A Beginner’s Guide To Buy Your First Luxury Watch (Smarter)
If selecting the perfect first luxury watch is relatively complicated, it's not because of the price. It's because there’s plenty of choice.
Luxury watches are more than just timepieces, they're a testament to style, craftsmanship and sophistication. So buying your very first high-end watch requires a few basics to make the right choice.
This beginner's guide to purchase your first luxury watch will help you navigate the world of exclusive timepieces with confidence. We'll cover the types of watches, including the major and the more contemporary brands you need to know about.
By the end, you will know the best watches to start with and the important watchmaking keywords that will open the doors to all watchmakers.
What is a Luxury Watch, and What is your budget ?
A luxury watch is a timepiece that goes beyond just telling time. It is made with higher grade materials, and utmost attention to detail. The most famous luxury watch brands have worked hard to establish their status by building performant and exclusive timepieces with premium materials.
When it comes to budget, entry-level luxury watches fall between $1000 to $2500 on average. Higher-end brands have more expensive entry-level models, while mid-tier brands have less costly, high-end models that are also considered first quality watches. Those wrist watches are versatile, allowing you to get a lot of mileage out of them.
Let’s Start with the Basics: The 4 Main STYLES of Luxury Watches
There are many different designs and styles of luxury watches to choose from. Some of the most popular include:
1. Dress watches
These are formal watches that are typically worn with suits or other formal attire. They are typically made of precious metals, such as gold or silver, and have a simple, elegant design.
2. Sports watches
These are watches that are designed for active use. They are typically made of durable materials, such as stainless steel, and have a water resistance rating of at least 100 meters.
3. Pilot watches
These watches are designed for pilots and other professionals who need a reliable watch that can withstand extreme conditions. They typically have large, easy-to-read dials and are water resistant to depths of several hundred meters.
4. Divers' watches
These watches are designed for divers and other underwater enthusiasts. They typically have rotating bezels that can be used to track dive time and are water resistant to depths of several hundreds to thousand meters. Here is our selection of the best luxury dive watches for men available today.
There are also other styles of luxury watches such as classics, vintages, skeletons or exclusives ones produced in limited editions.
The 4 Main TYPES of Luxury Watches
There are 4 main types of luxury watches: Mechanical, Quartz, Automatic, and Smartwatches.
Mechanical watches like the Hamilton above are powered by gears and springs. They are often chosen over quartz watches due to their high level of quality and craftsmanship. Mechanical movements contain an intricate series of tiny components working together to power the timepiece.
They are perfect for people who appreciate fine craftsmanship and the mechanical marvel of a fully functioning watch. One of the benefits of mechanical watches is that they don't require batteries, and they can last for generations with proper care.
However, they require regular maintenance and can be less accurate than quartz watches. Mechanical watches also tend to be more expensive than quartz ones due to the intricate work and engineering that goes into creating them.
Pros of mechanical watches
- Can last longer than quartz watches with proper care
- Renowned for their longevity and durability
- Perfect for people who appreciate fine craftsmanship and the mechanical marvel of a fully functioning watch
- Don't require batteries, and can last for generations with proper care
- Smoother sweeping seconds motion that some people find more aesthetically pleasing than the “tick” of quartz watches
- Require little maintenance (service every 5 to 7 years)
Cons of mechanical watches
- Can be less accurate than quartz watches
- Tend to be more expensive than quartz watches due to the intricate work and engineering that goes into creating them
- Lack the convenience of a battery-powered watch
TAG HEUER Formula 1 Senna Special Edition
A quartz watch like the black Formula 1 above, is a timepiece that uses a quartz crystal, a battery, and an electronic oscillator. It is an entirely different system from mechanical watches and is deemed one of the most accurate. Quartz watches are battery-powered and involve less use of electricity, meaning the battery can last for many years without the need for restoration.
They are much easier to mass-produce and are extremely accurate. Quartz watches are perfect for people who want a watch that is reliable and requires little maintenance. However, they lack the intricate craftsmanship and mechanical marvel of a fully functioning mechanical watch. They also tend to be less expensive than mechanical watches.
Pros of quartz watches
- Extremely accurate
- Battery-powered and requires little maintenance (battery change every 1 to 2 years, up to 10)
- Less expensive than mechanical watches
- Available in a wide range of styles and designs
Cons of quartz watches
- Lack the intricate craftsmanship of mechanical watches
- Battery needs to be replaced periodically
- Not as valuable as mechanical watches
- Lack the mechanical marvel of a fully functioning watch
TUDOR Royal Date DayPURCHASE
The Automatic movement is a type of mechanical movement for watches that winds themselves, like the Tudor above. It happens automatically through the natural motion of the wearer's wrist. Also known as self-winding watches, these are mechanical watches where the natural motion of the user provides energy to wind the mainspring. It makes manual winding unnecessary if worn enough.
The watch contains an oscillating weight that turns on a pivot. The normal movements of the watch in the user's pocket or on the user's arm cause the rotor to pivot on its staff, which in turn winds the mainspring. Automatic watches are popular due to the fact that they never require manual winding or battery replacement. However, they can be less accurate than quartz watches and require regular maintenance.
Pros of automatic watches
- Self-winding, so they don't require manual winding or battery replacement
- They are powered by the energy generated by the wearer's arm movement
- They are perfect for people who want a watch that is reliable and requires little maintenance (service every 3 to 5 years, up to 10)
Cons of automatic watches
- Can be less accurate than quartz watches
- Also tend to be more expensive than quartz watches, due to the intricate work and engineering that goes into creating them
Luxury smartwatches (or digital watches) like the Tag Heuer above, are high-end timepieces that combine traditional watchmaking with modern technology. They offer features such as fitness tracking, notifications and voice commands, while still maintaining a luxurious and stylish appearance.
Here are some pros and cons of luxury smartwatches relative to mechanical, quartz, and automatic watches:
Pros of Smartwatches
- Advanced features such as fitness tracking, notifications, and voice commands
- Ability to sync with your smartphone for added convenience
- Stylish and modern design
- Often made with high-quality materials
- No conventional service needed
Cons of Smart Watches
- Shorter battery life compared to mechanical, quartz, and automatic watches
- May become outdated quickly as technology advances
- Relatively new and less usual, may not appeal to traditional watch enthusiasts
- May be more expensive than other types of watches due to all features
There are also more contemporary types of watch, such as electrostatic and solar watches.
>> The Best Swiss Luxury Watches for Women
What are the 5 Most Popular Luxury Watch Brands ?
Rolex is one of the most famous, first luxury watch brands in the world. Their watches are known for their high quality, durability, and iconic status symbols. Shop Rolex Watches
Omega is another Swiss watchmaker with a long and distinguished history. Their watches are known for their precision and performance. Shop OMEGA Watches
Audemars Piguet is a Swiss watchmaker that is known for its innovative designs and high-end materials. Their watches are often considered to be works of art.
Cartier is a French watchmaker known for its stylish and elegant designs. Their timepieces are popular among celebrities and fashion icons. Shop Cartier watches
The watchmaking industry is constantly evolving, and today there are many new and innovative brands that stand out from the crowd. Their watches feature ceramics, floating dials, and other elements inconceivable a century ago. Here's our selection of the best new luxury watch brands to keep on your radar right now.
What are the 10 Best Luxury Watches for Beginners ?
To get your luxury watch collection off to a flying start, there are a few iconic first luxury watch models to begin with. Here are some of the best beginner luxury watches.
1. Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch
The Omega Speedmaster is a classic chronograph watch that is known for its durability and performance. It is water resistant to 50 meters and has a manual-winding movement.
2. RAYMOND WEIL Freelancer
The Raymond Weil Freelancer is a Swiss luxury mechanical watch collection for men, available in stainless steel, genuine rubber, and leather strap options. It is known for its outstanding craftsmanship, elegant design, and technical advancements.
3. Hamilton Khaki Field
The Hamilton Khaki Field Watch is a military-inspired timepiece that is known for its simplicity and ruggedness. It is water resistant to 50 meters and has an automatic movement.
4. Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80
The Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 is a dress watch that is known for its timeless design and long-lasting power reserve of 80 hours. It is water resistant to 100 meters and has an automatic movement.
5. Longines Hydroconquest
Longines is among our Top entry-level luxury watch brands. The Hydroconquest is a diver watch known for its sleek design and high level of water resistance to 300 meters. It is powered by an automatic movement.
6. TAG Heuer Carrera
The Carrera embraces endurance with elegance. It features an iconic 41mm steel case, paired with a distinctive brown alligator leather strap. Silver sunray dial showcasing a day-date display, and powered by the reliable calibre 5 automatic movement. A tribute to the Carrera Panamericana race.
7. Breitling Superocean Heritage 57
Inspired by the brand's 1957 dive watch, this modern version features a vintage-inspired design, exceptional water resistance, and a COSC-certified automatic movement.
8. IWC Big Pilot’s Spitfire
Launched in 2019, this pilot's watch is known for its precision and aviation-inspired design. It features a bronze case and automatic movement with a 60 hours power reserve.
9. Cartier Tank Solo XL
A timeless dress watch with a rectangular case and elegant style, the Tank Solo XL was first introduced in 2004 and has since become an iconic timepiece. It’s ideal as a first cartier watch, and a top pick among affordable first luxury watches. The brand also has a range of gold watches for men.
10. Bell & Ross BR05 Chronograph
Launched in 2020, this contemporary sports watch features a bold and modern design, with a 40mm stainless steel case, integrated bracelet, and automatic movement.
How to Choose a First Luxury Watch: Important Factors
To pick the right one among the top-rated first luxury watch models above -or any other, there are a few factors you need to consider.
Luxury watches can range in price from a few hundreds to several hundred thousand dollars. It is important to set a budget before you start shopping so you do not overspend.
As a starter, also remember to consider affordable first luxury watches. There are also pre-owned ones provided by trustworthy luxury watch buyers online.
There are many different styles of luxury watches to choose from. Consider what type of watch you will most likely wear and what occasions you will wear it for.
If you plan on using your watch for active activities, you will need to choose a watch that is water resistant and durable. If you are looking for a dress watch, you will want to choose a watch that is made of precious metals and has a simple, elegant design.
Your personal preferences
Ultimately, the best way to choose a luxury watch is to go with your gut. Choose a watch that you love the look of and that you feel comfortable wearing. If there is also a luxury watch investment potential, you've hit the jackpot.
Ask questions to the jeweler
Ask the jeweler about the watch's history (previous owner if pre-owned, brand, or rare model), warranty, and availability of spare parts. If needed, talk about luxury watch authentication process and resale value. Authorized prestige watch dealers are used to answering these questions, and will be delighted to help you.
Tips for Buying a First Luxury Watch
Always buy from a reputable seller who guarantees authenticity and offers warranties.
Trust your gut and choose a watch that you have an emotional connection with, as you'll be wearing it for a while.
- Consider the features or design elements you need in the watch, and determine the budget accordingly.
Take your time and enjoy the journey towards purchasing your first luxury watch. Here is a guide to buy a diamond watch like a pro.
Research different styles of watches and their various features to make an informed decision.
Choosing the best strap for your first luxury watch is also crucial. If you intend to use it in different contexts (diving, snow, daily use), take many bracelets to switch when you need to.
- Do your research and learn as much as you can about the different brands and models. This will help you make an informed decision and avoid a costly mistake.
- Shop around and compare prices. You can often find great deals on beginner luxury watches by shopping online or at smaller, independent retailers.
As for the mistakes to avoid, these are simply the inverses of this list.
Where to Buy Your First Luxury Watch ?
Mayors is a recommended an reliable high-end online boutique for buying your first luxury watch. They provide a wide catalog with the best starter luxury watch brands and more.
Look for authorized dealers and online retailers with a track record of selling genuine luxury watches.
- If you want a diamond watch, learn how to spot a fake and choose from a reputable online store.
By following these tips and purchasing from a reliable source, you can make a confident and informed purchase of your first luxury watch.
Ensuring the Authenticity and Quality of Your First Luxury Watch
To determine the authenticity of a luxury watch, buy from authorized dealers who guarantee authenticity and offer warranties. Look for specific details and features that are characteristic of the brand and model of the watch.
Authenticating a luxury watch can be done by a professional, if you have any doubts about its originality.
How To Tell if a Watch is Legit ?
- Examine the watch for any signs of poor craftsmanship, such as misaligned logos or uneven finishing.
- Check the movement of the watch to ensure it is smooth and accurate.
- Look for proper branding and engravings on the watch, including the logo, serial number, and model number.
Luxury Watch Maintenance Tips & Care
To buy an high-end timepiece that will last, you must know how to care for your first luxury watch. Here are some simple steps you can take to ensure your watch remains in pristine condition.
- Keep the watch away from extreme temperatures and magnetic fields.
- Clean the watch regularly using a soft cloth and mild soap.
- Service the watch regularly to maintain its performance and longevity.
- Don’t do it yourself if you’re not a professional.
- Use a recommended watch winder or storage box.
Read the Guide on how to take care of a diamond watch.
So, Should You Buy a Luxury Watch ?
As you can see, when considering buying a luxury watch, several factors come into play. To recap, here are the first luxury watch buying tips to keep in mind:
- Motivation: Determine if you appreciate the craftsmanship quality and history of luxury watches, if you’re being driven by status, trends effect, or other social reasons.
- Emotional Connection: Choose a watch that resonates with you on a personal level.
- Budget: As said before, set a realistic budget based on desired features, craftsmanship, materials, and brand reputation.
- Long-Term Value: If you want a watch with investment potential, research reputable brands known for maintaining or appreciating in value.
- Personal Alignment: Your decision should reflect your preferences, financial situation, and appreciation for craftsmanship and history.
Remember, buying a luxury watch is a personal choice that should bring you long term satisfaction.
A starter watch: Oris Big Crown 80th Anniversary Edition
Purchasing a First Luxury Watch: FAQ
Is a Luxury Watch a Good Investment?
Luxury watches can hold their value well and even appreciate over time, making them a potential investment.
How Much Do I Need To Buy a Rolex?
The price of a Rolex can vary depending on the model and its features, but entry-level Rolex watches start around $5,000.
Is Tissot a Luxury Watch Brand?
Tissot is considered a mid-tier luxury watch brand, offering high-quality timepieces at a more affordable price point.
Are Designer Watches Worth It?
The value of designer watches can vary depending on the brand, trends, and individual preferences. It's important to consider factors such as craftsmanship, design, and personal satisfaction when determining if a designer watch is the best first luxury watch to buy for you.
Is Omega an entry-level luxury watch?
Omega is not an entry-level luxury watch brand, but it is not the most expensive either. Omega watches are positioned at a higher price point than some other brands, but they are known for their quality, engineering, and history, making them a worthwhile investment for those who appreciate these features.
Ballon Bleu Cartier in Rose Gold
Congratulations! You're Ready to Buy Your First Luxury Watch
By following this comprehensive guide, you'll be well-prepared to make an informed decision when looking for a good first luxury watch to buy. With a focus on understanding high-end timepieces types and considering affordable luxury watches for beginners, this article contains all you need to know to buy your 1st deluxe watch wisely.
Send this manual to anyone who may need it for a smart, hassle-free and happy watch hunting.
With a background in communication, Michael shares his insights on the intricate world of luxury watches through his blog. He focuses on high-end consumer products, opulence stories, and everything that the deep world of lust has to offer.