So you got your first real job. You decided to pursue your dreams and you started a business. You and you’re special someone are growing your family and are expecting a baby. Or maybe, you just so happened to look at your friend’s wrist and admire their beautiful watch. These are all moments in life that can spike that interest in having a timepiece to call your own. With all the options out there; brand, style, and price, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed in choosing your very first piece.
It’s a huge decision and truly an investment, so you have to make sure you take all the right steps, especially for your first one. The good news is that when you choose your first one right, it’ll be your companion through many journeys. Timepieces don’t just tell time, they capture it. You’ll be able to look down at it and see lots of memories come to life because that was on your wrist through them all. Take care of it and that time capsule will continue on for generations.
For example, my most special piece is a gold Rolex Yacht Master that my father gave to me. He purchased it in 1994 and gave it to me after I got my first real job in the early 2000’s. That piece still looks somewhat new, keeps time perfectly, but is a true symbol of my parents’ hard work and now of my own hard work. It also is a piece that really got me started on my love for watches.
So how do you choose your first luxury timepiece? They come in so many different flavors, but all it takes are a few key steps to figure it out. First, understand yourself, your budget, and where or how you will be wearing it. Next, you have to do your research. There are so many different brands and styles. Lastly, go experience a few in the metal.
Understanding Your Inner Watch Nerd
Understanding what piece would be right for you all boils down to understanding yourself. What do you do for a living? Are you going to want a more casual piece, dressy piece, or more of a versatile piece for both occasions? Please keep in mind that luxury doesn’t always have to mean “dressy” and there are many pieces that can very well be great for a suit and also great for that jeans and t-shirt right after work.
The fit is also so important if you’re gonna have something that becomes second nature to put on everyday. Make sure you know your wrist size and what size watch would fit you perfectly. You want something that ultimately feels like an extension to yourself and your overall style.
Most importantly, what is your budget? Do you have a lump sum saved or will it be something you finance for the first time? Knowing this will help you really narrow down the brands and styles you will be doing your research on.
If you’ve worn a few more affordable pieces in the past, you’ll have an idea of the type of styles that fit best or interest you. If not, all these questions I just asked are easy to figure out and are a great foundation.
Do Your Research
Doing your research can be such an overwhelming process and sometimes you end up realizing there are just way too many brands to love and so many pieces you want. Horological paralysis!!! There’s Rolex, Omega, Audemars Piguet, Panerai, Tudor, and the list goes on! It also ends up being a fun experience since there’s just so many amazing things to learn. You may end up creating a “watch goal list.” It’s best to just do enough research to the point where the decision you make on your first timepiece won’t be a bad decision at all.
When I purchased my very own first luxury timepiece many years ago, I didn’t do all the research I should have done. I simply based my decision on what caught my eye and purchased an Omega Seamaster. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely loved that piece. I wore that all the time at work and after work, but I realized that I often looked at and spent my money on other pieces; more pieces that really just didn’t speak to me which I’ve since sold. That is completely fine to do if you’ve built a collection already and now just buy pieces to keep collecting and experiencing. It’s not the ideal thing to do if the funds aren’t there and you need to be strategic.
So to really make your first piece even more special with one that truly speaks to you, follow a few key steps. Research a few different brands, their history, and learn about each of their price points. Sometimes the history of certain brands just click with you. Also, understanding their options and price points help you understand if that’s a brand you even want to keep researching.
Make sure to develop a relationship with a consultant or an authorized dealer that is willing to educate you and also show you pieces. A Consultant like Rob at WRIST NYC is a great example of someone who will speak to you and also be able to help you make the right decision based on what you’ve learned about yourself.
Also, the internet is an unlimited resource with reviews, articles, and videos to educate you. I spent hours upon hours researching with reviews and videos before rebuilding my collection to what it is now. Google and YouTube are your friends.
You know your research is pretty much done when you have a top 3 of brands that really speak to you with maybe a top 3 list of pieces from each brand that really draw you in. From there, if possible, the only thing left to do is to try pieces on to confirm they feel right at home on your wrist.
In the Metal
Just like you go meet people in person, go meet them watches in the metal! I know that’s a tough thing to do for a lot of people due to their location, their local offerings, and even during this pandemic. If you do have the opportunity, that’ll be the best way to really get a feel for a piece on your wrist.
When I was rebuilding my collection, Panerai was the one brand that I wanted to start with since I’ve been wanting one for almost 15 years. If you learn about Panerai, most of their pieces are of larger size in that 44mm to 47mm diameter range. Although big, they wear so well on the wrist which I was only able to learn from going to an authorized dealer 2-3 times to try them on.
Don’t be ashamed to visit the stores or meet with a consultant many times to try on pieces. You need to be sure and there’s nothing worse than getting a piece in the mail without trying it on only to find out that it really isn’t the right fit for you. If you have friends with pieces, ask them if you can try them on too. Other people with watches are always such a great resource and are also so supportive in someone else’s watch journey.
So there you have it. Start that watch journey and enjoy every second of it! Fair warning, this love for watches can become a rabbit hole and your first won’t be your last. Regardless, there’s nothing like that first special piece, but that time may come where you have an itch to get another. By that time your tastes and interests might be completely different having experienced your first one and alternating with a few is another joy in itself.
Hope you found this helpful and if you ever want to check out my collection and ask me any questions, you can find me on Instagram at @timepeacelove.
Written by Jeremy Caparas of @Timepeacelove