Watch Buying Guide

Watches have been around since the 15th century, originally as mini clocks before developing into a pocket watch. These were then overtaken in popularity by the new wristwatch in the 1920s designed by Frenchman Louis Cartier and Swiss Hans Wilsdorf.

The wristwatch then became a fashion statement as much as for checking the time. Some prestige brands such as Roles, Patek Phillipe and Cartier have become a status symbol, and a practical tool all rolled into one convenient and stylish wrist-mounted device.

Nowadays, there are thousands of different makes available, in an array of styles, functions, and prices.

With so many options, trying to choose just one can be overwhelming. Our simple guide to buying a new watch will help you, so you can be sure you’ll end up with a watch you’ll love.

Types of Watch

There are many categories of watch, all varying in movement, display, and function. Before buying a watch, you should consider why you need it, where you’ll be wearing it, and how long you’ll be wearing it for.


Mechanical and automatic watches are similar to one another but differ in how they are wound. Both are powered by a complex mechanism of hundreds of tiny pieces working together. Mechanical watches are hand-wound, meaning the wearer must spin the crown manually, while automatic watches are wound using the kinetic energy of the wearer’s wrist.

Quartz watches run on an electronic oscillator controlled by the vibrations of a quartz crystal. Due to a lack of moving parts, they require very little maintenance (aside from battery replacements) and tend to be low-cost. Most new watches are quartz for this reason.

Solar & Eco-Drive watches, like those in our Citizen range, are powered by light – any light! They are low maintenance and don’t require battery replacements.

Dial Display

Analogue watches are the traditional style of watch. They typically have three hands to point out the hours, minutes, and seconds. More complex analogue watches – like chronographs – also use hands to record other measurements such as a stopwatch facility.

Digital watches are the more modern option, displaying the time on an electronic screen. Depending on the age and complexity of the watch, the digital screen can vary hugely in colour, resolution, and interactivity.


Dress and fashion watches prioritise style and design over function. They are made to be visually impressive and often feature precious metals and gemstones. Depending on the brand, they can be suitable for everyday wear or reserved for formal occasions and everything in between!

Sports watches are designed for functionality. The exact design of a sports watch depends on its speciality:

  • Dive watches, as the name suggests, are intended to be worn by divers. They are able to withstand strong water pressure and can measure water depth.
  • Chronograph watches feature separate dials for tracking and recording time down to split seconds, making them ideal for athletes.
  • GPS watches contain an integrated GPS receiver to aid with navigation.

At Forum Jewellers, we offer Lorus and Citizen luxury dress and sports watches. You are welcome to view watches in person at the shop in Broadstone, Dorset, no appointment required!

Watch Buying Guide

Men’s Watches

A sleek, attractive, quality timepiece is an essential part of any man’s wardrobe. As men have fewer options for accessorising, a man’s watch tends to be his biggest opportunity for self-expression.

A high-tech sports watch gives the impression of energy and excitement, while a luxury dress watch indicates the wearer enjoys the high life. It’s why James Bond is never seen without a Rolex or Omega strapped to his wrist!

Our men’s watches range from classic to modern, ornate to minimalist. Whether you’re looking for form or function, you’re sure to find a watch you’ll value for a lifetime.

Watch Buying Guide

Women’s Watches

Although wristwatches are often thought of as a ‘men’s accessory’, this is far from the truth. In fact, before the 20th century, they were worn exclusively by women!

Modern women’s watches tend to be slimmer and more decorated than men’s, designed to resemble jewellery. They are often inlaid with precious gems and other ornamentation; however, many simple and understated options exist as well.

Browse through our stylish and practical women’s watches to find the perfect one for you!

Watch Buying Guide

Children’s Watches

Watches aren’t just for grown ups! Not only does buying your child a watch help them learn to tell the time, it makes it easier for them to learn important organisational and timekeeping skills – something that will become ever more valuable as they grow up.

Our Lorus children’s watches come in a spectrum of colourful and funky styles. Comfortable and hardy, they can withstand the rough and tumble of the most adventurous child.

Watch Buying Guide

Watch Repairs

Like any machine, even the most reliable watch needs to be repaired from time to time. Common problems include a watch ticking too fast, too slow, or not at all; the second hand skipping; and the crown getting stuck in position.

At Forum Jewellers, we offer an extensive repair service for all major watch brands. Because we work with a local watchmaker, we’re able to offer very competitive prices and a much quicker turnaround than the major watch houses.

To book a repair, get in touch via our contact form. We’ll discuss your problem and come up with a solution that works for you.