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Watch Shopping 101: Easy Tips for Buying a Luxury Timepiece

As many other watch enthusiasts or collectors will tell you, the hunt for your next watch is probably the best time there is. When you have convinced yourself that the next thing you could possibly need is a luxury watch, the hunt is on. Scouring the sites of the online marketplaces, watch dealers or even bidding platforms, searching for the steal of a lifetime. Not knowing where to search for, but knowing there is so much that you like. This is a problem we are all aware of over at Wristler. Because of this, we decided to help you find your next watch. We have made up some simple steps you could take, to make it easier for you to find your next perfect luxury watch. Let’s dive into it!


First and foremost, deciding the budget you are willing to spend is very important. When you have decided what the maximum amount would be you are willing to spend on a watch, some brands, styles or complications can already be ticked off. If you set your budget at for instance €3.000, top-tier brands like Patek Philippe or Audemars Piguet are unfortunately out of reach. When taking a look at brands like Omega you will find that there is still a lot to find, but newer models and full-sets are harder to come across. On the other hand, when you have a larger budget of for instance €25.000 there is a lot more to find, but you can also expect some more expensive complications, materials and finishing. 


When you have set your budget, it is important to note which style of watch you are looking for. Watches are available in all kinds of different styles. If you are more interested in a classy or dressy look, you will probably lean more towards vintage or vintage-inspired watches, instead of a racing watch for instance. When your wrists are a bit on the bigger side, your preference might be on the sportier side. Maybe a bulky diving watch, with a rotating bezel and very luminous hours markers is your watch of choice? Maybe the watch you are looking for is more in between. Your style might be functionality over looks, something like a Chronograph Pilot watch for instance. 


After you have decided on what kind of style you prefer, and what your budget is going to be, it is important to note what size of a watch would suit your wrist better. Generally speaking, older and vintage watches are mostly seen in around 34mm to 37mm case width. If you are looking for a smaller piece, because your wrists are on the smaller side, vintage watches are a great option! If you are looking for a bigger piece, let’s say 41mm and upwards, you are looking at very different kinds of watches. These bigger sizes are often sportier models, like divers or racing watches. Watches with a size between 36mm and 41mm are generally speaking, the average watch sizes. The width of the case is not the only thing you have to keep in mind when looking for your next watch. The so-called lug-to-lug size, what your watch measures from the bottom to the top, is something that is really important for the fitting of the watch on your wrist. This is the one measurement that has the most direct connection to your wrist size. 


You also have to decide on which material your next watch should be made of. Typically speaking, your budget will probably already send you to steel watch, or a precious metal. When your budget is on the lower side, you are less likely to find yourself buying an 18k gold watch, because of the value in gold of your watch. There is a lot that comes into account when looking at watches that are produced of different kinds of gold. A gold watch might have something close to 40grams of 18k gold, which will already cost you at least €1.500 in gold alone. The other way around, when your budget is on the higher side, let’s say €15.000 and upwards, you can very well expect your watch to be made of some kind of gold alloy, like 18k white- or rosé gold for instance. If the color of gold fits your style the best, you might want to take into account that your budget must be on the higher side. Otherwise, you can also opt for gold capped or gold-plated watches.


Another thing to note is that brands operate in a specific market range. If you are looking for a sporty watch, but your budget goes up to €3.000 your options will unfortunately not be from brands like Rolex and AP. Instead, you are looking at brands like Omega, Oris, Breitling or Tag Heuer. If your budget reaches a bit higher, you could be looking at sporty pieces like the AP Royal Oak Offshore at more than €20.000 or even an Patek Philippe Aquanaut at more then €35.000. Keep in mind as well that some brands don’t produce the style of watch you are looking for. For instance, the sportiest watch you are going to get from a brand like Cartier would be the Santos 100. On the opposite, from sporty brands like Breitling, the most classy piece would be a vintage Navitimer, which is still a pretty hefty pilot watch.

Condition and age

When you have your eyes on a specific type or model of watch, it is important to take a look at the condition and age of the specific piece. When you are looking at a 41mm Rolex Datejust with a fluted bezel, and a blue dial, there are a load of different watches that come up. Exactly the same watch, but they are all differently priced. How come? The condition and age of the watch differ. Some watches are sold as New/Unworn, but others might be older, worn, and polished to be in like-new condition. It is important for you to find out what is your preference. If you want a watch that has never touched anyone else’s wrist, filter on new/unworn. Just be aware that this might make you pay a premium for a watch that sets you back €1.000 less in worn, like-new condition. Eventually, watches are made to be worn, and minorly scratching your watch is all part of the experience!  


When you have found that specific model you want as your next luxury timepiece, it is important to compare different sellers with their own service and warranty policy. When you are looking at a marketplace like us, all the different sellers have their own service and warranty policy. These can often be found in the advertisement of the specific watch. Generally speaking, you have a 6- or 12-months warranty on the movement of your watch. If the seller does not clearly provide it, don’t hesitate to send them a message. They have no problem providing you with the knowledge of their warranty, and might even astonish you with their excellent service. At the end of the day, happy customers with their next perfect watch is what we all get up for in the morning!

Navigating the Watch Hunt

So, as you gear up for the thrilling hunt in the vast world of watches, remember, it's not just about ticking off a checklist, it's about finding that one timepiece that speaks to you. Whether you're cruising through online markets or eyeing the local watch scene, Wristler is right here to guide you through the adventure. We know the struggle of not being quite sure where to look, yet finding everything you like. Our simple steps are your map, making it a walk in the park to discover that perfect luxury watch. Let's make this journey a joyous ride, because finding your next wrist companion should be nothing short of pure excitement! Happy hunting!

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  • 100% Authentic watches
  • Safe delivery or pick-up
  • Warranty & easy returns