Starting a gentleman’s watch collection

Luis A. Quibranza III
·3 min read

Watch collecting is not for everybody. However for men, having the perfect wristwatch during a specific occasion—whether one is out on the beach or attending a dinner function—is tantamount to wearing his only piece of jewelry.

Aside from the aesthetics, there is also the fact that watches make for great heirlooms. These are great purchases to mark a milestone like graduation or a wedding. Most of these are solidly built, that these pieces can stand the test of time—pun intended.

Here is a simple list of some of the types of men’s watches, with some basic suggestions to go with each type. The article leaves out luxury models (because this is an entry for those on a starter’s budget).

The Dress Watch

While most dive watches possess that allure with their highly polished finish, some pieces look better than others when one wears that suit to a fancy dinner. Sometimes, one even needs a piece that demands attention but doesn’t do it by screaming “look at me.” With their minimalist approach, dress watches perfectly fit the contemporary classic description.

Some swear by the Orient Bambino as the perfect first choice. Its classic look and its affordability present gentlemen with a deal too hard to pass on. The Seiko Automatic Stainless Steel Watch is also another option if one wants to wear something with a little more weight and subdued sparkle. Both brands so far mentioned are from Japan. If one is looking for a Swiss dress watch, consider the Tissot Visodate.

The Dive Watch

With a history that goes back to the mid-1900s—as watch brands competed as to who would be the first to produce a dive watch for the mass market—dive watches have evolved from tool gadgets to fashion statement pieces. Of course, however beautifully crafted a dive watch may look like, it still has to be able to do what it was built to do: Survive underwater.

For starters, one can look to the discontinued yet beloved Seiko SKX Series. The SKX series is considered by many to be the most value-for-money dive watch that stands on its own (especially the SKX-007J). However, with the recent news of discontinuation in 2019, people are now checking out the new Seiko 5 line. The Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Promaster is another option. These are powered by light instead of movement, and house a quartz movement for precision.

The Fun Watch

All hail the indestructible Casio G-Shock. This love-it-or-hate-it piece was the rave in the 1990s and has recently found a modern demand for it. These watches are built to withstand shock, water, drops and low temperatures. If the G-Shock is not to your liking, check out the Timex Men’s Expedition Scout 40. This piece fits right in the middle of camping or fishing trips. Lastly, while these things depreciate faster than most of the models mentioned here, take a look at smartwatches. They get some hate for their need to be charged regularly and the lack of mechanical engineering prowess, but these things can get the job done, most especially from a health perspective. Some of these models (Apple, Samsung, Fitbit) check one’s heart rate or track one’s steps in a day. Oh, they play music too.