Especially for men, buying their first wristwatch is a great experience filled with high emotions. Maybe for years already he/she has dreamt of owning a timepiece that really not just is a piece of jewellery, but an expression of his/her personality.

During my time selling luxury watches, my duty first is always to find out the WHY behind the final decision. The reasons are seemingly different but have one major thing in common: the joy of finally wearing the dream watch. One story in particular touched me deeply. A colleague of mine served a customer who wanted purchase a watch for the birthday of his son. So far, nothing spectacular. On his wrist he had a plastic quartz watch, almost too small for him. It was a children`s watch that he took off and glanced at. It was obvious that he had a special connection to it. More than 10 years ago, a burglar had stolen his Rolex from his home. When he had felt devastated, his son came and offered him his own watch as a replacement for the big loss. He was so moved by the purity of selflessness that he wanted to give his son a Rolex. The same model that had been stolen from him so long ago. With tears in his eyes, he finished telling the story. The WHY of his watch purchase was on the table. Find the WHY and you will find the watch that is for you.

Nowadays, almost without exception, people inform themselves very carefully before buying anything. This is especially true when it comes to expensive timepieces.


Questions to ask yourself first

  • Why do you want to buy the watch?
  • Do you want to buy a particular brand?
  • What model do you desire to purchase?
  • Do you want to buy it as an alternative investment or for pure fun?
  • Would you like to acquire a quartz watch (with battery) or a mechanical watch (automatic self-winding or hand-winding movement)?
  • Do you focus only on looks or also on complications (functions of a mechanical watch)?
  • Do you want practicality or the pure factor of making a statement?

The answers to these questions are not a must, however, good guidance when making a significant investment decision of a few thousand euro. Besides, if the watch does not flash you instantly or you haven`t dreamt about it for a long time already, this particular timepiece isn`t the right one anyway. Make sure that the watch you buy excites you. Don`t just go for it because your neighbour or friend has it. The WHY is the first step to buying your first masterpiece.



Doing research on your desired watch and the brand behind it was never easier than today. Although, there is the danger to believe everything that`s been written on the net is true, there are great resources too.

Firstly, you ought to go through the websites of the watch brands. Besides, the watch collection itself, getting background information on the history will enhance your decision making. Most of the brands like Patek Philippe, Rolex, Vacheron Constantine, Glashütte Original, Jaeger LeCoultre, Omega, etc. have a background that is deeply intertwined with major events in history. This includes endeavours to the moon, in the air, on land, and deep under water. Get all the data and facts that you need.

Secondly, there are numerous watch forums out there. Watch enthusiasts and connoisseurs exchange every single detail about almost any watch in the world. If you want to engage into the world of watches, talking to like-minded folks is the way to go.

Thirdly, magazines and books are great to dive into pinnacles, wheels, and precious material on your wrist.

Finally, go and talk to the retailers in your city. They are happy to assist and advise you on finding the right timepiece for you. It is one thing to stare at a picture and another when it comes to actually wearing a watch on your wrist. Touch it, feel it.


Best sources

Books in English

Books in German

Magazines: Europa Star

Online: Watch Anish, Hodinkee



Financing your timepieces is topic on its own. Getting together the money to finance their watch has already plunged watch lovers, collectors, and watch enthusiasts into financial misery. Therefore, purchasing your timepiece out of emotion might be working out well for one watch. When it comes to build a collection, you need to stay cool and rational. You need to know what you are doing. This concerns:

  • Knowing your own financial capability
  • Having knowledge of the particular brand and watch you are buying
  • Supply and demand (Is it a rare watch? Does it have many complications? What brand is it?)
  • Where do you buy your watch from? (Trusted seller, official retailer)
  • How much of a discount can you ask for/get?
  • Understanding that your watch requires revisions to maintain its function
  • Continuous maintenance costs like a watch strap (Crocodile leather strap costs about 300-500€)

As you can see, there is more to it than just owning a luxury watch. Keep these things in mind and you are golden.


Retail or Online

Buying online or traditional retail is a big question nowadays. What should you do? That depends! You still need to distinguish between a brand new watch and the Second-Hand market. New watches are mostly preferred to be bought in retail stores. Most of the time




  • Easy overview of all models 365/24/7
  • Order possible any time
  • Multiple payment methods
  • Convenient
  • More choices at the Second-Hand market


  • No proof of sincerity of seller (on random web shop)
  • No official retailer (if not officially stated)
  • No proof if the watch is an original or fake (mostly check possible after completed transaction)
  • No personal assistance of sales consultant
  • No shopping experience
  • No official warranty




  • Personal shopping experience
  • Look and feel of the watch before the purchase
  • Official retailer (well-known jeweller, boutique)
  • Personal service and follow-up after the purchase
  • Chance of better purchasing conditions in the long-run


  • Specific opening hours
  • Long distance to the next retailer/store
  • Availability might be not available immediately



Text by Nicholas Sebastian Chan

© 2017

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