How do I buy my first luxury watch?
Buying your fist luxury watch is a big deal, you dont have to start at the top, you can work your way up. Firstly make a decision on how much you want to spend on your new luxury watch, then decide on the brands you like and dont like, decide what you will be using the watch for, what you are likely to be wearing the watch with and decide if you want to buy second hand or new. Finally you need to find a trusted retailer so do some online research and buy from a trusted source.
Read below for a little more information on this subject.
You know if you want to buy a nice watch you don’t have to start at the top. You can start from lower down and work your way up. This is what I did in order to build my watch collection when I was just starting out.
If you are looking at getting your first luxury wrist watch it doesn’t have to be a Rolex. Depending on your budget there are a huge number of other manufacturers who can deliver an awesome timepiece at the fraction of the cost of a Rolex.
You can work your way up to the Rolex club if that’s your goal but you don’t have to start there.
So which brands are great for the person who wants to buy their first luxury watch but doesn’t want to drop half a years’ salary on it?
Well my top 2 brand choices would be Omega and Tudor. Speaking from experience as I have owned a number of these watches there are 2 watches in the mid-range of Omega and Tudor which I feel would be a bargain at double the price. These are the Omega Sea-master Planet Ocean and the Tudor Black Bay heritage. Both of these watches you can pick up for around £2300 (pre-owned) but wearing them feels like you are in £3k-£4K territory, which is still a lot lower than a Rolex sport model which start around £5k.
Let me start with the Omega Sea-master Planet Ocean. You know this brand it’s the one James Bond wears now in all the movies, Omega have been around since 1903 and have a number of great watches and achievements for their brand. Omega put the first wristwatch on the moon with the Omega Speed-master with Apollo 11 and they have had countless appearances in the bond films.
James Bond originally started with a Rolex Submariner in 1976 and changed to Omega in1995 in the Golden Eye bond movie played by Pierce Bronsan.
So back to the Omega Sea-master Planet Ocean, I have to highlight again that this feels like a hell of a watch for the money. The bracelet is one of the most comfortable I have ever worn. Certainly on par with the Rolex Oyster bracelet used on the GMTs and Submariners. A great test of a well-made bracelet is how often it traps the hairs in your arms... ouch.
Well the Omega Sea-master passes this test with flying colours I couldn’t get it to trap hairs if I tried. It’s a really smooth well-made bracelet and just feels so comfortable to wear at the beach or even for a formal event.
The overall look of the watch I feel really says diving watch. Water resistant to 600m (not that you would ever need to go that deep) and some really nicely designed contours make the body of this watch look really nice, and also feel nice when wearing. The rotating bezel allows you to monitor oxygen levels when diving and the hour and minute markers really stand out with their really well designed hands for a really clear view of the watch face.
The watch strap is brushed stainless steel as mentioned above and includes a deployment claps style buckle for greater security on your wrist.
Another really cool feature of the Omega Sea-master is the exhibition back where you can see the Omega Master Co-Axial 8900 automatic movement in all of its glory.
So for a watch that goes as well with a formal suit as a diving suit you won’t go far wrong with an Omega Sea-master Planet Ocean.
Now let’s take a look at the Tudor Black Bay Heritage, this is a watch which is still in my collection. After getting over the poor mans’ Rolex mentality I am glad I made this purchase. The watch is of such great build quality that it’s hard to ignore.
Tudor is the sister company of Rolex and many of the designs are loosely based on the famous Rolex designs. Hans Waldorf the founder of Rolex watches to bring another luxury brand to market that appealed to another audience who couldn’t stretch to a Rolex. Starting in 1926 the brand is going from strength to strength. Now with the likes of David Beckham as brand ambassador how they possibly do anything else.
I think the advertisements with David Beckham did make me look at the brand more seriously and I took the plunge, he made the watch look cool and I think Tudors new branding and marketing strategy has really appealed to me.
I originally looked at the bronze version black bay, I thought it looked really cool and looked a bit different t from any other watch I had. The problem was that it left black marks on my arm after wearing it. It’s a shame as it looked like a real vintage piece and I enjoyed wearing it.
I settled for the stainless steel version of the Tudor Black Bay Heritage and I really haven’t looked back, it’s a great watch and is just built so well.
The build quality of the Tudor is phenomenal as you expect and it just looks so good on the wrist. The bracelet is similar to a Rolex Submariner bracelet but has some visible “rivets” to pin the links together which don’t look out of place and look like a nice design feature, make it look a bit different and a bit more industrial.
Water resistant to 200m and with the same rotating bezel you come to expect on all dive watches the Black Bay can hold its own in this price range.
I would have liked to see the Tudor Black Bay Heritage with an exhibition back, as a mechanical designer I love to see the intricate movements which make a watch move, it’s beautiful to see and it’s a shame many watch brands including Rolex chose to cover them up.
If you buy the Tudor Black Bay you also get a fabric watch strap to swap out for the metallic bracelet which lets you alter you your look. I’ve been wearing the fabric one for a while and it’s comfortable and looks great.
Vulcan Watch Straps will be developing a range of rubber watch straps for the Tudor Black Bay in the coming months so look out for that, and if you already own a Rolex sports model our straps for them are available now.
I hope you enjoyed this blog about a couple of nice watches I would recommend. Be sure to follow us on social and join the mailing list to be kept up to date.