How Much Does a Wrist Watch Cost?

How Much Does a Wrist Watch Cost?

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When you go shopping for things, it’s always a good idea to have an idea of how much you’re going to have to spend before you get to the store. For example, you know if you’re going on a total restock grocery run, you’ll probably be spending at least $100 or more. But what about wrist watches?

Wrist watches can range in price from just a few dollars to thousands of dollars. There’s no specific answer to how much a wrist watch costs because the amount varies so widely. At the end of the day, it is more important to know what you are looking for and your budget.

That doesn’t mean you can’t get a general idea of what it will cost. Having a range you are willing to spend for a watch, then looking at your essential features will give you a much better breakdown. In this article, the many factors involved in buying a wristwatch in today’s age will be explored, as well as the average cost based on popular brands. 

Average Cost of Wrist Watches by Brand

Although there is no single answer to how much a wrist watch costs, we can take a look at the average cost of wrist watches by the brand or manufacturer. Keep in mind, this is not an exhaustive list or a comment on quality or features. It is a simple rundown of some of the most popular watchmakers.

Brand

Special Features

Avg. Price

Michael Kors A designer fashion brand, Michael Kors wrist watches offer classic designs in different categories, such as formal and sporty. Under $500
Hamilton Offering unique designs that are immediately recognizable, Hamilton has manual, auto, pilot, movie, and other styles from which to choose. $500 – $3,000
Seiko A Japanese prestige brand known for having some of the best watches for the best prices.  Under $700
Casio A modern budget watchmaker famous for functional watches in vintage, classic and sporty designs. Under $300
Rolex The premier luxury brand, Rolex offers customizable options and a large collection of classic pieces that are the best known in the business.  Over $10,000

Wrist Watches in the World of Smartphones

Many people believe that wrist watches are a thing of the past. In a world dominated by modern technology, in particular smartphones, having a timepiece isn’t nearly as critical as it once was. Many kids now don’t even know how to read a clock because digital timekeeping has become the norm. 

Here are other reasons for buying a watch, however: 

  • Maintaining a certain aesthetic
  • Building on a personal sense of style
  • Timekeeping without bringing a smart device
  • Engaging in minimalism
  • Stepping back from technology
  • Professional tasks, such as nursing, where having a second-counting watch is necessary
  • Additional features, for example, fitness trackers
  • Simple preference
  • It could potentially be an investment.

Whatever the individual reasons for wanting a wristwatch, don’t let having a smartphone that keeps the time hold you back. Plenty of consumers still love the look and feel of having a beautiful piece at their wrist. Some even go further and choose a pocket watch…why not?!

Why People Buy Expensive Watches

Investopedia had an interesting article about why people choose to buy expensive watches when it can create such a heavy financial burden. According to their theory, it is largely a misunderstanding of the quality of luxury watches, believing that they are better due to their price tag. They also believed there was an ego component in the mix. 

Psychology Today went a little deeper, exploring the thought process behind luxury goods in general. Based on a paper by the University of British Columbia researchers Karl Aquino and Jessica Tracy, they believe the unnecessary purchasing of luxury goods is actually due to pride.

Pride causes two main behaviors associated with the consumption of luxury goods, they claim. One is “authentic pride,” which creates a sense of accomplishment in owning an expensive item. The second is “hubristic pride,” or the feeling of being superior for that purchase. Those factors add up to a sense of status, which can be a huge motivator for many consumers. 

Does that mean you are a bad person if you want an expensive wrist watch? Of course not. But the reasoning behind it probably isn’t associated with real quality since that quality could be an illusion. A bigger price tag doesn’t immediately mean a better product. 

So, does that mean a lower price tag does?

Is a Cheap Wrist Watch a Bad Wrist Watch?

A cheap wristwatch is not necessarily good or bad. Remember that what constitutes “cheap” is subjective; that could mean a $500 timepiece or a $0.99 plastic watch. It depends on who you ask. You can buy a cheap watch that is great quality, and vice versa. 

Furthermore, the quality is more about the manufacturer and their practices when building the watch. 

Other factors may dictate what makes a watch worth it, such as wristwatches that act as an investment, as the price index may change. 

Signs that you have a “cheap” watch in terms of quality include: 

  • An unknown movement. Most watchmakers will happily tell you what quartz or other movement is powering your watch. If they don’t, it is a red flag. 
  • An inconsistent second hand. style=”font-weight: 400;”> Your watch should be ticking every second, close enough that you know when it needs to be calibrated. 
  • A generic or boring face design. All well-made watches have a unique face design that sets them apart, at least a little, from other brands. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should be somewhat recognizable. 
  • A low-quality band. style=”font-weight: 400;”> It is pretty easy to spot a poor-quality band. It will feel flimsy or like it might snap when you manipulate it. Leather bands could be peeling at the corners, or show excessive cracking.
  • Mineral glass or plastic faces. Watches should be built to withstand scratching, chips, and shattering, as they are in a place where it can be easy to cause damage. An accidental bump on a car door or table can spell the end for a watch face that is made of plastic or mineral glass. 

If you can avoid the above signs or a bad watch, you will be getting a high-quality piece without the outrageous cost. What you spend will be whatever you are comfortable with, whether it is in the hundreds or the thousands. 

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of reasons to have a wristwatch. Because of the varied styles, quality, and brands available, you can find a piece that is within any budget. More money doesn’t equal a better product. It comes down to what you feel comfortable spending. 

Sources