how to buy a watch

How to Buy a Watch: First Time Owning an Automatic Watch

Choosing your very first watch can be difficult. Here I share my personal guideline to help you pick the right one.

Date Published
August 4, 2021
Gnomon Watches
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How to buy a watch? I used to buy a watch because it was cute, that’s all. I just wanted to complete my look by wearing a nice-looking watch. It is a small black-case watch with a black rubber strap and white dial. I am not sure about the material of the case, but it is definitely not stainless steel, titanium, or gold. I like it because it best fits my tiny wrist and is super light. But, I think it’s time for me to move on to a watch that is more than just a fashion and time-teller. 

The decision of buying a new watch came up after I realized that my ticker I toted around my wrist this whole time was not in the Gnomon store. I knew it was not because the brand was not popular, but the type of my timepiece was just not considered as a real watch ㅡa watch that gives the watch enthusiasts real satisfaction

What I meant by satisfaction is a kind of feeling where you know your watch would be still looking fine after your lotion bottle fell down on it and won’t leave any scratches on the crystal. A feeling in which you know you don’t need to go to a watch repairer once a year to change the battery. A feeling where you know you don’t need to worry it would be broken even if you forgot to take it off for snorkeling. And those not-so-good experiences I have mentioned are based on my true story. 

Therefore, I made up my mind and started to look for the one that fits me best on Gnomon. Since I was a newbie in the wristwatch field, I needed a guide to watches that could help me choose the right one. Well, below are the instructions I used. Hopefully it will help you too!

How to buy a watch #1 : Ask yourself these questions!

I did not want to spend big money ㅡcompared to the price of my last watchㅡ on a wristwatch only because it’s cute. So, I had to be more careful by asking myself the following questions: Why do I need the watch?, How much is the budget for the watch?, What watch specs do I require?.

Actually, I did not have any reasons why I needed it. I just wanted to own a good watch and feel what a watch collector feels when he receives his watch, even if it is the 20th. For the budget, I only had $500. Once again, I wasn’t sure whether I could afford a wristwatch with these traits: free-battery, scratch resistant, a small diameter, and at least 100m water resistant for $500.

After knowing what I wanted, I directly jumped to the Gnomon store to see what I was looking for. After filtering through several brands and traits, I found some best options: two Seiko watches, a Mido, and Steinhart.

It was hard to choose because one had the spec but it was too big, another one got the right size but not the spec, and the consideration went on. Then I decided to eliminate them based on the movement first since I wasn’t into a watch with a battery any more.

How to buy a watch #2 : Choose the movement

A watch with a battery is powered by a quartz movement. That’s why my previous watch has a quartz label on the dial. Thus, I had to remove one of the Seikos from the list. Too bad because it has a sapphire crystal that I believe can prevent a crack made by my body care bottle.

There are also mechanical and automatic movements. These are the ones that I have been craving. Instead of a battery, these watches can run after getting wound. As a quartz user for my whole life, I may say that the winding process is a little bit complex and not practical. Therefore, I chose the automatic one. Instead of winding it by hand, an automatic can wind itself using kinetic energy. I just have to set it on the first usage and let the watch get the energy from my arm’s movement to run. So, I still had 3 choices to pick.

How to buy a watch #3 : Don’t forget your budget

If I could buy 3 of them, I would. But my money said the other way. Meaning Mido was no longer on the list and it left Steinhart and the other Seiko, the hardest choice to make.

With $500, I could get an automatic Steinhart with a 300m water resistance and sapphire crystal. On the other hand, Seiko also offers an automatic watch with hardlex crystal, but can only resist up to 50m depth of water. I read that a hardlex crystal could handle some bumps, plus I would save $80 if I bought the Seiko. It was worth the money, though. I needed the time to think and went back to the Gnomon website the next day.

How to buy a watch #4 : Size matters!

I just realized that I did not pay attention to the watch size. I obviously did not want to break my wrist after toting around my new timepiece. I have a very small wrist, and a 36mm diameter or larger case would look like a giant to my hand. For this reason, I finally checked out Seiko, specifically the Presage Cocktail Time Ref. SRRY035. 

Although I cannot bring it to the water, at least I don’t have to worry if it is exposed by a water splash and any accidental bump. I cannot wait to see how charming the exotic blue dial and its open-heart is in person. Now, my timepiece is being shipped. I am excited!

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Gnomon Watches first opened her doors for business online in early 2002, founded by bona fide horology suitors who share a profound passion for watchmaking and fine craftsmanship.

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