There are so many good reasons to consider your options carefully when shopping for a watch. For one thing, you’ll be wearing it often—possibly even every day for years to come. For another thing, it’s likely to be an investment piece—the highest quality watches don’t come cheaply. Finally, like it or not, your watch says a lot about you. For others, it’s subtle a clue to your personality and style. All of this said, there are a LOT of watches out there, so we put together this quick guide to help you find the right one for you.
First up, the guys:
The fashion guy. If you’re shopping for a man who loves clothes, you can go one of two routes. You can choose a luxury watch from a classic brand like Rolex, Cartier, Hublot, Omega, etc. New or vintage, these are always fabulous. Or you can give him an accessorized watch—which would allow you to tease the gift out a bit. Have him unwrap a few accent bracelets before he gets to the timepiece itself—so fun for a fashionable guy.
The working guy. Know a guy who’s always on-the-go, a mover and a shaker, cool and smart? He needs a ‘bells-and-whistles’ watch—something that looks busy and impressive. It should be part sporty, part luxe—so he can wear it with a suit or anything biz-casual. Look for styles with dates, timers, second time zones—all the extras.
The t-shirt guy. If the man in question lives in t-shirts, jeans, sneakers—you’ll want to keep it simple. First, if he’s truly a no-frills kind of guy, consider whether a watch is the right gift. Maybe he’s happy checking the time on his phone. If he’s streamlined but still into designer t-shirts and premium jeans, go a step further by giving him a stylish starter watch like a classic black Casio.
The chambray shirt or St. James guy. Shopping for someone who puts a little more into what they wear everyday but still keeps it casual? For this guy, there are two roads you can take. You can do a digital watch; look for one that’s a little more stylized than a basic Casio, maybe in silver or a fun color. Or, go for a chunky sporty watch with a nylon strap—just slightly dressier and preppier than the digital option.
The blazer guy. If blazers are more his game, you’ll need a watch that’s dressier yet. Daniel Wellingtons are a favorite among young, put-together types who look dapper 24/7. Yep, even in their pajamas. DW watches are totally minimalist and the faces are perfectly round, which gives them an elegant, timeless look—without the investment of a vintage timepiece.
Now to the ladies:
The minimalist girl. This girl—if she’s a true minimalist—might not want a watch. But if she’s more like someone who loves a sleek look—someone who dresses in bold strokes, without too many prints or accessories or over-the-top pieces—a Daniel Wellington watch might be perfect for her, too. Refined but not girlie, DWs are super easy to wear without cluttering up her look.
The eclectic girl. On the other hand, if she’s all about statement pieces you’ll have to get a little more creative. Just as we recommended for ‘the fashion guy,’ you could put together a little suite of accessories including a watch. The more creative, you get, the better. Think: digital watch, leather wrap, and beaded cuff, all tied together by a cool color.
The career girl. Maybe she’s a go-getter, on top of her game, with no-nonsense style? If so, her expectations are bound to be high, so don’t disappoint! Find a luxury watch, but make an original choice on the style itself. Go for bold and unexpected. Consider something chunky, sporty, and unmistakably luxe—a power watch that’ll work both on and off duty.
The boho girl. This girl loves to layer her accessories, so you’ll want to give her a watch that’ll mix well with the rest of her jewelry. If she’s a true free spirit, she probably doesn’t mind mixing her metals. But she probably favors gold, and texture is likely important to her, too—so a watch with leather straps (maybe even crocodile embossed!), gold hardware, and a little character is a really good bet.
The fashion girl with an Alexander Wang or Phillip Lim bag. If she accessorizes in this vein, try a watch by Nixon or Caravelle. These are brands with a range of designs that all have a cool factor in common. Don’t even try to give the fashion fiend anything less.
The fashion girl with a Chanel, Celine, or Vuitton bag. If she accessorizes more in this vein, she means business. Invest in an Hermes, Cartier, or Rolex watch. All three are eternally chic and impossible to top.