If you’re planning on buying your first watch and wondering where to start, then you’re in luck. We’ve put together a beginner’s guide to watches so you can find a stylish but practical watch that will suit your unique taste and lifestyle. Entering the world of watches can be overwhelming at first, due to the sheer variety of timepieces on the market. From movement and display to mechanisms and functions, there are so many things to consider when buying a watch, so this watch beginner’s guide should make things a bit clearer.
Watches are about subjective style rather than just metric measures and before investing you should ask yourself how does that watch look and feel on your wrist and how does that watch embody my style and personality. There are sportier timepieces like divers or pilots watches and more elegant ones like dress watches. You just need to find one that suits you. There is no one style that is the best watch – everything depends on your personal needs.
Considered by many watch collectors to be the most alluring horological style by far, the chronograph has a rich and interesting history – and is also very practical. Used by racing car drivers, astronauts and scientists throughout the last century, chronographs allow you to start and stop time at the press of a button. Our Ascari Collection is one of the best beginner watches with a chronograph on the market.
The Moonphase complication is an ancient horological science that predates the origins of the clock, displaying the phases of the moon as a timekeeping form. Once reserved for the wealthy, watchmakers have been adding moonphase dials to timepieces over the last century as a distinguishing mark of true premium design. We used it as a key focal point in our Venice Moonphase Collection and it has been a best-seller ever since.
Built to withstand sub-aquatic pressures and ocean depths that few who wear them are ever likely to encounter, dive watches still serve as a powerful statement and remain one of the most covetable styles on the market. A diver’s versatile cool factor means it will easily straddle work and weekend. A diving watch is also a good beginner’s watch because it literally goes with everything and it’s hard to get this style wrong. Our Odyssey and Okeanos Collections are both diving watches.
Depending on who you ask, the rules for dress watches differ, but we generally stick to the following: A dress watch should be a simple watch, following the logic that if you’re being entertained for the evening, all you need to know is the hours and minutes. More poetic complications like moonphase display are acceptable. A dress watch should be elegant and small enough to fit comfortably under a shirt and jacket cuffs. The strap should be leather or perhaps Milanese mesh, any other fabric is too informal.
In many ways, a pilot watch was the original wristwatch. There were watches attached to bracelets as far back as the 17th century, but the modern watch as we know it now only became common with the advent of flight in the early 20th century, so these watches have their roots in aviation history. They’re categorized by high-contrast legibility and luminous markings that make them easy to read at a glance.
While quartz and mechanic are the two main watch movements, there are subsections of each of these as well as more modern innovations. When it comes to how to choose your first watch, you need to think about how often you’ll wear your watch and what you need it for before deciding which functionality to pick.
The most common type of movement, which requires the battery to be changed if it runs out of power. Quartz watches are highly accurate, very practical and relatively inexpensive, compared to some other movements.
Often considered the purist's choice, mechanical watches require no battery and everything works mechanically. Mechanical watches are either wound by hand at the crown (manual) or by the motion of the hand through every-day wear (automatic).
Automatic watches are powered by the motion of the wearer and if worn daily should continue to stay accurate. If you don’t wear it every day, it may need a little help, shaking your wrist when you put it on will help. Automatic watches are widely recognized to be the best quality watches thanks to the advanced craftsmanship that goes into creating them and our Venice Automatic is one of the best beginner automatic watches out there.
A hybrid between quartz and automatic watches, kinetic movement uses a quartz movement and battery that can gain power through the motion of the wearer.
Similar to the kinetic movement, but it uses solar energy to power the quartz movement and battery.
Smartwatches use no specific horological movement and are powered solely by electronics. Similar to your phone or laptop, these watches have elevated functionality thanks to their electronic power.
Similar to your decision on style, choosing the right display for you depends on your lifestyle and needs.
The most traditional display style, consisting of an hour hand and minute hand. Most analog watches also have a second hand.
Digital watches use an LCD screen to display information.
Analog and Digital Watches
A combination of both digital and analog, this display can only be found in quartz because the LCD screen requires electric power.
At Filippo Loreti we have a lot of different types and styles of watches, so you will easily find the best one for you. We hope this in-depth watch guide that contains everything you need to know about every type of timepiece will help you choose what watch to buy. Consider the aesthetic and the complication carefully and you’re sure to end up with a watch that you love.