How to Buy a Quality Men’s Watch


Find a reasonable
starting budget

With the growth in popularity of mechanical watches in the last five to 10 years, the options from non-traditional, direct-to-consumer, micro makers and independent brands have really blossomed. These often challenge previous notions of “entry level” in terms of quality and value. As such, a high quality mechanical timepiece can now be found starting at a few hundred dollars, with perhaps a sweet spot being around $800 to $1,000.

Don’t underestimate
the try on

A great watch is often greater than the sum of its parts. The fit, the feel, the finishing … in hand, they all come together for an experience that brings a smile to your face. These days, there are great watches made all over the world, as are movements, so a great way to start is to go and handle as many watches as possible in person. Nothing beats coming in and trying on the watch yourself—the better made timepieces will reveal themselves.

You can find
value out there

Nomos timepieces

Nomos timepieces

Three brands we’d recommend anyone to look at would be Christopher Ward, NOMOS and TUDOR. Christopher Ward, from the U.K., creates robust, Swiss-made sport watches averaging around $1,000 with fantastic case finishing. NOMOS from Glashütte, Germany, offers tasteful, minimal designs with in-house German movements, starting under $2,000. And TUDOR, the sister brand of Rolex, offers classic Swiss style and some serious provenance with subtle vintage nods, along with fantastic reliable movements, all for just under $3,000.

Metal straps are
the smartest option

Tudor timepieces

Tudor timepieces

If a watch is available on a bracelet, it’s likely the better investment, as it is easier to find a third party leather, rubber or nylon strap to fit, than a suitable bracelet. Since it’s very easy to change the strap on most watches, this will give you the most versatility as well. Additionally, going to a brand after purchase to buy a bracelet often costs more than had it been included in the first place.

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