“If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker.” – Albert Einstein
A luxury watch is a bold investment. While the layman may question the benefits of a luxury watch against the large price tag, a luxury watch is a talisman symbolising fine taste and an appreciation of true craftsmanship. There is a certain refined, understated elegance to a first class watch, something that is hard to find in these days of social media and reality television shows. Day by day personal expression becomes brasher and more garish and week by week it becomes harder to stand out of the crowd without making a fool of yourself. But a luxury watch shows taste. Such a sign of obvious luxury, poured into a timepiece on the wrist shows that you have an eye for the details and an understanding of the finer things in life.
A New Dawn for Mechanical Watches
When the quartz movement was introduced in 1980, manufacturers of quality mechanical watches faced a crisis; Quartz movement watches were cheap, easy to produce en masse and extremely accurate. Almost overnight a new form of technology had seemingly rendered nearly 500 years of historical technological advancement obsolete. People bought quartz watches in droves and the mechanical watch now seemed old and outdated…
But familiarity breeds contempt and the wide spread use of the quartz movement soon grated upon the nerves of watch aficionados. By the mid-1980’s many had started to turn their eyes once again towards mechanical watches for their artistry, precision and intricate complexity. The view of the inner workings of a fine mechanical watch should light up the eyes of anyone who enjoys technology and the cogs and springs of a fine movement conjure thoughts of long years of historical craftsmanship and human ingenuity poured into the art and science of watchmaking.
A true luxury watch will function at the very highest level across the board. The accuracy of the movement must be of the highest possible quality and it will be constructed by skilled artisans using cutting edge technology. Luxury watches are of such quality that they can take anywhere from 10 months to 2 years to be constructed even with the most adept workers and up to date technology. A watch is an example of bleeding edge technology that you can wear upon your wrist, a work of art that is at your side wherever you go. It’s like an Aston Martin for your wrist.
The dedication that watch manufacturers show towards the engineering aspect of horology is often associated with the Swiss. These days the term “Swiss Made” has become synonymous with craftsmanship and attention to detail, with good reason. Their traditional expertise in micro-mechanics and highly advanced production processes means that many of the best watches are made there. Beyond the standard requirement of a watch to be able to tell the time, further complications such as moon phases and date counters further enhance the complexity and thus value of the movement.
While I’m not saying you must buy from a Swiss manufacturer, you should ensure that you only consider buying from a company that emulates these ideals. There are plenty of ‘out-there’ and controversial brands that, despite their unconventional designs, have the essential attention to detail and respect for a well crafted timepiece at heart.
A Fine Investment
In addition to this a good watch brand will have great sales service and a long term commitment to their watches. Larry Pettinelli of Patek Phillipe has been quoted saying that “a watch brand should always stand behind their product.” This is reflected by the majority of luxury watch dealers as they often offer a lifetime guarantee on their watches. A good luxury watch should keep time for decades with only the most minor of adjustments required.
If you’re concerned about the financial aspects of buying such a watch then know that many consider a fine watch to be an investment. Some of the more exclusive and specially made watches not only hold their value but actually appreciate over time. Furthermore, a watch as an heirloom is a time honoured tradition and is a very special and personal item to give as a give or to hand down to children or relatives.
While many of us may not be able to afford a luxury watch an appreciation for them is a fine thing to have and there is a wealth of fantastic and reasonably priced watches available. To any aspiring horologist I would recommend that they head over to First Class Watches and see what is on offer. Little else in life has quite the romance and sophistication afforded by a fine luxury watch.