Four things to think about when shopping for a watch

What does your watch say about you? Obviously, a watch tells the time. But the style, price or type of timepiece, or even which arm it’s worn on give insight into your personality?
If you sport a watch that costs as much as a car, you’ve done well for yourself and you like to broadcast it. Choosing good watches under $500 can say that, too, but be careful not to cross the line from flashy to downright gaudy. You don’t want your watch to tell everyone you have bad taste.

Analog vs. digital: Wearing a watch with hour, minute and second hands says you prefer the classics. You prefer to watch time tick the old-fashioned way because you not only know how much time you have left in the day, but also how much time has passed. Your eyesight is fine with the small numbers and tiny hands. You probably own an everyday watch, a casual watch and a sports watch. And you know when to wear each one.

Digital watch people are clock-watchers and most likely frugal. They won’t even consider watches under $500. They may work in the information technology field or in science labs. There may also be black tape holding their glasses together. They may be runners, or younger than 18. Children prefer digital watches because kids today are weaned on everything digital, but analog parents will understand the importance of buying their children watches that make them think. Give them Roman numerals, too.

Left arm vs. right arm: Generally speaking, right-handed people tend to wear their watches on their left arms. The left arm to them is the neutral arm, so naturally a watch won’t get in the way of work. Some people are ambidextrous and wear their watches on either arm. In the past, it was thought that women wore watches on the right, men on the left. Now it’s all about preference and comfort and you shouldn’t assume any meaning.

Pocket watch vs. strap-on: If you carry a pocket watch with the chain attached you’re either wearing overalls, jeans and a leather jacket, a suit with a vest or vintage clothing. Or you should be. A pocket watch can add a touch of elegance to an outfit but is not ideal for busy people. Digging in your pocket for a watch to check the time can be almost as distracting as digging for a ringing cellphone.

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Smart watch vs. classic timepiece: This is a relatively new dilemma. If you’re wearing a watch that doubles as a phone and a mini-computer, you may fall into the digital category discussed above. The jury is still out on whether these will fit into the business world. Just because it’s on your arm, though, does not make it OK to use the phone feature in a business meeting. You’re not Dick Tracy. Disable the sounds before your meeting, please.

The conclusion: Don’t buy a watch without considering its implications. And remember, classics never go out of style. That’s why they’re called classics.

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