Researching, picking, and purchasing your first serious timepiece can be a daunting task. The whirlwind of terms, brands, and boutique options is often dizzying. Watch “enthusiasts” who throw out phrases like “brushed finishing,” “tourbillon complication,” and “lug-to-lug,” etc., in casual conversation, are not really doing much to demystify the world of watches either. But, selecting your first entry-level luxury watch should be fun, and far from a drag. The right timepiece can elevate your fitness, be used to celebrate a milestone, become part of your legacy, or be a solid investment. At their best, watches can embody the pinnacle of storied craftsmanship and innovation with just the right mix of design, art, and engineering.
The thing is, not all watches are made equal. Some watches are clearly worth their price, others not so much. Sure, you can walk right into your local Audemar, IWC, or Rolex boutique and just buy that new piece that caught your eye, but if you don’t choose wisely you’re going to lose your shirt.
Though picking a timepiece is subjective, there are a few general rules of thumb to keep in mind when purchasing a watch, no matter your budget.
At the start of an ongoing watch series, today’s guide will equip you with everything you need to know about watches, from their parts to what characteristics you should be on the lookout for when picking a timepiece. In the end, we will walk you through some of the best luxury watches for men at every price point.
Watch 101: How to “speak watch”
Before we jump into the more exciting aspects of watches, you need to understand the basic components. If words like bezel, dial, crown, and lugs seem a bit foreign to you, we recommend starting here. Our diagram below will act as a key. The terms used here will be used to describe the watches featured in this article, helping you better “speak watch.” Watch designs change and vary based on their functionality.