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Choosing your big-day timepieces is an important decision; not only can it complete an outfit, it's also going to be an item to commemorate such a special day. Matthew Cule, answers your all important to questions to make this decision a little easier....
How can I choose the right watch for my wedding day?
For the groom, I would recommend an elegant dress watch with either a stainless steel or gold case on a leather strap. It would be ideal to match the watch case to the colour of the wedding ring.I would avoid going for a large timepiece and look for a watch case size between 38mm and 42mm. Match the watch to what you'll be wearing and choose a watch that will suit your lifestyle and your wardrobe after your wedding day - an investment and memory like this should be enjoyed more than once after all!I would also recommend buying a mechanical Swiss made watch (with either automatic or manual winding) that could potentially last a lifetime and will become a very fond reminder to the groom every time he looks down at his wrist.
For the bride, I would recommend a smaller sized dress watch (particularly if wearing a traditional bridal attire) that is more like a piece of jewellery and complements the other jewellery you will be wearing on your big day. You may not even choose to wear a watch if you are wearing other jewellery. Perhaps it's better to rely on your father to get you to your wedding on time!
Can watch collecting also be investment?
Firstly, it depends on the type of watch. Mechanical watches carry a higher value in comparison to fashion and smart watches that eventually have a throw-away status and minimal monetary value long-term. Watch collecting can be a very sound investment for the shrewd eye with many watches increasing or at least retaining their value over time. But, as with all investments, it is a gamble and some will go up in value, others will go down.
Where demand outweighs supply and waitlists are long, watch prices will increase. Rare timepieces at auctions where the watches are both collectable and valuable are indeed investments. Watch collecting is more of a hobby for most, whereby the watch becomes so sentimentally valuable that its owner wants to keep it for a lifetime and pass it onto the next generation or someone special. These timepieces have an implied cost, however. Although price points for Swiss-made automatic watches can exceed 100,000 euros, watch collecting is no longer an investment beyond reach.
Advancements in manufacturing and factory-direct retail business models have opened up luxury watch collecting to new markets and customer-friendly budgets. For example, at CuleM we decided to sell directly from the factory. We did this because we wanted to ensure that everyone had access to the highest quality, Swiss made GMT travel watches and are passionate about building a global community of watch collectors and world travellers.
How to care for your luxury watch(es)?
If you wear your watches or watches frequently, they will be subjected to continuous use and operation. To properly care for your watch:
Sapphire glass & watch case - Keep the glass, crown and case clean with a dry, soft cloth (preferably microfibre). Most luxury watches have sapphire glass, which are scratch resistant, but it doesn't hurt to keep topping up it's shine!
Leather strap - The working life of a strap depends greatly on how often you wear it and the conditions it is put under. We recommend that you replace your strap every 6-12 months, although some straps can last a lot longer.
Watch movement - Watches are generally covered for a two-year guarantee in the event of any manufacturing defects. Aside from this, we advise you to have an upkeep/service of your watch every three years at a reputable watch shop.
What makes a watch meaningful?
The release of the Apple watch, and the many other designs that have followed suit, has revolutionized watchmaking for the first time in centuries. With ever-increasing demands on our schedules, millions of consumers are investing in the convenience of having a mini-computer strapped to their wrist. Why would you wear a watch that can only tell the time when a smartwatch can answer your calls, text your friends and track your fitness goals?
Yet for traditional and new watch collecting aficionados, a smart watch is the equivalent of a budget work van to an exotic car collector - it misses the point entirely. It can do so much more, but lacks style, finesse, grace, form (the list can go on!) and doesn't draw the attention and compliments of those who regard it. Even watches that integrate traditional craftsmanship with the functionality of digital technology will fail to capture the attention of true collectors. The love affair with Swiss-made mechanical watches is one that can be passed on from generation to generation, with quality that will last a lifetime.
Classical watchmakers now more than ever have an opportunity to appeal to an emerging market of watch collectors: a generation that grew up with technology, rejects its omnipresence and increasingly takes opportunities to step away from technology. A growing swathe of people reject wearables that 'ping' us away from the present moment. Time is a meaningful treasure, and while a watch can keep time, it shouldn't control it.
Which is a better value proposition: a smart watch, quartz watch or a mechanical watch?
What is the difference between each watch type? The last decade saw the uprising of the smart watch. However, technology-based watches are almost out of date the moment you leave the shop. Like all things tech, you might be buying the latest watch, but chances the next model is already being prototyped and tested.
Quartz watches are battery powered and go tick. They are generally cheaper than automatic or manual winding watches, but aren't designed with a lifetime of use in mind. The main advantage here is that you never need to wind your watch. Most collectors don't consider quartz watches to be high end.
The premier categories of watch are considered to be automatic and manual-winding watches that can be passed on from generation to generation. Both watches can be manually wound and automatic watches benefit from continuously winding themselves as you wear them. Both types of watches will have a power reserve. For example, CuleM's GMT watches all have an automatic Swiss made movement and 42-hour reserve.
If you wear an automatic watch every day, you probably won't need to wind it apart from each time you start to wear the watch again after a break, when it may need to be wound a little to get the movement started. Manual winding watches do not have this automatic (self-winding) function and will need winding regularly. In terms of value proposition, I'd recommend a mechanical automatic watch that is Swiss made. It's almost a confidence in knowing that you are getting great quality, huge longevity and abolute exquisite beauty all in one place.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of exclusively online watch brands?
The biggest advantages to some exclusively online watch brands is price and free worldwide deliveries. By not having a retail presence, they are able to work directly with customers and remove significant retail margins.The biggest disadvantage is exclusively online watch brands is that you can't try the watch on in person and have to wait for the watch to be delivered. Most online watch brands should have a generous returns policy of 14-30 days.
How does technology affect watch buying?
Technology is a huge part of all our lives these days and definitely affects watch buying. Although collectors may stick to Swiss-made classical models, consumers have come to expect a curated, technology-driven discovery and buying experience. For example, a magazine advert can now include augmented reality (AR) links, which mean if you put your phone over a photo, an immersive video about the watch can begin to play. At CuleM, we have developed an app called Try On CuleM, so that users can try on all the watches in our first World GMT Collection from their desk or dining room table.
By utilising new technologies watchmakers can reach new, wider audiences, and can help consumers 'try on' a watch - even if they are nowhere near a retail outlet. This can remove pre-existing barriers to remote sales and help us reach tech-savvy audiences everywhere. Researching watches online using brand sites, content platforms and social media sites too makes purchases feel much more informed - all the information you need is right there in your phone or desktop if you know where to look. Follow your instinct with online purchases knowing that you can generally return the watch if you are unhappy with it. Check the company's returns policy first before pressing the buy button to avoid being burned!
Best watches for travelling...
There are three types of luxury travel watches: dual-time, GMT and world timers. Any CuleM watch from The World GMT collection is the perfect travel watch.All watch designs are inspired by our beautiful world and there are a range of colours and models to choose from making each purchase personal and adding unique personality to each configuration.
Every watch comes with two straps with quick change pins. This means that you can quickly change your strap to match your style, activity or outlook day to day.The watch is powered by a top grade ETA289-2 GMT automatic movement, allowing you to see both your local and destination time. We've also made a point of making the world time right! All 24 time zones are correctly displayed in both GMT and BST. To date, we have not seen one watch brand apart from CuleM displaying the correct time zones around the world.
About Matthew... CuleM Watches is an independent watchmaker founded by watch collector and traveller Matthew Cule. CuleM 's World GMT collection of Swiss made dual time automatic watches celebrates the beauty of our amazing world and are designed for people who love to travel and collectors of exquisite timepieces. CuleM believes there is no experience more meaningful and amazing than travel - and no object more beautiful and meaningful than a watch, so each watch is a time capsule of memories of the places you have been and an inspiration for the destinations you wish to discover.
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