Affordable Timepieces for College Students?
Aug 23, 2023
If you have been lucky enough to be I the watch community for over 30 years. I get asked lots of questions about watches. This was a quick question and answer Huff Post
The best affordable timepieces for college students?
Thank you for your email, please see below. I will try to answer your questions in broader terms. Since affordability is such a broad term and means different to different people. I would assume you are talking about the $500 to $2,500 range.
1.) What are the biggest hallmarks of a quality timepiece and why are watches special items to have, even though we have digital clocks in the palms of our hands?
In a lateral term one of the main hallmarks is “The Geneva Seal” which is for more expensive watches. “The Poinçon de Genève is a certificate awarded to timepieces with remarkable finishes and decorative details and provides the connoisseur with proof of the authenticity and horological expertise of Geneva, handed down from generation to generation.” For more information visit Poinçon de Genève | Horological excellence since 1886 (poincondegeneve.ch)
These watches are usually priced $30,000 or more and might not be relevant in your article. In other terms it is more matter of brand heritage, and lineage. For example, Omega has been making fine watches for over 100 years.
If you are looking for a quality timepiece, I would do some research. I would avoid any fashion brands, like Armani, Boss, Guess, Michael Kors, etc. I recommend finding a dealer that you can build a relationship with and have them guild you.
As someone who has been in the watch business for over 25 years, and one of the co-founders of SoCal watch collector community, I deal with new collectors and experienced collectors. I see almost every type of watch, and that is one of the reasons that I try to help young collectors start their collections on the right foundation and with flexibility. That is why we are the one of the few vintage watch dealers that offer watches for new collectors, most don’t offer this because there is no money in it.
Fine watches can be associated with the watch movement, like Automatic watches or manual winding watches (mechanical watches). That does not mean you can’t find a good watch with quartz movement. Please check our other blog posts.
2.) What specific watch brands or models to college students that don't have a large budget? Why are these good options?
There are way too many brands to list for buying or to avoid. A Brand along should not be a main factor in selecting watches. My philosophy in watch collecting is to always buy a watch that puts a smile on your face. It should be what you like and enjoy wearing just like you would with jewelry. But it should not be based on impulse or price alone. Since with current trends you can buy one watch and change the straps to different colors and types and have different looks.
Few of the that brands that you should avoid are Invicta watches, watches that copy everyone else without identity (most Chinese made watches). (but no vintage Invicta’s pre 1980’s).
I think first you have to understand what type of watch you are looking for: daily wear, Dress Watch, Diving Watch, Chronograph Watch, etc. Consider what activities you will be doing with it?
I think a Casio G-Shock is one of most versatile watches out there and would suit a college student. Seiko 5, Seiko Turtle, and most Seiko’s. Tissot is of the better entry level Swiss watches, there PRX model just released which has a classic and modern look, I know many collectors in our group buying the Tissot PRX.
The Swatch Moons Watch Collection is one of my favorites. This watch was created in collaboration with Omega moons watches. Currently comes in 9 Colors, it is still difficult to purchase and must be purchased from a Swatch store; but supply is becoming more accessible.
Other entry level brands and versatile Omega, Longines, Doxa, Hamilton (my favorite is the Chrono-Matic), Oris, Tudor (Owned by Rolex), Heuer (love the racing heritage), Vintage Breitling, Zodiac (vintage and neo-vintage Zodiac’s are one of my favorites, love the Sea Dragon Collection) and all great watches. Currently we have lots of Micro Brands coming out with super watches for great prices.
If you are looking to buy vintage, I am your guy. I do sell all luxury watches, but vintage is my jam. I have so many watches that don’t hit the site, and work with lots of entry level collectors. Understanding what you are looking for is very important, as stated before do your research, understand your watch sizes. Some like to buy a birth year watch, some like to buy a watch similar to what was worn by their dad or grandfather. My dad and grandfather were both Omega guys. I love my vintage Omega’s, see our collection of omega and other well priced watches.
If you are looking for rarity and limit edition watch. Synchron Poseidon is one of my favorites.
3.) Is there anything else that you would like to add to this topic?
I have written many articles about the matter of collecting.
Check my blog section. Here are few related to this topic.
This is one of the first bit of information I provide to customers:
If you have noticed, we do not have the best offer in our listing. Since we sell watches with low mark ups and list at best price. We do not believe in playing the discount game. We also spend time and money to Certify our watches and sell our watch with confidence. Check out our Certified Per-Own CPO information page.
Please note when buying a vintage watch or luxury watch:
- You buy the dealer & buy with confidence. We have over 25 years in business, with over 10,000 transactions.
- Watch condition: functionality, movement, Serviced Cost for chronograph is $900 & Regular watch is $500, CPO, details, and etc.
- Buy the watch you really enjoy.
- Price is the last thing; I understand everyone wants a good deal. That is why we offer different purchase offers.
We also have a Vintage Watch Guild.
I hope you enjoy all the blogs we have, for the brief history of vintage diving watches Click Here!