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By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: December 14, 2013

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WITH Christmas fast approaching and a massive range of both fashion and classical timepieces available, there’s often more to buying a watch than just choosing one off a shelf.

If you want to invest your money in something that will be just right for that special person, it’s good to have a basic understanding about what’s available in the market today.

WatchShop.com, the UK’s leading online independent watch retailer, has compiled this gift buying guide to help you understand the various options, designs, configurations and styles of watches that are out there to help you buy the perfect gift.

“It’s important to try and find a watch that not only looks great, but suits the personality and lifestyle of the person you are buying it for,” said Terry Markham, buyer and online merchandiser of WatchShop.com

“Luckily, today’s watches offer an incredible range of styles and themes to suit everyone. There are several things you should keep in mind when it comes to choosing the perfect watch for someone”

THE OVERALL LOOK: Think about the watch recipient’s particular style and start from there. Tailor the choices to distinctive clothing they wear, there will be a watch to match it. The selection of watch designs available is incredible and there will be one which suits their style and lifestyle all at once.

FUNCTION OVER FORM OVER FUNCTION: The most important thing to remember when choosing is the person’s lifestyle, and where and when they will wear the watch. If it is going to be worn on special formal occasions, features such as an alarm or GPS are probably not the most vital. Water resistance is a consideration at this point, it will start changing the options available. Think about the features which would be most useful for the person. Figure out the ‘must-have’ features of their ideal watch, and then zero in on brands that are known to excel at them.

THE FINE DETAILS: Sometimes, it’s the smallest details which really make the watch special for the recipient. Today’s watches offer more exquisite and exciting embellishments than ever. From Swarovski crystals, and precious stones, to exotic materials and finishes, you can take your pick from a bevy of stylish touches. If you think the person you are buying for would appreciate some glitz and glamour, it’s easy to track down an affordable timepiece that offers a hint of luxury and a healthy dose of glitzy appeal. If they are more reserved, a brushed finish will give the subtlety they will appreciate.

COLOURS: Nearly every imaginable shade and hue can be found amid today’s selection of watches, from a single detail picked out subtly to a complete watch. From lurid contrasting colours or vibrant solid-coloured pieces that pop out in exciting and eye-catching ways, to more subtle and understated looks that exude sophistication and glamour to any ensemble, it’s a snap to find watches that feature everyone’s favourite colour, or match their palette and wardrobe.

Use this as a rough guide of what people need, from the way they would identify their ideal watch:

Strictly fashion: If you think they will value looks over functionality then you may wish to opt for a fashion brand and skip the high-tech gadgetry. In this case, you should can select from a variety of budgets and select a watch that appeals in a purely visual way to their style.

All business: Business people tend to be very demanding about the watches they wear, especially if they travel a lot. If you’re buying a watch for them to wear to the office on a regular basis, you’re probably going to want to select one with a more conservative style. Choose colours and finishes that will blend in and go along well with the majority of their wardrobe. It should be comfortable and durable, a dependable companion wherever the work day leads them.

Urban lifestyle: City dwellers, and those who just prefer having a more urban edge, are going to want watches that offer a combination of style, excitement and technology. Life is fast-paced in the city, so it helps selecting a watch that will never be caught wanting. They will appreciate their watch being fun, cutting edge and very stylish to match their own lives.

Active lifestyles: Even if the person you’re buying for is into extreme sports, you should be able to find a watch that’s more than up to the task. Almost every watchmaker these days offers water resistant timepieces, and there are many models that boast chronograph models to measure the time of their life. If they spend a lot of time doing outdoor activities, you’ll also want a watch that’s tough and durable, with a high water resistance.

There are so many different options when it comes down to buying a watch as a gift for somebody else. Don’t get overwhelmed, and just use what you know about them to buy a watch they will use and cherish for years to come.

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