Which Watch Metal Should You Get?

Most people who like to wear nice watches have a favorite. Their favorite might be a delicate gold timepiece that they received after retirement, it might be a less pricey silver watch that they received for their anniversary but which holds a lot of sentimental value, or a platinum watch that costs as much as a used car which they bought to celebrate a job promotion.

As well as a favorite watch, most watch-lovers also have a favorite metal. Gold may feel a little flashy for someone with a low-key dress style, while nothing short of palladium will do for a Fortune 500 CEO.

For most of us, we’ll have a different metal in mind for any given situation, any given ensemble. Here are some tips for selecting the right style of watch based on the situations you most frequently find yourself in:

Selecting an Everyday Watch

BREITLING SUPEROCEAN A17364 STAINLESS STEEL

If you have a gold watch that you really love, and you want it to last, leave it at home any time you’re not going somewhere special. Something like a stainless steel piece or a more precious watch with a leather strap will get you through the day just fine. Gold watches will scratch easily, given that the metal is so soft. There are even some beautiful watches out there with rubber and plastic straps.

A new piece coming out this year: the Sony Smartwatch 3. The smartwatch is a new frontier, and not many of them look as good as one you’d buy from a fine jeweler, but the stainless steel Smartwatch 3 may well be the first smartwatch to be a serious fashion accessory.

Last year’s 88 Rue du Rhone is a sleek black piece with a PVD coated case. Durable and suited for everyday use, but not boring.

Metal Allergies

ROLEX YACHTMASTER 16622 PLATINUM AND STAINLESS STEEL MENS WATCH

Some people have an allergic reaction to certain metals, or they may even produce oils that dissolve softer metals like gold. If you’re not sure whether or not you have any such reactions to certain metals, you may want to test that out before you drop a few grand on a pricey watch.

If you do have an averse reaction to metals, a leather strap and plastic backing on the timepiece itself will help to keep the metal from touching your skin throughout the day. If you just have to have a metal watch, stainless steel and silver are generally a safe bet, as metal allergies and so on tend to involve other metals. You could also buy a gold pocketwatch and simply not worry about it.

When to Flash the Fancy Stuff

White gold and Diamond Cartier Pasha

So you have a white gold Cartier that you just have to show off. When can you pull it out without looking pompous? Wear it at a meeting and it will look like a clumsy powerplay. Wear it every day and it’s going to get scratched up. On the other hand, any upscale social ocassion should be a great opportunity to wear your favorite fancy timepiece, and of course, any time you’re just sitting around the house and want to feel like an old world emperor.

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