Five things you need to know before buying a watch for him

A wristwatch is perhaps one of the trickiest items to get as a gift.

It is almost as tricky as when men try to buy women a handbag. There are so many watches to choose from, different styles to pick, brands and catalogues to go through, and many other factors to consider. It is true that buying a watch as a gift for your partner or father is tricky, but it is not impossible.

To make choosing the perfect watch easier, there are several factors that you need to consider. Factors like wrist size and the style that your man loves become important when choosing a watch.

Here are the five things you need to know before buying a watch for him.

1. Style

The first thing you have to understand about men’s watches is the different styles to choose from. Simple and clean watches usually belong to the dress watch category. This style of watch is reserved for semi-formal and formal looks, although some dress watches are versatile enough to pair with casual attires.

Dive watches are also very popular among men. They are bigger and have a rotating bezel. While they are designed to be durable enough to wear when diving, most modern dive watches are beautiful enough to wear with different attires. In fact, dive watches are among the most versatile timepieces you can wear right now.

For maximum versatility, you can either go with a field watch or a chronograph, which is usually classified as racing watch. You can never go wrong with either. As long as you consider the style that your man normally wears, you will be able to choose the right watch style to get. With a style in hand, it is time to consider the next thing, which is….

2. Size

You will be surprised by how many options you now have when searching for men’s watches. From exquisite pieces from TAG Heuer to calmer pieces from brands like Rolex, the possibilities are endless. Each brand also has multiple styles and designs to choose from, plus many of them have vintage watches with a strong horology background.

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What’s important to consider at this stage is the size of watch to get. This depends on two things: the size of your man’s wrist and his overall posture. A 40mm watch is perfect for men with medium wrists, but the same piece may look too big on smaller wrists. The same is true for larger pieces, including dive watches that can be as big as 47mm.

There is no definite way to determine the right size, and asking for pointers from your man isn’t an option either. After all, you are buying this as a gift, aren’t you? The best way to get a good idea of which size of watch to get is looking into the watches that your man now wears and finding one size that suits him best.

3. Design features

Your options become significantly more extensive when you start getting into the features and designs of watches. The same watch can have different watch faces, hands, body designs, straps, and many other design features. Some watchmakers let you customise the watches you get further. Indie brands like Dan Henry will even produce unique pieces.

Don’t get overwhelmed by the sheer number of options you have. Make sure you keep the watch versatile by allowing it to be worn on multiple occasions. Getting a dress watch to complement a suit is one thing, but making sure that the same dress watch can be worn with semi-formal attire will make the gift even more valuable in the eyes of the recipient.

This is also when you should decide whether to get an automatic watch or a quartz one. An automatic movement uses the energy generated by movement of the wrist and doesn’t require a battery to work. It is less accurate than the battery-powered quartz movement, but automatic watches tend to last longer and are more valuable as timepieces.

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4. Brand

Yes, the brand of the watch you get matters. Watch brands say a lot about the watches, and the watch someone wears says a lot about that person. You want to be extra careful when choosing from the many watch brands available. To be safe, you want to avoid most fashion watch brands and stick to brands with a lot of history.

Watches that will turn heads by TAG Heuer are among the best to get. You only need to look at the TAG Heuer catalogue on CHRONEXT to understand just how beautiful the timepieces are. The Heuer name has a long history and a reputation for craftmanship, plus you get the best deals by picking items like the Grand Carrera on CHRONEXT.

It’s not just about expensive brands either. Some names are just as valuable. Brands like Casio and Seiko are famous for their beautiful pieces, but their watches are not all that expensive. The same is true with entry-level Italian brands like Tissot and Mido; the latter is gaining popularity for its dive watches.

5. Instant classics

When choosing a watch is still too complicated even after you take the previous factors into account, then there is one last secret to use. Stick with watches that are deemed future classics. You will find a number of watches with designs that everyone seems to like. These watches are generally designed so that they can be worn in different occasions and with different attires.

The Breitling Navitimer 8 is a good example of an instant classic. The watch stands out when worn by someone with a bigger wrist (>7 inches) but it is not flashy at all. In fact, the blue dial screams elegance, and the crocodile leather straps are in a class of their own. Another exceptional instant classic is the Tutor Black Bay series, which you can get in multiple sizes and colours.

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For more affordable options, look into Seiko’s latest SRPE line. The SRPE51 in particular is beautiful with its simple black dial and stainless-steel case. The watch also has incredible lumes and pairs well with different straps and outfits. It is a good replacement for the Tudor Black Bay we mentioned earlier, and it is incredibly affordable.

Buying a watch for the man in your life

Yes, picking a watch as a gift is complicated, but there is one other thing you need to understand about buying a watch for a special man in your life – it’s worth it. You may have to go through a lot before finding that right timepiece for your partner. You may even have to do some detective work to figure out things like the right size to get and which watch face colour to opt for.

Nevertheless, a watch is a special piece. When you end up with pieces like the TAG Heuer Autavia Isograph or the Baume & Mercier Classima, and you see the eyes of the recipient sparkle when they receive the watch, all the hard work pays off.

The watch you present him will stay with him – or even on his wrist – for years to come.


About Grace Murphy

As an experienced writer whose written for publications across the lifestyle, leadership, personal development and beauty spaces, I can show dynamic readers the tips and tricks that can enhance every aspect of their lives. My articles are designed to inform and inspire, giving readers the chance to see the world in a new light and achieve their dreams.