Watches: How do you decide what to buy? Do you splurge or save? What are everyone’s thoughts on smartwatches and luxury watches?

Watches: How do you decide what to buy? Do you splurge or save? What are everyone’s thoughts on smartwatches and luxury watches?

Hi hi there! I’m looking into buying a watch again (I used to have a men’s fossil sports watch that they no longer sell that got damaged after I fell off a boat–long story) and I realized I don’t know a lot of people who wear watches (other than my grandparents, who bought each other rolexes on their whatever-th decade anniversary and haven’t really swapped them out since). Does anyone have any watch thoughts or watch stories? All my watches have been gifts that I have loved so I’m trying to hold out on buying a watch till I find the right one.

In middle school I was super excited about this elegant and classy swatch skin (one of the first ones) with these intricate and delicate hands. My mom bought it for my 13th birthday after a year of watching me look at it when we went gift shopping or to the mall. I still wear that one but with it’s silicone band (it’s such an old model it’s hard to find new bands that fit it) it doesn’t always feel dressy enough for a situation. I do love it though.

In high school I wanted a more mannish and masculine watch so I asked for a men’s watch for my 16th birthday (and my granddad happily obliged)! It was a big bulky thing (laughably huge on my relatively small wrists) that could handle 10 atmospheres and had three different timers and was oh so so cool. I loved it so (also if anyone knows what I should do with an old broken watch, let me know!)

So now I don’t really know what I want, my style veers from femme to masc different days and I kind of love those square watches, like those [La Mer ones](, but they have so many strap/bracelet details and I want something more minimal. I realized as I was lamenting this that what I was imagining was a Cartier tank, but I can’t afford that haha! But it did get me thinking: are Cartier and the like worth the price? Is there a point after which spending more on a watch doesn’t make sense or is the like Patek Philippe motto of ‘you’re giving your kid a watch by buying this watch’ an actual thing? I don’t really think I understand how luxury watches *work* or if they’re ‘legit’ investments or not.

The other reason I haven’t bitten the bullet and gone out for a replacement is because I don’t really know what kind of watch in general I want? What about smartwatches? The apple ones or the hybrid ones that folks like Fossil make?

What kind of watches are people wearing? Does anyone own or is anyone considering buying a smartwatch? How about a luxury watch? What do you consider when buying one? Do you like ones that blend with your coloring/style/wrist-size or ones that stick out a lot?

Also (lol) do y’all wear them on your dominant or non-dominant hand (or either)?

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Comments ( 22 )
  1. fengshuime
    July 6, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    I like buying watches but have never gone for the fancy kind. My favorite so far are vivien westwood, The quality is vey good. The other I really wear often is [skagen](

    I my price point usually is around 150$-300$.

    Been thinking of getting a apple watch myself but I’m lazy. So’ve been holding it off.

  2. techtchotchke
    July 6, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    I have a $35 watch from JC Penney. It’s cute and dainty and gets the job done; I’ve had it for about 7 years and wear it on my nondominant wrist. Watches for me are utility objects moreso than accessories; it’s cool to look at the really neat ones but I’ve never felt the desire to own any of those. I’m not one to criticize how other people spend their money, but it blows my mind that some people will pay four, five, or six figures for a watch.

  3. e90DriveNoEvil
    July 6, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    I wear a vintage luxury brand men’s [watch]( on my non-dominant hand. It was a gift – I cherish it, and look forward to handing it down.

    I didn’t pay for it, but I would have… I will never *need* a new watch. The styling is timeless, and it is looks great with a t-shirt or formal wear. I also like that it is waterproof and virtually indestructible (I’m hard on things).

    I never understood the appeal of a nice watch (especially today!!), but now, I get it. My advice: find one that makes your heart sing (like your Swatch), and save up. A smart watch will be obsolete in less than 10 years.

  4. BorowitzReport
    July 6, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    > What kind of watches are people wearing? // Does anyone own or is anyone considering buying a smartwatch?

    At the moment, I wear an Apple Watch with black Nike band every day. They’re a little ugly, still a little underpowered, but the “smart” part is better than the competitors by a mile (as far as iOS is concerned), and it lets me approve OTP logins without having to unlock my phone 2847249324 times a day at work, so I keep wearing it. Back when I was a PM and ~~had nightmares about~~ worshipped my Outlook Calendar, it was a blessing to be able to covertly see where I had to be next without pulling out my phone.

    I take it off if I’m dressing up at all or going somewhere fancy (as if that ever happens in the PNW). Non-dominant hand or bust.

    > How about a luxury watch? What do you consider when buying one? Do you like ones that blend with your coloring/style/wrist-size or ones that stick out a lot?

    I admire the engineering and craftsmanship that goes into complicated movements, but I could care less about horology and think watch people are just wealthier model train people. Would I wear a Patek Phillipe Calatrava if it was gifted to me? Certainly. Would I save up for one or learn about the dozens of tiny variations that’ve been made over the years? Never.

    Purchasing for myself, I’d be totally happy with a quartz powered [BN0172](, and that’s basically a money grab taking advantage of Rams’ legacy.

  5. queenbeluga
    July 6, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    Watches for me are meant to be 1) a cute but slightly grown up accessory and 2) a way to tell the time and date without looking at my phone. I really like the quality and design that you can get for your money with Seiko, so I have two from them: a mixed metal tennis bracelet style watch, very cute and dainty, and a white face silver metal watch with Arabic numerals as my daily driver. For the latter I have a brown leather band and a black leather band that like to switch between when the mood strikes me. My watches are definitely not on trend as I’ve never been in to the huge watches that have been in fashion for a while, but they feel like me and they get the job done.

  6. DWRDone
    July 6, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    > I don’t really think I understand how luxury watches work or if they’re ‘legit’ investments or not.

    I mean, I would never consider anythig fashion related as an alternative to financial instruments tbh. A watch has very little ROI for me. I think if you can see yourself having to sell your Submariner to pay rent in the future, you shouldn’t be dropping that kind of cash on a watch in the first place. I personally wouldn’t buy something because its an “investment”. You buy an expensive watch because you want the watch.

    I wear a Ronde solo de Cartier on my non-dominant hand for work.

  7. chayu
    July 6, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    I love watches- they are the only accessories that I wear. I love the detailing on a watch, I love watching the balance wheel when I have a watch with a display caseback, the seconds hand tick by, the distortions from a domed crystal, the way light reflects off a dial…. and so on 😛

    I currently own and rotate 17 watches, most of which are mechanical. I haven’t crossed $1000 for a single watch yet, but 3 of my watches are vintage pieces from a modern luxury watch brand. They range in size from 16mm to 42mm in diameter. I try to be conscious of the length of a watch from one lug to the other so that I can be sure they fit me.

    Usually I select a watch to wear based on the colour of the dial and try to match the straps to an outfit.

    Edit: here’s a [mini-album of some of the watches I’ve owned](
    Come check out /r/watches if you’re interested in watches

  8. cydr1323
    July 6, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    You should check out Etsy. I bought my boyfriend a watch from there with a wood face and he loves it. [TmbrWood]( The shop has a lot of options for men and women. I am debating buying myself one. There are a ton of other stores that sell watches too on Etsy.

    Edit: grammar

  9. riggorous
    July 6, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    If my career works out okay, I’ll buy myself a Tank Solo for my 30th birthday and engrave the shit out of it. It’s moreso a celebration/jewelry, since in practice watches aren’t super useful.

    Regarding luxury watches, /r/watches is an incredible resource with a very detailed FAQ and attentive regular posters if that doesn’t answer your question.

  10. coffee_for_dinner
    July 6, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    I’ve been wearing an Apple Watch since 2015, but now that my watch is no longer being supported by new watchOS updates, I’ve thought about upgrading… And I just can’t find the justification for dropping that kind of money every 3-4 years on a smartwatch. :/ I’ll just wear mine until it no longer turns on.

    I thought about getting an analog watch to replace the AW, but turns out all the watch pictures I liked were Cartier so I guess I’m not getting an analog watch either lol.

    If anyone has suggestions for a watch from a good brand that makes sleek square watches (think [Cartier Tank](, I’d be interested to know!

  11. Chazzyphant
    July 6, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    I have gone through phases with watches. In high school my dad got me a lovely brown leather band pink crystal face Citizen that I somehow lost and gosh I wish I had that now. I also had a guy I was seeing give me a 70s super wide band vintage watch and I lost that too!

    I didn’t really wear a watch again until I moved to the Philippines, where having a watch was a big deal–stores that ONLY sold watches were very common. It was just a “thing” over there. I got a vintage Soviet military watch and had the band replaced and sent it to my mom, and then I got a cool vintage watch for myself and got a band from Asprey’s for that.

    I didn’t really wear my vintage watch since it’s a wind up and I kept forgetting to so it was merely decorative.

    Then like 3 months ago I got a wild hair in the “fancy thrift store” boutique over [this watch]( I bought it for 6.99. Someone had removed links so it didn’t even fit my notoriously thin wrists. I then had to buy an identical watch on eBay for replacement links and get them combined.

    Total cost:

    6.99 for initial watch
    19.99 for new battery
    26.00 for parts watch
    19.99 to have new links from parts watch put onto other watch

    I wear it a LOT. I love the way it looks. I wear in on my non dominant hand. You can see it in about half my outfit pics. I love white ceramic links and I love that it’s a mix of white and silver.

    personally, a lifetime goal is to have the $$$ or save the $$$ to buy a Cartier Tank, the ne plus ultra of elegant preppy watches to me.

  12. humanoidtrapezoid
    July 6, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    It’s not fancy, but I have a [Fossil Jacqueline]( that I really love and use as my everyday watch. The color I have is no longer available; the face is dual-colored in gold and silver–like the one I linked, but less rose gold-y than that one–which I like because I can wear it with both gold and silver jewelry. The band I have is the same as the one pictured, and for some reason, the seconds hand on mine is red. I like it because it can be worn both with professional and casual outfits, and it’s simultaneously large enough to look somewhat masculine yet small enough to look feminine. I also like that it displays the date.

    This is silly and kind of juvenile, but I also *love* the classic Mickey watches. I have three: one with a larger face and a brown band (so, pretty similar to my Fossil one), one with a smaller face and a black band, and one that’s actually Minnie instead of Mickey with a smaller face and a reddish brown band. I think they add a subtle splash of youthfulness and character to what might be an otherwise blah outfit.

    I wear my watches on my non-dominant (left) hand. I haven’t really considered getting a smartwatch; I just don’t really like how they look. I do work out a lot and like wearing a Fitbit, and I know that getting a smartwatch would combine the functionality of both a regular watch and a Fitbit, but I’m a big fan of analog watches and didn’t like wearing my watch on one hand and my Fitbit on the other, so I bought [this clip]( to use to clip my Fitbit to my bra, and it works surprisingly well! I guess this is where the Fossil hybrid comes in.

  13. Little_Porcupine
    July 6, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    I am recently into watches and like the brand Shinola. The brand story is great and resonates with me because I live in Detroit. Basically, the company came to detroit and created a new industry in the city and also a newly skilled work force. They highlight the artisans that make the watches heavily in their ads and stuff and I like that, especially as a manufacturing engineer – these are the people doing the work, you have to respect their skills and this brand does.

    I wear my watch on my non dominant hand because I dont like it being in my way when I’m writing or using a mouse. It’s a simple style I can wear with lots of things and fits my personal style. I can also change the straps out easily which I reeeally like. I have a brown leather strap and a slate blue triple wrap.

    I see it as an investment piece and Shinola has a warranty I like, and it’s meant to last and be an heirloom piece which I think is super fucking cool. I’m a very practical but sentimental so I’m down with the quality and longevity thing. The only part I can really see not lasting is the leather strap but like I said that can be replaced easily. The crystal on it is lab made sapphire and is pretty indestructible.

    I will say if the company story didnt speak to me as much I wouldn’t wear it with as much pride. Full disclosure I also got mine at an outlet with a discount. But living in Detroit and having a manufacturing background myself this watch resonates with me and I think it looks great.

  14. RustBandit
    July 6, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    I wear watches almost everyday as both an accessory and for usefulness and I prefer my non dominant wrist. I’ve never spent more than $60 on one and that might just be because I’m broke college student, but I’ve found some pretty nice ones on Amazon kinda like this ( I prefer large, simple metallic faces with leather bands and I have several in black and brown bands with gold and silver faces. However, if you want something to last and just want one watch I don’t think it would be unreasonable to spend more on something that will last you 10+ years. Because I wear watches as accessories I don’t think I’d be into a smart watch because they’re bulkier and would probably get distracted.

  15. little-squirrel
    July 6, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    I only have one watch at the moment from the [the 5th](, which is their [Brooklyn]( one. It comes with two straps which is nice! I wear it all the time, on my non-dominant hand, both casually and when I’m more dressed up (parties, dinners etc, it would be too heavy for something like a wedding as it is completely black!!).
    I’m thinking about getting a second one from them in a lighter colour, possibly from their [Tokyo]( or [Bilbao]( range, because I like how minimalistic they are.
    I prefer very minimal watches so they go with more accessories. I don’t know if its just me, but if my watch was silver I wouldn’t be wanting to wear it with all gold accessories! So with all black like I have, or a brown or grey I think I have more freedom.

    The watches there range from $130-$200AUD and I wouldn’t personally spend more. I don’t see the need for a luxury one (atm couldn’t afford to even if I wanted to!), especially if I’d want a few to go with different outfits (like I said I want a lighter colour, and splurging twice on luxury watches is not something I’d wanna do!). Plus, if it gets a few scratches or anything then it’s not as huge of a deal.

  16. LittleOrangeNail
    July 6, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    I wore a smart watch for the past 5 years or so, first Pebble and now a Fitbit. The Pebble was almost useful, but the Fitbits really have been pointless. I finally realized that I’m just not using the smart functions of the watches.

    I have recently switched back to a [nice two-tone Seiko](, I used to have almost the exact same watch but with a battery, and when I went back to conventional watches, this was the style I gravitated towards. Looks professional and understated, goes with everything.

  17. wunderk8
    July 6, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    I rarely go without a watch, to me it’s like a bracelet but useful. I don’t know why but I do wear it on my non-dominant hand. I have four that I switch off on depending on the rest of my outfit:

    1. Wooden face with pressed flowers and a purple leather band from a company called Mistura. I get compliments on it every time I wear it, it is my favorite watch and the price point is super reasonable
    2. Stainless Tiffany with roman numerals, was a 30th bday gift, classic / timeless / pairs easily with other jewelry / all the things. Before I had this watch I had a stainless Fossil that I wore regularly for years, this is basically the fancier version of that
    3. Really cool dainty vintage (1960s) Omega Ladymatic refurb from an etsy shop with a gold face and an orange leather band. Basically the opposite of the current large watch trend but I like that it’s small enough to stack with other bracelets
    4. A white plastic waterproof Timex beater for workouts. Really does take a licking and keep on ticking, I’ve had it for 10+ years!

    Honestly if I didn’t like my other watches and switching them up with my outfits and jewelry I’d prob upgrade the Timex to an Apple Watch and buy several different bands to go with it. But I already had the others before smart watches became a trend (maybe not the Mistura? I’ve only had that for ~2yrs) & I don’t see the point in having an Apple Watch unless I was going to use the health tracking / fitbit-like features which aren’t as useful if you don’t wear it everyday

  18. pterencephalon
    July 6, 2018 at 10:42 pm

    I have the [Asus Zenwatch 3]( because I’m into technology, and it’s nice not pulling my phone out for every notification and to check my calendar. (And handy 2 factor authentication is great, but most people probably don’t have to deal with that as much.) I was worried it would look too big, but it looks classy enough that it’s easy to pull off and is a bit of a statement piece (particularly when I don’t generally wear much jewelry), and I get a lot of compliments on it. It looks good with both casual and business outfits, and I even wear it running because I can use it for Strava or C25K.

    I don’t feel feminine enough for most women’s watches.

  19. the-black-polka-dots
    July 6, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    I really want to get into watches so I’ll be drooling over this thread. Its the majority of my pins on jewelry board in Pinterest.

  20. rilocat
    July 7, 2018 at 12:18 am

    Post this on r/watches!!! Those people would love to help.

  21. cinnamonteacake
    July 7, 2018 at 12:44 am

    Aesthetics. To me, a watch is just an accessory that happens to be useful, not….whatever the hype says they are.

    I don’t need or want smartphone functionality strapped to my wrist so the Apple etc watches are a no for me, plus they’re expensive and need upgrades. I’d rather put that money towards a Cartier Tank watch, I love the look of them and I’d love to be able to afford one for my next milestone birthday. Plus they actually are a classic that would go with most of my wardrobe, always a good thing.

  22. cafecoffee
    July 7, 2018 at 2:01 am

    I wear a watch nearly daily, on my non-dominant hand. Currently, I’m wearing the[ Skagen 30mm with gold mesh strap]( . It works well for me – it goes with most of my accessories, looks good with work and non-work outfits, and is pretty lightweight. I’m a fan!

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