The appeal of a luxury brand can be very strong. After all, it’s a status symbol, and owning a luxury item can give you something in common with the biggest stars and celebrities. But while a lot of luxury brands do go above and beyond to differentiate the quality of their products from what’s available to the masses, many are giving you the same quality products you could get from lesser brands with nothing more than a stamp or logo added. With more people looking to get the best bang for their buck these days, this just doesn’t cut it anymore.
There are a number of watch brands available today that could potentially cost you thousands of dollars to own. The question is whether you even need them. The VARIO team spoke to a few watch lovers who have stuck quite faithfully to fairly-priced watches, and here are seven reasons they’ve given for putting down the luxury brand and going for something more affordable.
Photo by ABLOGTOWATCH
You get more for less.
It kind of goes without saying, but when you give good mid-range and lower-priced watches a try, you’ll find that your dollar stretches a lot further. Even some of the more ‘inexpensive’ luxury watches can cost upwards of 3,000 or 5,000 USD, and if you know where to look, you could be getting anywhere upwards of half a dozen excellently crafted watches at those prices. One great place to scout smaller brands is crowdfunding websites, and while you may have to do a bit of research to ensure the creators are legitimate, here you can find new ventures providing gorgeous watches at a steal.
Microbrands are also heavily reviewed on smaller watch blogs, which are another great resource for getting some reviews on the quality of lower-priced watches to see if they might be for you. There are a lot of high-quality small businesses making amazing watches with modern and even classic vintage designs at a price point that won’t hurt your pocket and still provide a wonderful piece you’ll love showing off. Even better, you’re less likely to see someone else wearing it!
Who doesn’t love getting a prompt response when they contact customer support? A big selling point for trying smaller watch brands is that smaller companies tend to be more direct and hands-on when speaking to customers. They’re producing a lower volume of watches, often limited edition, and there are fewer people to go through when you have a query, a problem with your delivery, or even a short message you want to send to the owner. That accessibility isn’t something you tend to get with luxury watch brands, especially since many of them have been around for more than a hundred years at this point. This isn’t to say that there aren’t luxury brands with good customer service – but the non-luxury brands aren’t slacking off with their customer engagement either.
Some are not very versatile.
The goal of a luxury brand watch often is to be seen and talked about, and the best way to do this is by making their timepieces one of the first accessories that people will notice when they look at your outfit. As a result, many of the designs that luxury watch brands take on are quite flashy, and catch the eye before anything else you’re wearing ever does. This is great sometimes, but not all the time. In fact, in the day to day, that kind of flash and over-the-top spectacle can get to be too much.
You may find yourself simply choosing a much more versatile watch to wear because it isn't practical to wear a watch that's worth several thousand dollars to the office or with a fairly casual outfit. While luxury brand watches are great for people who regularly entertain, but the average person isn't always going to feel like their watch matches their outfit. And what’s the point of spending so much on something you hardly ever get to wear and enjoy?
Photo by ABLOGTOWATCH
It can put you on edge.
It can be difficult to want to wear a watch that is worth thousands of dollars unless you can readily replace it. Some of the top luxury brand watches are released in very limited versions and they can be quite difficult to repair. Knowing that your watch is basically your irreplaceable and extremely high valued can sometimes put you on edge when you want to wear it. If the designer brand is readily shown, it can also make you a target for thieves and robbers. You never know if a pickpocket or someone on the street may see your watch and instantly connect the brand name with something that they could resell for an extensive amount of money. Sometimes a luxury watch could actually put you in danger for this reason. Some people choose to admire their pieces at home instead, and again, for the everyday individual, it’s not very practical to buy something expensive just to look at it and keep it locked away.
The name doesn't necessarily buy features.
Luxury watches often come with the exact same features that a traditional brand name watch can deliver. The only difference that often comes with luxury watch brand is the quality of materials and craftsmanship that goes into the construction. Some luxury watch brands charge exclusively for their brand-name or for the number of diamonds and rare stones placed into each watch that they produce. While these symbols are always nice for prestige, a luxury watch may only come with half of the features compared with a watch from a traditional watchmaker.
Luxury doesn't always buy reliability.
Luxury watch brands do often come with extensive warranties but this doesn't always buy reliability. If a luxury watch does break down within the warranty period and needs repairs, there's a good chance that it will need to be sent back to the brand of a specialized jeweler. You likely wouldn't dream of having your luxury watch fixed at a local jewelry shop, but a watch that you purchased over the counter a local watch store could be easily fixed with readily available parts. A luxury watch could take months and cost a bomb to service whereas a local branded watch can run just as reliably and with parts that you could easily source for repair. For some reputable watch brands, there is also just as much of a chance that they could be passed down through generations.
Photo by @mrs_beworld
It's far less distracting to get a simple watch.
A luxury watch can be very distracting to the eye; too bright and flashy especially when you want to wear other pieces as well. A fairly simple watch can be far less distracting in your body movement and when you are speaking to others. You might find people constantly focused on your watch or asking to see it if you are wearing something that is unique and extremely expensive.
In short, you don’t need a luxury watch to wear your own personality. Understanding more about your watch, appreciating its history and design, and knowing it’s something you like regardless of its brand recognition makes the watch collecting hobby much more enjoyable.
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