© Baume & Mercier© Hermes ParisWhile a timepiece is undoubtedly functional, most would agree that in a world of mobile phones, computers, alarm clocks and other household items, the humble wristwatch could be considered somewhat unnecessary.

But the popularity of the personal timepiece with men, women and children around the globe is a testament to the value bestowed on it. And this is true for all, from celebrities such as Nicole Kidman with her Omega Ladymatic and George Clooney with his Seamaster to regular people going about their daily business.

The longevity of brands such as Vacheron Constantin and Breguet, which have over 500 years’ experience in watchmaking between them, is also proof that watches have more value than telling the time and are indeed a lasting commodity.

Because of their grand appeal there is much variation when it comes to wristwatches; for example, men and women’s watches tend to differ in terms of size and capability. If not opting for a classic design, men tend to choose their timepieces based on added functions, such as water resistance or an alarm; whereas women will are more likely to base their watch purchase on appearance or as an adornment.

With so much choice out there, it may be hard to know where to start when looking for the right timepiece for you. Choosing a brand that specialises in what you arelooking for, however, can be astep in the right direction.

For example, brands such as Breitling have made their name by engineering precision timepieces that service a range of professions that rely on keeping time – such as pilots, divers and astronauts. Seiko is renowned for its sports watches, IWC for classic style, Piaget and Cartier for its elegance and extravagance, and so on.

Nevertheless, no matter what your personal timepiece style is – something classic that reflects a bygone era and won’t date or something a little more contemporary that can be tailored to be a little more individual – buying a timepiece is like purchasing a piece of art. It is subjective and, once you’ve made your decision, if you look after your purchase, it may even grow in value.
But whatever it is that you do find, if you’ve chosen well, you can be assured that your timepiece will be timeless.

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