Which Men’s Watches or Brand Should I Buy?
When it comes to Men’s Watches and brands there is much to learn, especially at the higher end. Luckily, the internet has opened up the world of watches to anyone who might be interested in learning more about mens watches brands. But, an early word of warning to those who are looking to the internet to get a bargain watch online. There are a host of sellers, selling grey market watches without proper guarantees, or even worse selling copies as originals. We found the following YouTube to be a great source of information for yo to watch …but only after you have finished reading our article!
Budget Men’s Watches – Brands
These watches tend to be functional. They are all quartz movement watches, although some of the vintage watches in these brands may be manual wind mechanical watches. These brands include names such as Timex, Accurist, Sekonda among others.
They will all do the job they’re required to do. Many people buy these watches for sporting activity or outdoor pursuits. They will often have features the more expensive watches on the market do not have, such as alarms, stopwatches and programmable functions. Watches in this range often retail for under £100.
Although these watches are budget, they should not be dismissed as poor quality or confused with the independently imported watches typlically sold in markets for less than £10. Many of the branded budget watches are of good quality, are durable and perform well. They have proud manufacturers with good reputations and produce innovative watches with greater functionality.
Lower Mid-Range Designer Men’s Watches & Brands.
These tend to be more ‘dressy’ than the budget watch brands and are very often watches that are manufactured for designers such as Hugo Boss, Ted Baker, DKNY, Emporio Armani, Fossil, Diesel, Skagen, Guess and others. They still contain quartz movements for the most part, though Emporio Armani has used a Swiss ETA 7750 automatic chronograph movement in at least one of their wrist watches. Watches in this range usually cost anything between £100-£400 and sometimes more if the brand makes a special edition watch.
The mid market section of mens watches has seen a massive explosion in online sales, along with a large number of suppliers only too willing to service this boom. For those interested in buying online, the video above gives a few useful tips on what to look out for and more importantly what to avoid.
Mid-Range Men’s Watches Brands.
These watches are of a slightly higher quality than the previous category, and contain some Swiss brands too. Watches in this category include Bulova, Tissot, Oris, Rotary, Hamilton among others. A distinguishing factor between the mid and lower-mid range is that the mid-range watches usually have a respected lineage in horology. These watches generally have a have a resale value and some of the older watches of these brands can start to become collector’s items.
Many of the mid-range men’s watches brands were seen as the poorer cousins of the more expensive higher end watches. For example, at one time Tissot was seen as a budget Omega, in the same way that a Tudor was seen as a budget Rolex. These two brands now have their own respected identity. Hamilton and Bulova used to make their own movements in the USA, and often came in 14 carat solid gold cases. Vintage Hamilton and Bulova watches can sometimes fetch a substantial amount of money. Two notable examples that come to mind are the Bulova Accutron Spaceview and the Hamilton Masterpiece, both very sought after timepieces.
Some of the companies in this category regularly use Swiss automatic ETA movements, and many of the vintage watches in this category were mechanical movements. Watches in this category are also designed to last, and are manufactured more with servicing in mind. This category generally retails between £300-£1000.
High End Range of Men’s Watches Brands.
This category contains mens watches such as IWC, Rolex, Omega, Tudor, Zodiac,Brietling and others. This catagory of watches are sold online but the wholesalers and suppliers do not necessarily like it. The reason for this ‘dislike’ is that the Swiss brands see themselves as premium quality brands and do not want to be seen as an onine or discount brand. Despite this feeling, these watches are available online and are discounted, if somewhat discretely. For tips on how to stay safe when buying online, either watch the video above or Click Here.
This is where watches begin to get very sought after. Watches in this category should be considered an investment rather than just a watch, as they retain a large amount of their resale value and can even increase in value. The Rolex range for example can increase a great deal in value for their rarer watches. There are certain Rolex watches that were issued to the British Special Boat Service by the Ministry Of Defence. These were known as the Rolex MilSub as shown in the picture (left). It was almost exactly the same as a regular Rolex Submariner, but because it was marked by the M.O.D it’s now worth over £70,000.
Other rare Rolex watches can be worth far more than their retail value, the Paul Newman Daytona and the Steve McQueen Explorer for example. Usually these watches have been worn by a ‘superstar’ or have some rare quality about them, such as the Rolex MilSub which was issued only to British special forces, which makes them quite exclusive.
There are other men’s watches brands that have collectables in this category. The Omega 321 Pre-Moon Watch for example, and the 321-861 Moon Watch, the latter was an Omega Speedmaster that was used by NASA for it’s space missions. These watches and other limited edition Speedmasters can fetch many thousands of dollars at auctions.
Most watches in this category use automatic movements or manual wind movements almost exclusively, though some Omegas, Breitlings and Tag Heuers regularly use quartz movements.
Most watches in this category share movements. The Swiss ETA movement company manufacture for many different men’s watches brands, they provide a large amount of the movements for many of the well known high-end watch brands, which these brands then tailor for their watches. The ETA/ Valjoux 7750 was used in many high-end chronograph watches for many years, and has been used in the Omega Speedmaster, Breitling Chronomat and even the Rolex Daytona (the Zodiac El Primero movement was also used in the Daytona).
Watches in this category can regularly use precious metals such as, gold and platinum. They can also feature complications such as the Omega Co-Axial escapement. Omega has exclusive use of this technology but it was actually designed by the late George Daniels CBE.
Daniels, who was something of a genius in horology, designed the duel Co-Axial escapement in one of his much sought after pocket watches and approached Omega with the idea. Omega then turned him away because they claimed it would not work in a wristwatch. Undeterred, Daniels recreated the movement in a wristwatch and took it back to them.
Watches in this range are of exceptional quality, and can often retail at anywhere between £2000-£30,000.
Which brings us to the final category, and the very pinnacle in prestige watch brands .
Exclusive and Hand Made Men’s Watches Brands.
This category contains watches that are very labour intensive to create. This is mostly because the watches contain in-house movements which can take a great deal of time to design and manufacture. This is reflected in the price.
Many of the High end watches discussed earlier have watches in this category. Further watch brands that here include Vacheron Constantine, Patek Phillipe, Cartier, Jaeger LeCoultre, R.W. Smith among others.
These watches regularly feature in-house designed complications, and are very much hand made as much as they can possibly be. In the case of R.W Smith, each watch movement is built entirely by hand. These watches also feature other labour intensive crafts such as, engine turned dials, enamel painted dials, hand engraving and movement decoration. All of the watches in this range use mechanical movements. Sometimes they have very complex complications such as minute repeater functions.
This is the very pinnacle of watchmaking and watches in this category are designed and built in the way Swiss and English watchmaker’s pioneered centuries ago. These watches are often works of art as much as they are timepieces, and often increase in value over the years.
Watches in this price range are more often than not built with precious metal cases, this is because the cost of the precious metal is minimal in comparison to the cost of the craftsmanship that has gone into these timepieces, though some watches in this category are made from stainless steel for practicality.
Often the skills required to design and build these watches are closely guarded secrets, which has led to them dying out. There are often only a handful of people in the world who possess the skills needed at this level of watchmaking.
This is also where a lot of the innovation in mechanical watch technology happens, which then filters down to the rest of the industry.
Watches in this sector of the industry are very highly priced, but are fairly priced considering the work that has gone into them. Watches in this category can cost anything between £30,000 and £700,000 and occasionally even more. Some brands such as, Jaeger LeCoultre and Cartier make watches that would better fit into the previous category, as well as the very high-end watches. IWC and Rolex occasionally step up to this category.
Buying Your Mens Watches – Brands Online
The buying process is part of the enjoyment of owning your watch and this can be just as exciting as actually owning it. In today’s market buying mens watches online is an important element of discussion, not leaset becasue of the pitfalls of doing so. But providing you stick to a few simple tips as shown in the video below you’ll be worry free.
Whether you choose a budget watch such as Sekonda & Timex, Mid market such as Tissot, Rotary or a Hugo Boss mens watches or even the prestige brands, you should pick a watch that is right for you. Just becasue you can afford an expensive watch brand does not mean it is right for you. You might be running in which case a more functional stop watch may be a better choice. The durability of the watch is also of concern, as many of the higher end watches are made of soft precious metals and can cost several hundreds of pounds to repair. Nowadays it is quite common to go for one of each! When buying a watch, look at the many men’s watch brands and do your research before making a purchase. Modern manufacturing techniques allow the cheapest of watches to be as accurate, if not more so, than the most expensive. But, what the cheapest mens watches are not able to give you is the satisfying knowledge that the watch on your wrist comes with a heritage of watch making knowledge and excellence many, many generations deep.