I was quite flabbergasted last evening. A new but promising start-up asked me to join over a drink and chat to see if we can make it to better days together in the near future.

The business talk went intense, smoky, sweet, rich and smooth, as much as the accompanying single malt. But it pained to see amidst all that gold and fine fabric some local-made quartz and digitals. I’m sure there are many like these who can slap down 50 grand anytime for anything but not even a tenth of that on watches. If that’s due to lack of education, then here are the watch-wearing basics, again.

Maybe you are covered in gold, but the legit way for men to jewel up is with a gold signet ring, a gold tie pin and a wrist watch that speaks volumes on its wearer. Out of the three, it’s only the watch that men have the opportunity to wear extensively and that defines the passion and the money going after it. Given that the variety is intimidating and most are not sharp enough to cut through the vast array of options, you must get help to make sure you don’t pay an astronomical price for a piece of rock. So, here’s towards your first, serious timepiece, but one step at a time.

Quartz (digital, analog and ana-digi) and mechanical (hand-wound, auto-wind and hand-wound automatic), you got two categories to choose from.  Now, quartz watches can go as basic as the Casio Edifice EF-132PB-1A2  or as advanced as Seiko Astron or the  Citizen Attesa Eco-Drive  without the price shooting beyond a few hundred dollars, but with mechanicals, it’s the precise, intricate craftsmanship that takes prices to insane heights. More complex the arrangements of gears, springs and pins, more painstaking it is to build, the biggest being Grand Complications. Quartz watches, comparatively, are much simpler devices that require little to no human intervention in their making.

However, you don’t need to know a watch the way a horologist does; just knowing the specs and their significance will be enough. That’s the tough part, so we will keep that for later. As for now, let us narrow down to the styles. This is where most of us goof up; though pairing watches with the purpose is far easier than pairing wines and cheeses.

The chief styles (cutting out overlapping) are casual, sport, fashion, dress and luxury, the prices in an upward slope. And this is where you sometimes need to curb your personal taste, though not drastically. It’s as simple as not wearing a Casio Protrek or a Sky Cockpit with a tuxedo or with a business suit; must you go for something high-tech, choose the  Citizen Eco-Drive Atomic Chronograph  or the Promaster Skyhawk Titanium (for power business dressing). Even a Grand Seiko Quartz, but its high-tech stuff doesn’t show like that in the former two.

We will continue this discussion next week, till then; play around a bit with what you read.