A Guy's Guide to Watches

A Guy's Guide to Watches

10 things to consider when buying that first watch

There comes a time in every guy’s life where it feels like something is missing on his wrist. After watching dad wear a watch for as long as you can remember, you have come to the realization where it’s time to start wearing one yourself. Whether you’re inheriting your great-grandfather’s classic timepiece or investing in a brand-new sport watch that has more features than you can count (oh, and it’s waterproof to 1,000 feet and can tell you the surf in Hawaii), here are 10 things to keep in mind when buying a watch.

1. Sport vs. lifestyle

This decision might be the most important of all. Think about how often you’ll be wearing your watch. Where will you be? Who will be around? Please never buy an expensive sport watch and wear it to a job interview, you’ll look ridiculous. My recommendation is to find a watch that can be dressed up or down and looks right in 90 percent of scenarios. This goes a little back to the leather vs. metal debate. Also, consider the style of the features. Are the hours presented as numbers or numerals? Numbers are generally less formal. Avoid crazy fonts or styles, you’re better off being conservative.

2. Color of watch face

This choice is critical. For you first watch, you’re best off getting a watch with a white face. Why? Easy. White goes with everything, it’s clean. You can’t go wrong. If you’re straying from white, a light tan or khaki is a decent substitute and will give a more classic presentation. Only buy a black-face watch if the band is black. Navy is probably the only other color you should consider, but it is much more fashion-forward. Stick with white for now and buy that one a few years down the line.

3. Band type

The key here is versatility. Your options here will be leather, metal, grosgrain (think sturdy fabric), metal and rubber. First, leather is a great option, it’s classic and timeless and can still be contemporary with the right watch face. The oils from your skin will naturally wear in the leather as you wear it, which adds character to the watch. Metal watches are also immensely popular and communicate power. They’re flashy, so if that’s what you’re looking for, go for it. Grosgrain should only be worn during summer; save this for a future purchase. Stay away from rubber. It’s cheap and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a watch where it looks good.

4. Band color

Another critical choice, although this one is a little more open to your preferences. If you're going with leather, brown and black are your options in most cases. Brown goes with nearly everything, while a black watch is a great second watch to complement that brown one. Gold, silver, black and rose gold are the most common colors you’ll find if you're buying a metal watch. Stick with gold for a more traditional look. Silver is more contemporary and generally matches with a bit more than a gold watch will. See previous note for comments on a black watch. Then there’s rose gold. It takes a special person to pull this off – it’s usually a color saved for women’s watches. Stick with gold or silver for you first one and go from there.

5. Special features

Right in line with 1., beware of investing in a watch that has features you will never use. Do you really care about what time it is in Dubai or phases of the moon? Water-resistance is definitely something to consider. Generally, you won’t need to know much beyond the time itself, the day of the week and the day of the month.

6. Number of hands

This consideration is fairly minor. Essentially the watch will either have a second hand or it won’t. The difference is subtle. A watch with hands only telling the hour and minute are considered more formal than one which includes a second hand. Unless you’re looking for an extremely formal watch, don’t worry about this too much, although it does bear consideration.

7. Brand

This is one topic that actually bothers me a decent amount. Sperry’s are great shoes. Ralph Lauren makes nice oxford shirts, polos, etc. Would you go to Microsoft to buy a microwave? Stick with brands that are dedicated to watches, they will almost always be higher quality. Don’t be that guy that strictly wears Vineyard Vines or Ralph Lauren, from his clothes down to watch. Keep Citizen, Bulova, Seiko and Skagen in mind.

8. Price

Far and away the most subjective point on this list. If you have 10 g’s to blow on a watch, go for it, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Truthfully, you can probably find a watch to meet your needs for as low as $40-50 if that’s your budget. I would stick within the range of $125-400. Anything less and you’re sacrificing some quality, any higher and you’re probably buying more watch than you need. Don’t hesitate about spending $200-300 on a watch you wear day in and day out. If you treat it right, it will last for years. When you think about it that way, $20-30 a year for a watch that easily lasts 10+ years doesn’t sound so bad.

9. Do you

Unlike some other parts of fashion and style where the rules are a little more rigid, your watch is just that – yours. This list is meant to give a good starting point for things you should at least be aware of when buying that first piece of ice to put on your wrist. If you really love that lime-green sport watch, do you and buy it. The key here is confidence. Rock it and wear it proudly.

10. Where to buy your watch

Think you’re ready to buy one now? Macy’s has an excellent collection hitting almost everything on this list. Don’t be afraid to shop around and take your time. I honestly went through every single watch on Macy’s website (3,500+ options) before I narrowed it to around 25 before slowly eliminating other options to the point where I found the one (shown above). Brown leather, gold metal, white face. Citizen is known for its quality and it’s an eco-drive so I’ll never need to replace the battery. It doesn’t tell me anything more than I need it to, and I can dress it up or down. Also check out Fossil, Kohl’s and brand-specific websites to check out your options.

PS: If you have an iPhone and like the idea of an Apple watch, do it. It screams class but might be a little too tech-oriented for some.

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How Do You Show Love When You Can't Understand?

In light of the Parkland High School shooting

Isn’t it amazing that when trauma causes our world to stop, the earth continues to spin? When tragedy causes our time to pause, clocks are still ticking. The sun still rises and sets, people still make their mundane commutes to work and school, as if nothing has happened. I guess maybe if there is a big enough tragedy there will be posts on Facebook. But what is that really doing? Who does it help?

Yes, there is joy and life and goodness in the world still, but sometimes it feels non-existent. How do you tell a parent who just lost their child that life is still good? That the sky is still blue? How do you reconcile the disparity between the darkness of pain and the goodness of God? How do we show that God is love? How do we treat each other with that love? How do we care for each other when there is so much pain and anger and resentment? Especially when we use our fingers to point at each other, instead of connecting with each other.

Maybe the one who is wrong is not the others we point at, but the world we live in. You see, our world is fallen, our world is broken, and it is never going to be perfect. We don’t live in the Garden of Eden anymore. We feel pain and suffering and don’t know why. We don’t know how a good, caring God could let this happen. We don’t even comprehend the reality of our brokenness. We go through life as if we will never experience pain because we are “good” people. There are no good people, there are just people. So when we see suffering and tweet “#PrayingFor[insert location here]” are we actually praying? Are we lifting up these families, these people, these souls to the Lord? Are we thinking of someone outside of our own incredibly minute lives? Are we praying for the twisted, broken, darkened hearts of the people who cause such destruction?

Instead of saying that we are over-politicizing events, instead of saying that we are over-spiritualizing events, how about we do something? Our churches and our government need to take action. Our churches need to be praying for those in leadership of our country. Our churches need to be giving to those who are hurting. We do not need to have all of the answers. Our government needs to stop dividing between Left and Right and start uniting as humans.

Cover Image Credit: Wilfredo Lee

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To The Man Who Knew My Walls Were Made Of Concrete But Knocked Them Down Anyway, Thank You

My walls were cement and you took them down with a single blow.

Many might not realize this, but "finding yourself' is so vague. As we grow older, we change, things happen, we meet new people and experience life in a whole different way than we did 5 years ago. Finding yourself often means learning who you are: what you like, what you dislike and everything that makes you, you. It's a difficult task to achieve. To accept and love every part of who you are isn't easy. But while it might be tough, it is the most enlightening experience.

Everyone has their own way of finding themselves. Many surround themselves with family and friends, others feel they need to go on a solo journey for a while. Everybody is different. I had thought many times that I had found myself, only to reveal that I hadn't quite hit that mark in my life yet.

Then I met you.

This may sound cheesy, but it's true. Now don't get hot-headed over there, you're not the only one who took part in this discovery, but you play a very significant role.

Accepting who you are often involves looking at past events. Which is often why it can take so long for many to find themselves. We often are hiding from our past, even more than we hide from the possibilities of our future. I was struggling with this for so many years. I had moments where I had come to ease with these past events, but I never fully accepted that they were apart of who I was. I was scared to, I thought that nobody would be able to accept me for both who I am today and who I once was before.

You came along like the wind. I wasn't expecting it. The walls I had built were made of concrete, very few have been able to make their way through those locked doors. Yet, you did it so effortlessly. You never pushed, you never forced anything out of me or guilt tripped me into telling you anything. The words overflowed out of my mouth like word vomit, all at once. Before I knew it tears were streaming down my face and I realized I did it. I said everything I had been needing to say. About what had happened, how I felt. I said everything that I needed to, to a person who wasn't there to experience any of it with me.

That was what I needed.

With arms wide open you not only accepted that past, but embraced it. You showed me that, it was who I am. I finally understand what my mother has been telling me for so many years (thanks mom)! You had me bring back all of the parts of myself. The parts I was scared of, the parts that I didn't generally like, but most importantly, you brought back the parts of myself that I once loved so much.

I can know live a life without fear of judgment. The term, "if you don't love me at my worst, you don't deserve me at my best" was brought to a whole other level. If someone can't appreciate all of me, they don't deserve any of me.

Thank you, for reminding me of who I once was. Like I said, you didn't do all of it. My family and friends have been here for the journey for the long run. Keeping me going with every day that I had wanted to quit. You, you gave me that extra little push I needed to cross the finish line.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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