In recent years mechanical watches have grown in importance and notoriety, and if you are considering adding one of the timeless accessories to your wardrobe then there are a few things to consider before making your purchase. Thankfully we have you covered in our guide to mechanical watches.
The change from a regular watch to a mechanical watch can be complex at first. Adapting to a different style can bring with it some inconveniences, but with it is also opportunity.
A mechanical watch is not for everyone. Some guys simply do not like the experience, while others swear by it. That is why it is a purchase that should be thought about, analyzed, meditated on, and even sleep on it.
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 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.
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.
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”.
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.
Some of the best mechanical watches
AUTOMATIC DIVER’S WATCH SEIKO PROSPEX PADI: They are the watches most chosen by divers and adventurers because they are extremely resistant, and have a unique and sophisticated style that can combine perfectly with any item that is in the wardrobe of a man. They arose as a special request made by a group of divers who told the brand that they could not find a mechanical watch that could be put in the water.
Its style, practicality, and versatility make the Seiko Prospex Padi a top pick in our opinion.
TISSOT POWERMATIC: This is one of the most colorful and picturesque watches. By wearing one of these you are clearly showing status, elegance, style, and sophistication. It is a symbol of a silent evolution in the watch industry. It is a model that does not lose the elegance of its steel bracelet and continues to set the standard for inexpensive mechanical movements with exacting precision.
Guide on the main brands
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.