You’ve always wanted to get a taste of the luxury watch experience, but don’t want to pay $1,000s-$10,000’s to achieve the experience and feel that might be offered by a Rolex or IWC? Perhaps you’ve even been saving for years to buy such a piece at a milestone event or achievement, but aren’t sure if you’ll ever be able to really afford it? Well there may be a light on the horizon thanks to a small few innovative watch brands. We’ve found new brand on the scene that have crafted a quality experience at a fraction of the price. Here are the 5 key components of the luxury watch experience you need to know about before spending $1,000’s on that first piece.
1. Automatic Movement
While the movement or caliber of the watch is what makes it tick, a mechanical style movement provides so much more to the experience over a simple quartz piece. It is often referred to as the ‘heart of a watch’ because this movement drives the minute and hour-hands on the face of the watch. While it’s up to the taste of the collector whether they prefer manual or Automatic Wind movements, each provides an added weight to each watch that adds to the luxury experience.
An automatic movement is often the desired choice because it harnesses kinetic energy from the motion of your wrist, creating a power reserve that allows your piece to tick long after it’s removed from your wrist. While traditionally the in house and third party movements coming out of Switzerland have been considered the most accurate and aesthetic, they also come with extremely hefty price tags well into the $1,000’s due to the labor intensive process of handcrafting elements of the movement, but mostly due to the brand name, prestige and history associated with the final pieces.
If Swiss price ranges are too steep for your budget, the next place to start looking is without a doubt Japan. Japanese movements provide an extremely impressive alternative to Swiss through craftsmen like Citizen-Miyota and Orient who are known for their high precision and accuracy for the price.
2. Sapphire Crystal Window
Along with enhancing the visual aesthetics of your watch a sapphire crystal window is one of the most scratch resistant grades of glass on the planet. To Maintain the visual and structural integrity of your watch’s window you should look for a piece with no less quality, and you can find this component in the brands mentioned in this article.
Affordable luxury no longer means low quality components. Nothing more so rings truer than with the Strap. A high grade of leather should be on your radar, and one of the highest you can find is Genuine Italian Leather.
Only the best of vegetable and plant extracts are used to turn good quality hides into Italian leather. Moreover, the entire manufacturing process is very sophisticated and is nothing like how cheaper alternatives are produced.
Since Italian leather is traditionally full grain leather; it doesn’t require sanding to getting rid of imperfections. A watch that boasts an Italian leather strap is more durable than any other type of watch strap you buy for the same price.
The butterfly clasp is perfect for two reasons; 1. It’s luxury look, style, and feel on deployment, and 2. Because of it’s (set-once and forget) style of sizing, it significantly reduces the wear and tear on your band/strap so you will almost never have to replace it, especially in the case of leather.
It is natural to miss a few excellent watches just because they fail to capture your attention due to mediocre packaging. This is really where the Luxury Watch Experience comes into play. While most fail to deliver on experience in this facet to preserve more profit margin, a very small portion of watch brands has welcomed the added expense by crafting a custom Display Case for each of watches to round out a stellar customer experience.
While no one is denying the superior quality of Swiss watches, the ability for a brand to now deliver all of these quality elements including a Japanese movement to the customer for less than $300USD is remarkable. We here at Coleman Collection Watches believe we have done just that with our Open-Heart line. We've strived to incorporate both elegance and quality that is few and far between at that the price range we are in. Take a look around, give us a try, I hope we've helped you identify what to look for in a quality affordable watch.