The question I despise the most as a watch editor is “which watch should I buy?” Whether I am asked by a close friend or an utter stranger, my answer is likely to bring no semblance of satisfaction for either party. You see, nobody is ever going to be able to tell you what you need, and buying your first timepiece is as personal and individual an endeavour as can be. The simple truth is, buying yourself a watch takes time and patience – ultimately, the onus is on the individual to wade through the deluge of information out there. The process is often stressful, with so many products, and so many fads and trends to cloud your judgment. The key factor to remember is that this is a purchase for yourself and nobody else. Inside Chanel’s Scotland-inspired finale for Paris Fashion Week 2022 It is vital to identify your personal style, needs and daily lifestyle. I say “daily” because we need to treat a watch as an everyday addition to our lives. I stand firmly against anything that spends more time tucked away in a box than it does on your wrist. There is space for investing and accumulating heirlooms, of course, but let’s concentrate on daily wear for the most part. Here are some factors to consider if you’re looking to make your first purchase: 1) Aesthetics Instead of taking heed of current trends or even unsolicited opinions, start with what catches your eye. For a watch to pique my interest, it absolutely needs to stand out in some way: I search for designs that are distinctive yet approachable. It has to suit your style, say something about you and – as basic as it sounds – fundamentally needs to look good on you. STYLE Edit: Chanel celebrates Bijoux de Diamants with the Allure Céleste 2) Lifestyle suitability The next step would be to evaluate your lifestyle, as these characteristics will have a serious influence on what watch will suit you. Who are you and how do you live? Something as simple as strap material can change the entire look and feel of a watch, while affording you greater scope in your day-to-day life. Would you prefer something more delicate, or robust enough to stand up to daily trauma? Do you favour practicality over romance? For a piece that bridges the gap between playful and serious, Chanel’s iconic J12 line-up introduced its 33mm iteration this year, powered by a Chanel-exclusive self-winding movement that is a bona fide master class in miniaturisation. Having acquired a 20 per cent stake in a Swiss manufacturer of automatic movements named Kenissi in 2019, it is clear Chanel is taking its horological ventures more seriously as time wears on – definitely something to keep an eye on. Chanel unveils the spring/summer 2022 couture show by Virginie Viard 3) Size and shapes matter You should also get out there and try on various watch sizes at boutiques, or ask to try on your friends’ watches. What size dial or case shape suits your wrist dimensions? If there is a manufacturer you are particularly drawn to, do they make a real statement piece? For example, if the strong lines of the Cartier Tank speak to you, perhaps consider the Panthère or Santos instead, for a more individual take. 4 of the most luxurious perfumes ever from Chanel, LV and Henry Jacques 4) Complications What complications in addition to your basic hour, minute and second indicators might be of use? A chronometer would be helpful for sporty folk, a generous waterproof rating would take you to new depths when diving, or a second time zone will see you staying on top of your overseas office hours. 5) Function Is this a watch for the moment, for passing on to the next generation later, or for resale? I would recommend you not focus on the latter too much for your first purchase but it’s still a valid topic. One of the most classic, unisex watches of our time is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, or for a more subtle but equally celebrated unisex design, the Patek Philippe Nautilus – if you’re lucky enough to be able to acquire one. Why do Gen Z and millennials love second-hand luxury watches? 6) Budget In what may seem an unorthodox move, I prefer to leave budget to last. The watch market is vast: it’s essential to identify what you want out of a timepiece instead of being painted into a corner by a static number from the offset. With thousands of model differentiations and a strong resale market, there is ample space to adapt. Do your due diligence with price comparisons and never be afraid to negotiate. Finally, ladies have the best of all worlds when it comes to selecting a timepiece – whether you have a penchant for the dainty and dazzling, a more masculine aesthetic, or favour an inheritance piece with more gravitas, the sky’s the limit. Want more stories like this? Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .