NOW you’re a father there’s no avoiding it… you’re a grown-up.
There was a time when you could carry off an old tee-shirt and a digital watch.
But a Champion Dad need to rock a slightly more mature, imposing style these days.
This doesn’t mean ditch the shorts and flip-flops… they still have their place.
But a fine watch will show people you’re serious whatever you’re wearing.
Here’s our simple guide to buying a proper mechanical timepiece.
1 WHY DO I NEED A MECHANICAL WATCH?
Strictly speaking, nobody needs a mechanical watch. But in a room full of men, it’s a marker. There is a lot of nonsense spoken about watches, but here’s the main thing: a mechanical watch is a piece of precision machinery on your wrist.
It’s literally a tiny piece of highly-engineered clockwork running silently on your arm. It needs attention. It may need maintenance. And there’s something about that which tells you something about the caliber of man who wears one.
2 YOU DO NOT NEED TO SPEND A FORTUNE
Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t all about having the most expensive watch out there.
Sure, it’d be nice to own a Rolex or an Omega (and we’ll get to that) but here are two watches you can definitely afford and they’re great:
SEIKO SKX-007 or SKX-009
These watches are dive classics and you can buy them on eBay, brand new for well under $300. It’s the watch in the main picture above. Looks smooth, right? They are well-made and even people with very expensive watch collections buy them to have something to wear to the beach or to do manual work. And we aren’t being paid to say this.
The 007 is our pick – black face.
But the “Pepsi design” 009 is cool too – a design you’d remember adults wearing when we were young. Here is a great link discussing the awesome heritage of the 007 on the Hodinkee site. Grand Seiko make dive watched that cost 5000 dollars or ore that don’t look better than this affordable wristwatch.
Of course, there are others, but the Seiko is very famous.
The Hamilton Khaki Field Officer hand-wound is very cool and true to the originals for a few hundred dollars. There’s a Bell and Ross version of this baby for thousands but this is better.
3 Think second-hand for that second hand.
Many luxury watches have a classic design that do not change.
Watches are jewellery for men.
They’re not like cars, a new one will not do more for you than a second-hand watch, although there can be the odd servicing issue. But if you purchase from a reputable watch dealer you should be fine. And if you’re splurging it will save you bug bucks.
4 Splurge with caution
There is so much mumbo-jumbo and utter nonsense in the watch world.
Spend a little more if you like, but don’t go overboard. Our guide is this: A watch should NEVER be worth more than 10-percent of the price of your car. If it does, then you’re just kidding yourself. Seriously, there are people out there with $8000 cars and $5000 watches and this makes no sense.
With that in mind, you might one day find yourself in the $3000 to $10000 range, so here are two watches we love:
1 Omega Speedmaster Moon Watch
To us, the daddy of them all. The watch they wore on the moon. Clooney wears one. It is the first and last word in mechanical watches, without going bonkers and buying a Hublot or even crazier. As of 2017 they are getting up around $US7500. But you can pick an older one up in good condition for $3900. A great watch, but it makes the Seiko look good value, doesn’t it? You can read more about it here. The first watch on the lunar surface.
2 Rolex Submariner
Already there are some watch experts yelling at their computers. What a boring choice, they’ll say. What about the Date-Just? But to us this is simply a classic and always will be. The archetype for the dive watch. Sure, it’s a boring doctor’s watch, but that’s why it’s brilliant. Simple, understated and in the big boy’s game while pretending not to compete. Expect to pay about $US10,000 for the steel 40mm oyster. To many, this is a soulless watch, but to us it is a champion piece of kit that we’d love to own.
Did we miss any champion watches? Let us know your opinion below.