Purchasing a luxury watch is a significant investment, which should be considered carefully before making a decision. For first-time watch buyers, the information can be overwhelming, and the decision-making process can seem impossible.

When you remove the watchmaking jargon and put things in simple terms, knowing what to look for in a luxury watch is extremely straightforward. Here are the top considerations you’ll need to keep in mind when buying a luxury watch.

What is Your Budget?

Luxury watches cover a wide range of prices, from the low thousands to tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some luxury brands cost more than others, while many brands have models covering that wide range. Before you start shopping for a luxury watch, you need to know what you can afford. Set a budget for yourself and adhere to it.

Depending on your budget, some brands might be out altogether. You may also discover that you aren’t ready to purchase a luxury watch, especially if you aren’t willing to settle on something cheaper that you don’t love. When it comes to purchasing a luxury watch, you have all the time in the world, so don’t make a snap decision.

Do you Have a Preference?

Do you have a preference when it comes to brand name or model? If your desire to procure a luxury watch is specific to a certain design, then your shopping timeline will get much shorter. If you love the Omega Seamaster, you can alter your budget and sourcing to filter out all the other options.

Be sure to take your time when looking for a supplier, especially if you choose to shop online. Verify the authenticity of your purchase, and when in doubt, reach out to the manufacturer for recommended retailers.

Fashion and Function Considerations

Think about what will look and feel best on you, rather than what looks great on a model. If you think the weight of a metal watch will bother you, look at options with leather, rubber or fabric bands. Do you like the look of a large watch face or will it overpower your small wrists? Will you be wearing the watch on a regular basis or only for formal occasions?

Luxury watches aren’t all targeted to the same demographic. Some are designed for more athletic individuals while others are designed to adhere to an iconic look, regardless of who chooses them. You may find that the large round face of some watches doesn’t appeal, while the small, rectangular face, like those offered by Cartier, does. This is your investment, so choose something you like.

Swiss Made or Not?

Swiss made watches have long been at the top of the pyramid of luxury watch brands. The Swiss practices date back hundreds of years, and they are known around the world as purveyors of quality pieces with precision timekeeping abilities.

That being said, many non-Swiss brands offer incredible luxury watches. Seiko is a Japanese company that follows Swiss watchmaking practices– they learned from the industry leaders at the time– but doesn’t count as Swiss made based on geographical location. The previously mentioned Cartier watches, in addition to modern luxury purveyor Bell & Ross are both French. Decide if a Swiss made label is important to you before choosing a brand.

Vintage or Modern?

There are three types of luxury watch buyers: those who will buy a previously owned watch to enjoy a vintage timepiece that is no longer manufactured, those who like a traditional model produced new, and those who love technology and want a smartwatch.

There’s no right or wrong way to be; it’s all about personal preference. If you love a certain watch from a bygone era, you’ll have to be open to purchasing second-hand, especially if it was a limited edition run. This may also mean that your search time will be longer and the price higher. If you want a smartwatch, you need to compare the luxury brands that have this offering.

Whatever you decide, find the piece that’s right for you, validate the authenticity, and treat your luxury timepiece with the care it deserves.