03/08/2016 | Updated on: 02/11/2021
 3 minutes

Which Watch Should I Buy?

By Mathias Kunz
Which Watch Is Right for Me?
Which Watch Is Right for Me?

Finding the perfect watch for your wrist isn’t always easy. After all, there are countless models out there, ranging from classic gold dress watches to stainless steel sports models. That’s why we’ve created an infographic to help you sort through the multitude of options. Now, you can find your perfect match by answering a few simple questions. Are you a passionate watch enthusiast, or is functionality your top priority? How important is a watch’s design? Do you care about brand prestige? Of course, your budget also plays a decisive role in picking a timepiece.

Let Your Budget Guide You

If you’re a fan of sports watches and money is no object, we recommend going for a luxury sports watch like the Patek Philippe Nautilus, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, or Vacheron Constantin Overseas. These three models are all elegant enough to wear with a suit and also make fantastic investments.

Patek Philippe 5711
Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5711/1A-010

You can find many great options for less than $12,000. The classic Rolex Submariner diver is particularly popular among ambitious young professionals. That being said, the original diving watch is also beloved among more seasoned business leaders, celebrities, and watch enthusiasts alike. You could also opt for a pilot’s watch from IWC, a Panerai Luminor, or a Zenith El Primero. Check out our detailed Buyer’s Guides to learn more about some of these models.

If you are looking for an entry-level timepiece for under $1,200, we recommend checking out a diving watch like the Longines HydroConquest. If you have a bit more to spend, take a look at the TAG Heuer Carrera or Omega Seamaster. Both of these can be purchased for under $6,000.

Manufacturers like Frederique Constant, Tissot, and Hamilton all offer great dress watches at entry-level prices. You can also find timepieces with in-house calibers from NOMOS and Cartier for less than $6,000.

If your budget falls somewhere between $6,000 and $12,000, the Omega Globemaster or Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso may be good options for you. If you want one of the finest timepieces the industry has to offer, be sure to check out the Patek Philippe Grandes Complications or a watch from German manufacturer A. Lange & Söhne.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph
A. Lange & Söhne Datograph

Passion and Emotion

Buying a luxury watch can be an emotional experience. The journey often begins with something that piques your curiosity and leads to pure excitement when you take the plunge and make a purchase. This is (hopefully) followed by overwhelming joy once you finally have the long-desired timepiece in your hands. Some people compare buying a luxury watch to buying a new car – which can also have extensive wait times. Then comes that moment when you finally sit behind the wheel and press down on the accelerator. If you’re a fan of luxury sports cars à la Ferrari or Lamborghini, we’d recommend taking a closer look at a Hublot Big Bang or an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore. However, the absolute classic racing chronograph is by far the Rolex Daytona.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore ref. 26470OR.OO.A002CR.01
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore ref. 26470OR.OO.A002CR.01

Are you a fan of fine craftsmanship? Then you can’t miss the “big three” of the Swiss watch industry: Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Vacheron Constantin. All three produce several intricate, handcrafted timepieces. With 12 complications, the Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon is one of the most complex wristwatches ever made. It offers – among other things – a perpetual calendar with a moon phase display, a minute repeater, retrograde displays, and several astronomical functions.

Luxury Watches as Investments

Luxury watches have long been sought-after investment pieces. Some models like the Patek Philippe Nautilus have appreciated significantly in value in recent years. This is in part due to the long waiting lists at authorized dealers. For example, the ref. 5711/1A has an official list price of just over $30,000 but sells for more than $80,000 on Chrono24.

Another example is the Rolex Daytona ref. 116500LN with a ceramic bezel. Rolex first released this watch in 2016 with a recommended retail price of $13,150. However, it didn’t take long for its market value to rise to around $28,000. Generally speaking, prices for Patek Philippes and stainless steel sports models from Rolex are very stable, making them attractive investments. Learn more about investing in watches in our article, Are watches really a good investment?

Rolex Daytona 116500LN
Rolex Daytona ref. 116500LN

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About the Author

Mathias Kunz

Since starting as a copywriter at Chrono24 in 2015, watches have been part of my daily life. I'm most fascinated by the fine mechanics and their ability to reflect …

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