A wristwatch is basically a tool whose main achievement is an accurate telling of the time. But just like a suit, or a car, or a house, besides its obvious object of use, a watch has to make a statement. The following lines are supposed to be helping you out in picking the perfect watch for your character, a watch that is supposed to reflect your personality and character besides doing its obvious job.

Disclaimer: I consider a medium-priced watch a tool that both does the job flawlessly, has a quality build to it that ensures that you can mention it in your will, and is affordable with a bit of effort for a medium Western budget. A maximum of $3000, which in my honest opinion is not a large sum to invest in something you are going to use – and make a statement with – for a lifetime.

First, think of your needs. Do you like deep diving? Do you like flying, or are you into hiking, or you simply hate outdoor sports and prefer staying indoors doing design, writing, or something else? Because functionality comes first. You have to decide whether you need a chronograph, a shock-resistant, a high water-resistant, a digital display for keeping up with seconds, or a single hand display if you’re not hard-pressed by the instant. A simple analog dial or a modern bulky but concrete-hard tool? A sports design or classic design?

If you haven’t narrowed it down yet, then think where you’re going to wear it. If you’re a one-watch-guy, then you need something that’s appropriate as a tool as well as a fashion accessory. I simply don’t think a plastic Swatch goes well with a very informal suit. Francois Hollande, the president of France, thinks it does. US Secret Service has given Obama a classy yet sturdy Jorg Gray chronograph that mimics the IWC pilot watch. It looks much better with a shirt and tie than a Swatch, really. Joe Biden has gone for a midsize Omega Seamaster, the same Pierce Brosnan or Prince William wear. Point for the Seamaster, that watch fits a pair of jeans just as well as an Armani suit. They just made it so sporty-elegant.

What I’m going to do is recommend a handful of brands you should check out: Omega, Sinn, Breitling, Tag Heuer, Meistersinger, Junghans Max Bill Design, Casio, Oris, Seiko, Hamilton, Longines. These are extremely good watches and, apart from Breitling, Casio, and Tag Heuer, they do have automatic movements in the low-end spectrum, which means among the cheaper models. An automatic, though less accurate than a quartz movement, consists of a system that does not have to rely upon third party energy to run. Meaning there’s a very complex and beautiful machine inside, something much sturdier than a battery-powered movement. If accuracy is what you’re after and care less about tradition and craftsmanship, then Tissot, Fossil, or Swatch could be worthwhile checking. Oh, and Casio has ONLY quartz-powered watches. Famed for the G – Shock series, which are extremely handy for practitioners of extreme sports.

If you’re a newbie, check out that list and take into consideration your needs, then your aspect. I haven’t put IWC on the list because it usually exceeds what I’d call medium-priced. For those who think those watches are luxury goods, I would care to inform them that Blancpain ( that Russia’s Vladimir Putin seems extremely fond of ) or A. Lange & Sohne or Patek Philippe can easily top $40.000. And that is not for a special issue, but a regular one. So a 1k Oris or a $700 Junghans tend to look pretty affordable. Like I said, especially for a lifetime of use.

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