A Definitive Guide to Shopping for Mens Watches!

Whether you love wearing a watch for style or for easy access to tell time, a high quality men’s watch will never disappoint.

And if you are a fan of history, take a journey into the past in our recent post, “ The History of Watches: Winding Through Time!

If you are a watch lover like us, you would agree that today we face what many call a “choice overload”. We have too many options to choose from, and as a result, we often get overwhelmed. The same feature overload applies to buying a watch.

If you are browsing around for stylish, unique, and popular mens watches, there are choices galore. Worry not! In this post, we'll cover some of the most important things to consider when shopping for mens watches.

Features

Depending on your activity level, you’ll want to consider what bells and whistles come built into a watch. Consider a chronograph, timing bezel, day/date wheel, legibility, and/or illumination, the list can go on!

A chronograph is a great feature that can be used for more than just tracking time elapsed underwater. Check out our recent blog post that highlights some great uses for the chronographThe time elapsed is captured in a sub dial on the watch face, making time tracking easy for a single hour, or many hours at a time.

Timing bezels are also a great way to track time manually and are often a key feature of dive watches. With a simple rotation of the outer bezel of the watch, users are able to easily see how much time has elapsed, or when their time duration is close to ending. 

Here’s a real life example we heard recently- a friend of ours wanted to get a quick surf session in but knew he had lunch plans with his partner. They set their timing bezel to where the minute hand was, and then were able to keep track of how long they had been in the water. They knew they had to catch the next wave in as their minute hand was nearing the initial point they set their timing bezel to, indicating they’d spent close to an hour in the water.

Water Resistance

Gone are those days when you would dread wearing your favorite watch outdoors, especially enjoying activities in the water. Talking about water resistance, not all watches are the same.

A good water-resistant watch should have a screw-down crown, a triple gasket stem and crown tube configuration, and a screw-down case back. Piston-sealed crowns and screw-down case backs with gaskets help ensure a high degree of water resistance, as compared to tension-held crowns and case backs.

A quick way to understand the water resistance rating of your watch is to look at the dial or case back. If your watch does not say “water resistant” up to a certain meter, you know what not to do!

An adventure watch suggesting water resistance but missing “depth information” essentially means it can handle a few drops of water. In other words, do not swim wearing such a watch!

Talking about depth:

  • 30 meters means the watch can handle some splashing. 
  • A watch with a 50-meter depth rating can handle a little pool time.
  • You can take an adventure watch with a 100-meter rating on a snorkel trip.
  • And last, a 200-meter rating means it can handle diving.

For reference, 200 meters is the same height as the Seattle Space Needle or the St Louis Arch! That’s a seriously deep-diving watch.

Illumination

Telling time during the day or in good light is not typically an issue. Come the dark hours on the other hand, not all watches fare so well in this regard. Watch lume has been used since the early 1900s in making watch features glow in the dark. Most notably for military watches, or field watches. Today, most modern watches have some glow-in-the-dark lume painted onto features of the dial or case.

It is important to take into account the amount of lume, and even the kind of lume when looking at new watch options. Swiss-made Super-LumiNova has been the go-to in the watch industry for over 20 years as it is made of strontium aluminate, which is non-radioactive. It can glow for up to 15 hours! 

Watch Strap

A strap is perhaps an essential companion to a watch. Isn’t it cool that you can swap straps and don different styles with ease? While the face of the watch is the heart & soul of the watch, the strap is perhaps the personality. Alright, poor analogy there. But you get the point. With a diverse strap collection, you can experiment with new styles.

Watch straps can come in different types such as NATO, Zulu, Rally, Oyster, President, Jubilee, Engineer, Aviator / Pilot, Bund, Shark Mesh, Milanese, Tropic, Perlon, Waffle, Double Ridge, and NASA.

One of the biggest challenges with mens watch brands is that not all offer custom bracelet sizing. So you might have a cool watch, but not the right fit.

Good thing we offer custom sizing before shipment to ensure your watch fits as soon as it hits your wrist. Perhaps we can dive into these strap types in a different post. But for the curious, a little trivia-

Did you know?: 

The NATO strap was originally developed for British soldiers in the 1970’s and was called G10. It earned the name “G10” as soldiers had to request it via a G1098 requisition form. The “NATO” namesake comes from the NSN (NATO Stock Number) used when ordering the strap. 

Durability

If you are an outdoor enthusiast, having a delicate watch might not make much sense. After all, what is the use of having a stylish watch when you can’t have fun with it?

Durability is key when shopping for a new watch. Go for men's watches that use sapphire crystals, stainless steel or titanium cases and components, DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) coating, and screw down crowns.

Each of these design considerations affects the daily wear, and potential degree to which they can take in impact and scratches. Why strap on a watch that isn’t able to go through the paces of an adventure with you? 

Make sure your watch is sweat, grit, and water resistant.

Warranty

When we invest in a product, we want it to last long. From cars to laptops, a warranty is an essential component. Shopping for mens watches should not be any different. Right?

Check out the warranty details before you purchase a watch. Most watch companies offer warranties for up to 2 to 5 years with limitations on what they cover. Such warranties often cover manufacturer defects within a short window, but they don’t cover aesthetic wear, damage, or even battery replacements. 

All of VERO’s watches come with a 10-year, no-questions-asked warranty that covers everything from aesthetic wear to damage from impact. We are proud to say this is the best warranty in the watch industry, should you ever need to use it.

Now that we have talked about the important features of a modern, stylish watch, it is time we dive into VERO Watch Company’s top timepieces for adventurers:

VERO Workhorse Chrono

The VERO Workhorse Chrono is a beater watch with some serious reinforced features that take on impact. 

The inner rotating bezel and chronograph function makes time tracking a breeze during action. We built the Workhorse Chrono to be a true field watch with modern durability, making it nearly indestructible.

“​​I have had my Workhorse Chrono Back Country for several months now and have loved every minute with it.  I have put it through its paces too.  It has been with me mountain biking on Hood,  paddle boarding Hagg Lake, coffee shopping and food carting in Beaverton, rough housing with my dog, and house remodeling with....my house.  Our best adventure yet was a trip to Hawaii where we did some long distance ocean swims, running, canyoning, rode atvs, cliff jumped, and.....played some pickleball.  Not a scratch on the watch and super comfortable the whole time.  If a watch can stand up to me, I will stand by it.  And it looks f'n cool!”  - Customer Noah Kuchen

VERO Open Water Automatic

Each Open Water automatic from VERO Watches has a distinct timing bezel with deep, lume-filled bezel makers, indices, and hands.  These subtle features make the VERO Open Water highly legible above and below water. 

It's the slimmest dive watch on the market at 11mm thick and boasts 200m water resistance making use of its triple gasket screw-down crown.

“Been rocking with the @verowatchcompany Open Water for all things surfing, hiking and training recently. Best part thus far is the tactile feedback I get from the bezel. It’s a different feeling with the DLC coating and the 60 clicks is a nice change up from the 120 click bezels I’m used to.” -Customer Thomas Carlo

VERO SW-Q Quartz 

The SW-Q is a snug-fitting watch with a minimalistic appeal, paired with vibrant dial colors that ripple dynamically in sunlight. 

This is VERO’s first unisex-focused watch. We paired a thin profile case with an integrated silicone strap for ultimate comfort for most wrist sizes. 

Plus, each VERO SW-Q watch style comes with an additional NATO strap option to make the style your own. 

“I'm a fairly serious watch person. Everything from Casio to Seiko. Hamilton to Rolex. This is a great sports watch for not a lot of money. It kind of feels like a cross between a Seiko SARB and a G-Shock. Really durable, but also elegant and puts a little style into outdoor activities. The blue dial is REALLY nice to look at.

The only negative that I could picture some people bringing up is that it is a quartz. I get it. Mechanical watches are awesome. However, in this case I prefer the quartz. Keeps the watch nice and thin and when camping I prefer the accuracy and pick up and go qualities of a quartz. This is one of those watches that proves quartz can be cool” -Customer Andrew Kaiser

Conclusion

I hope this post would help you get a better idea of which features to look for in mens watches. 

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