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Ultimate Watch Buying Guide:

Finding the Perfect Timepiece with R.L. Austen

Welcome to our comprehensive watch buying guide, designed to assist you in making an informed decision when selecting a watch that complements your style, fits your lifestyle, and suits your budget.

Whether you’re a seasoned watch enthusiast or a first-time buyer, this guide will help you navigate through the world of timepieces with confidence.

1. Determine Your Purpose:

Before diving into the details, consider why you want a watch. Is it for daily wear, special occasions, sports, or as an investment piece?

Watches can have many purposes; diving watches, pilots watches, sailing watches, motorsport watches, military watches, dress watches and smart watches.

2. Consider Your Style:

Watches are not just functional; they’re also an expression of your personal style. Choose a watch that resonates with your fashion preferences. Are you drawn to classic elegance, modern minimalism, sporty functionality, or something more avant-garde?

In general terms, watches can be divided into two categories: dress and sports watches. Dress watches have a slimmer profile and sometimes have leather straps. Sports watches usually are steel, with matching bracelets, or with rubber and NATO straps.

3. Choose the Right Movement:

The movement, or the engine that powers the watch, comes in a few main types:

Quartz: Precise and low-maintenance, perfect for everyday wear.

Automatic Mechanical: Self-winding, often favoured by watch enthusiasts for their craftsmanship and mechanical charm.

Spring Drive: Spring Drive generates energy like every other luxury mechanical watch but combines this with an electronic regulator to deliver a level of precision that no mechanical watch can match.

Manual: Requires regular winding but offers a connection to traditional watchmaking.

4. Material Matters:

The case and strap materials impact both aesthetics and durability. Common options include stainless steel, titanium, ceramic, leather, rubber, and various precious metals.

Choose a material that aligns with your style and comfort preferences.

5. Dials, Displays and Complications:

Watch dials come in various shapes, sizes, and layouts. Decide whether you prefer a simple or complex design, and consider factors like legibility, luminescence, and additional features like chronographs, GMT, moon phases, or day-date displays.



Date and Day


Time and Date

6. Water Resistance:

Evaluate the water resistance rating of the watch, especially if you plan to wear it during activities involving water. Keep in mind that water resistance is not a guarantee for deep-sea diving but indicates the watch’s ability to handle splashes and rain.

Some specialist diving watches have guaranteed waterproofness up to a certain depth.

The TUDOR Pelagos, pictured, has a guaranteed waterproofness depth of 500m and a helium escape valve, meaning that the daring among you can go deep sea diving without any worries.

7. Size Matters:

Watch sizes vary widely, and the right size depends on your wrist size and personal preference. A watch that’s too large or too small can impact both comfort and aesthetics. Ladies’ watches can start as small as 20mm and some sports watches can have cases as large as 50mm or bigger.

8. Brand and Reputation:

Research reputable watch brands known for their craftsmanship, quality, and reliability. Established brands often provide better warranties, guarantees and after-sales service.

9. Budget Wisely:

Set a realistic budget and explore watches within that range. Remember that the price is influenced by factors like brand, movement type, materials, and complications.

At R.L. Austen we offer finance on most watches to help you make your purchase, Pre-Owned & Aged Stock watches are exempt from this

The term aged stock refers to pieces that have been in our stock for a longer period of time, in some instances have now been discontinued.

10. Research and Compare:

Utilize online resources, reviews, and watch forums to gather information about specific models you’re interested in. Comparing different options will help you make a more informed decision.

A watch is sometimes a serious investment, it may be worth considering where you will keep it when you’re not wearing your watch and to insure it like any other valuable.

11. Try Before You Buy:

Whenever possible, try the watch on before purchasing it. The feel, comfort, and appearance on your wrist can be quite different from what you see in photos.

If you want to try on watches at R.L. Austen, you are welcome to book an appointment using our website and discuss your watch buying needs with one of our store colleagues.

12. Maintenance and Servicing:

Regular maintenance is crucial to keeping your watch in optimal condition. Mechanical watches may require periodic servicing, while quartz watches generally have fewer maintenance needs. Although quartz watches may need periodic battery changes, which are usually best to send back to the manufacturer so they can check over the watch and ensure that all seals are replaced.

For more information on watch servicing and maintenance, head over to our watch service guide on our website.

13. Trust Your Instincts:

In the end, choose a watch that resonates with you on a personal level. Your watch should evoke joy every time you wear it.

Remember, buying a watch is a journey, not just a transaction. Take your time, explore different options, and make a choice that aligns with your preferences and lifestyle.

Happy watch finding!