From choosing between styles, knowing your budget and which models your grooms will love, here's your ultimate watch buying guide.
There are no two ways about it - a watch is the most memorable gift you can give your gorgeous groom-to-be. You might not understand why (because no one does!) but, to men, watches are so much more than antiquated accessories once used to tell the time (you know, before iPhones took over the world). To your groom, watches are functional treasures, the ultimate piece of gentleman jewellery, an opportunity for personal expression and, come the morning of your big day, a handcrafted statement of your love that will one day become a family heirloom, passed down through the generations with your love story etched into its history. They’re a timeless gift that will ensure bae never misses a moment of your life together.
But picking a watch that you’re groom will fall in love with at first sight isn’t a task you can tick off at the last-minute. No, no, no, no. Choosing a wedding gift watch is an art. It’s one of those moments in life that requires a whole lot of thought, research and understanding, and that means taking your time (pun intended).
Yes, picking out a new (or used) timepiece can be a jaw-dropping investment. But if you shop wisely, your man’s big day gift has every chance of growing more valuable with each year you lock eyes, clink Champagne flutes and fall even more madly in love.
So, without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about choosing a watch your husband-to-be will love forever:
1. Watches Like To Move It, Move
There are three main movements that keep a watch ticking, and each guy has a preference:
1. Quartz movement: battery powered and regulated by a piece of quartz
2. Automatic movement: watch winds itself while being worn on the wrist (will need to be manually wound when the watch is not being worn).
3. Manual movement: these need to be wound up daily in order to tick.
2. The Look Is Everything
Deciding what he’ll like on the inside is the easy part. It’s trying to choose a look he’ll love that’s tricky. There are so many variants to decide on: brand, case, complications, straps and more. That’s why it’s so important you sneak off and do your research, starting with a checklist of what’s important.
Ideally, you want to know which brands slide into your budget, what the most timeless watch trends are and how each model suits bae’s lifestyle. Of course, every brand has a different look and feel. There are those made to look sportier, others that know how to be noticed, brands built to be durable and, let’s not forget, the classics; the statement watches made famous by their stories and the stars that have worn them - and deciding which one will suit your fiancé means understanding both his sense of style and the lifestyle he lives. That will also help you choose the case and strap, which size to go for, what shape will be best and the material.
3. Time And Complications
Every watch shares the same reason for being - to tell you the time. Everything else is called a complication, and the most popular complications are calendars, differing time zones, the moon phases, altitude and water resistance (even at deep sea diving depths). Of course, the only way to know what complications your man will need is to carefully decide how he will use his watch.
4. A Sprinkle Of Sentiment
Every guy wants a statement watch and every groom wants that statement to be something more sentimental. That’s why you should try to find a timepiece with a solid case-back. Do that and you can add a little engraving to commemorate the most romantic day of your love story. You could choose to have the time and date you walked down the aisle, or you could have a quote, or a statement of love, something like “I love you and that’s the beginning and end of everything.” Whatever you prefer, an engraving is the icing on the cake when it comes to gifting your groom a wedding day watch.
5. There’s Beauty In Every Budget
As soon as you’ve decided on the style, look and function of the watch, you need to work out what your budget is and then prioritise what’s important. That might mean opting for an automatic movement but keeping the complications simple and the case small, or it could mean getting a quartz movement watch with a luxury strap and all the complications your man could wish for.
And if you’re having a little bit of trouble finding a timepiece that checks all the boxes and fits into your budget, the pre-owned market is a wonderful route to wander down. Not only do new watches depreciate in value quickly, every watch will require servicing throughout their lifetime. So if you really want to max out your budget, try buying a pre-owned watch that’s in mint condition.
6. See It Tick Firsthand
Before you buy a watch, go and see it. Head to the store, pick it up with your own hands, touch it, feel it, play with it, get to see its little idiosyncrasies and intricacies, the way it functions and how it’s finished - and make sure you fall in love with it like never before. And when you’ve decided you do love it, make sure it comes with a return promise, a warranty and then make sure the store is able to offer services should anything need repairing. The after sales service is where your peace of mind will burst from.
Of course, even with this guide bookmarked to your browser, there’s still a million-and-one watches for you to choose from. That’s why we’ve gone away, spoken to our network of industry experts and pieced together a guide of handsome watches for every style, budget, want and need. Enjoy.