Diamond Watch Buying Guide
When it comes to finding the most noticeable fashion accessory, few things can top real diamond watches. Rolex, Gucci, Bulova–-luxury diamond watches are among the most iconic accessories worn by the world’s most famous personalities. Owning a diamond watch is a symbol of success, status, and it serves as a reward and reminder of your hard work.
How do you choose which diamond watch is right for you? When it comes to diamond watches, there are many brands, prices, and styles for you to choose from.
Here at ItsHot, we know a thing or two about diamond watches for men and women - that's why celebrities including Meghan Markle, Kim Kardashian, Zendaya Snoop Dogg, Serena Williams, Whoopie Goldberg, Michael Jordan, and Sean Paul come to our NYC store to buy our jewelry.
We’ve put together a diamond watch buying guide to help you choose the best women’s diamond watches and the top-rated men’s watches for sale.
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- Things To Consider When Buying A Diamond Watch
- Precious Stones
- Dial Design
- Jeweler Advice
- Buying Tips
- Questions To Ask
Things to Consider When Buying a Diamond Watch
When going through the process of buying a diamond watch, yes you want it to look good and feel good, but you also want it to be meaningful. You want to feel a certain way when you look at it; what does the watch remind you of? How does it make you feel? Does it suit your personality?
- What’s your budget? The right diamond watch is a sign of wealth and status. It’s an investment that you can hand down from generation to generation. However, not all diamond watches are expensive. There are cheap real diamond watches out there that look luxurious, you just have to know how to find them.
- What is your lifestyle? If you want a diamond watch you can wear every day, you need to choose the right one for your routines. Do you work outdoors or indoors? In a professional setting or a casual one? Picking the right watch involves choosing the right style for your lifestyle.
- Blingy or Sleek? Are you looking for an iced-out watch as a statement piece, or do you want a more subtle diamond watch? Which one suits your personality?
- Modern or Classic? Do you want a classic or vintage diamond watch look, or something new?
- Brands? Are you set on a Rolex diamond watch, or are you open to different luxury brands? A real diamond watch is always a part of fine jewelry, but luxury brands can add an element of timelessness (pun unintended) to your watch.
If you do decide to step into a diamond watch store, it’s a good idea to try on some of the watches to get a feel for what design best suits you. If you have a good idea, you can then go and shop online to find the best diamond watch deals and choose from a wider array of styles.
If you’re buying a diamond watch as a gift for someone, try to consider their other tastes in accessories and what kind of lifestyle they have. Before you buy a diamond watch as a gift, check the website’s warranty and return/exchange conditions to make sure you can return it easily in case they want a different watch. To help you make the right choice, ItsHot experts prepared a detailed guide on how to buy diamond watches and what you should pay your attention to.
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Obviously, diamond watches are going to include real diamonds–-but there are also diamond watches with other gemstones.
The diamonds and precious gemstones in a diamond watch are some of the biggest factors affecting its appearance. How many diamonds, the size of the gemstones, the arrangement of them, the color, and where they’re located on the watch make the diamond watch personalized to your specific preferences.
After figuring out what you’re looking to spend, consider where you want the diamonds to be located, and if you want other gemstones as well.
The size, quality, and quantity of the diamonds will impact the cost and look of a diamond watch. These characteristics range from decently sized diamonds of impeccable quality, cut, and clarity to smaller stones with less shine and shimmer.
Ideally, you want to choose the watch that makes the most of its diamonds for its price.
The ratio between the number of diamonds and TCW(total carat weight of diamonds) is a preliminary indication of the quality of the diamonds. Looking at a diamond watch’s TCW is a good method to use to determine the best diamond watch for your budget.
More expensive diamond watches will have a smaller number of diamonds but have an impressive TCW. Diamond watches usually come in different combinations to suit your budget and style.
If you have a high budget ($60,000–$150,000): You have a lot of freedom to choose high-quality diamonds that are larger in size. You can opt for an iced-out piece, or a diamond watch that has larger diamonds but fewer of them. High-quality diamonds get much more expensive as their individual carat number goes up. You may have a lower total carat weight, but with fewer diamonds, this means that each individual diamond is expensive and high-quality.
If you have a medium-high budget ($20,000–$50,000): You can still find watches with high approximate carat weight. You can even buy diamond watches with twice the carats as a watch that costs twice as much, but they may not be as highly rated, or you may have to sacrifice 18K gold for stainless steel or lower karats of gold.
If you have a medium budget ($5,000–$15000): Again, high total carat weight is still easy to achieve, but you’re more likely to spread the total carat weight out over more diamonds that are smaller. Some people prefer to have more numerous, smaller diamonds since they can still produce a dazzling watch. You’ll be able to afford more diamonds and luxury brands if you opt for stainless steel watches rather than gold or platinum.
If you have a lower budget ($1000–$5,000): You will get the most from your diamonds’ appearances if you choose to concentrate the diamonds on the face and bevel, or one or the other. A total carat weight of 5ct can provide a decent number of diamonds without breaking the bank. Opting for smaller diamonds can give you more diamonds for your dollar.
If you’re looking for cheap diamond watches (under $1000): You still have excellent options for cheap diamond watches that are real. Choose stainless steel watches with a total carat weight of 2ct–3.5ct. You can shop clearance sections or buy used watches to get the most for your budget.
Ultimately, it’s up to you how much the individual diamond carats matter, or if you prefer the number of diamonds over their individual carats.
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Diamonds can be located on different parts of the watch to give a different overall impression. Here are the locations for gemstones on diamond watches:
- Diamond bezel watches (with diamonds only on the bezel and sometimes on the lugs)
- Diamonds on the dial/face only
- Diamonds on the bezel and sides of the case
- Fully iced-out watches. These watches have diamonds on the bezel, sides, lugs, and even on the band for the ultimate luxury look.
You can find real diamond watches for almost all budgets with the diamond options above. You can also buy individual diamond-encrusted bezels if you wish to have a jeweler add one to a watch you already own to elevate its look.
Another great way to choose a watch that’s personalized for your style is to consider fancy diamonds. These are natural colored diamonds. Diamond watch colors can feature pink diamonds, blue diamonds, black diamonds, chocolate diamonds, canary yellow diamonds, and more.
It’s not always easy finding colored diamond watches, so if you have your mind set on a really unique diamond watch, you may wish to consider buying a custom diamond watch that perfectly matches your personality.
Other Precious Gemstones
In recent years, colored gemstones are making a huge comeback in fine jewelry and luxury watches. There are a variety of unique precious and semi-precious gemstones that watchmakers often incorporate into their luxury watch designs.
Here are a few types you may consider. They’re not always easy to find, but if you want a diamond watch to have your birthstone or another meaningful gem, it’s worth looking around.
- Rubies: Rubies are one of the rarest gemstones in the world, and they provide a classy red luster to a diamond watch. This custom ruby Rolex watch for men has four rubies interspersed in the diamond bezel, which are complemented by the red face of the watch. In another custom Rolex, the rubies are set in the bezel, giving it a unique duo-tone appearance.
- Mother of Pearl: Mother of pearl is a natural semi-precious gem that provides an interesting shine to watches. This Custom Breitling Super Avenger features steel blue mother of pearl that brings out the blue diamonds as well as the white ones. Pearl
- Sapphire: Sapphire is the September birthstone, and it comes in many different colors. Blue sapphire is the most famous color, but you can also find pink sapphire, yellow sapphire, green sapphire, and more. If you have blue sapphire jewelry, you may consider buying a blue diamond watch to keep your color scheme.
Little details like mother of pearl watch faces can provide a unique look to your diamond watch. You can search for specific gems on our website, although not every online diamond watch store is as user-friendly. White diamond watches are the most common, so if you’re looking for more varieties of gemstones, you may wish to customize your watch or look at second-hand or used custom diamond watches.
Another factor to weigh in when deciding what diamond watch to buy is the watchcase. There are watch cases made of precious metals, but the most common is stainless steel watches.
Stainless steel diamond watches are really popular due to their durability and appearance. Stainless steel is strong, versatile, and can accommodate any type of finish–-polished, brushed, etc. It can also be plated with precious metals like yellow and rose gold, or it can be coated with any color PVD (physical vapor deposition), like black.
But not all cases are created equal. For the best quality cases, make sure the watch describes the material as “all stainless steel”. This means that the full case was forged from stainless steel. This enhances the durability and overall structure of the watch, as opposed to "stainless steel back," which means that only the back of the case was made from stainless steel.
“Stainless steel back” gives the watch a lighter, cheaper feel on the wrist and will reduce the quality of the watch, as well as the plating might start having problems only after a few times the watch is worn. Unless you’re dealing with light quality materials like titanium, you’ll want your watch to have some heft.
The movement is the heart and soul of a watch. The most sought-after and prestigious movements come with the “Swiss” label. These are very expensive and are usually found in high-end brands like Rolex, Chopard, Breitling, and Audemars Piguet.
Quartz watches are battery-powered, extremely reliable, and are accurate within milliseconds per day! The quality of a movement determines how resistant they are to damage and defects.
Chinese quartz movements are the cheapest and generally the least reliable on the market; we don’t recommend them. Watches with the label “Swiss quartz” or "Swiss movement" on the dial and/or back means that the movement was manufactured by a Swiss company, usually Isa or Ronda; they are some of the best in the industry.
Japanese quartz movements are comparable in quality and reliability since the quartz movement was invented in Japan. While Swiss companies adhere to traditional methods of building these movements and refining them to be better without losing their historical value, their Japanese counterparts have moved forward, toward more modern and technological functionalities.
They each have their own merits, pros, and cons, but both are excellent when it comes to watchmaking. If you are looking for a quality diamond watch under $3,000, we recommend Joe Rodeo or Luxurman watch brands. These watches are quality made, all stainless steel constructions, and feature either Swiss or Japanese movements.
Other watch manufacturers can still produce excellent watches, but they may prioritize things besides movement. For example, many luxury Italian watches such as Gucci put an emphasis on style.
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For many watch collectors, the dial design of a watch makes or breaks the deal. It’s the part of a timepiece most people are familiar with, both in name and in knowledge, and it’s the first part people see. It’s called the “face” of a watch for a reason!
The most common watch dial material is brass. The softness of this metal allows a watchmaker to achieve incredibly detailed dial patterns, which is highly desirable in dress watches. Furthermore, exotic materials include genuine mother-of-pearl, which has a beautiful iridescent sheen that can bring out the diamonds.
It has been said that in modern watch collecting, it’s all about the design of the dial. Watch specialists have even said that a watch’s value lies in the dial. If you think about it, the dial is right in the center of the watch and is one of the first things noticed by a potential buyer.
With watch collecting, the seemingly only thing that matters is the face. This conclusion goes against everything we know about being superficial right? “Never judge a person by their face,” or “never judge a book by its cover.” Those are all sayings we’ve heard when it comes to first impressions.
Well when it comes to dial design and watch collecting, you can throw all of that out the window if you’re looking at watches for style. A watch must have a pretty face. People will buy a watch with a great dial, even though the case is in bad shape. That’s because it’s much easier to get a case repaired and restored to look like new. It’s virtually impossible to restore a dial to its original luster without leaving marks to show for it, and we have to remember with watches...being superficial is key...it’s all about having that pretty face.
Pretty faces are definitely something we have here at ItsHot.com! From the cases to the dial design and straps, we listen to what customers want from their watches, and provide the products that satisfy those needs.
The last element to consider when buying a diamond watch is the strap. Many consider the strap to be a minute detail because they can be swapped out, but the default strap of a timepiece is very important! It speaks volumes about what the original designer and manufacturer intended for the watch.
A leather strap with an embossed texture is most likely to be a dress watch. A silicone rubber strap can be identified as a casual or sports watch. Lastly, a genuine alligator or another form of high-end strap material can be classified as a specialty timepiece.
Leather Strap vs. Metal Strap
Currently, watches with metal straps are most popular as they proved to be the most versatile and durable, but a lot of people love wearing leather bands as well. Leather may need to be replaced, while metal straps have greater longevity.
Several diamond watches we sell include two extra leather or polyester bands in different colors. These watches have quick-release pins so you can easily switch bands from stainless steel to different color leather bands right at your home without going to a watch shop. We also offer replacement watch bands.
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Before buying a diamond watch, you’ll want to research the watch specifics, including the manufacturer and model details. You should compare prices online to determine if the watch is at a fair price or not. Product descriptions should give you enough information to be certain about what you’re buying in a watch–-if you have doubts, contact the seller and ask for answers.
If you’ve done your research and you still have doubts about a watch’s authenticity or details, consult with a jeweler. This is the best way to be certain about the quality and fairness of the price. This is especially important if you’re buying a used watch or a discontinued model of watch. Some sellers may sell a watch as authentic when it’s actually a combination of authentic parts and cheaper, counterfeit parts.
At ItsHot, we’ve been in the diamond watch business for many years, and we sell only genuine diamond watches and jewelry. Our staff has over 20 years of experience in manufacturing wholesale fine jewelry in New York City, and we offer expert advice. Things like a 1-year warranty and 30-day returns are standards that we believe every seller should offer and uphold, but not all do. Do your research before buying diamond watches online.
- All you need to do it will cost you up to $20
- The process will take about 30 minutes
- magnifying glass
Here are some buying tips on how to choose a diamond watch.
Consider Pre-Owned Luxury Diamond Watches
Consider pre-owned luxury diamond watches if you’re looking for deals. This will save you money on a beautiful piece. For example, this fully iced out Patek Philippe Nautilus diamond watch is gently pre-owned. Odds are, no one would know that you didn’t buy it brand-new. At $150,000, it’s not cheap, but you’re saving $88,4000 off retail price!
Learn How to Identify Fake Diamond Watches
This is important to avoid getting ripped off. If you’re curious about telling a real Rolex from a fake one, check out our article How to Spot a Fake Rolex: 10 Ways. You’ll see that there are many forms of trickery that sellers use to pass off a fake Rolex as real.
Look for Original Documents
Does the seller include the original box, manual, and warranty card? These things provide proof of authenticity and can add value to the watch in terms of investment. For example, our pre-owned women’s vintage diamond Cartier Panthere Mini watch comes with its original Cartier box, despite it being made in the 1990s.
Ask Questions Regarding Sizing
Sellers should be responsive enough to answer your questions. A lot of women worry if their diamond watch fits small wrists, so asking questions like “will this watch fit a 5-inch wrist?” are really useful.
Ask the Seller at Least One Question
This is important for assessing the seller’s knowledge and communication. For example, if it’s a pre-owned watch, you could ask them “how old is this watch?”. It’s a good idea to ask at least one question about the product, and one about the warranty/return policy.
Let’s go over some other questions you may wish to ask when buying a diamond watch.
Questions to Ask
Asking questions about the diamond watch you’re considering buying can help you determine a seller’s knowledge and expertise.
- (If it’s a pre-owned watch) Has the dial been replaced or refurbished?
- Is there a warranty for this watch?
- What is the return policy?
- When did this watch come out?
- What movement is inside this watch?
- What are some similar watches, or alternatives to this watch?
- What will it cost to service this watch?
- Does it come in the original box?
- What are the serial numbers on the case or movement?
- Has the watch ever been serviced?
- How long have you been in business?
- Could you provide a statement that the watch is authentic?
These kinds of questions are expected from reputable watch retailers, so they shouldn’t have a problem with your requests for more information. If you have a question that isn’t answered in the product description, don’t hesitate to ask the seller.
Founder of ItsHot.com
Denis Stepansky is a founder of ItsHot, a diamond jewelry and watches store based in NYC. He has been in the jewelry business for about 20 years and owns such high-end jewelry brands as Luccello and Luxurman. As a jewelry expert, he has citations on well-known magazines and newspapers like Insider and Daily Mail.
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