Now that we're out of the era of pocket watches (well, most of us at least), it's fairly uncommon to find a man or woman without a wristwatch. Watches range from $1 or less, to upwards of $10,000 for a quality Breitling or Patek Philippe. Heck, some watches from Cartier or Piaget have even been known to sell for an exorbitant seven-figures. Okay, now that you have been made aware of the vast discrepancy between watches, you're options have just multiplied themselves by about a thousand. Allow me to narrow it down for you. First, it's up to you to decide what you want in your timepiece. Are you a business man looking for a sleek watch, are you a construction worker looking for something durable and impervious to the steel post you often scrape your watch against, or are you someone who wants to unite work and play with a fun, practical time-telling device.
The beauty of watches is that you don't have to choose just one! You can have as many or as few as suits you, and if you ever change your mind, a good watch rarely goes out of style. To aid you in your decision, I've organized a set of top brands for various purposes.
1. Casio G-Shock - These watches are tough, affordable, and flashy. Sporting a casual look, G-Shocks are prevalent among the younger, more active crowd (mostly athletes), and are well-known for their large case design, vibrant colors, and functionality.
1. Movado - The classic Swiss-made watch has been around for over a century, and are the quintessence of sleek, elegant watches. No numerals, no numbers, no date--just a patented 12 o'clock dot. Most Movados fall in the $500 range, with a little bit of wiggle room on both ends. I've seen them for as low as $275, and have found that they generally don't cross into the four-digit range. One thing Movado did get right was the crystal face. Sapphire. Practically, this is definitely NOT the watch for you. But if you're looking to turn heads and finish off the smooth, clean look, Movado is a great choice.
2. Stuhrling Original - Stuhrling is a brand rarely found in person, but ubiquitous in the online watch world. Stuhrling is certainly not the most well-known brand, but they have a huge number of watches for sale, and though MSRP they go for several hundred dollars, I've found them to be around $150 for a decent piece. These watches are a bit less conventional in their craftsmanship, but offer an appealing classic style with a modern touch. With a much more busy face, Stuhrling is pretty much the antithesis of the Movado, yet they both serve their purpose as elegant timepieces.
3. Tissot - Another Swiss watch, Tissot is known for luxurious functionality. Tissot is a tad more expensive than Movado, but promises to make up for its price with a number of different fun functions. If you have $1,000 to spend on a watch, and you're looking for one watch that does it all, search no further. The Tissot T-Touch offers a touch screen watch that includes a compass, thermometer, chronograph and even an altimeter. You can even check the weather on this watch, and the hands rotate counter-clockwise when bad weather is coming, and clockwise when the weather is improving. Pretty cool.
4. Bulova - Not exactly the top of the line for fun features, Bulova offers an elegant selection of watches for a reasonable price. A Caravelle, which is the bottom of the Bulova line will run you about $100, while the top of the line Accutron and Precisionist will fall closer to the $1,000 range. But, like all other things, you get what you pay for. The Caravelle is a functional and classy watch, but if you care for more accurate time, better quality materials, and an overall better watch, you ought to start saving up for that Accutron or Precisionist.
Graduate student, writer, insurance producer, runner.