It’s here. Black Friday. For many it’s a day for sales and early shopping. For others, it’s a time to stay home — out of the shopping throngs and crowds — and do a little research about what they want to buy their loved ones. Earlier this week, we discussed how to select a watch to match the recipient's lifestyle. Here, in Part 2 of Holiday Shopping, we bring you the top five things you need to know about the watch before making a gift purchase.
1. Watch Materials. Things to consider when looking at a watch include whether the watch is made of steel, titanium or precious metals. Not only will the material have an impact on pricing, but also it play a role in the look, feel and use of the watch. Similarly, you may want to inquire if the crystal of the watch is mineral or sapphire. We have covered this subject before, but as a brief reminder, a mineral crystal can get scratches on it (some of which may be buffed out but not all), while a sapphire crystal is generally more scratch resistant. Mineral crystals, however, carry a lesser price tag.
2. Watch Movement. There are Swiss movements and Japanese movements (and a host of others, but most reputable watches will be powered by a Swiss or Japanese caliber). There are also mechanical movements, quartz movements and solar-powered movements. Often, the movement is not of great concern to the casual watch wearer. However, the more informed watch wearer might have a personal preference.
Quartz watches — powered by a battery — require no winding and are more affordable than mechanical watches. They typically run for three to five years without needing a battery change. Solar watches are powered by exposure to light, and people who are conservation minded often like this concept. Finally, mechanical watches — offered in self-winding or manual-winding versions — are generally great for a watch enthusiast who enjoys knowing the engine was hand-built and runs on good mechanics. Movement types are generally more important in self-purchases than in gift purchasing, but it may be something you want to consider if the recipient is an advanced watch lover.
3. Brand Reputation/History. Sometimes a certain brand name carries a certain cachet with it. Often this cachet revolves around great marketing and positioning, reliability, precision, or — well, let’s face it — popularity and easy recognizability. One brand may have a reputation as being the leader in aviation, while another has a reputation as being the leader in fashion, mechanics and diamonds. Knowing the best brands in the category you are considering can be a help. Other times, the brand’s history may play a role. Some people are reluctant to purchase a relatively new brand on the market for fear it won’t be there years down the road if the watch needs servicing. Contrary to that, there are some watch lovers who want the newest, trendiest brand on the market. Often, history has nothing to do with age, but instead, with origin. Some people may prefer a brand because it has Japanese, Swiss, French, British or other roots.
4. Budget. Just as we said earlier in the week, knowing your budget is key when it comes to the final selection. Sometimes budget brings you to a new timepiece. Perhaps you can’t afford the top-of-the-line “aviation” watch, for instance, but another great brand exists that offers that category of product in your budget range. We are happy to help here, as we carry a strong variety of product in all price ranges.
5. Authorized Retailers and the Warranty. Buying from a retailer who is authorized to carry your preferred brand is critical. To begin with, buying from an authorized retailer makes the brand’s warranty valid. Secondly, should there be any issue with your watch or its functions, the authorized retailer has access to complete and legitimate after-sales service. As to the brand’s warranty on the watch, all brands offer different guarantees and warranties. Most are a minimum of a year, while others are two, three and even five years. Again, we are happy to disclose all of the information you may want to know about brand warranties.
One last statement as you embark on your watch-buying journey. We offer you peace of mind. If for any reason the gift recipient isn’t happy with the watch, we will work with you and the recipient to find the perfect watch solution. Stop in any time to see our selection of watches, watch categories, watch price ranges and to discuss your needs and concerns.
Top image: Bigstockphoto.com