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Nowadays, watches can come in an extensive variety of designs, innovative features and functions. Whether you’re into tech-heavy chronographs, rugged and utilitarian GPS watches, sleek stainless steel timepieces or a classic slimline wristwatch, you can find the right accessory to suit your needs and personal style. Investing in a watch is all about weighing the longevity, timekeeping prowess, style, comfort and ease of use.
However, the sheer volume of watch brands and styles available for purchase can become overwhelming. To simplify the purchase process for you, we gathered some of the finest watches of 2022 and created a comprehensive buying guide for wristwatch shopping.
Great for outdoors: Garmin Rugged Outdoor Watch
Sleek pick: Fizili Ultra-Thin Men’s Watch
Unique colors: Michael Kors Stainless Steel Quartz Watch
Band options: Fossil Women’s Watch
Style variations: Timex Unisex Weekender Watch
Buyer’s guide: Finding your next watch
Here’s a complete buying guide to help you find your next high-quality wristwatch.
Key features to look for when buying a watch
These are a few elements of a good quality watch that you should look for when selecting your new watch.
A durable watch always comes with sapphire or crystal glass. Sapphire glass is known to maintain a scratch-free surface even after rough usage. Crystal, or mineral, glass watches make a good option for an everyday watch but are somewhat more susceptible to scratches when compared with sapphire glass.
The most used material for watches is stainless steel. Watches made from stainless steel are resistant to perspiration moisture from the wrist and a moderate amount of moisture from the environment. It’s also the safest material choice for people with sensitive skin. Ceramic or titanium watches are extremely durable but come with a huge price tag.
To gauge the material and build quality of a wristwatch, pay attention to the weight of the watch. Good weight is a sign of quality steel and movement in the watch. 316L stainless steel watches have a higher purity level while PVD coatings ensure that the watch reserves its color for a long time.
Movement is what “runs” the watch. Automatic and manual movements fall under the same “mechanical” movement category which are made only from mechanical parts, such as springs or gears, etc.
A good quality watch comes with a certified mechanical movement or quartz movement. Most of the affordable watch options come with quartz movement (powered by battery) as it has fewer moving parts and, accordingly, is more affordable and accurate. Other movements include Seiko, Miyota and Ronda movements, which are known for their value of money, longevity and durability.
Watches primarily come with leather, stainless steel or fabric straps. If you’re a rough watch user, leather is probably not a good option for you as it requires more maintenance. If you’re getting a fabric or leather strap watch, make sure that the seams are narrow, symmetrical and of good quality.
Water and moisture can do great damage to a watch. 10 ATM water resistance is a sign of a good quality watch. 10 ATM water-resistant watches are perfect for swimming as well due to their endurance at 100 meters’ pressure. 5 and 3 ATM watches are also great options for normal water exposure. Your watch should be at least 3 ATM waterproof to ensure comfortable daily use.
Some basic types of watches
Below are the five main categories of wristwatches.
Dress watches are not considered over the top as the name might make you think. These watches are detailed and elegant. You can easily recognize a dress watch from afar by the round dial, glossy leather strap and square, round or rectangular steel. These watches are best for minimalists and go perfectly well with formal wear as well as casual outfits.
Smart watch or sports watch
Sports watches help you stay active and track your health right from your arm. It’s almost a must-have nowadays with our ever-so-busy lives. These wristwatches are lightweight, water-resistant and super comfortable for wearing to the gym or during outdoor activities. These smartwatches help you check your heart rate, cholesterol levels, number of steps, weight, calories and much more.
As the name suggests, a dive watch comes with built-in water resistance. Such watches have a high durability factor and are super versatile. The design, easy readability and longevity make this wristwatch a great option for non-divers as well.
These watches have a rugged, tough appearance. This style was initially popular in the military but serves as a great and reliable watch for anyone today. Field watches have low-light functionality and high dial readability.
A classic timepiece on the wrist is always a head turner. Many people collect luxury watches as an investment. These watches are made from high-quality materials, offer excellent functionality and have magnificent dials and strap designs that ooze grandeur.
Tips to maintain and care for a watch
Here are a few useful tips for watch care:
Make sure you never wind your watch while on the wrist, this can create pressure on the stem and cause it to bend or break
Keep your watch always wound for longevity and better performance (you can wind them once every month)
Use a microfiber polishing cloth to clean the watch surface regularly
Regularly check all the seals and gaskets to ensure water doesn’t seep in
Mistakes to avoid when buying a watch
These are some mistakes to avoid when purchasing a new watch.
going for quantity over quality; instead, choose the best quality from high-value brands
Passing up vintage watches simply because they are old; vintage timepieces are unique and graceful and may be very reliable
buying into hype; always check the watch’s value against its price tag
Shopping for a new watch requires careful consideration of factors like comfort, build material, movement, brand, reliability and suitability with your daily routine. There are many other considerations and some mistakes to avoid discussed in this article. We hope that these tips and reviews of some of the best watches of 2022 help you buy the most appropriate one for yourself.
People also asked
Some frequently asked questions about wristwatches are:
How many watches should I have?
On average, a person might have up to four different types of watches to have a wrist accessory for all kinds of outfits and activities.
Are luxury watches becoming obsolete? Should I invest in one?
Classic luxury watches are here to stay. Timeless pieces from top brands are still a great investment.
Can you wear an automatic watch every day?
Yes, you can wear an automatic watch daily for 8-10 hours if the movement is well lubricated and efficient.
Blythe Christensen is a St. Louis-based writer who has recently started her to refine her expertise in product reviews and buying guides. She has experience covering St. Louis tech, retail, fashion, travel, makeup, art, and lifestyle. As an editor and writer, she has cultivated strong relationships in a range of industries and developed an analytical eye for what makes a compelling brand. In her free time, Blythe enjoys sightseeing downtown, painting, spending six days a week in the gym, and even skydiving! When she isn’t out and about, Blythe also enjoys decorating her apartment, enjoying a cup of coffee, and streaming her favorite movies and TV shows.