If you’re a watch enthusiast and collector like me, you’re probably always looking forward to your next timepiece. However, there are some things to be aware of when buying a new watch in today’s market. Here are 5 things you need to look for out when you’re shopping for a new watch for less then €500.
1. Think about the movement
One of the most important factors to consider is without doubt the movement of the watch. What kind of movement do you want? Basically, there are three types: Quartz, automatic and hand-wound. Quartz movements are very affordable, they hardly ever break and they’re very accurate. There is only one downside, you need to change the battery once in two or three years (depending on the battery and the movement). Automatic watches don’t need a battery and are ‘charged’ by you when you’re wearing the watch. The problem is that you need to wear the watch on a regular basis (hint, almost daily), because otherwise the movement will stop and you have to set the date again the next time you’re wearing it. This seems like a first world problem, but trust me, it gets annoying if the watch has complications. When you’re in a hurry for an appointment, you just don’t want to stop to set the time, date and moon stance for example. If you want an automatic watch, without the hassle of setting the time after you haven’t worn the watch for a while, you could however get a watchwinder. A good one starts at about €200. And then you have hand-wound watches. The movement in these type of watches are, well, hand wound. You wind up the watch, and it starts ticking. And you need to wind the watch up every seven or eight days, depending on the movement of the watch again.
2. Usually priced: €1.350,-, but buy it today for only: €199,-
If you come across a brand or website that sells their watches in this way, just close the browser. Just do it and don’t waste your time any longer. Companies who try to sell their products in this way, are just liars. No normal person or company can give you this kind of deals ‘today’ on watches, unless they’re bankrupt and need to pay back their creditors. If a watch is promoted in this way and it’s ‘on sale’ for ‘€199? It’s probably not worth more than €99, and that wasn’t a typo. A company needs to make profit in order to stay alive. If the watch is usually worth €1.350, it’s possible that you could buy it on sale for an absolute minimum of €700/€800, but not less. Otherwise, the watch is just not worth the €1.350 to start with. I personally only know two products that have been sold for less than their value, and they’re both cars: the Volkswagen Phaeton (€20.000 under it’s break-even point) and the Bugatti Veyron (€1.000.000 under it’s break-even point). But keep in mind that these are prestige cars that are being sold by a huge company (VAG) that can get away with this, because they’remaking a lot of profit on other projects.
3. There’s no such thing as ‘affordable luxury’
A lot of new companies claim that they’re making top notch watches and that they’re selling them for a very low price. Because they are ‘cutting out the middle man’, they can get away with this. At least, that’s what they say. You really need to know one thing and you need to remember this for the rest of your life: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AFFORDABLE LUXURY. A product is either luxury and therefore expensive, or affordable. Saying that a product is affordable and luxury, is basically like saying that it’s hot and cold outside. It’s either hot or cold, not both. Still don’t believe me, let’s take a look at some other products than watches. Cars or houses for instance. Can you buy a Rolls-Royce Phantom for the price of a Volkswagen? Exactly. Can you get that mansion in Beverly Hills for the price of a condo somewhere in Minnesota? Nope, you can’t. Why would you think that you could buy a watch with the same quality and heritage like a Rolex, for the price of a Daniel Wellington?
With that being said, if a watch is affordable, that does not mean that the quality is bad or poor. In contrary, affordable watches usually offer a great amount of quality for a very good price. Casio for instance, is a great brand with great watches. Please don’t look at cheesy marketing strategies. Just look at the materials and use your brain. This is also the reason why we don’t use terms like affordable/accessible luxury. The term is misleading and we don’t want to lie to our customers. Our watches are good and the materials we use are really outstanding, especially in this price range, but it’s not a Patek Philippe and we don’t want to tell you that it is.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AFFORDABLE LUXURY. A product is either luxury and therefore expensive, or affordable.
4. You could go really vintage
Our watches are inspired by the early days of aviation and therefore have a Retro/Vintage appearance. However, they are brand new obviously. When you’re shopping for a new watch in this price range, you could also choose for a ‘real’ vintage watch. Vintage watches are usually watches that are at least 30 years old and come with a great story. You can get vintage/pre-owned watches on websites like chrono24.com or catawiki.com. You should however keep three important things in mind when buying a ‘real’ vintage watch:
The watch is not flawless: it can have a great amount of scratches and damages. You really have to be into this type of watch;
They usually won’t come with a guarantee: If they break, and given the fact that they could be pretty old and worn down, chances are that this will eventually happen, you have to pay for repairs and repairs could cost more than the purchase price, and;
Vintage watches require maintenance. Again, a service cost a lot of money.
In short, vintage watches are great, authentic and they come with a rich history, but be aware of the fact that you will have to keep a big amount of money on the side for repairs and maintenance.
With our first watch, we really tried to combine the best of both worlds. The watch has a though appearance, so it fits perfectly with a pair of washed jeans and a crewneck.
5. Match the watch to your lifestyle
When you’re on the lookout for a new watch that you want to use as your ‘daily’ make sure that the watch matches your lifestyle. For instance, if you’re always wearing a suit and tie, you should probably not go for a G-Shock. G-Shocks are great watches, but they’re just not very formal. If you’re a scuba instructor for example, you will get wet often, so you shouldn’t go for a watch with a leather strap. We have nice watches with great leather straps for example, but leather just isn’t fit for swimming. Not only our straps, but all leather straps shouldn’t be exposed to water for a great amount of time. We can’t really give you more advice on this point. Just make sure to think about this thoroughly. I once bought a pretty expensive watch, but because it is too classy, I only wear it to very formal meetings and events. And no, I don’t go to these kind of events on a regular basis.
What about the Bussora Retro Pilot? With our first watch, we really tried to combine the best of both worlds. The watch has a though appearance, so it fits perfectly with a pair of washed jeans and a crewneck. However, because of the unique colour combinations, some versions of the Retro Pilot are also a great choice when you’re wearing a cool dark grey of navy blue suit. The Classico for instance, is subtle enough for formal meetings, but bold enough to make a statement.
So this was a short list with some advice and things to keep in mind when you’re on the lookout for a new timepiece. We from Bussora really hope that it came in handy! If you have a question about our watches or want our advice on buying a watch, whether it’s a watch from our collection or from a whole different brand, we’re always here to help you out and to share our knowledge with you!