A First-Time Collector's Guide To Men's Designer Watches

Collecting watches and timepieces – whether luxury, limited edition, or completely idiosyncratic – has been a popular hobby amongst men for centuries. With the multitude of watch brands and watchmakers available from across the globe today, watch enthusiasts have even more choices available for them to shape a collection that reflects their own one-of-a-kind personality and interests.

If you’re just starting to dip your toes into men’s designer watches, however, you might find yourself quickly overwhelmed by the sheer variety to choose from. Complications, movements, calibres, branded names – how do you begin to build a collection that’s uniquely yours?

Here’s what you need to know to have the confidence to walk into a watch dealer’s boutique and select the pieces you feel best about:

1. Timelessness

When you think about watch collecting, certain luxury watchmakers immediately come to mind. While collecting renowned brands will certainly imbue your collection with a timeless quality, they are not the be all end all of watch collecting.

Instead, you can consider the significance of specific brands or watches to yourself and how they are timeless to you. Through this lens, even everyday brands like Timex watches or Casio watches can become precious cornerstones of your collection if they have heirloom or sentimental value.

2. Trendiness

Another factor to consider is the trendiness of a watch. This may seem in opposition to timelessness, but this is not always the case. Limited edition watch releases can have great resale or collection value, whether that’s due to their watchmaker or whatever the collection is themed around. Brands such as UNDONE watches have even gained a reputation amongst collectors specifically for their limited-number capsule collections themed around pop culture mainstays.

Many fashion brands are also beginning to move into the timepiece industry, such as Emporio Armani watches or Hugo Boss watches. While they may not be as well-known right now for their watches compared to their apparel or accessories, only time will tell if their releases can come to be recognised as classics in the future.

3. Technical qualities

One impression non-collectors might have is that watch collections are based on how luxurious or exclusive the watches are. However, collectors know that the technical qualities of a watch play a significant role in how valuable a collection is. Many would describe watchmaking as an art, with collections being a way to curate and showcase your appreciation for the craftsmanship behind these intricate mechanisms.

These qualities can include:

  • Complications: Complications refer to additional features on a watch beyond showing just the time and date. This includes moonphases, alarms, minute repeaters, chronographs, and more.
  • Movements: Also referred to as calibres or calibers, movements are the key mechanism that powers a timepiece. These are often the main focus for many collectors, as mechanisms made in-house reflect a level of technical sophistication, craftsmanship, and innovation unique to the watchmaker. Many everyday brands such as CASIO even have dedicated collections (like the CASIO Edifice watches) dedicated to showing off a higher level of technical mastery than your everyday wristwatches.
  • Style: Diver, field, military, pilot, racing, and more – there are many recognised watch styles today that also come with their own specific technical or aesthetic features. For example, the heightened pressure and water resistance of diving watches, or the oversized crowns of aviator or pilot watches.

Discover Unparalleled Timepiece Quality at City Chain

No matter what qualities you base your watch collection around, what matters most is that you select men’s designer watches that are meaningful or significant to you. You don’t have to go straight for the best and biggest brands in the world either; some affordable luxury watches available in our watch boutiques that are suitable for collectors include Oris watches, Frederique Constant watches, and BALL watches. True beginners can also start small with upmarket lines and limited edition releases from household names like SEIKO watches, Kenneth Cole watches, and Fossil watches which have the weight of a recognisable brand behind them.

Find the right everyday, designer, or luxury watch for you at any City Chain watch shop in Singapore. Visit any City Chain outlet near you to browse our standard watch brands, or pay a visit to the City Chain Primo boutique in Singapore for a glimpse of our luxury watch options.