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Face Value: Buying A Watch For Your Better Half

Thursday 12th May 2016
Despite gift giving superstitions, a timepiece can make for the perfect milestone anniversary gift or engagement present. Before you say ‘yes’ to the watch, it’s important you know exactly what you’re getting into. We seek advice from Andrew McUtchen the Founder of Australia's most popular luxury watch website Time + Tide, on materials, movement and the things you should consider before taking the plunge.
Posted under: fashion Tagged: #gifts #jewellery

Just like a wedding gown, a wristwatch can be a very emotionally driven purchase. It’s important that you have the right information from a knowledgeable expert in the industry before committing. So you can feel empowered to purchase your partner a timepiece with confidence we have enlisted the very best. Andrew McUtchen of Time + Tide is Australia’s authority voice in horology and leader in men’s style.

Watches are great value for money as a gift. “The person will think of you every time they put it on and perhaps even every time they check the time,” McUtchen says. However, beautiful timepieces often come with colossal price tags. “The point to remember is that all these beautiful, hand-polished and hand-assembled components were never intended to be seen by human eyes. It’s reassuring to know that an expensive object like a luxury mechanical watch has been so fastidiously put together.”

How does a woman choose the right watch for her man?

“Resist the vicissitudes of trends and fashion,” McUtchen says. Instead, get to know your partners style and consider the size of his forearms.  “Does he work out and have muscle bound arms? Choose a 42mm plus case size. Does he like vintage clothes or classic cuts? Choose a three-hand watch with a 1950s era design. Is he sporty and wants a versatile piece that can be worn with everything? Choose a chronograph on a steel bracelet.” It’s all about getting to know your man, McUtchen says.

How does a man choose the right watch for his lady?

A quality timepiece is not just a suitable gift for a man. “The proportion of mechanical women’s watches is on the rise,” McUtchen says. The first thing to consider is whether she would appreciate a mechanical watch or prefer a battery powered quartz.

What’s the difference, I hear you ask? It’s all about the movement. The guts of the watch, if you will. A quartz watch has the physical tick-tick-tick motion, while a mechanical watch has a much more, smooth, sweeping second hand. “The argument for mechanical is that it can look beautiful behind the face it you buy one with a clear caseback.”

Five things to consider before purchasing a watch

Magic – Consider if it makes you feel really good. There has to be some kind of magical feeling you get when you put it on. There’s no other word for it, it just has to feel ‘right’. If it doesn’t give you a lift, you’ll probably relegate it to the back of the cupboard.

Purpose – Is it something you’re wearing for an occasion, or with an outfit, or is it a watch you want to wear every day? Picture the watch in the scenario/s it will be used in and see if the love is still there.

Comfort – It may look great, but how does it feel? I’ve bought a couple of aesthetically amazing, but very uncomfortable (too heavy, too big, uncomfortable bracelet etc.) watches that I’ve quickly flipped.

Comfort part 2 – How comfortable are you wearing an expensive watch? Often people want one, get one them complain to me that they spend their whole time worrying about knocking it. Decide if you’re good with having 5k or 10k on the wrist before committing to it.

Keeper? – Watches are like people in that you can THINK you’re in love and then find that you’re not when you actually get what you’ve been desiring. Keeper watches are rare and that’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up if you get over it in a few months. This is perfectly normal, but it’s another fair warning to try a watch on before you buy.

Now, it all comes down to the brand. Yes, mechanic watches remain a testament to organic design and astute craftsmanship but with marvelous innovation and improvements in technology these days, how do you know which brand to don?

“Brands like Grand Seiko are praised for their immaculate mirror finishing, Rolex is famed for its robust and entirely in-house made movements and Omega are doing pretty cool things with materials like ceramic, titanium and platinum,” McUtchen says. There, you have it.

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Photo: Rolex $62,500, rolex.com, Omega $6,000, omegawatches.com.

Thursday 12th May 2016