Part 1: How to start your watch collection
Buying your first luxury watch is a big step for most people as it usually represents the first time they are making a substantial financial outlay on something that is not a car or house deposit. Plus it can take some time to get comfortable with the idea of spending that much money on something like a watch. If you are asking yourself how to start - we got you covered!
My first luxury watch
In 2008 I bought my first ‘expensive’ watch. It was a stainless steel Tag Heuer Carrera Automatic – which I still have tucked away in a drawer somewhere – and at the time it was a really big deal to me. I had graduated from college and had been working for a couple of years and it felt like the time was right to replace my cheap fashion watch with something a little more substantial. I only had a limited budget and I agonised for what felt like months over the different models available within my fairly limited price range. Even today I wonder if I should have done things differently but that’s all part of the fun of being a watch lover.
Back when I went through the experience for the first time I didn’t have the same plethora of watch-related resources available online that you do now, so most of my information came from visiting dealers and speaking with fellow watch lovers. Even now the process can be pretty daunting the first time if you’re unprepared. If you ask yourself the right questions and do your research however, than there’s no reason why your first luxury watch experience can’t be an extremely positive one.
To help you get started on the right path we have put together a quick guide for some of the key questions you need to ask yourself before pulling the trigger (this is not an exhaustive list by any means.) We’ve also included our selection of five great starter watches at the end in case you really have no idea where to begin on your journey. Good luck and happy hunting!
1. Are you a collector?
This first question may seem a little silly, especially given that this article is about buying your first luxury watch. The obvious answer is “no”, right? Or is it “not yet”? This is an important distinction to make. If you have aspirations to become a watch collector you may want to think a little differently about how you choose your first luxury watch and indeed how you respond to the remaining four questions below.
Whilst it’s unlikely this first piece is going to form the foundation of your collection, it might at the very least give it some direction. For example maybe you decide you want to collect dive watches, or watches from a certain era. The other thing to consider if you want to become a collector is that most collectors build up their collections by trading watches in and out, which means it’s important to consider the potential resale value of every piece you bring in, even if you have no intention right now of selling it again.
If you don’t have any intentions of becoming a collector and you simply just want a nice watch than these are still good points to consider but ultimately you can cast your net a little wider and just pick something you really, really like.
2. Do you know the brand?
Whether you’re an aspiring collector or not this is a really good question to ask yourself. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of luxury watch brands out there and all of them are not created equal. Without a doubt there will be some brands you know straight away. Generally speaking these are the behemoths of the luxury watch world, with centuries of history to back them up and healthy marketing budgets too. There are other smaller brands too, which are also worthy of your attention but they will take a bit more digging to find.
The thing to keep in mind though is that if you’ve never heard of a brand before chances are neither have any of your friends or co-workers. This may sound shallow but there are very few people shelling out four to five figures on a watch who don’t want to enjoy at least a little bit of brand recognition. That Tag Heuer Carrera may not have been my dream watch but everyone knows Tag Heuer and so even my non-watch friends knew it was an expensive, and therefore ‘nice’ watch. When you’re a big time collector and you’re just buying for yourself then you can splash out on super exclusive models no one’s ever heard of. For your first luxury watch though you’re going to want to pick a brand you know and like. Trust me.
3. Where will you wear your watch?
I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve walked into a business meeting and seen a kid in a suit wearing some ridiculously oversized, blacked-out dive watch that would look completely appropriate on a boat but completely inappropriate in a boardroom. It doesn’t do the wearer any favours and it certainly doesn’t do the watch any favours. This is your first luxury watch, so chances are you are going to want to wear it everywhere. Now I’m not suggesting you go for something boring or overly conservative but really give some thought to the different outfits you may be tempted to pair this watch with.
4. Are you looking for something new or second-hand?
Given that this is your first luxury watch we are talking about, I can understand that your first thought would be to get something brand new. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that and in fact if you do your research there’s some really good deals out there to be had. Plus buying brand new gives you peace of mind; you will be the first person to wear the watch, it will be covered by a warranty and you can be assured of its authenticity.
That being said, if you’re willing to expand your search to include the second-hand market you can get some truly amazing deals on watches that are still in excellent condition. Not surprisingly though it’s super important to know who you’re buying from in this instance, which brings us to the final question.
5. Do you know the seller?
This is arguably the most important question on the list. It’s often said you buy the seller as much as you buy the watch. I really can’t overstate how important it is to do your research first to ensure a safe, secure and overall happy transaction, especially when shopping online. The goal of CHRONEXT is to always offer a transparent and trustworthy online platform for the sale and purchase of luxury watches. If you have a question or you’re not sure about the feature on a certain watch or whether it comes with a warranty or whatever the case may be, just reach out to us and ask. We are always ready to help and want to make the process of buying your first luxury watch as seamless and as enjoyable as possible.
Our starter tips
Now, as promised, here a five great ‘starter’ watches to get you on your way.
1. Rolex Submariner
This might be the most expected option, but also the safest one. This is watch that will never go wrong, it can be worn on a daily basis, with a suit for a business meeting or to plunge in the pool on weekends. It comes from a super-reliable, super-known, totally trustful brand and it will gain value and aura for the coming decades. This is the most known luxury watch around the world, and for very good reasons.
The Rolex Submariner Green The model 116610LV presented owners with a more colorful anniversary edition option, as the watch dial is also the color green, this gives the owner a piece of Rolex history.
2. TAG Heuer: Carrera or Formula 1
Simple, as I said in the previous lines of this story, this was my first choice. And actually, it was a perfect choice. TAG Heuer is certainly amongst the best options to consider for a first ‘expensive’ watch. It has some history, some aura, an international recognition and an undebatable built-quality. Again, opt for a rather understated version rather than a too sporty edition that will be difficult to use in a business environment.
At Baselworld 2014, TAG Heuer surprised many fans with this new version of the Formula 1 with a larger case.
3. Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch
Again here, we go on the safe side of the market, with a watch that is amongst the top-5 most iconic timepieces ever made. Listen: it was the watch worn on the Moon during Apollo 11. You can’t beat that. The look is superb, it is both sporty (on metallic bracelet) and rather elegant on a strap, it fits every attire, it is balanced, it has a great historical movement… Do we need to argue more? No. The Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch professional is a perfect model to start with.
4. IWC Pilot’s Watch
Should an aviation-inspired timepiece be your heart’s desire, then the IWC Pilot's Watch is the perfect model to start your collection. Introduced in the 1930s, the timepiece looks back on a long history of a design optimised for flight operations.
The IWC Pilot’s Watch family now consists of a wide variety of models with an aesthetic reminiscent of cockpit instruments. In addition to heritage models in various, historically contemporary diameters, IWC also offers conventional pilot watches, including the legendary Pilot's Watch Chronograph.
5. Nomos Tangente
How about a classic? Elegant, simple and straightforward - that is what the Nomos Tangente stands for. The model is without a doubt the flagship of the Nomos Glashütte brand and has remained true to itself for many years. The standard model has hardly changed - with the exception of the switch to manufacture movements.
The variety of the Tangente guarantees something for every taste: Whether 33, 35 or 38-millimetre case, with date and/or power reserve, as a neomatic or with different special dial variants. If you choose the Nomos Tangente, you can build up your collection on solid ground.