Buying watches doesn’t always have to be such an expensive business.
In fact, you can get some fantastic-looking pieces even if you’re on a budget. You just need to be savvy and know what to look for (and importantly, what to avoid).
Using our handy guide, you can learn how to get incredible wrist watches when you’re on a budget.
Do’s and don’ts
In this section, we’ll run through the things you should keep an eye out for when you’re searching for a bargain. It’s important to know what is important when you’re looking for a new watch. For instance, you may prioritise style over any technical specifications, whereas others would benefit more from in-built GPS than they would a handsome jewelled watch strap.
Here are the do’s and don’ts of buying watches on a budget.
Do focus on ‘authenticity’
You’ll know authenticity when you see it, so don’t pay an inordinate amount of money for a watch trying to be something it’s not. Depending on the brand of watch you’re after, each will have their classic model, or the model that the brand is often remembered for. The majority of the time, these classic models are cheaper than their new releases.
Don’t buy faux gold
This may seem a little obvious, but avoid faux gold and other ‘gold-coloured’ pieces. They’ll probably come with a high price tag for what will eventually change colour upon contact with water! This always happens with ‘plated gold’, the substandard alternative to real gold (which is, understandably, not as accessible for a lot of us). After moderate use, plated gold products start to turn a greenish colour starting at the lugs. It’s not worth it! We recommend you skip faux gold altogether.
Do keep an eye on reviews
A great way of making sure you’re getting the best watch for your purpose is to read a few reviews before the purchase. You’ll not only be ensuring that you’re buying a quality watch at a good price, but you can also ensure that the seller is reputable.
Don’t buy vintage watches
Not right away, anyway. Whereas buying second-hand watches is a great thing to do and will definitely save you money, buying vintage is usually a bad idea, at least in the long-run. Although it’s nice to own a piece of history, buying vintage usually comes with its own set of problems. Namely, a long list of repairs and maintenance.
A vintage watch might have some wonderful stories behind it, but there’s a good chance you’ll end up paying more to get it repaired.
Do delve into the Japanese watch market
Japanese watch brands include the likes of Seiko and Citizen, so you know you’re in good company with a Japanese watch. Not only are they at the forefront of numerous technological developments, but they’re also far cheaper than Swiss-made watches (just an example). The affordability of Japanese watches has a lot to do with relatively cheap manufacturing costs, which is something you should take advantage of when you’re on a budget.
Don’t buy a watch that’s unsuitable for your lifestyle
Like we mentioned earlier, you need a watch that reflects and benefits your lifestyle. If you’re out surfing everyday then you’ll need a watch that is water-resistant and can take certain depths. It’s no use having a delicate watch if you know that your lifestyle will be too much for it. Think about what you do on a day-to-day basis and choose accordingly.
Do engage with watch forums
There is a whole community out there who love to chat about watches – buying them, selling them, reviewing them – so if you’re on the lookout for a new piece then the watch forums are where you should be. A quick Google will reveal a whole world of chatter and conversation, so feel free to join in. You’re sure to learn a thing or two! If you’re going to find a bargain, there’s a good chance you’ll find it through a forum.
Don’t disregard the independent brands
It can be tempting to go straight to the bigger household brands (they’re ‘big brands’ for a reason), but you can actually get some great deals by shopping with independently-owned watch brands. There’s an argument for the quality and craftsmanship of indie watchmakers compared to the bigger companies (an argument which we’ll leave for another time!).
Perhaps the best tip of all: look after your watch
Like any possession, if you take care of it then it will take care of you. Watches are special items however much you spend on them. With that in mind, the protective cases from the Case Farm are the perfect solution.