Shopping for watches is more complicated than you might think. A watch is a deceptively simple commodity—it’s a timepiece attached to a wristband, chain or belt clip. But watches in and of themselves are as nuanced and complex as jewelry. In fact, the watch has long been far more than a device that tells time. While initially holding intrinsic value for their workmanship and reliability, watches have since escalated into a luxury accessory. Cast in gold, platinum or silver; set with jewels and encased in fine crystal, the price for a luxury watch can easily creep into the triple or quadruple digits. A glitzy or sophisticated timepiece tucked into a suit coat pocket or peeking from beneath a cuff is a sign of status, wealth and taste.
Prior to the advent of smartphones, watches were also enthusiastically embraced by the technophile community. From the wow-factor of the first digital watch to programmable timers, stopwatches and calendars, watches were once a staple of geek culture. Today, the geek cred of watches has somewhat paled in comparison to tablets and other mobile devices, but watches are now more tech than ever. Geared towards the athletic and outgoing, watches sport waterproof casings, rugged designs, built-in GPS devices and other handy features.
With so many features, functions, optional add-ons and luxurious flourishes, shopping for watches is nearly as intensive as shopping for a car. On the same token, buying a watch as a gift is as personal as shopping for an engagement ring or fine jewelry. Each watch is carefully tailored to a specific personality, taste and, of course, budget. Our Watches directory—part of our Shopping directory—will arm you with the knowledge you need to make a smart purchase.