there are some undeniable benefits of analog watches.

  • These watches are elegant in their design and offer a more polished look.
  • Analog watches work well for making the transition from work to events or more formal occasions. They’re a great statement piece to add to your wardrobe.
  • Depending on the materials used, they often have more durable build quality, meaning they’ll be with you for longer.
  • Analog watches come in a number of designs that offer something for everyone.

Cons of Analog Watches

There are some downsides to analog watches you must consider, too.
  • Analog watches can be expensive.
  • Most analog watches do not come equipped with a backlight. While many of them do have luminous hands and numbers, they still won’t be bright enough in low-light conditions.
  • Analog watches lack many smart features like timers, calendars, etc.

Pros of Digital Watches

Constantly evolving in functionality as technology advances, some of the benefits offered by digital watches include:

  • Digital watches offer unparalleled precision, making them a reliable choice for athletes and sports enthusiasts.
  • These watches are equipped with a number of smart features like GPS, calculators, Bluetooth, timers, and calendars.

Cons of Digital Watches

As helpful as digital watches are, there are a few disadvantages to them, which include:

  • Digital watches are unlikely to be style statements and are not as chic or formal as analog watches. They come in less elegant designs since the focus is on functionality and features.
  • There may be fewer options for women than men as these are sturdier watches.

Price and Value Retention

The price of a watch is a key consideration that you just can’t ignore. You may like a particular brand or model but unless it fits in your budget, you won’t be able to purchase it.

To avoid this, always start by setting a budget and look for options within that range.

In fact, overstretching your budget is a bad financial investment. Unless you’re purchasing a vintage model, limited-release design, or extremely high-end timepiece, your watch is only going to depreciate in value after your purchase.

Weight

While the weight of a watch is often overlooked by many, it can actually make or break your entire experience. You should go for something that is comfortable, not something that is too delicate or too heavy on the wrist.

If you want something lighter on the wrist, leather or fabric bands tend to be lighter than metal ones so that is one tip.

Fashionable at All Times

Make sure that your watch complements your wardrobe and personal style.

Again, an overlooked factor, but a crucial one. The type of clothes you wear should style seamlessly with your accessories such as watches. You don’t have to be a stickler for fashion but paying attention to the basics will make your entire outfit seem more put-together.

If you have a soft spot for gold watches, pair them with deep tones of browns and blacks to give them more heft. Likewise, silver metal bands look better during the night with more formal outfits.

Resistance to Water

Most watches are water-resistant to some degree, which can save you from the occasional splash or getting caught in the rain. This is usually denoted as 3 ATM.

However, lovers of water sports should opt for watches that are resistant up to 200 meters, or Water Resistant 20 ATM. Divers, on the other hand, should look for watches with water resistance ratings specifically suited for diving.

Brand

Seasoned watch owners are usually biased towards certain brands owing to their experience with them. If you have a specific brand in mind, make sure you don’t get blind-sighted by the aura of the brand but also give due consideration to key features weighing it against your needs and requirements.

Brand research should always be a key part of your watch buying process. This is because brands with great brand value and reputation are likely to have good customer service and better quality standards.

That’s not to say that a relatively unknown brand won’t have something right for you, just that a trusted name is usually a safer bet.

Luminosity

Luminosity may not be an important consideration for many, but it’s nevertheless a useful feature to have on hand.

Simply put, luminous hands light up in the dark, which offers good visibility at night or in low-light conditions. What makes these hands light up is a photoluminescent pigment that is painted on the watch’s hands, dial, and numerals. The pigment both absorbs light and gives it out as well, depending on the situation.

Power Source

All watches need some kind of power source to keep them ticking. Typically, watches are powered by these four sources of power:

  • Solar: With batteries that are charged by the sun, or alternative light sources, this is an environmentally friendly option when it comes to power sources.
  • Quartz: These are battery-operated watches that require replacement every two years or more.
  • Mechanical: These watches require winding every once in a while to ensure they keep working to their optimum potential.
  • Automatic: Automatic watches simply rely on the motion of the wearer to keep them winding and running.

Sustainability

Sustainable wooden watches are a great way to flaunt love for nature.

Sustainable watches are gaining widespread popularity and it’s no surprise why. As brands are becoming more conscious of their impact on the planet, watch manufacturers are finding creative and elegant solutions to appease their environmentally-minded customers — from solar powered watches to timepieces handcrafted from 100% natural wood or other sustainable materials.

While these watches are incredibly stylish, and a great accessory for any wardrobe, they are just as beneficial for the environment as they are: 

  • Made from ethically sourced wood or other upcycled materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill
  • Powered by renewable resources like solar energy

Should You Buy a Sustainable Watch?

Buying a sustainable watch is far more than jumping on the eco-warrior bandwagon. These watches are handcrafted with careful attention to detail and offer some great benefits.

  • Ideal for people with sensitive skin: Sustainable wooden watches offer a stunning alternative for those who are sensitive to metals, plastics or rubber. Since wood is less sensitive to heat and water, the bands cause no discomfort to wearers with sensitive skin.
  • Timeless: Wooden watches are a careful blend of rustic and contemporary, serving your wardrobe for years to come. The best part about these watches is that, unlike metal watches, they do not look disheveled with time. In fact, it only lends to their character as the wood ages like fine wine.
  • Low on costs: Another advantage of sustainable watches is that they don’t burn a hole in your pocket. While many environmentally-friendly products seem to come with a premium price tag, these watches tend to be reasonably priced for their quality.

When to Not Buy Sustainable Watches

As eco-friendly as sustainable watches are, they may not be the best fit for certain people.

  • Not great for active people: Wooden watches aren’t the best for those who require sturdiness and a host of other features to monitor their fitness. Silicon or plastic watches specifically designed for exercise and activity are better suited for such needs.
  • Faux wood: As this is a developing industry, there are manufacturers who use faux wood instead of the real thing to bring down the costs and increase their profit margins. This comprises both quality and durability and negates any environmentally-friendly advantages, so beware of cheap imitations!
  • High maintenance: Wooden watches require maintenance. You can’t just abandon these watches and treat them as you please. Regular cleaning and proper storage are a must for these watches.

Buying the Perfect Watch? Take Your Time

Buying the right watch isn’t something you should rush or do in a hurry. This is, after all, an accessory that reflects your style and complements your activities, and therefore requires careful evaluation.

At the same time, you don’t have to limit your choices if you find yourself drawn to a number of different watches. You might have that one classic timepiece that comes out on special occasions, and another for everyday wear.

At Zeitholz, you can find an array of stunning watches to add to your wardrobe-essentials. All our watches are crafted with 100% sustainable wood, making them friendly for the environment and your wallet too. In addition, we pledge to plant 1 tree for every watch sold. Explore our range of handcrafted wooden watches today.

Sam Santa
Sam Santa



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