How to beat the snobs when buying an everyman watch

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Image: The Sharper Me

Ariel Adams, founder of watch website ABlogToWatch.com, admits that his timepiece collection is so vast that he lost count of it “a long time ago”. One of the world’s leading watch experts, he has written on all things horological for everywhere from the Financial Times to Forbes magazine.

“What else can a man buy and wear that says something about his status, lifestyle and taste that people will notice?" he explains of the ever-growing status of the historic accessory. "We have our homes, our cars but we can’t really take those around with us. Most guys don’t want to wear a lot of jewellery, especially not in a business environment, and your wallet is not exactly on display. So a watch is the obvious choice.”

We asked him to bring us up-to-the-minute on buying a timely but inexpensive design. 

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"The best value watches are created by Japanese brands; Seiko, Citizen, Casio and Orient. Look at who's making your watch. Buy it from a watch company - not a marketing brand.” 

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"The casualification of the dress watch is a key trend that shows no sign of slowing. The traditional dress watch design is given a dressed-down, casual feel with a colourful or Nato strap. One of the most popular brands embracing this simple look is Daniel Wellington."

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"Colour has been important in watches for some time. For many years it was orange and yellow in sport watches, now that has been subdued to blue, which is a lot more versatile. But be careful when picking blue dials, as they are very complicated to make. Often they are too shiny or not shiny enough."

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"You are choosing a watch for yourself: think about what watch you want and what you like rather than what is popular or impressive. You don’t need it, so you have to want it, and feel comfortable with it.”

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"The Casio G-Shock is durable, cheap and it really wants to be beaten up - it enjoys being put into odd situations. It’s a watch you can throw on the ground, step on it and it will be fine. It has legibility, comfort, style and looks modern.”

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"Buying a watch is not about spending a lot of money, but it is important that it is unique, comfortable and has a story behind it. It’s like buying a car - it’s a very personal decision. Any will take you from A to B, but for many people that choice is a personal expression of themselves.”

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"Choose a watch that you can read. It’s surprising how many are illegible. Then find one that fits on your body - not necessarily big or small but proportional to you and finally make sure it goes with a lot of things.” 

Watches available at select Fenwick stores.

By Claire Brayford