The Ridge Wallet Review: Is This High Tech Wallet Worth It?
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. Ridge sent me this wallet, and as far as I know, I don’t have to send it back.
I don’t like anything in my pockets. I prefer to keep my jeans, chinos, or shorts as light as possible. If I have to put something in my pockets, I prefer it to be small and light. I clip a knife to my pocket, and I rarely carry my truck keys if I don’t have to. When most people come home and slip off their boots, I come home and empty my pockets.
When it comes to my “EDC” kit, I keep it light. I’ve been using a front-pocket wallet for years. I like them because they’re light and small, and they keep everything I need in one place. But when Ridge sent me the Ridge Wallet Carbon Fiber 3K and the Burnt Titanium, I wanted to see if these wallets would work for my lifestyle and my penchant for empty pockets.
The Ridge Burnt Titanium
What is the Ridge Wallet?
The Ridge company formed in 2013 and its wallets were a response to wireless theft and a lightweight, minimalist lifestyle. The Ridge wallets sit in your front pocket and benefit from RFID protection, making it more difficult to steal your credit card’s information.
These wallets consist of replaceable elastic straps and two hard shells that sandwich your credit card between them. They hold up to 12 cards, and you can outfit them with money clips or cash straps, depending on your style. They come in quite a few different materials, including aluminum, titanium, and carbon fiber. You can also get them in several colors, depending on the model you choose. There are even some fun patterns, like hula girls and tropical flowers, if that’s your thing.
The RFID protection is above my paygrade, and I wouldn’t want to insult Ridge by trying to explain their technology. But here’s what I can offer you: Apparently, thieves can steal your credit card information with portable, hand-held scanners. They can make small transactions instantly, like $50 or less. They can also steal your card info and keep it for a later day and buy a couch or a pair of Yeezys or whatever thieves spend other people’s money on.
These wallets block those scanners. Plus, the wallet’s front-pocket location makes it easier to notice when a stranger tries bumping a scanner into your thighs.
The Ridge Carbon 3K loaded with cards and a million dollars
My Initial Impression
I tend to be hard to impress. To be very honest with you, I don’t care for anything that looks tactical. I spent years in law enforcement, and I’ve had my fill of high-speed, low-drag tactical products. I’m not typically a fan of Kydex, Carbon Fiber, or anything mil-spec. They just don’t fit my style anymore.
These Ridge wallets had an uphill battle to fight before they even came out of their boxes.
The Packaging: Satisfyingly good
When I opened the Ridge boxes, I noticed the packaging was pretty impressive. Both boxes came tightly wrapped in plastic, and the telescoping cover was airtight. It felt more like unboxing an Apple product than a wallet. In fact, the packaging was so good that it was satisfying when I finally got the wallets out. I understand that this is a one time experience, but Ridge really nailed the packaging.
Inside the boxes, I found some stickers, some reading material, and each box had a really high-quality Torx screwdriver. It all seemed a bit much; I just wanted to load it up and shove it in my pocket.
The Styling: Pretty good
The carbon fiber wallet had a very low-profile cash strap. I decided that was the one I would carry, aside from its tactical-styling that really didn’t impress me. The Burnt Titanium looked awesome (like, really awesome), but it came with a money clip, and I thought it felt heavier, so it didn’t make the cut.
The cash strap and clip are changeable, which is great because I love modifying things, but for this review, the Carbon 3k with the cash strap felt right for my needs. I loaded it up and started carrying it.
The Quality: Spot on
I didn’t know how much Ridge wallets cost. I wanted to be as unbiased as possible when it came in. Although I was familiar with the brand, I’d never purchased anything from them.
They aren’t cheap, but to be honest, my initial impression of the quality was that it was awesome. The fit and finish of every Torx screw, the layers of the two shells, and the materials they used, all seemed to be top-notch.
When I finally saw the price, I wasn’t shocked. Maybe my eyes opened a bit wider at the number, but the price seemed fair. Plus, if this thing prevented one e-thief from jacking my credit card digits, it would pay for itself.
The Ridge Carbon 3K loaded with cards and cash vs my regular leather wallet with the contents
The Ridge Wallet: Cons
I’ve written a lot of product reviews, and they never start with the cons. I’m switching it up because Ridge had a demanding customer to please, and it’s best if you understand why before we get to the pros.
1. The Carbon 3K is a little too tactical
As I said, I’m not a fan of anything overly tactical, and by nature of The Carbon 3K, it’s pretty tactical. I thought I’d be a fan of the carbon fiber because I love cars, and I grew up in the era of carbon fiber hoods and trunks, but this wallet didn’t ring that bell. Maybe if it had a glossier finish, it would seem less tactical, but with the matte finish, it just doesn’t work with my style.
2. They’re thick
Both of these wallets are pretty thick. They’re almost twice as thick as the front pocket wallet I was using before. My old one was just a leather sleeve that tucked into my pocket without any issue. Not the case with the Ridge wallets; in a pair of chinos, jeans, or even shorts, they need a pocket to call home, and they don’t like sharing with anything else.
3. The Titanium is a bit heavy
I chose not to carry the Titanium because I felt it was heavier than the Carbon 3K, and the money clip wasn’t as streamlined as the cash strap. Ridge might’ve spoiled me and tainted my opinion by sending the Carbon 3K with the Titanium, but I based my decision on functionality alone: The Carbon 3K felt far more functional.
4. There’s a training period
Getting the right card out of either of these wallets was a chore at first. At one point, I had to find my insurance card and it required me to remove several cards before I could get to it. With time I was able to organize it to a more streamlined process, but there’s an initial training period that you’ll have to go through.
The Ridge Burnt Titanium loaded with cards and cash
The Ridge Wallet: Pros
If you think I’ve given these Ridge wallets a hard time, it’s because I have. But it’s been honest criticism. Keep reading to find out what I did like about the Ridge wallets. I think it will surprise you.
To be fair, I was already enjoying the benefits of a minimalist wallet, which may be why I didn’t swoon over the Ridge wallets at first sight. I already knew the benefits, and I didn’t have to cut down on the junk I bring with me. Most guys moving from a full-size billfold will probably go head over heels for the design, and they should. Minimalism is wonderful.
Also, although I didn’t carry the Titanium, a friend of mine did. He’s a nurse in a busy rehab facility, as well as an outdoorsman and avid shooter. I trust his opinion on EDC gear.
1. These things are damned tough
I’m not easy on anything I own, and I truly believe these things will hold up to whatever I use them during. I had the Carbon 3K in my pocket for several remodeling projects, and it’s got one tiny scratch on the cash strap. Other than that, this thing looks like it’s brand new. I would’ve had no concerns about carrying this wallet during a busy midnight shift on patrol.
The experience was the same with the Titanium. It’s just a tough wallet. It’s been through quite a bit already and shows no signs of wear, dents, or scratches. It’s unlikely that you’ll find another wallet this tough this compact in size.
2. The Titanium looks great
The Burnt Titanium finish looks really, really cool. There’s no denying that this thing has way more style than the carbon fiber wallet. Choosing one of these wallets based on style alone, I’d choose the Titanium.
3. The money clip is awesome
If you don’t carry cash often, don’t count out the money clip’s functionality. This clip can really come in handy. It’s tough and sturdy, but also easy to manipulate. Yes, it can hold your cash in place securely, but it can also hold your wallet in place.
Anyone who has ever worn scrubs knows that the pockets are a joke. They don’t hold anything, and during a busy shift on your feet, who knows where you’re dropping your stuff. The Ridge money clip slides over the waistband of a pair of scrubs easily and holds your wallet in place for your entire shift. If you absolutely need a money clip, you can purchase an extra clip from Ridge and install it on the other side.
This clip isn’t just for nurses or doctors. First responders and other professionals that carry a lot of gear in their pockets will enjoy the clip on the Ridge wallets. You can clip it to your duty bag, a pocket inside a cargo pocket, or even a breast pocket, and it’s going to stay put.
It can clip to a pair of gym shorts as well. Hell, we wish everything clippable used one of Ridge’s money clips.
A future licensing deal, maybe? Call me, Ridge.
4. The elastic straps are strong
I don’t have the ability or scientific intellect to test the RFID-blocker, but I can tell you this: Nothing is getting out of this wallet if you don’t want it to. It holds your cards securely in place, in any position, during any activity. Even if you twist the shells back and forth independently of one another, your cards aren’t going to slip out. This is thanks to the super-strong elastic straps.
Initially, I thought the elastic straps were cause for concern. But they’re as tough as elastic straps can be. If they do ever wear, they’re easy to replace. Ridge sells sets for a few dollars, and you can swap them out with the screwdriver that came with your Ridge.
5. It doesn’t heat up
As I mentioned, I don’t like keeping things in my pockets. I especially dislike stuff in my pockets when the weather’s hot. Knowing this, I purposely challenged myself to carry the Carbon 3K when the weather got particularly balmy.
This is by far my favorite thing about The Ridge Carbon 3K. While a leather wallet can retain body heat and get kind of nasty, the Carbon 3K doesn’t. It stays absolutely cool in your pocket. It doesn’t matter if you’re mowing the lawn on a 95-degree day or relaxing by the pool. This thing stays comfortable.
Plus, it doesn’t harbor bacteria or sweat the way a leather wallet does.
And that, my friends, is how the Carbon 3K won me over.
The Ridge Carbon 3K
When I would carry the Ridge wallet
There are a lot of scenarios where the Ridge wallet is the perfect choice for your cards and cash. First off, anytime the weather’s hot, this thing’s going in my pocket. It might seem like an overstatement, but the level of comfort that the Carbon 3K provides when it’s steamy out is absolutely insane.
I would also carry the Ridge during any outdoor pursuit. You can use it to hold your cards and cash, or your hunting, fishing, or boating license. You can keep it on you during the roughest mountain bike rides. It can take literally anything you can throw at it; work or play.
Also, it’s ideal for traveling. It’s lightweight, secure, and protects your precious digits.
With that said, I won’t be carrying it everywhere I go. If I’m heading to a nice dinner with my wife, I’d be sheepish about producing either of these Ridge wallets from my pocket. Maybe less so with the Titanium, but I’d much prefer the classier look of a leather wallet and a polished money clip.
I’m more likely to carry the Ridge when I’m wearing a G-Shock, Oakleys, and carrying my Kershaw Brawler. It might even work in a pair of chukkas, jeans, aviators, and a Seiko SKX. However, when it comes to a classier look, I’ll swap the Ridge out for my leather wallet.
My Overall Impression
I admit that I was extremely hard on these Ridge wallets. I thought they were thick, and the tactical styling didn’t thrill me. But when I took everything the Ridge wallets had to offer into consideration, I found that they’re a truly impressive option for EDC.
When it comes to a tough wallet for EDC, these Ridge wallets are an excellent choice, and I couldn’t recommend it enough. I have no concerns about the quality of the materials or the fit and finish; they’re all impeccable.
Do I think they’re worth the money? That’s the real question, right? Here’s your answer: I truly believe that you’ll get your money’s worth out of either of these Ridge wallets. You can certainly find a less expensive option to carry your cards, but none are as flexible, durable, and comfortable as the Ridge.Check Price
10 Best Watches For Men Reviewed – 2021 Edition
For those living under a rock, everyone knows that the modern man doesn’t really wear a watch solely to know the time. Instead, it is more about a statement of your class and style. You also probably already know that the good quality watches for men can be found within a variety of price points, so there’s always something for you regardless of your budget.
Gents, since we all know these things, there’s really no point dancing around a preamble. Let’s just cut to the chase and see some of the best watches for men available on the market.
Best Watches for Men
1. Rado Centrix Jubile Black Dial
Simple but classy; that’s the easiest way to describe this Rado Centrix Jubile Black Dial watch. With only the quarter hour positions marked by diamonds and silver-tone hands, the watch presents a not-too-noisy and straightforward design. Apart from the small brand name, hour, minute, and seconds hand, the only other thing on the face is the calendar – talk about a neat watch!
Rado Centrix is an analog quartz watch, meaning its ticking movement is powered by a battery. This might not be your type of watch if you prefer an automatic or mechanical watch. But its no-frills design coupled with its tough scratch-resistant sapphire crystal gives it a certain easy appeal, making it one of the best watches for men who are looking to stand out with something uncomplicated yet trendy.
Rado has automatic watches, though, if that’s your preference. However, they cost a few hundred dollars more than the quartz model.
With only 30 meters of water-resistant rating, the Rado Centrix watch is splash-proof. But a splash-proof watch is not exactly what you’ll wear to the pool.
Getting caught up in occasional rain while wearing your Rado Centrix isn’t going to be a problem; neither will splashes of water have any effect on the watch. But you don’t want to submerge this watch in water. Your investment is better off contacting the smallest amount of water possible.
2. Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch
This next option is for men with deep pockets. If you intend to splash some serious cash on a timepiece, you might as well take a look at the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch. It’s not called the “moon watch” for nothing. It has actually been to the moon and back! The Omega Speedmaster is one of the few manual-winding chronograph movement watches that are worn on NASA missions.
The analog watch features a tough sapphire crystal dial window and comes complete with a presentation box that includes a Velcro strap, NATO strap, and strap changing tools.
With a 50-meter water resistance depth, you shouldn’t think of diving with this expensive watch on unless you plan to damage your prized possession!
While you can swim with it, it is best to avoid too much exposure to water and probably take it off. Like other chronograph watches, this one also features a stopwatch function that can be very useful when you need to use a timer. The bottom button at the side of the watch controls the function and can be used to start and stop timing.
Omega watches are not only made famous by NASA astronauts, movie characters like James Bond have also contributed to promoting the brand. If you prefer the version worn by James Bond (after he ditched Rolex in 1995), consider the more popular Omega Seamaster series. This particular Seamaster Planet Ocean is an automatic watch, so you will have to wear it almost daily or move it around for a bit every day. Needless to say, you’ll have to pay top dollar for it.
3. Gucci G -Timeless
Okay, Gucci is renowned as a first-rate fashion label, so it might come as a surprise to see the brand listed among watchmakers. First, buying a watch from a well-established fashion brand means you are paying extra for the designer label. And secondly, you might not get certain features found in other watches within the same price range.
However, Gucci is not just an authority in the clothing world. The company has gone ahead to also make a name for itself in the watch market and is even a leading brand in watchmaking. And the icing on the cake? Gucci watches are made in, you guessed it, Switzerland – giving the watchmaking section of the brand more class.
Most Gucci watch designs are strikingly unconventional as far as traditional watchmaking goes. The result? Gucci produces some of the best watches for men who prefer donning chic styles instead of the more common traditional designs.
So, if you are looking to stand out from the crowd, consider a Gucci watch. This G-Timeless model is from the Timeless collection. It comes with a mineral crystal face and quartz movement. Although it is a water-resistant watch, it is best suited for swimming in shallow waters.
The watch is battery operated. That means you might need to replace it, depending on how long it has stayed on the shelf. An automatic movement would have been desirable, but Gucci watches with that feature costs almost as twice as this one.
4. TAG Heuer Formula 1 Caliber 5 Automatic Watch
This might not be the most expensive watch on this list, but it certainly is really tricky knowing exactly where to begin to describe this TAG Heuer Watch.
TAG Heuer is a leading name in watchmaking. First, it is a Swiss brand. Secondly, the company has continued to win multiple prestigious awards. And thirdly, you don’t have to lose an arm and a leg to own one of their watches, although they don’t come cheap. Is there any wonder why one of their timepieces is included in the list of best watches for men?
This automatic TAG Heuer watch comes with a tough sapphire crystal glass that won’t scratch easily. The glass face houses a striking grey dial that is difficult to miss even in the dark, thanks to the rhodium-plated indexes coated in white Superluminova and the sleek steel hands. And just in case you didn’t catch that, it simply means the hands and markers glow in the dark.
The watch is powered by Caliber 5 mechanical movement with a backup power that can last up to 38 hours. It also comes with a fast date correction feature. As far as water resistance goes, you don’t have to take it off if you want to go for water skiing or any other serious surface water sports. In fact, it is safe for professional marine activities, too. But with only 200 meters water-resistant rating, you definitely shouldn’t be using this watch for scuba diving.
Seems like the Formula 1 collection is a combination of high-quality and bells and whistles, right? Well, it might be difficult to find fault with a watch that is designed with incredible Swiss-made technology. But here’s something to keep in mind, though; 43 mm isn’t exactly small, so the watch might look awkward on you if you have a small hand. You don’t want people thinking you got an oversized birthday present!
But that’s not something to split hairs too much about because you can opt for the 41 mm stainless steel version if you’re bent on owning a watch from the Formula 1 collection of TAG Heuer. It is also an automatic watch, so there’s no need for a battery.
5. Tissot Le Locle Powermatic 80 Automatic Watch
The Tissot Le Locle Powermatic 80 Automatic Watch is proof that you can get the best watches for men even if you’re not a CEO just yet. A high-quality Swiss watch, an automatic watch, and a synthetic sapphire glass are all wrapped into this very affordable timepiece! Quality and affordability don’t get any better than this Tissot Le Locle watch.
This watch is made from stainless steel and has a silver metal bracelet. The watch has a black dial and comes with a date function. You won’t be changing batteries since it is an automatic watch, but you’ll need to wear it or move it daily. It is a water-resistant watch with a 30-meter rating. Apart from the occasional splash of water from the sink, it is best to avoid getting this watch wet.
6. Bell & Ross BR 03-92 NIGHTLUM
The Bell & Ross BR 03-92 NIGHTLUM watch is the first watch on this list with a leather strap. Pay no attention to the “bell” in the name; there’s no bell and whistles with this watch, just a straightforward square watch with the traditional hours, minutes, and seconds hands with a date feature.
This watch has its origin in aviation and is perfect for gents who prefer simplicity and a square-shaped watch. But just because it is a simple watch doesn’t mean it is made from low-quality materials. This watch features a hard-wearing leather strap that is as tough as they come. The face is a rugged scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and the watch comes with a screwed-down crown.
All the hands are luminous, so you don’t have to squint to see what time is it, even in the dark. It is a water-resistant watch rated at 100 meters. So, it is perfect for swimming and some other water sports. However, I wouldn’t take it for diving. And the best part? It has an automatic movement. So, while this watch might not have the usual extra attractive trimmings, it sure packs quite a bit of functionality.
7. Frederique Constant Horological Smartwatch
Here’s another leather strap watch that qualifies to be on this list of best watches for men. Why? You’ll know just in a bit. But first, let’s start with the one thing that is less appealing about the watch. The Horological Smartwatch from Frederique Constant is a Swiss quartz watch, meaning it is powered by a battery. Most watch nerds would prefer an automatic or mechanical watch, but this quartz watch comes with a battery that can last for more than 2years, so you won’t be changing the battery anytime soon.
Okay, now that we’ve gone past that hitch, let’s see what makes this watch outstanding. This elegant-looking timepiece is not called a smartwatch for nothing. It combines a lot of useful functions that hardly reflect on the price tag. This is the perfect watch if you are interested in getting a timepiece that will help you stay on track with your fitness goals.
The Smartwatch can track your athletic activities, including the number of daily steps, the total distance covered, and the total calories burned. You can even set the alarm to remind you to move if you haven’t done so for a certain period. And you can wear it to sleep or place it under your pillow to monitor and record your sleep. What are the details it records during sleep? It monitors how much time you spent in light sleep, deep sleep, and how much time you spent awake.
Okay, enough about activity tracking. Let’s get to the real reason this watch is called a smartwatch. It is built to automatically pick up the current time from your Smartphone, so you don’t ever need to set the time and date, even when you travel across time zones. Plus, all your data can be backed up to the cloud, making it easy to restore it in case you ever lose your phone or watch.
It comes with a locked crown, a push button, and a scratch-resistant domed sapphire crystal face. It has a water-resistant rating of 50 meters, making it safe to use even when you sweat profusely or wash your hand in the sink. Just don’t go swimming with this watch as you might lose your investment.
8. Breitling Navitimer GMT
Did I say the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch was for those with deep pockets? Well, you might need to dig really deep into those pockets if you want to buy a Breitling Navitimer GMT. This is the most expensive watch on this list, but its price is not just what makes it one of the best watches for men; it’s its superior and outstanding quality. In fact, you can use the words “quality” and “Breitling” interchangeably as far as watches go (that’s my opinion, anyway!)
Usually, I should save the best for last, but as you’ll have noticed, I didn’t follow any particular order in listing these watches. The Breitling Navitimer GMT watch is an amazing timepiece, whether it appears at the top, bottom, or anywhere on any list.
There’s hardly anything a quality luxury watch should have that is lacking in this powerful timepiece. But that’s not surprising considering it is Swiss made. It has an automatic movement, rugged anti-scratch sapphire crystal glass, chronograph, and a bidirectional bezel function.
You simply can’t go wrong with this watch. It is an excellent investment for those who can afford it. And to set your mind at ease, the product comes with a solid 6-year warranty.
The last two watches on this list are great choices if you’re thinking budget. But just because you are living on a shoestring doesn’t mean you can’t find good quality watches. In fact, you can find some of the best watches for men under $500 here.
9. Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph Watch
Need an affordable hybrid timepiece dubbed “the most accurate watch in the world?” A smart choice would be the Eco-Drive Chronograph from Citizen.
It’s rare to find a quartz watch that combines super accuracy with not needing a battery. Heck, even high-end chronograph watches tend to go out of sync with time.
This Eco-Drive chronometer timepiece is powered by light – just about any light! The watch face has a small solar panel that traps light, so there’s absolutely no need for a battery, ever! The watch also has an “Atomic Timekeeping” feature, making sure it never goes out of sync.
The Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph Watch is made in Japan. And just before you raise an eyebrow because it’s not from the watchmaking capital of the world – Switzerland – rest assured that Japan also manufactures some of the best watches for men and women alike.
The watch has a superb quality build; it doesn’t scratch easily because it has a very tough protective sapphire crystal on the glass window lens (that’s the transparent part of the watch’s face). And with up to 200-meter water resistance rating, swimming and diving with the watch should be safe.
Here’s a clever and interesting feature. The watch saves energy by not moving all the hands when it is covered in a dark place for a while (under your sleeve, in a drawer, etc.) As soon as you bring it to light, you can visibly see how the seconds hand zoom by to catch up with the current time.
This might not be the best watch for you if you are looking for something with less “noise” on the face. Some people might find the face a bit too crowded. If you want a watch sleek design and a less cramped face, perhaps an unconventional watch like those from Gucci might suit you.
It might not be the most expensive quartz in the world, but it certainly is a great watch for its price. With a rating of 4.4 out of 5 from 605 customer reviews on Amazon and a solid 5-year manufacturer warranty, this is not a bad quartz watch at all.
10. Seiko Automatic Watch
This analog Seiko Automatic Watch is the least expensive on this list, but that doesn’t make it any less valuable. In fact, it is style pretty much like a Rolex Submariner, one of the best watches for men when it comes to taking a deep dive.
Like the previous Citizen watch, this one too is manufactured in Japan. Seiko is not new to the watchmaking business and has established itself as a company that produces high-quality and accurate timepieces.
This particular watch is built with a crystal made from mineral. While that is good, it is not quite as durable and robust as sapphire, but hey, if it’s built as high-quality as other luxury watches, it won’t be very affordable, right?
The auto watch is water-resistant for up to 100 meters. Meaning, it is great for swimming in a pool, but it might not be okay for diving. You definitely don’t want to be wearing this for your underwater exploration during the weekend.
Anyways, you don’t have to hate deep-diving to own this watch. There are other alternatives if diving is top on your weekend to-do list. The Seiko auto watch is simply not designed for such activities. And by the way, why is it called an automatic watch? Because it works by your movement. Instead of relying on batteries, it only works when you use it. This is perhaps one of the few cheap watches with such a feature.
While an automatic movement is generally a plus, it could also be a problem if you don’t use the watch for a couple of days. You may not lose your investment because you didn’t wear your Seiko 5 model for an entire day, but you may need to restart the watch manually. To do that, you need to turn the crown on the side of the watch a couple of times – about 10 to 15 times clockwise.
In Seiko’s defense, though, this is not peculiar to this watch. All automatic watches are designed that way. So if you can get past the fact that you might need to use this watch almost daily, then it could be the perfect watch for you.
What Makes a Quality Watch?
Big names are good; in fact, they are great. But watches are not just about Omega, Rolex, and TAG. Great watches are not found in Switzerland only. So, what exactly makes a watch great? Here are some important criteria to note.
Watch movement refers to the mechanism a watch uses to work. There are three types of watch movements, namely, quartz, mechanical, and automatic movements.
A watch with a quartz movement often uses a battery and is generally cheaper than a watch with mechanical or automatic movement. Mechanical watches require periodic winding to keep them functional. And automatic watches need to be worn or moved daily.
With quartz watches, you get ticking motion of the seconds-hand while mechanical and automatic watches have a sweeping or smooth seconds-hand motion. You can find good-quality watches with quartz movement, but in most cases, luxury watches have mechanical or automatic movements.
Watch Case Material
It doesn’t matter the mechanism of a watch – whether it ticks or sweeps – if the material used in building the case is poor, no one would be attracted to it in the first place. So, first things first, a watch case should provide aesthetics. But beyond that, it has to be durable to offer any form of protection. Good quality watches should have cases made from titanium, ceramic, or at least stainless steel.
The Glass on the Face
The glass on watch faces are called crystals and are made from different materials. Protecting the watch from dirt, water, and other potentially destructive materials might seem like an easy thing to do, but it is not. For this reason, the best watches for men need to have crystals made from tough and durable materials.
The three major materials are sapphire, acrylic, and mineral. Sapphire crystals are second only to diamonds in toughness, making them a more scratch-resistant and expensive. Acrylic faces or crystals are mostly found on cheaper watches. Personally, I don’t recommend buying any watch with this type of crystal because it scratches easily. Besides, it is mostly found in children’s watches.
Mineral crystals are simply glasses treated with chemicals or heat to improve their shatter and scratch resistance. They are not as durable as sapphire but are great choices if you are on a budget.
The weight of a metal strap will tell you whether it is made from solid material or not. Stainless steel, platinum, and gold are some of the best options for metal watch straps. A low-quality watch will have hollow stainless steel in its straps.
You can also find good quality watches with leather straps. The straps are made from durable leather. For example, this expensive Hublot Rose Gold watch comes with a leather strap.
Whether you choose a metal or leather strap watch is a matter of personal preference. One is not better than the other. Although, some people tend to think that metal strap watches should be worn at work during the day, while leather strap watches should be for more casual outings in the evenings or nights. Of course, that’s just an opinion. You can choose to do whatever suits you best.
What? Yeah, you read that right.
Complications don’t sound like a good thing but trust me; it is all good as far as quality watches go. Complications refer to a watch’s extra features besides telling the time.
A good-quality watch should have at least a date feature, you know, just to keep you up to date. Other useful features include a chronograph (stopwatch for timing yourself), a backlight, and many others.
Keep in mind, though, plenty of complications don’t exactly mean a watch is first-rate. There are many luxury and quality watches with minimal complications.
Which country makes the best watches for men? Or which country makes the best watches of any kind for that matter? The answer to this is highly subjective. However, there seems to be a consensus about three watchmaking countries. These are Switzerland, Japan, and Germany, with Switzerland being the undisputed champions.
Brands such as Omega, Tissot, Rolex, Tag, Breitling, and other luxury brands are made in Switzerland. But you can’t ignore other Japanese watchmaking giants such as Seiko and Citizen. These brands also compete favorably with many Swiss watches. German brands such as the A. Lange & Sohne is not left out too. In fact, they produce some of the most expensive and high-quality watches available.
Water Resistance Rating
Lastly, a quality watch should have a fair water resistance rating or a high rating if it is a diving watch. But here’s the thing, water-resistance ratings are usually confusing, especially if you take them literally. For example, it is easy to assume that a 50-meter water-resistance rating means you can dive down to 50 meters, but that is totally incorrect.
Horologists (that’s a fancy word for watch experts) recommend swimming with a watch only if it has a minimum water-resistance rating of 100 meters. A rating of 200 meters and upward is okay for diving. However, keep in mind that the water-resistance of a watch degrades over time, so you want to keep older watches out of the water as much as possible.
So, the best watches for men all have high water resistance ratings, right? Wrong! Many high-quality watches are not designed for diving, so they don’t need such high ratings.
There are a plethora of cheap watches with good water-resistance ratings. It depends on what the watch is designed to do. If you want a luxury watch that is built for deep diving, then you should keep an eye on the water-resistance ratings; otherwise, high a rating is not necessarily a sign of a quality watch.
The best watches for men do not necessarily need to have all the criteria listed above. You will notice that some of the watches in our review do not have a few of these features, too, but that doesn’t make them less valuable. It all comes down to what you are looking for in a watch.
Do not let a lean budget stop you from getting a quality timepiece. If you take a few moments to look through this list, you will find good quality watches that don’t cost much. And if you have a few extra bucks to throw around, there are also superb luxury watches to choose from, too.