First Watch - Advice

Hi all,

I am in college working in NYC this summer. My 21st birthday is coming up and my parents want to get me a watch as a gift(preferably below $550). Neither I nor my parents know anything about watches so any advice would be much appreciated. I enjoy the design of this Jack Mason watch(Halyard Sport Chronograph in Blue with leather strap), but do not know much about the brand or if it is a reasonable price. I enjoy the blue with the leather strap, but am open to all suggestions for first watches or if the Jack Mason watch is worth it. Thank you for any help!


Easy. Hamilton Khaki field is the one. Or like any Seiko if you want something dressy (look into the presage collection). Tissot is also an option and the PRX may be stretching your budget slightly but is quite elite value for money / looks amazing on wrist. 


Yeah I think the cheapest is like 575. Also go for mechanical over quartz (in my opinion and my biggest problem with the model you mentioned in your post). Nothing wrong with quartz obv and it’s more accurate. However, mechanicals just cooler to me and more fun. 

Most Helpful

Get a Seiko 5 for 100 bucks and wear it for a year. Browse extensively and go try watches on. Then, only after a year, buy a second watch over $600.

Have personally loved wearing these: - Seiko Black Alpinist - Baltic Aquascaphe GMT - Seiko 5 SNKL - Tissot PRX

Pick up a Casio as well. The standard G Shock is unbeatable and their world timer watches are really fun, too.

Tissot, Hamilton, and Citizen are other solid entry level options. I would suggest getting only 1-2 cheap watches then saving for some quality pieces you’ll want to keep forever.


I was looking at the AQUASCAPHE CLASSIC BLUE GILT potentially even though it would be a bit outside my budget. It looks beautiful. Do you have opinions on this brand or watch in specific? Would it be a good one to start with?


Yeah I got myself a Baltic GMT two years ago. It has the same case as that watch with a different movement. I think it’s a great piece and love wearing it. Gets a lot of wrist time. I don’t know if I would recommend it as a first watch, though. The vintage styling is nice but I encourage you to handle it in person to see if you like it. It’s pretty versatile but not a modern design, it’s intentionally more 1950s.


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