2016 Annual Guide to Buying Watches for Men
The holiday season is approaching fast! You might be looking for a nice gift for that special man in your life. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is a better gift for a man than a nice watch.
You may have been hearing a lot about smart “watches” and other gadgets that fit on a man’s wrist. Well, I can’t help you with that. Those are not proper timepieces and I can only guide you on buying a real WATCH with some type of movement. A movement is like the engine of the watch and it powers the hands that move and tell the time. A watch can have a quartz movement that is powered by a battery or a mechanical (old school) movement that is powered by a spring and a mechanism. A mechanical movement must be wound manually, or may be an automatic movement that is wound “automatically” as its wearer moves his arm around. There are also different types of solar powered watches and “hybrid” quartz-mechanical watches. Quartz movements are less expensive and way more reliable and accurate than mechanical movements. However, mechanical movements are more prestigious and desirable because of the skill and craft involved in making them. I strongly urge you to buy a proper mechanical watch, but quartz watches may be acceptable in some limited situations, as we will discuss below.
Everybody has a different budget, so I will present some ideas for different price ranges. The staff here at WatchPaper have been thrilled this year to find many very cool watches in the lower price ranges. Consider your budget and try to get a sense of what styles and brands of watches your man likes. You are on the right track by reading this blog!
Bulova has blown us away in this price category. I bought an automatic Bulova diver, which I reviewed here. Michael recently tested the GORGEOUS Bulova Curv which, despite its quartz movement, delivers stunning style and wrist presence. And WatchPaper’s good friend, Baris, bought a Bulova Moon Watch, which offers cool retro style with a quartz chronograph movement. If you really want that mechanical movement for your man, look at Hamilton. Their new Broadway collection and Pan Europ might be had for just about a thousand bucks with a bit of bargaining and discounts.
Alpina comes to mind immediately. You can buy an Alpina Pilot automatic for well under $2,000. And if you can go right up to $2,000, you can buy Alpina’s retro Seastrong Diver Heritage, which is would elevate your man’s coolness to a new level. Oris offer a retro diver as well, the Oris Divers Sixty-Five, which can be had for right about 2 grand. This is a must see! Hamilton also offers some cool timepieces in this price range. For something racy and sporty, look into the Tissot PRS 516 collection.
In this price range, you MUST look at the entire Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie lineup- especially if your man wears dress shirts and suits. These watches offer amazing value, gorgeous style, superb movements and excellent quality. For something more robust that is really “in” right now, look at the Tudor Black Bay, Black Bay 36 (i.e. 36mm), and Heritage Ranger. For something cool, dressy, sporty AND versatile, check out the Longines Heritage Diver 1967 that I reviewed in January. This is perfect for a watch that will be worn every single day. While you’re at it, check out the iconic Longines Legend Diver, which is way under 5 grand. And you have to look at TAG Heuer, they have too many watches in this price range to list here. Their new Aquaracer models are sensational sport watches, while their Carrera models are versatile, elegant watches at attractive prices. If your man would like a real badass sports diving watch, you might be able to buy him a Breitling Superocean for just under 5 grand.
A Rolex is, perhaps, the greatest gift a person can give. It’s a once in a lifetime gift. A Rolex is timeless and will NEVER go out of style. In this price range, you could buy an Oyster Perpetual 39mm or a Datejust II. These watches are perfect for the boardroom or the games room. They go with black tie or black t-shirts. Nothing beats Rolex quality.
But some guys hate Rolex for their low-key and conservative styles. If you want a similar quality, but with more style and pizazz, go look at Panerai. You could buy a PAM00510 or PAM00560 with a really high-end “in-house” movement and a cool factor that is off the charts. Panerai is like Ferrari — most men dream about them. But they are large watches and some guys would find them too bulky on the wrist and too “loud.”
If your man would like a really sporty watch with a very serious movement, you need to look at the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean (ideally the chronograph models). Here, you’re getting a great brand, great quality and a real cool watch.
By checking out my suggestions, you may very well end up finding something else that would be perfect for your man. So get out there and explore. This blog may just point you in the right direction and introduce you to some brands you never heard of. By researching these watches, you will find the authorized dealers in your area and they might have the perfect watch for your man. As always, the fun is in the search…
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