Frankly speaking, every timepiece is a fashion watch, because it demonstrates your style & individuality to some extent. As soon as cell phones became popular, people no longer need a wrist watch for time-telling, they treat it as a fashion item instead, except for some heavy-duty sport watches that are designed to be used in special circumstances.
There’re basically 2 main kinds of wristwatch in the watch industry now. The first is timepieces which are made by true watch companies, such as Rolex, Omega, Seiko, Citizen, Orient, Casio… And the second, what we call “fashion watches”, are products of famous fashion brands, such as Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Just Cavalli, Versace, Gucci, Rudiger, Police…So what are the differences between the two kinds?
Well, firstly, it is their role with the producing company. Rolex or Seiko definitely earn their money from their watches, watches are their main products and ultimate source of income. Therefore, these companies always try to improve their watches’ quality as much as possible. They invest much in researching materials, improve their watches’ technical properties. Needles to say about Rolex luxury pieces, but even the cheap watches from Seiko also exude a high-level craftmanship. The same rules can be applied for most prestigious watchmakers in the market.
Fashion watches, on the other hand, are offered by famous fashion brands who usually have a well-rounded portfolio of products. They don’t rely solely on wristwatches to make profits. Thus their level of commitment to wristwatches may be limited. It doesn’t mean that all fashion watches are worthless, some brands like Police are Michael Kors can offer you valuable timepieces with striking designs. However, if you just make your decision based on the brand’s reputation, you would get a bad deal sooner or later. Remember, in the watch industry, sometimes the price has nothing to do with the quality. A good sunglasses maker can offer you a worthless wristwatch. Sad but true! It’s normal in business, one day Rolex tries to sell ladies bags, I wouldn’t be surprised if their bags’ quality are far less than that of their watches.
As most of the fashion watches are made by a third-party, not by the brand’s owner, it’s very important to search out who is the real manufacturer. For examples, Fossil designs and manufactures fashion watches for lots of prestigious brands: Emporio Armani, Burberry, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Adidas… Since Fossil is reputable in the watch industry, you could partly make sure that the watches they make are acceptably reliable and durable. So next time you want to buy a fashion watch, the first and foremost thing to do is try to know who actually manufactures the watch. Big brands do not mean high-quality watches.
One more thing for you to expect from a fashion watch: most of the watch’s value comes from the brand name and the logo on its face. Believe it or not, a 200USD fashion watch might cost only over 20USD to produce. This seems to be unreasonable, but prestigious fashion brands apply that rule for all of their products. A 100USD Nike pair of sneakers also costs a few bucks to manufacture. If you want a more reasonable cost/price ratio, opt for a Japanese watch from Orient or Seiko, Citizen, etc…But chances are that you might find these Japanese timepieces just don’t suit your style. Their designs are a little conservative and not as trendy as fashion watches. I’m not talking about Japanese sport watches, but dress watches which are prone to classic styles. Fashion watches possess the unique freshness & stylishness that you may not see on the products made by established watchmakers. Each fashion brand always imprints their unique style on their watches, that’s why these timepieces keep being sought-after.
In conclusion, if you look at a wristwatch as a mere fashion item, fashion watches are also good choices besides “true watch”. The timekeeping function of fashion watches is usually basic, but reliable, as their components are mainly provided by Japanese or Swiss producers. Make it clear from the start that you buy a fashion watch due to its appealing design and brand recognition, or else you would feel disappointed when you open the case and see what is inside the watch. Fashion timepieces are not for watch enthusiasts.