1. Buy from a registered dealer. You won’t end up getting a fake, and you’ll have a correctly-compiled guarantee certificate.
2. Buy a brand for which there is an official dealer where you live. Mechanical watches need periodical servicing, and it’s less hassle to send it through brand channels rather than sending back to the factory yourself.
3. COSC certification is a positive factor and an indication of quality, but remember that a mechanical watch costing thousands will always be less accurate than a quartz watch. You’re buying an object that could be compared to a piece of jewellery, and the emotional factors of this sort of choice become very important.
4. Brand reputation is important. Compare what they are making now with what they were making a decade – or a century – ago. Find out whether their movements are made in-house. Remember that not all Swiss watches are “handmade.” Rolex manufactures 2,000 watches a day, and their 2,800 employees use a lot of machinery to do so.
5. A watch is not an investment. Right after your purchase, it’s going to be worth less on resale. Only watches with considerable rarity, or pieces that are auctioned as special because they belonged to a personality, will ever increase in value. Remember to keep the original box and papers. If you really want to resell your watch, they may make it easier to decrease depreciation.
6. The number of jewels is not particularly significant in itself. These “jewels” in the movement are usually synthetic rubies that have to be used to ensure low-friction at important points in the transmission chain. A standard mechanical movement has 17 jewels; complications require more.
7. Consider your lifestyle. Are you out in the rain a lot? Do you want to wear your watch when jogging? Or when playing sport? Choose a watch with the right water-resistance and shock-resistance ratings, and consider the strap materials as well. Think about the times you put the watch on and take it off, as this will determine your ideal type of strap.
8. A sapphire watch glass is the most scratch-resistant type, and it is a mark of a prestige watch.
9. If it's mechanical, it will be manually wound, or automatic. The choice depends on whether you wear the watch every day or not. If you don't, a manually-wound watch could be more appropriate.
10. There is a trend towards larger watches at the moment. Remember to consider your wrist size: if you have a small wrist, even a 39 mm case is going to look large, so avoid the largest case versions.
Follow this link to read an article on the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon 39
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