Men's Watch
Citzen Calibre 2100 Eco-Drive Watch, $375

How to Buy a Men's Watch


A man's watch is like a woman's handbag: a combination of form and function, accessory and necessity. But with options ranging from less than $25 to more than $25,000, the world of watches can be overwhelming. Here are a few things to consider when purchasing men's watches.

The Basics

Step 1Function: Of course, the purpose of a watch is to tell time, but you'll want to think about where you'll be wearing it. To the office or on a trail? Scuba diving or to black-tie events? Consider how durable or formal your watch needs to be.
Step 2Mechanical or Quartz: Most watches on the market are quartz watches, which are less expensive and more accurate than mechanical watches. Although mechanical watches are more expensive and require more servicing, the craftsmanship and prestige-along with durability if well cared for-make them heirlooms that can be passed down for generations.
Step 3Price: "Any wristwatch over $200 is more jewelry than a timepiece," wrote Derek Ziglar on his watch enthusiast site, Chronocentric. You can get an accurate, good-looking watch at any price, but will pay more for things like precious metals, prestige brands and hand-craftsmanship.
Step 4Style: A complete watch wardrobe includes an everyday watch, a sports watch and a watch for formal occasions. With styles and colors available to suit every personality, this is an opportunity to show off your tastes

The Lingo

Analog: A watch that shows the time using a dial with hour and minute hands.
Complication: Any watch function that goes beyond simply telling the time, including calendars, moon phases or stopwatches
Chronograph: A watch with a stopwatch function
Chronometer: A watch that has been tested and shown to meet certain standards of precision. A true chronometer will come with a certificate from the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute, or COSC.
Digital: A watch that shows the time using digits instead of a display with a dial and hands
Mechanical: A movement powered by a mainspring and balance wheel. Most watches today have electronically controlled quartz movements and are powered by a battery.
Quartz: A movement powered by a battery and regulated by the oscillations of a quartz crystal. It's more accurate than other watch types.
Self-winding: A type of mechanical watch that's wound by the day-to-day movements of the wearer's wrist. It's also referred to as automatic.
Water-resistant: A watch that will withstand unexpected exposure to water for a brief period of time. This doesn't mean that the watch is submersible; don't submerge in water unless it is water-resistant up to one hundred meters.

The Experts

Esquire saysIf you're a man who cares about style, you probably own (or want to own) a few watches: an everyday watch, a weekend watch, plus maybe the damn good lookin' watch and even a luxury watch that's bespoke unto itself.
GQ saysWhat Makes an Heirloom Watch Want a watch that will outlive you? Go for a timepiece that's mechanical rather than quartz. Sure, quartz fulfills the "it lasts" half of the equation-but really, it's the hands-on commitment and craftsmanship that you want to pass on to your son or grandson.

The Brands

Timex
Swatch
Casio
Bulova
Fossil Cartier Omega Seiko

The Price

$: $ Casio G-Shock Atomic Solar Watch
$$: $$ Citizen Calibre 2100 Eco-Drive Chronograph
$$$: $$$ Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner

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