Should I Buy A New Watch Right After Its First Release?

The answer is: NO!

I know that to some watch collectors, the idea of buying a new watch model when it first comes out is so appealing. But it’s indisputably not a wise move. Why?

Firstly, it’s because wristwatches are not like smartphones. The trend in this industry is not moving so fast. Except for the quartz revolution and the increase of case size, the wristwatch industry has rarely experienced such rapid changes like other hi-tech gadgets. Lots of best-selling models now are featuring the technology of decades ago! So why hurry?

skx007 first released 1996
This Seiko SKX007 was first released in 1996, featuring the 21-jewel 7S26 caliber inside. It’s still considered one of the most reliable diving pieces in the market now!

You can’t use iPhone 3 now without looking weird & out-of-fashion. But a 15-year-old watch still blends in very well with today’s apparel. Some luxury vintage timepieces may even get more valuable with age!

Secondly, it’s about reliability! This is the most important aspect of a watch. And you can only say for sure whether a watch is reliable or not after months or years of using. So, be patient! Wait for trustable reviews from experts and other customers before making your own decision!

“How long should I wait?” – Good question! It depends on your targeted model.

If it’s just an upgrade of a best-selling watch, you don’t have to wait for long, because most producers don’t risk changing too much from what was already beneficial. They might adjust the design cues or add a new feature to the old movement, etc. These minor changes rarely cause the overall quality to suffer. You just wait to see if there’s any unexpected minor flaw, over three months is enough!

However, if you’re attracted by a new model that boasts a breakthrough technology & design. You’d better wait for at least a year before buying it unless your budget is abundant!

seiko monster gen 1 & 2
These are Seiko Monster Gen 1 & 2. Seiko replaced the 7S26 movement with a total new movement – the 4R36. So in cases similar to this one, you should wait a little long! (Via: Watchuseek Forums)

Most new products won’t survive the first year of launching for various reasons. This is especially true when it comes to jewelry & fashion items.

With outdoor watches like hiking watches or dive watches, things are even more complicated because such kinds of watches have to suffer lots of physical abuses, flaws are less tolerable than normal dress watches. I’ve seen some customers who were very satisfied with their dive watches at first until they wore it in a scuba dive and discovered that it couldn’t resist water!

Finally, it’s about the price! Many manufacturers don’t want to test the depth of river with both feet. So they won’t produce a new model in mass. They will wait for feedbacks from the market to determine the quantity. So chances are you have to buy the new model at a rather high price after it first comes out! A few months later, this model might get cheaper if it’s successful, or gradually disappear from the stores if it’s a failure. Either of the cases, you gain nothing from being the first buyers!

It takes time to know if a watch is worth your money or not, and because a new watch is not as cool as a new iPhone, why you have to buy it right after its release?

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