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The Knowledge

Everything You Need To Know About Luxury Watches

MR PORTER’s expert guide to making and maintaining that big-investment timepiece

Since we launched MR PORTER in 2011, we’ve done our best to become the one-stop destination for all-things concerning men’s style. This has meant continually expanding the range of products we offer – whether it’s launching an extensive range of grooming and sport products or, our most recent passion project, building up an enviable selection of luxury watches from the best brands in Switzerland (and, indeed, the rest of the world).

Excited as we are about these new developments, we’re well aware that a luxury watch is a serious investment – and one that needs equally serious consideration as well as a fair bit of knowledge. That's why we’ve created The Luxury Watch Guide, a new area of the site dedicated entirely to the things that – forgive us – make us tick. Here, you’ll find extensive information on all the brands we carry as well as advice on how to choose and care for your watch, alongside our latest watch-focused editorial stories from The Journal and The Daily. Keen to quickly become an expert? Scroll down for a list of recommended reading. Alternatively, why not fully explore The Luxury Watch Guide.

HOW TO KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT

Know your Bi-Compax from your “big date”? Often use the word guilloché? Then you probably don’t need to read our watch glossary, which explains every useful watch word we could think of. However, if you understood very little of those sentences, then you’ve got some reading to do. Prepare yourself for luxury-watch ownership with our extensive glossary of all the key terms you need to know.

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR WATCH WISELY

Yes, you know which one you would sort of like, but have you aligned your wandering eye with some of the other key considerations when buying a watch? Here’s our thoughts on setting your budget, sizing up your character and finding the right timepiece to suit your individual needs.

HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT SIZE FOR YOUR STYLE

We tend to list watch products with lots of numbers and measurements to indicate just one crucial thing – how big it looks on your wrist. But in real terms, what’s the difference between a 38mm and 41mm watch, and what can you wear with each? We took to the streets in order to compile an informative guide on what a watch size will say about you.

HOW TO CELEBRATE A MILESTONE WITH A WATCH

Watches, when taken care of, will last for many lifetimes, so they’re particularly good presents (for someone else and self-gifting) when it comes to the occasions to remember. In this guide, we take you through the watches to pick up (or, if you’re feeling generous, give) for a wide range of important moments – from graduation to retirement and all the big (and terrifying) birthdays.

HOW TO LOOK AFTER YOUR WATCH

You wouldn’t invest in a three-bedroom flat without fixing it up now and again, and the same goes for your watch (whether it cost as much as a three-bedroom flat or not – though it’s eminently possible). In this handy guide to luxury watch aftercare, servicing and more, Mr Alan Bedwell, founder of vintage accessories site Foundwell, explains everything you need to know about keeping your prized timepieces in winning (and, ahem, resaleable) condition.

The watch maintenance essentials

  • Smythson Mara Croc-Effect Leather Watch Roll

  • Rapport London Evo Cube #8 Lacquered-Wood Automatic Watch Winder

  • Globe-Trotter Leather-Trimmed Watch Case

  • Weiss Gold-Tone Watch Strap Changing Tool

  • Weiss Leather Watch Strap

  • Smythson Grosvenor Full-Grain Leather Rotary Watch Box