I’ve always likened the act of buying someone a watch as being as difficult as buying a woman a pair of shoes that she will like. Not only are you battling with things like fit and comfort, but style and brand preference is often just as important. Nevertheless, buying someone a fine timepiece has been a time-honored (no pun intended) tradition. So how then should someone go about purchasing a watch for someone as a gift? It isn’t always an easy task, but here are some good pointers.
Respect their station in life
Young people need watches that allow them to feel proud about what they value in life, but also timepieces that help take them into their next phase of adulthood.
That means a good watch for someone young is one that caters to an active lifestyle and modern in sensibility, but classic enough in design to look good on their wrist years from now. More so, remember that it is unlikely the last watch they will ever have, so allow them room to grow and improve their timepiece collection. So with a Tudor they will be more inclined to strive towards the next watch as opposed to a Rolex that might have the possibility of making someone feel complacent.
People farther along in life have different considerations to make. They have firmly defined personalities and thus need a timepiece which matches who they are, as opposed to being something they can easily evolve into. A good watch gift should take into consideration the actual lifestyle they live. Someone who attends many black tie events will likely need a more formal dress watch, while an avid hiker might need something that they aren’t afraid to get a bit dirty.
Tudor Pelagos LHD
Don’t be afraid to assign them style
In many instances it is totally impossible to know exactly what watch someone will wear without getting their feedback. Conversely, if someone provides you with a specific model or merely brand that they want and you then get it, does the gift come with as much sentimental value? Unpredictability is a hallmark of a truly impressive gift.
The point is that instead of obsessing what the perfect choice of watch is to suit their tastes, consider what watch you yourself would like to see on their wrist – whether or not the recipient seems to have current interest in it. Unless the watch is totally beneath their station in life, chances are that they will cherish a watch you chose to match their specific personality much more than something they chose for themselves.
Drive de Cartier
Brands Awareness is Important
As a brand driven society, it is impossible to discount the value of having a well-made product from an impressive name. Good watches come from both big and small brands, but you are often better off buying a watch from a marque the recipient already knows and respects. Of course this is not a universal rule, but if you don’t know someone well enough to be familiar with the watch brands they know, err on the side of caution knowing that names like Cartier and Rolex will be almost universally known and ideally appreciated.
Then there are some more niche brands that require only a little bit of research to determine are interesting and valuable. Perhaps the most mainstream of niche brands is Patek Philippe, a brand that at least among watch and luxury seekers enjoys vast positive awareness. At the end of the day anyone giving a gift of a high-end watch will receive more success if the recipient already knows about the brand, or can quickly determine that more sophisticated enthusiasts hold it in high esteem.
Patek Philippe Ref. 5711/1P
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