Should You Buy a Smartwatch or a Mechanical Watch? Here Is What You Need to Know

A good watch has little to do with telling time. Most watch people know that. A good watch says more about the wearer than it says to the wearer. For something worn on the wrist, a good watch can easily cost an arm and a leg. That is just one of the reasons that the club of true watch people is very small and even more exclusive.

Then, there are the smart watch people. That is a different club entirely. The air they breathe is a lot less rarified. Both clubs boast some pretty great products and functionality. If you are in the market for a watch, the first question has nothing to do with brand, but type. Here is what you need to know about choosing between a smart watch and mechanical watch:

What It Is Vs. What It Does

The biggest difference between a mechanical watch and a smart watch is that for the most part, you buy a mechanical watch for what it is and a smartwatch for what it does. According to watch people, the best men’s watch is under $500. But no one really cares if a mechanical watch is the best watch. That is not what a mechanical watch is all about.

A good mechanical watch will cost you thousands, even tens of thousands. It is no less a work of art than is a painting from a great artist, albeit a lot more functional. A mechanical watch is art that you wear. It is also an incredible feat of engineering. It is a status symbol that will get you noticed. Finally, it is an investment, a family heirloom.

It is so valuable that if you have the opportunity to get one of the great watches at a once in a lifetime price, it might be worth taking out a small loan to obtain it. Some things really are special. No smart watch can compete with a mechanical watch in terms of what it is. The mechanical watch is a thing to be desired for what it is.

That said, the new Apple Watch 6 can’t be beat in functionality. Put simply, it can save your live, and has done so for many already. There are more health sensors on that watch than McCoy’s tricorder. If you need a watch for what it does, nothing does it like the world’s best smartwatch.

Buy It Once or Buy It Once a Year

You can buy a good mechanical watch once, and pass it down through many generations. As long as there are people who maintain the ancient knowledge of how to maintain the watches, they will go right on working, pretty near forever. It doesn’t have software that is going to stop working when the maker decides to abandon it.

Even the most expensive Apple Watch gets stale after a year or so, and nonfunctional after five or six years because it will stop receiving software updates. There will also be new features that the old one will not get. No matter how much you spend on a smartwatch, it will seem rather less smart in a year or so.

Something You Look at Vs. Something Others Look at

Finally, do you want something that you look at a hundred times a day for useful or distracting information, or something that makes people take notice of you a hundred times a day? Patek Philippe is the top high-end brand in the world, and among the most expensive. But the best known brand is Rolex. These are watches that will cause business people to notice you and take you more seriously. That said, Apple Watch is the best-selling watch in the world and it will have you gazing at your own wrist all day long. Not everyone considers that a good feature.

How you answer a few questions will determine which kind of watch person you are: Do you want a watch for what it is or what it does? Do you want to buy one watch for life, or swap and discard your watch every year or so? Finally, do you want a watch that turns heads in your direction, or a watch that keeps your head looking down at the technology? Choose well. And take all the time you need.

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