Buying watches for men

We take a closer look at traditional benchmark of style and status

Aigner, Dhs2,250
Time Art, 
Dalma Mall 
(02 558 6140)
Aigner, Dhs2,250 Time Art, Dalma Mall (02 558 6140)
Zenith, Dhs34,200 Rivoli Prestige, Abu Dhabi Mall (02 645 9640)
Zenith, Dhs34,200 Rivoli Prestige, Abu Dhabi Mall (02 645 9640)
Montegrappa, Dhs11,370 Paris Gallery, Marina Mall (02 681 6662)
Montegrappa, Dhs11,370 Paris Gallery, Marina Mall (02 681 6662)

The face of style and status, your watch says a lot about who you are. Here’s our lowdown on timepieces for men.

As far as men’s style is concerned, there are few accessories that are more important than the watch. A symbol of taste, personality and status, the watch says so much in such a small package. So, when choosing a timepiece, there are several considerations to take into account, such as the price, style, make, model and material.

It’s the job of Nilish Chadha, vice president of the watch and jewellery company Philip Stein, to think about these details. He says, ‘A good place to start when looking for a new watch would be the chronograph, which refers to the part of the watch that displays the time. There are two types: analogue and digital.’

Nilish explains that the advantage of digital watches is that they are generally more resistant to damage because they contain fewer moving parts, whereas the appeal of analogue watches is mainly aesthetic.

The next element to consider is movement, which Nilish compares to the engine of a car. This is the mechanism which makes a watch function, powering all of its components. Nilish describes the three main kinds of movements. ‘First, there are mechanical movements, which require you to wind the watch manually in order to keep the parts moving,’ he explains. ‘Then there are quartz movements – considered the most accurate – which do not require any winding and run with a battery. Finally, there are automatic movements, which are powered through the movement of your arm.’

The final important feature in the composition of a watch is the crystal, which is the transparent cover that protects the watch face. The three types of crystals are plastic, mineral and synthetic sapphire. Plastic is usually used on digital watches and is shatter-resistant but easily scratched. Mineral crystals on the other hand, which are made out of heat-treated glass, resist scratches and shattering but are harder to clean than plastic. Synthetic sapphire crystals are the strongest, but they’re also the most expensive.

Nilish observes that in recent years, watch trends have seen the face of the watch getting larger with dials exceeding 40mm in diameter. He also reports that skeleton watches, where all of the moving parts are visible through the front or back of the watch, are increasingly popular.

Nilish believes that a man should own three watches: one for work and daily activities, a dressier watch for the evening and an informal watch that can take a physical beating – for the outdoors and working out. He continues, ‘The watch you wear can often portray your personality. For example, if I saw a man wearing a sporty watch with a rubber band, I would assume he engages in athletic activities or some kind of sport.’

If you’re starting a watch collection or don’t want to make too much of an investment, Nilish says there are many options in the Dhs5,000 range. Simply knowing the different parts of the watch will help shoppers make a wise decision. Nilish, however, a seasoned watch enthusiast and professional, admits that his favourite timepiece is a bit of a step up from starter watches. He lovingly describes the Kudoke by Philip Stein – his personal darling – saying, ‘Only 25 of them exist in the world. The watch mechanism is a skeleton and engraved by Stefan Kudoke, who is regarded as a master watch maker.’

Of course, the care that goes into purchasing the right watch shouldn’t stop there. Nilish advises that watch owners should clean their timepieces on a weekly basis, using a lint-free cloth. Furthermore, he suggests having watches serviced regularly so they run smoothly. He says, ‘Mechanical movements should be serviced every three to five years and quartz every four to six years. But the best Swiss-made watches do not require servicing for up to 25 years.’
Philip Stein watches are available at various Rivoli retailers across Abu Dhabi, including Abu Dhabi Mall (02 645 6220).

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