Timothy Barber
Follow Timothy
EVERY smart chap should have a smart watch, and preferably more than one – the sheer diversity of classy watches out there means that the old idea of making your money, buying a Rolex and having that as your one watch is no longer current. Different watches can be worn for different occasions or moods, which is one reason why they make great presents – you can never have too many.

“The starting point is always deciding whether you want mechanical or quartz,” says Alastir Laidlaw, co-founder of Mayfair boutique Jura Watches. “Quartz will be cheaper, but the mechanical watch is far more prestigious because it’s an engineering marvel.”

Next decide what sort of occasion it’ll be worn for – is it for work or the weekend, formal dos or sporty outings? If a chap already has a smart, conservative watch – say a Rolex or a Patek Philippe – for dressy gatherings, there’s no point in doubling it up.

Even within these broad categories there are many sub-categories. For instance, sports watches include diving watches, pilots’ watches, yachting watches, even space watches (suitable for – or, at least, inspired by –?astronauts).

“If you think about the interests of the person receiving the watch, there are plenty of things [in terms of design and branding] to follow and associate with,” says Laidlaw.

For instance, brands like BRM and TAG Heuer are particularly associated with motoring; Bremont has links with flying; Corum with yachting. And while the association is helpful, it shouldn’t be limiting: for example diving watches, such as the IWC Aquatimer pictured (£4,250 from Watches of Switzerland), can be sported all the time, rather than just when wearing flippers.

It’s common to worry about wrist size, though the trend over recent years towards oversize watches has meant most watches seem large on the cuff. Bigger is brasher, and the trend is getting smaller, but only slightly.

“There’s a watch for everybody, and it’s worth finding out what that watch is, so don’t just go for the first thing you like,” says Laidlaw.