WORDS BY SOPHIE HENDERSON
Much like the introduction to a novel, your first watch is there to set the scene. It’s a reliable companion on your wrist, reflecting both who you are and what you’re interested in. It tells a story that’s worth investing in, and it’s an heirloom to be enjoyed in the future.
However, the best starter watches don’t determine the whole story. Yes, they might initiate your budding collection of haute horology, but your style preferences are likely to change over time. You could choose a diving watch or an aviator watch; an elevated smartwatch or a vintage pre-owned style.
We spoke to João De Brito E Faro, Watches Supply Manager at FARFETCH, about all things fine watches. Read our guide on how to start your watch collection and choose a visually striking timepiece that’s just right for you.
Things to consider when starting a watch collection
“Starting your watch collection might seem like a difficult task, but it all starts with making sure you are buying from a reputable seller. On FARFETCH, we present timepieces from the most curated boutiques around the world.”
From gem-set pieces to pre-owned Rolex, every watch enthusiast will choose a theme, intentionally or not. A watch collection built around a theme makes it possible to collect across your favourite brands while still gathering deep knowledge. Essentially, it’s worth nailing your general niche.
Hone in on your personal passions and determine your priorities when it comes to your first luxury watch. Within a single model you can pick between different time periods and materials, but you can’t go wrong with a true icon that’s been around for decades.
What are the best entry-level luxury watches?
The first watch to be worn on the moon, OMEGA is a brand synonymous with innovation, excellence and a pioneering spirit. First watch? We’d go with the OMEGA Speedmaster. One of the most iconic chronographs on Earth, the Speedmaster remains a key figure in the world of watchmaking.
Other options include the De Ville and Seamaster. According to João, “The first OMEGA Seamaster was modelled after the waterproof wristwatches that were made for the British military during World War II. Important innovations assure its capabilities as a diving watch. If you are looking for something with a substantial historical value, the Seamaster is also a very interesting choice.”
The Swiss-made label has been designing iconic horological milestones since 1882, and today TAG Heuer continues to be linked with Formula 1 drivers, actors and more.
The TAG Heuer Monaco is an iconic choice, synonymous with the Hollywood film star Steve McQueen and his 1971 film ‘Le Mans’. “McQueen was TAG’s first brand ambassador, paving the way for watch brands to join forces with a Formula 1 team. I would say it is a timeless timepiece that easily stands out from the crowd.”
Other key styles include the Aquaracer collection, first unveiled in 1982. Each Aquaracer style must undergo a rigorous series of tests, and it’s ideal for those looking for a hardier watch.
Grand Seiko is the pinnacle of the Japanese art form of horology. A passion for precision, mastery in materials and craftsmanship has led to its truly interesting journey.
“In Japan, the word ‘Takumi’ refers to a craftsperson who is unrivalled in their particular field of expertise. It is applied to artisans who have been honing their senses and level of skill over a period of at least 25 years, and it’s Grand Seiko’s main philosophy. Truly interesting timepieces with carefully crafted movements, they are an intriguing choice for anyone starting a watch collection.”
For a starter watch, both the Spring Drive and Elegance Kollektion embrace the brand’s minimalist vision with attention to detail.
Offering exceptional quality and precision, Swiss watchmaker Breitling is best known for its large chronographs like the Navitimer or Chronomat. With its circular slide rule on the bezel, the brand is closely associated with aviation.
“Breitling entered a whole new chapter with its Superocean collection, offering complete functionality at 200m below sea level. If you are looking for an alternative to the more mainstream brands for dive watches, the Superocean Heritage would be a perfect choice.”
A sister brand to Rolex, TUDOR has truly carved out its own place in the market to establish a collector’s niche. A competitively priced option, the Geneva-based brand specialises in classic, sport, diving and heritage-inspired watches.
“TUDOR has done some incredible work positioning itself as a fine watch brand. Some of my favourite timepieces, the Black Bay collection combines the nostalgia of vintage watches with the technical innovations of today.”