Which watch should you buy to start your collection?

Published - by Maëlle Detton — Updated on -

Do you love fine watches and feel the collector's fever slowly taking hold of you? Then you've come to the right place. There's just one problem: you don't yet know which piece will be the first to grace your wrist.

No need to panic. The Watch Interest redaction offers you its best advice on how to embark on what is sure to be your greatest watchmaking adventure.

Why buy a watch? How do you go about it, and in what type of market? Discover our article on this subject and let us guide you through our recommendations and indications.

Asking the right questions

Choosing your first watch can sometimes be a real headache. You've got a lot of questions on your mind, and you're not sure where to start or what to prioritize. We've tried to answer them as precisely and simply as possible, by outlining a few principles that you should keep in mind before taking the plunge.

Impulse buying prevails over investment

If the purchase of your first timepiece were to be guided by a single rule, it would likely be the following credo: buy a watch you like. Put aside speculation and other financial stratagems, because the first piece in your watchmaking panoply should above all be a choice of the heart, not an investment purchase.

First of all, because its resale value will never be fully assured, and its rating is potentially variable. It would be a shame to focus solely on the product's lucrative aspect and miss your first encounter with the world of watchmaking by choosing a model that doesn't really suit your tastes.

Take time to think to the model you're going to buy, and bear in mind that your first purchase neither defines nor conditions the rest of your watch collection to come. In fact, it's always a good idea to broaden your horizons by studying all the possibilities, both mechanical (chronograph, quartz, automatic, etc.) and stylistic (diving, aviator, vintage and many more). Owning a range of models with different characteristics will enable you to easily adapt your choice of timepiece to the situation or type of activity in hand.

So buy your first watch for yourself, and because you have want to treat yourself. The primary objective of this purchase is the satisfaction you'll feel when you're finally able to put the bracelet on your wrist. Of course, it's often reassuring to consult those around us before spending what can be a considerable sum of money. There's no shortage of opinions, and they're bound to vary according to individual tastes and colors. But it's important to note that the buyer must above all listen to yourself and stay true to yourself. However, don't let yourself be turned away from the model that appeals to you just because others advise against it, all the more so if it represents a real "coup de coeur" for you.

Set a budget and stick to it

In the collective mind, buying a watch often means spending a lot of money. While it's true that, depending on one's means, such an acquisition can sometimes represent a considerable financial commitment, it's important to have a realistic idea of the sum you can and want to hire.

Beyond dreams and many desires, price is a practical and objective criterion that will definitely help the buyer to "sort out" all the models that might interest him. By setting a budget, it becomes "easier" to discard or put aside models that may not be financially accessible at first.

If, for example, you wish to start your watch collection without exceeding the 500 euro mark, you can turn to quartz watches (powered by a battery) that will offer a quite sophisticated design for this price range. On the side of mechanical watches (whose movement requires winding), you will also find many models with movements, albeit less precise than their more expensive counterparts. However, this is still a reasonable first step into the world of mechanical timepieces.

Finally, never buy your watch by default. It would be unfortunate if your first piece seemed more like a consolation prize than a genuine personal satisfaction. If the budget available for your purchase doesn't allow you to acquire the model you want, it's best to postpone the transaction and save your money. Waiting is always preferable to buying a replacement timepiece, in finewill not satisfy you one hundred percent.

Find out more and talk to competent people

The more information you gather and the more time you take, the lower the risk of error. After all, as the saying goes: "Good things come to those who wait.

It is essential to well documented about the model you want to buy, as well as the brand behind it, its history and philosophy. Most importantly, always do your research with reliable sources. These include the watchmaking media, published literary works and specialist magazines.

Quelques œuvres littéraire de référence

In general terms, this information will make it possible to perfect your knowledge of the watchmaking world, so that you can be sure you've understood all the aspects that make up the diversity of its market: the types of watches and movements, their uses and possibilities.

If you get the chance, don't hesitate to exchange ideas with enthusiasts and professionals of the watchmaking world, whether in boutiques, at trade shows or on special forums. Of course, the exchange must remain constructive and are not intended to influence you by denying or disapproving of your preferences.

Buying a watch: new or vintage

When it comes to buying watches, the question often comes up. Is it better to buy new, or is it better to turn to the second-hand market? While the decision to opt for one or the other is entirely up to the buyer, and depends above all on how he or she sees the purchase, we think it's a good idea to give you all the ins and outs.

The pros and cons of buying a new watch

It can be very tempting to consider buying a watch fresh from the factory, and experience the pleasure of unwrapping a brand-new, flawless and unworn object.

However, the price of the models offered in boutiques can sometimes be a real deterrent for some buyers, especially when it's a big first. What's more, depending on the success of certain models, limited quantities can quickly run out of stock.

  • Un boîtier intacte et une montre en parfait état, sans aucune rayure ni défaut

    Un boîtier intacte et une montre en parfait état, sans aucune rayure ni défaut

  • Le côté rassurant de l'achat en boutique et les conseils des professionnels

    Le côté rassurant de l'achat en boutique et les conseils des professionnels

  • Le prix qui peut s'avérer parfois très élevé

    Le prix qui peut s'avérer parfois très élevé

  • L'indisponibilité de certains modèles, parfois produits en quantités limitées

    L'indisponibilité de certains modèles, parfois produits en quantités limitées

The pros and cons of buying a vintage watch

The second-hand market has been growing steadily over the past few years. Apps and classified ad sites, online retailers and jewellers, there are many ways to buy a vintage watch at a price that is often more affordable than a new purchase in a boutique.

Second-hand watches also give you access to models no longer sold by the brand. Beware, however, of scams and counterfeits, which do not spare this part of the watch market. Always turn to trusted platforms.

  • Un prix avantageux (à l'exception de certains modèles très populaires)

    Un prix avantageux (à l'exception de certains modèles très populaires)

  • Un choix de modèles introuvables sur le marché du neuf

    Un choix de modèles introuvables sur le marché du neuf

  • Des montres avec une histoire et un patrimoine

    Des montres avec une histoire et un patrimoine

  • Une montre ayant possiblement subi le poids des années (rayures, performance)

    Une montre ayant possiblement subi le poids des années (rayures, performance)

  • Un entretien parfois compliqué (indisponibilité des pièces de rechange)

    Un entretien parfois compliqué (indisponibilité des pièces de rechange)

  • Pas les mêmes conseils que dans une boutique officielle et risque d'arnaque

    Pas les mêmes conseils que dans une boutique officielle et risque d'arnaque

How to buy your first vintage watch?

Even though the second-hand market offers many positive aspects, it's not always easy to find that rare gem. Indeed, there are many precautions to consider when buying a piece labeled "vintage": its condition, authenticity, and warranty.

The first and simplest solution is to go through specialized dealers whose reputation is well-established. Among them are certified shops offering online services as well as a network of showrooms where you can go to personally pick up your item. It's worth noting that more and more manufacturers themselves offer program for selling second-hand models, known as "Certified Pre-Owned". This way, you won't have to worry about the origin of your watch, and authenticity papers will be provided, of course.

Rolex Certified Pre-Owned program

The second solution, which is a bit less reliable and more time-consuming, is to visit marketplaces or browse through social media networks where you can find many communities of enthusiasts, on which buying and selling are possible: Facebook groups, Instagram or Twitter accounts, etc. Don't hesitate to ask the seller all your questions about the origin and condition of the watch, because if it requires a proper servicing, you'll need to include that cost in your budget.

The Key Takeaway

In conclusion, when it comes to purchasing a watch, especially if it's the first piece of your future collection, the most important thing to remember is to prioritize enjoyment. Despite all the considerations of budget and sellers, it's crucial to follow your instincts and let your heart guide you in order to acquire a piece that will bring you satisfaction for years to come.

However, don't rush and take the time to research, ask the seller about the timepiece you're interested in, and learn about its origins, history, and the brand behind its dial.

Mistakes are human and even collectors aren't always immune, but they're not irreversible. Keep in mind that understanding watches and the watch market is a lifelong learning process that would certainly take more than a lifetime to master.


Who is Watch Interest?


Watch Interest is a watch media founded in 2021 with a focus on quality in the service of watch passion. Our promise is to provide engaging and informative content that serves the needs of both the discerning watch enthusiast and the seasoned collector: a one-stop destination for information on watches, houses and market news.


Why buy a watch?


Buying a watch allows you to combine functionality and style, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to your wrist while keeping accurate track of time.


How to buy a watch?


Research brands, styles and prices, choose a model within your budget and taste. Choose a trusted retailer, either online or in-store. Verify the authenticity and quality of the watch, by examining certificates and calling in a watch expert (never rely on photos). Take the time to consider all aspects of the watch, such as size, material, movement and complications. It is important to note that purchasing a luxury watch can be a significant investment, so it is essential to do thorough research to make an informed decision.


When to buy a watch


There's no specific time to buy a watch, but when you're ready to invest in a timeless, functional accessory that reflects your style and adds a touch of sophistication to your outfits, it's the perfect time to buy one.

About the author

Maëlle Detton


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