Mechanical watches for men have surged in popularity and prestige in recent years. If you’re thinking about incorporating this timeless accessory into your wardrobe, there are a few factors to take into account before you make your purchase. Fortunately, our guide to mechanical watches has got you covered.
Transitioning from a regular watch to a mechanical one can be a bit daunting at first. While adjusting to a different style may come with some challenges, it also presents a unique opportunity to elevate your personal style.
It’s worth noting, however, that mechanical watches aren’t for everyone. Some individuals may not find the experience to their liking, while others swear by it. As such, purchasing a mechanical watch is a decision that requires thoughtful consideration, analysis, and even some time for contemplation before taking the plunge.
What is a Mechanical Watch?
A mechanical watch is a watch that does not have batteries and is instead operated with a mechanical system of springs and gears. Generally speaking, there are two types of mechanical watches; automatic and manual.
The distinction between manual and automatic mechanical watches comes down to how their internal gears are ultimately powered. Manual ones require you to re-wind them yourself, while automatic mechanical watches do this themselves throughout the day as your wrist moves.
Mechanical Watches: Timelessness
Mechanical watches harken back to a simpler era, one where a man purchased an accessory that lasted a lifetime. That is a large part of their current-day appeal, and they continue that tradition by being truly timeless accessories that can become a permanent part of your wardrobe.
An additional benefit of their timeless appeal is that even older watches continue to be just as useful and appealing as those manufactured today. In fact, many of today’s contemporary designs borrow heavily from those of decades ago.
This means that your father’s old Rolex may not be as outmoded as you’d first imagined. Additionally, a vibrant market exists for gently used mechanical watches, ensuring that those classic timepieces live on, while also ensuring that the watch you purchase today will retain its value over time.
Mechanical Watches: Style
Of all the criteria to consider when purchasing a timepiece, the aesthetic is one of the most important. And for good reason. Considered a luxury accessory, mechanical watches can easily cost several thousand dollars or more, so ensuring that you’re happy with the look of the watch isn’t something you should compromise on.
Also, keep in mind that most men likely only own a single luxury watch, so ideally you will want to ensure the one that you purchase looks appropriate for a variety of occasions.
When it comes to color it is best to find a balance. Choose a color that goes with everything but still shows quality. This will more easily allow your watch to go well in a variety of formal and informal situations. Colors like black and silver/metallic often go well with a variety of outfits.
Mechanical Watch Construction
Style isn’t the only consideration when purchasing a mechanical watch, the material in which it is constructed should play a role in determining which watch is right for you.
Recent advances in metallurgy and watch construction have been a boon for the mechanical watch industry. Materials such as titanium and ceramics have become more common, allowing for greater wear resistance and reduced weight. However, such advancements come at the cost of increased price.
You will need to determine if the increased cost is worth it, but for many men, the answer is a resounding “yes”.
Mechanical Watch Country of Origin
There is no country more synonymous with watches than Switerzland, and rightfully so. Swiss watches are renowned for their craftsmanship and are an enduring symbol of luxury. It is hard to go wrong choosing a Swiss watch, but do not prematurely rule out other countries.
Many other countries have developed their own niche for quality watches, from the Japanese Grand Seiko to the American Vortic Watches, or even the French Pequignet. In fact, once you start considering independent watchmakers you will soon discover that most countries have their own standout manufacturers.
It’s really hard to go wrong, regardless of which country your watch originates from. Because of this, our recommendation is to first focus on the other aspects of a mechanical watch before paying too much thought to the subject of where it was made.
The Best Mechanical Watches
In this section, we will dive deeper into the world of mechanical watches for men and highlight two exceptional timepieces that are sure to impress even the most discerning watch enthusiasts. From their impressive movements to their sleek designs, they are both outstanding options for anyone looking to add a mechanical watch to their collection.
Let’s take a closer look at what makes these watches stand out from the crowd.
Best Diver’s Mechanical Watch
When it comes to the best diver’s mechanical watches for men, the Seiko Prospex Padi Special Edition Solar Diver’s Watch stands out from the crowd. As an enthusiast of mechanical watches, I’ve found that this watch is not only incredibly durable but also boasts a unique and sophisticated style that can be effortlessly incorporated into any man’s wardrobe.
The Seiko Prospex Padi was initially developed as a special request from a group of divers who were searching for a mechanical watch that could withstand the water’s pressure. The watch’s stainless steel case and bracelet, screw-down crown, and screwed case back, paired with a 200m water resistance, make it an ideal choice for both professional divers and recreational adventurers.
What sets this watch apart, however, is its solar-powered Caliber: V147 movement, which ensures accurate timekeeping without the need for a battery replacement. The black dial with luminous hands and markers, along with the date display, makes it easy to read in any lighting conditions, while the sapphire crystal and uni-directional rotating bezel provide added durability and functionality.
With an approximate case diameter of 38mm, case thickness of 11mm, and lug width of 20mm, the Seiko Prospex Padi is a perfect size for most wrists. The deployment clasp ensures a secure and comfortable fit, while its sleek design and practical features make it a top pick for us when it comes to the best diver’s mechanical watches for men.
Best Automatic Mechanical Watch
If you’re in the market for the best automatic mechanical watch, the Tissot Le Locle Automatic Powermatic is a standout choice that has earned a place in my personal collection. This watch is a true masterpiece, boasting an exceptional combination of style, elegance, and sophistication that sets it apart from the rest.
Crafted with a stainless steel case and bracelet, this watch features an automatic movement with a Caliber: Powermatic 80.111 and 23 jewels, providing reliable and accurate timekeeping without the need for battery replacement. The scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and see-through case back add durability and a unique touch, allowing the wearer to admire the intricate inner workings of the watch.
The black dial with a date display is sleek and modern, while the butterfly clasp with push buttons ensures a secure and comfortable fit. Although it has a 30M water resistance, this watch is not designed for deep diving and should be taken off before engaging in any water activities.
With an approximate case diameter of 39.3mm and a thickness of 9.8mm, the Tissot Le Locle Automatic Powermatic is the perfect size for most wrists. But what truly sets this watch apart is its ability to seamlessly blend classic elegance with modern design, making it a versatile accessory that can be worn for any occasion. For those looking for a timeless and sophisticated automatic mechanical watch, the Tissot Le Locle Automatic Powermatic is undoubtedly a top contender.
Guide on the Main Brands of Mechanical Watches
Given the wide range of brands that exist and the exceptional reputations they enjoy, choosing a brand of mechanical watch may be the most complex decision you have to make. It is an accessory that complements any look. There are all kinds, some massive corporations and other smaller ones that operate more independently. There is also the division of brands by price and functionality. Here are the best brands to consider:
- Rolex: the crown brand is one of the best-known Swiss watch brands.
- Tudor: was distinguished for the model launched in 2009 that had “snowflake hands” in an exemplary mechanical watch for beginners.
- Timex: the brand precisely balances wonderful watches with affordable prices.
- Cartier: it is characterized by its extremely elegant pieces such as the Tank, the Asymetrique, and the Crash.
- Zenith: its main fame is due to the invention of the first automatic chronograph watch that did not need to be wound every day.
A final consideration when purchasing a mechanical watch is if you want to purchase one at all. This may seem counterintuitive at first, but keep in mind that mechanical watches are not like other more modern watches. The gears, springs, and levers inside these wonderful devices are the delicate mechanical contraptions that require regular maintenance and care to ensure their longevity.
Some manufacturers recommend servicing for their watches every 3 to 5 years, based on how frequently you wear your mechanical watch. These servicings are not cheap, as they require a trained professional to disassemble the watch and clean and lubricate the internals. Failure to properly maintain a mechanical watch will result in its premature failure, and ultimately the loss of your investment.
Another downside to mechanical watches is that they are not as precise at keeping time as their quartz-powered cousins. For the discerning man who wants elegance and luxury, this may well be a perfectly fine trade-off, but if the thought of a watch that is off by a second or two over the course of a day bothers you, then a more precise timepiece might be more your style.
Regardless of what type of watch you ultimately choose, be sure to check out our guide to wearing a men’s watch with style.