Men's watches worth your time and money

Just about any device can give you the time, but only a finely crafted watch adds personality.

Even if you no longer use them to tell time (isn’t that what your BlackBerry is for?), watches have never stepped down from their pedestal as the ­ultimate status symbol. Whether you go classic and, er, timeless or opt for something more fashion-­forward, these are personal pieces you can wear every day. (Photograph by Natasha V)


1. NIXON CANNON watch, $150 at Watch It or
2. ZODIAC RACER ZO8516 watch with stainless steel and titanium case, carbon fibre dial and rubber strap, $795 at the Bay
3. LACOSTE PANAMA chronograph with calf leather strap, $365 at the Bay
4. VICTORINOX SWISS ARMY chrono classic watch with two-tone stainless steel case and sapphire crystal, $575 at Watch It or
5. TIFFANY ATLAS chronograph in 18-karat rose gold with brown alligator leather strap, $19,800 at Tiffany & Co. or
6. BURBERRY stainless steel chronograph with leather strap, $620 at the Bay
7. TIFFANY GALLERY watch with black dial, $4,000 at Tiffany & Co. or
8. LONGINES COLUMN WHEEL chronograph, $3,400 at Birks
9. HERMÈS ARCEAU GRANDE LUNE, $6,535 at Hermès or
10. MICHAEL KORS DRAKE watch with silicone-wrapped stainless steel bracelet, $355 at the Bay
11. OMEGA SEAMASTER AQUA TERRA in rose gold, $32,200 at Omega or


Like a car’s engine, the movement of a watch—the mechanism that actually calculates the passage of time—is the most telling feature of a watch’s quality. “The Swiss are recognized globally as the manufacturers of the world’s best watches,” says Christine Carlton, divisional vice-president of accessories, footwear and jewelry at Holt Renfrew. “There are very strict criteria that must be met in order for a watch to qualify as ‘Swiss Made.’”  

Price alone won’t tell you how good a watch is, but for a top-quality timepiece, expect to pay more. “By definition, a luxury watch is priced at or above $1,000,” says Carlton. “Most range from $4,000 to $60,000 and up.” Brands that fall into this latter category include David Yurman, Bell & Ross (both available at Holts), Omega, Longines and Hermès.

A quality watch should feature a scratch-resistant crystal and a well-made strap. Alligator leather straps are frequently used by houses such as Tiffany and Hermès, while rose gold is more easily dented than yellow or white gold but also much more coveted.