The ladies' guide to buying a timepiece

What you need to know

The ladies' guide to buying a timepiece
Five things you should know before purchasing your first timepiece

Behind every man's timepiece is an exceptional woman's watch — still, most women are at a loss when it comes to purchasing a classic timepiece. What's the deal with mechanical movements? Why do some wristwatches cost as much as Hermès Birkin bags? And more importantly, what in the world is a 'tourbillon'?

Pulling the trigger on a timepiece can be confusing at times, especially when the so-called 'perfect' watch is a matter of perspective that differs from individual to individual. Nonetheless, here are some of the more significant considerations to bear in mind while stepping up your wrist game:

Let's be real — quartz watches are cool and reliably accurate at timekeeping. Unfortunately, not everyone is particularly enthusiastic over circuit boards and batteries. Mechanical timepieces, on the other hand, are often more recognised and sought-after due to the amount of micro-engineering works that drive them.

The movement, or calibre, is a mechanism put together from springs and gears that enable the timepiece to measure and indicate current time. In the form of either a self-winding (automatic) or hand-wound movement, it is, ultimately, what makes a watch tick.

Ladies timepiece buying guide

Choosing between mechanical movements — whether automatic or hand-wound — pretty much depends on personal preference. While some might take pleasure in winding a hand-wound timepiece on a daily basis, others find it a hassle and would rather opt for an automatic instead. Otherwise, a quartz piece will do just fine too if you're not concerned about the sort of wizardry within.

Housing the movement is the case, which is made from all kinds of materials including steel, gold and precious metals such as platinum to name but three — accompanied alongside an assortment of bands.

In general, a rose gold watch with an alligator strap is commonly perceived as a dressier timepiece intended for more formal events. On the flip side, a sportier steel case and bracelet is observed to suit more casual environments.

Ladies timepiece buying guide

While there are some who lean towards the more feminine charm of a petite timepiece, there's also the men's-watch-wearing kind of girl with a certain penchant for more sizeable cases. In this case, sizing is subjective. The solution is as simple as trying out a variety of case offerings to find that sweet spot which fits just right — one where you feel most comfortable with.

Here's where things get complicated. Complications in horology refer to any additional features beyond the display of hours, minutes and seconds. Basically, think of these practical attributes as the equivalent of modern-day iPhone apps.

There is a complication for every occasion — from driving the kids to school and scuba diving in Maldives to timing dinner in the oven and even making a trip into space. For what it's worth, take a step back and consider the kind of lifestyle you lead prior to making a decision on one that best reflects it.

Still, what essentially matters most to watch aficionados is what's on the inside of a timepiece. And Swiss-manufactured calibres have always been held in great esteem ­— having proven its durability to withstand the test of time that last for generations. Thus, most watch companies tend to employ the expertise of these Geneva-based marques for their movements.

The Internet is a useful tool in terms of providing appropriate information on watch specifications. It is encouraged to undergo proper research to ensure that the money you're spending is justifiable.
Ladies timepiece buying guide

Text: Marcus Ning

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