What to Look for When Buying a Watch

Buyer Advice and Information

There are several things you should take into account before buying a watch, which we’re going to look at in more detail in this blog. As official stockists for many world-class luxury watches, Banks Lyon knows everything there is to know about timepieces, from their movements to their materials, and we can help choose the perfect one for you.

So, what factors should you consider when buying a watch and why are they so important to keep in mind?

Style of Watch

One of the first things you’ll want to consider is whether you want a dress watch, a diving piece, a smartwatch, etc. There are many different types of watches, making it hard for you to know where to start – so narrowing down your choices can help you make the best decision.

For instance, a dress watch tends to be sophisticated but subtle and offers a classic aesthetic that will never go out of fashion. They’re designed to complement your personal style, too, whether you’re in the office or attending a white tie event, and may not have many complications beyond the date.

They also tend to be thinner to fit under the cuff of a shirt. The case size is never too large, and dials are usually simpler with an uncluttered design.

A great example is the Cartier Tank Must de Cartier watch, which can be purchased from Banks Lyon for £3,450 or from £51.75 per month at 0% finance.

You may prefer a pilot’s watch instead, which typically feature large cases and dials to make it easier to read at a glance – and under pressure. They also tend to have numerals and dials that contrast in colour to further add to that readability; whether or not you’re a professional pilot, an amateur or simply love the look of these pieces, there’s a pilot’s watch for everyone at Banks Lyon.

Search for bigger crowns, complications such as GMT functions, extra bezel markings and luminosity; all characteristics that make them stand out from the crowd and which work together to create a high-performance piece you can take everywhere.

If a pilot’s watch is more your style, then the Breitling Navitimer Automatic 41 watch is for you. It’s available for £3,775 or from £56.63 at 0% finance and epitomises the elegance and performance of these types of watches.

If, on the other hand, you’re interested in sporty watches, we can help. We stock several brands that manufacture sports pieces, like TAG Heuer and Bremont, for example, so you can easily purchase a companion for your everyday adventures.

Sporty watches tend to be more rugged and possess features such as a high water resistance – they’re also usually bolder in appearance, showcasing brighter colours and materials like fabric and rubber. Because these types of watches are typically chronographs and may come with tachymeters, stopwatches and even compasses, they’re perfect for racing, running, cycling, and much more.

They’re full of personality, so you may find that a sports watch is exactly what you’re looking for. An example is the TAG Heuer Formula 1 X Indy 500 Limited Edition watch, which can be bought from Banks Lyon for £1,850 or from £27.75 per month at 0% finance.

These are just some of the styles available, and there are many more, including diving watches, field watches and fashion watches.

Analogue or Digital?

Another thing to consider when buying a watch is whether you want an analogue or a digital piece. There are benefits to both, so it all comes down to your preferences and the reason for getting the watch in the first place.

Analogue watches are mechanical and show the time on the dial with hour, minute and second hands; they’re considered classic in horology and sought-after for their quality, complex movements and sophisticated aesthetics.

Digital watches are battery-operated (usually quartz) and have a screen instead (LED, for instance). Nowadays, both types are accurate and come with several complications designed to make your life easier, such as chronometers and date windows.

If you’re looking for a watch that can provide you with features like heart-rate monitors, GPS, hydration tracking and even maps, then you may want to opt for a digital piece, as they’re a great option to have when you’re out and about in nature or on the water.

You can find a wide range of analogue watches at Banks Lyon, but we also stock digital pieces, such as this Garmin Tactix Delta Solar Edition watch, which you can buy for £999 or from £14.99 per month at 0% finance at our stores.

The Materials Used

While the materials used to make luxury watches may not be your first consideration, this is still an important factor to keep in mind because it will change how you wear the watch. For instance, if you’re looking to take it with you when diving, you’re not going to pick a watch with a leather bracelet.

Likewise, if you want a dress watch, you’re probably sticking to more traditional materials such as stainless steel instead of opting for more avant-garde choices, like rubber and carbon fibre.

The glass protecting the movement is also different depending on the watch, though you will mainly find pieces with sapphire crystal. Hesalite crystal is also used for some OMEGA watches, such as the OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch Master Chronometer Hesalite 42mm Calibre 3861 watch.

Watches can also be made from titanium, gold, ceramic or fabric, so there are many options to choose from, which can quickly become overwhelming. So, to make that decision easier, you should pick the one that best suits your lifestyle and personal taste.

If you’re a fan of bold watches, why not consider something like this ceramic Hublot Big Bang Unico Yellow Magic Limited Edition watch (pictured)? It’s available for £21,700 at Banks Lyon.

The Complications

Again, you’ll find it easier to decide which watch to buy if you know why you want it, and looking at the complications will further narrow your choices down. If you’re a diver, you’ll want features like a unidirectional rotating bezel and a tachymeter. If you’re seeking a dress piece, you may want a day-date complication.

Some watch enthusiasts and collectors love complications such as moon phases and perpetual calendars, but those tend to be rarer than others like chronographs, rattrapantes and 24-hour watches. Other complications include GMT, world time zones, alarms, tourbillons and triple calendars.

This IWC Portofino Chronograph watch, for instance, comes with a chronograph and a date-date feature and can be yours for £5,850 or from £87.75 per month at 0% finance.

The Aesthetics of the Watch

Bold or subtle? Colourful or monotone? Clean lines or busy design? Round-faced or rectangular? Diamonds or no diamonds?

There are a thousand and one choices when it comes to the way watches look, which may seem daunting at first. However, every person is different and has unique preferences, so having such a large pool of watches to pick from means you’re sure to find ‘the one’.

A piece like this Longines La Grande Classique Quartz watch, which you can purchase for £1,310 or from £19.65 per month at 0% finance, is a great example of a fashion watch that also offers accuracy and performance.

So, don’t compromise on style just because you want a particular complication or feature!

At Banks Lyon, we stock a large range of luxury watches from brands like OMEGA, Bremont, Cartier, IWC, and more. Our timepieces come in different sizes, colours and materials whilst offering various movements and complications, so you can be confident that we have the perfect watch for you.

If you’re still unsure which model to get, you can make the most of our personal shopper service, which will help you to make a decision.