When taking the plunge and purchasing your first luxury Swiss watch, the rule of thumb is this: not all that glitters is gold. Here Lucerne Luxe’s Emerson Yao fleshes out this concept with seven important tips that every new buyer should consider.

1. Determine your budget and what you can get for it

The price range is vast when it comes to luxury watches. For two pieces that could almost be twins, you could go from a hundred thousand pesos to as high as millions.

This difference lies in the fact that, naturally, it’s not just about what a watch looks like. You must also know what complications and functions are available in the market. You can get a simple time only, time with date, GMT chronograph, perpetual calendar, and so on and so forth. For those twin watches, the very basic one and the most complicated version could be millions apart.

2. Know which complications suit your lifestyle

Keeping the first tip in mind, it’s now important to ensure that your watch will give you what you need.  If you’re an architect or an engineer who’s always on the field, your needs will be different from that of a company CEO who spends his days with high profile clients (for whom he might want to look the part with a sleek Patek Philippe). Similarly, if you’re into a time-bound sport like car racing, you might want to look into a chronograph.

3. Understand the movement

For mechanical watches, there are different kinds of movement: in-house, outsourced, and even innovative movements that use the likes of silicon hairsprings. The more special the movement is, the more expensive and exclusive it is. Note that this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s more robust—it just ensures that it’s special and unique. Decide what you want and why you want it, and then proceed.

4. Always compare models before deciding

Now that you have a better technical grasp of what you’re looking for, consider your budget and look into both what fits just right and what’s a little bit out of your price range. If you’re satisfied with what’s within your margins, that’s well and good. But shelling out just a little bit more might buy you a much nicer and more complex piece that, in the long run, will also turn out to be the better investment.

5. Never impulse buy

Jumping off from the previous tip, try a watch on a few times and research on the brand and the specific model. Visiting the store several times doesn’t hurt either. A luxury Swiss watch is a lifetime investment, so give it some good thought.

6. If undecided, always pick the most iconic model in the collection

An iconic model, by definition, is a timeless piece. It’s the model that is the pillar of a brand, so it’s nearly impossible to go wrong with it. One example is the Submariners of the Rolex, or Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak.

7. The story behind a watch brand creates an emotional link between the watch and its buyer. Always look for that connection.

If you’re looking to spend at least half a million pesos on an item, it goes without saying that you’ll probably need to like it. But more than that, you need the emotional link that will maintain the watch’s importance to you through the years.

This isn’t just about aesthetics, but about the brand and the story behind it. Is it an iconic pilot’s watch, is it the watch being worn by basketball stars, is it the brand that took the first watch to the moon? If the story matters to you, it would be understandable if that alone was your deciding factor.

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Lucerne Luxe has boutiques in Glorietta 4 and Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City, and Ayala Center Cebu.

Interview by Arianna Lim

Illustration by Ross Du

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