Shopping for a European Watch
By Lora Keleher
, last updated September 1, 2011
Shopping for a European watch requires an investment of both time and money. European watchmakers are legendary for creating luxurious timepieces with precise movements that are both fashionable and functional; one of these well-crafted timepieces will add a touch of sophistication to any outfit.
Europeans tend to wear classic styles, and stunning accessories, building beautiful wardrobes consisting of clothing that will last for years, and dressing them up with accessories such as watches, footwear, and jewelry. Expect to pay more for a high-quality European watch, but realize that it is crafted to last for years.
A watch that you plan to wear to work every day is going to require different functions than a watch you plan to take scuba diving, or a watch you plan to wear to dressy occasions and lavish galas. The most important function is the movement, because this plays a significant part in how accurately a watch keeps time, as well as how long it will last, and how frequent and expensive repairs will likely be. You can choose between quartz crystal, automatic, or mechanical movements, however, many European watchmakers are known for their craftsmanship of mechanical movements. You should also look at features such as water resistance, a date keeper, or the weight of the piece, depending on its intended use.
Style elements might include the color, or design of the face and bezel, the size of the watch, and the material out of which the case is fashioned. You might decide on bold colors, and gemstones, decorative numbers, or multiple movements that keep track of hours, minutes, and seconds. Another style point to consider is the strap. Certain manufacturers specially tailor straps to enhance the overall design of the watch. However, this is probably the least essential item, because you can always purchase a new watch strap.
Rolex, Breitling, and Tag Heuer, Parmigiani are some of the better-known luxury watches. Also consider brands like Swatch, Omega, Montblanc, SIGMA, and Zenith. Each European watch company is known for manufacturing watches with a particular style aesthetic. You can usually view their complete collections online, and decide if they provide the functionality, style and quality you desire.
Certain manufacturers are known for manufacturing watches that cost many thousands of dollars of dollars, while others provide both good quality and a price point in the hundreds. Especially, if you’re making a significant investment in a European watch, buy only from an authorized dealer, guaranteeing its authenticity. Most US watch shops carry collections of European watches, and you can shop the various collections they provide. Also, jewelers and watch sellers can sometimes special-order specific items for customers. You can also try shopping online stores, and sites of dealers who post their collections online. If you have your sights set on a particular European watch, and can’t seem to locate it anywhere, contact the manufacturer directly to see if they know of a way you can purchase it, even it means paying additional costs.