By Worn And Wound|June 17th, 2013||

If you are out of college, you probably need a watch—one that you didn’t get as a graduation present or find on the floor after a concert. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money and it doesn’t have to do anything complicated. It just has to work. And work for you. Here’s how to begin your journey.

Shopping for your first piece can be a daunting experience. You can pay a little for a great watch or a lot for a crappy watch and vice versa. Since watches are (falsely) marketing as status symbols rather than remarkably engineered, stylish machines, you get a lot of BS thrown your way.


Here’s some things we found useful to ask yourself before you start shopping around. First, what kind of piece are you looking for and how do you plan to use it? Do you need a smart and conservative watch to wear around the office like the Christopher Ward C5 (pictured above)? Maybe you need a watch that can take a bump or two and get wet like a Sinn 556.

Having an idea of how and where it will be worn will help you narrow down the options and not end up with a watch that spends more time in a sock drawer than on your wrist.

So, you’re in the store and you found a watch that speaks to you, the next thing to ask is if the watch is mechanical or quartz. A quick way to tell is if the second hand ticks once per second or has a smooth sweep. If it’s smooth, then it’s a mechanical watch, which is to say a watch that is powered by winding a spring, not batteries. Many watches also have display case backs, so you can actually see the movement inside.

If you are shopping online, just check the movement type. While there are lots of great looking quartz watches out there, Jacques has at least one mechanical in his collection. Generally speaking, quartz watches should cost less than mechanical, though there are always exceptions to the rule.


Other important considerations are the general build quality (does it feel solid?), how the strap attaches (if it has a weird cutout shape, you won’t be able to swap straps easily) and the general size. A watch might be great looking, but if it’s too big or too small, it’s not going to make sense. If you have a small wrist try not to go above 42mm wide, if you have a big wrist anything under 40mm might look off. The Hamilton Intra-Matic 38mm is a perfect watch for a small wrist, while a Steinhart Nav-B Uhr B-Type 44 is best for the larger folk.


Lastly, how many ducats do want to shell out? Good brands/models for the entry level dude are Seiko 5, Orient, Techné, Christopher Ward and Steinhart.

Dig around, see what looks cool, hit me up (zach at worn and wound dot com)  if you need more info or wanna rap.

Next time we’ll tackle sport and casual watches.