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A guide to buying luxury watches

Luxury watches are not easy pieces to shop because of so many reasons. First, they are generally expensive and almost represent an investment. Second, there are many types and kinds of luxury watches available in the market which makes choosing the right timepiece to buy downright confusing. Third, every watch that you see in shops claim that they are the best which adds to the dilemma.

Buying suggestions

Here are a few tips to make choosing luxury watches a less daunting task.

1. Budget

Defining a budget is the first step in reducing the confusion and bewilderment while shopping. When it comes to prices, the sky's the limit for luxury watches. That timepiece could cost you several months or an entire year of salary. A few may cost the same price as a new car or even a house. They are incredibly expensive. Limiting yourself to a reasonable budget already narrows down your choices when shopping for watches.

2. Workmanship

Workmanship plays a vital role in the way a watch looks and functions. It is also influences the price of the watch.

Luxury watches can be produced in an assembly line or handmade by masters in watchmaking. There are also watches crafted and sold as part of a limited edition.

Handmade ones as well as those part of a limited series are unique pieces. Handmade watches, in particular, are exclusive pieces because they are made by a human being who pays great attention to detail.

What distinguishes luxury watches from ordinary watches is their timeless beauty that outlasts any fashion trend. They are timepieces that you keep for a lifetime or pass to the next generations. The watches are usually embellished with gemstones, ornate designs, leather, gold, and even platinum.

3. Function

Any watch can tell you the time but there are watches that go beyond this. Watchmaking is an art by itself and it is not merely telling the time. Ask yourself if you need a classic timepiece, a chronograph watch or even a tourbillon.

Most luxury watches work by manual or mechanical winding. On the other hand, regular watches use quartz movements which are more precise. Again, handmade pieces are going to command a higher price when there are other functions or 'complications' added such as a stopwatch, lunar calendar, water resistance, long power reserve, and even an opera mini player.

Enduring brands

Luxury watches can make fine gifts for any occasion and to just about anyone special in your life. There are styles and designs that are suitable for both men and women. Famous luxury brands of watches include:

1. Audemars Piguet - founded in 1874 at the Vallee de Joux, considered the bastion of watchmaking.

2. Breguet - founded in 1775 and now forms part of the Swatch group.

3. Patek Philippine & Co - began making pocket watches in 1839.

4. Piaget - established in 1874; makes luxury watches and jewellery.

5. Vacheron Constantin - started in 1775; the company made the first 'complication' in watches. 'Complication' refers to any function beyond time telling in watches or display of hours, minutes and seconds.

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