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3 steps to win the watch game on a budget

October 17, 2018

Nowadays, the popular saying that “A man’s only acceptable jewelry is his watch” is very much alive and true. A quick run through check on social media, you can really say that the watch industry and how many people are embracing it is steadily increasing year by year.


You can see your favorite celebrities or influencers flaunting that expensive Richard Mille or Patek Philippe watch which makes all of us ooze and drool in envy. Social media hashtags referring to watches in Instagram and Facebook have also ballooned in number.


Popular hashtags like #instawatch, #watchoftheday, or #watchesofinstagram will reveal that they already in the millions that have been tagged. Watches are definitely a billion-dollar industry.

However, not everyone can afford or has the means to buy the latest Rolex GMT Master-II Pepsi dial or an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. Some of us might not even get to buy these watches in their lifetime. It would have been easier if we all had the extra $18,000 USD and buy the hottest watch and call it a day.


You're  social status in life will surely be instantly elevated and become popular among your circles for wearing that hot commodity on your wrist. Sad reality but it shouldn’t be this way.

While we definitely acknowledge and look up to the Swiss watch giants in the likes of Rolex, Audemars Piguet, and Patek Philippe, we believe the watch game should not be a game of popularity. Nor it shouldn’t be a game of who has too much money to burn on a watch.


Everyone can win the watch game on a limited or tight budget as well. We have narrowed down our top 3 drivers that would ensure you come home a winner and be practical and not splurge your entire bank account for a watch.

1. Pick for Purpose

Choosing the right watch for you seems like a very easy task. You go to your chosen watch dealer and you pick a watch of your liking (aesthetically) and you pay up. No biggie, right? But a lot of first-time buyers don’t really consider what purpose will they use the watch for.


Newbies would usually just ask themselves, “Does this watch go better with my jeans or my slacks?” Kind of really defeats the purpose of a watch in the first place.

Watches themselves were created because they had a special purpose in life. They were crafted and developed because human beings needed tools to record time in great accuracy (chronograph) or they needed a watch that would function underneath the deep blue sea (diver’s watch). In essence, watches are part of everyday life and they should still be celebrated and enjoyed with that same meaning and purpose.  

So, the next time you pick up your next watch and you have a tight and limited budget, make sure that you know what you will use the watch for. Will you use it as a dress watch to go mostly with your formal dress shirts? Will you pair it up with your sporty casual clothing and watch the latest F1 races with friends?


I know your iPhone has a better and more accurate timer than your chronograph watch but still, it pays to actually know how to use your watch functions and appreciate its purpose.


Nothing beats a well-educated watch aficionado sporting and maximizing a watch for its function and purpose rather than just swiping your credit card for that latest GMT watch and don’t even know what the GMT function is for.

Orient Star Automatic
Hamilton Pan Europ and Tudor Heritage Chrono

Shopping for watch purpose and function is key. But does it have to be expensive?

2. Heritage Advantage

Brand familiarity is a big deciding factor for anyone willing to buy new things. Knowing a shirt’s or shoe’s desirable brand can give its owner an uplifting self-esteem. The same effect happens with watches and its owners.


Slapping on the latest Rolex sport model instantly brings anyone into the A-list crowd. Why shouldn’t they be? I mean Rolex watches are fantastic timepieces; they have great quality, a well-known name, and its expensive/exclusive (however you would want to call it).


But at the end of the day, its not only the expensive watch brands that provide real value but other practical watch brands as well that divulges the similar proposition of uniqueness.

This is where heritage comes into the picture. Heritage is defined as something transmitted by or acquired from a predecessor. In layman’s terms, a watch has heritage if it has already proven itself in terms of quality, longevity, and familiarity throughout the years of its existence.


Sure, Rolex, Audemars Piguet, and Patek Philippe have long-standing heritage as watch makers but so as well the other practical and affordable brands like Seiko, Hamilton, and Oris.

In a nutshell, a watch’s financial value is greatly dependent on what the market dictates. More expensive does not necessarily mean that it has more heritage. So, the key is not to only look at what is expensive and popular but also try to know and appreciate the name behind the watchmaker.

3. Wear in Confidence

The last point is equally as important as the first two when it comes to winning the watch game on a tight budget. After picking a watch for its purpose and choosing a brand for its watch heritage, you are left with actually enjoying the watch.


A lot of watch buyers make the mistake on taking home a watch but not actually giving it the proper wrist time as timepieces should be worn and not just sit on a desk or watch winder.


It is essential to build the bond between the owner and watch and let the love and appreciation develop. Others may feel weird talking about building a relationship between man and machine but that is very important before any watch aficionado can move into the next step and wear any timepiece in confidence.


Seiko's SPB077 is a great example of for a watch with a purpose, heritage, and belonging 

Don’t be afraid to flaunt your practical well-researched watch beside other popular and more expensive watch giants as this shows pure confidence and love for horology. Nothing is more impressive than an educated watch lover talking horology and mingling with like-minded individuals sharing the same passion or hobby.


The love for watches does not require someone to have an enormous bank account but it needs more people who appreciate the study and measurement of time translated into unique works of art in watches.

Hope this piece gives you a real sense of ownership and responsibility of practical and affordable watches. Let’s all win the watch game together and just celebrate watches for their purpose, heritage, and belonging.

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