Choosing an Engagement Watch

The upcoming festive season is a favourite time for a wedding proposal. If you’re considering asking your male partner to marry you, but don’t want to buy a ring, why not consider a pre-owned luxury watch? We asked David Duggan expert Lana for her tips on how to choose the perfect engagement watch.


November is upon us, which means it’s not long now until the Christmas lights are turned on and the festive tunes are set to repeat.


But, while many of us will be busy buying gifts and preparing food over the coming weeks, research carried out by event management company Chillisauce has shown that some of us have other things on our mind. Weddings. Or more precisely proposals.


Of the 10,000 people that Chillisauce surveyed, almost one third named Christmas Eve as the best day of the year to propose and, overall, 40% of all proposals are likely to happen over the Christmas period.


That’s a lot of engagement rings. But, what if you are planning to propose to your male partner this Christmas? More and more men choose to wear a wedding ring, but engagement options tend to be limited. One increasingly popular choice is to buy your future fiancé a watch.


With that in mind, we asked Lana, one of David’s longstanding experts, to share her thoughts on how to choose the perfect pre-owned timepiece for a flawless proposal.


Keep it simple…

Choosing a watch can be overwhelming. There are all sorts of dials, complications, straps and colours to choose from. So, my advice, if you’re not sure where to start, is go classic and simple. Look for a watch that is around the £6-10,000 mark and go with a piece that has a round bezel – gold or white gold – with a silver or white dial and a simple leather strap.


Consider his lifestyle…

Your partner’s lifestyle can offer clues when it comes to choosing the right timepiece. If he attends a lot of functions for work, then you simply cannot go wrong with a classic dress watch and the Patek Philippe Calatrava is the ultimate in tradition. You can pick up a Calatrava ref 3919 for around £8,000, or, if you want to push the boat out, you might consider the Calatrava ref 5115, with its rare enamel dial.

 PP2079 Calatrava5115 Sm


If your fiancé is a bit of an adventurer and loves the outdoors, then I would highly recommend Tudor. Created by Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf, Tudor watches combine Rolex’s dependability with excellent value for money. Something like the Tudor Heritage Ranger is a great option – it was designed for those with a passion for outdoor adventure.



Tudor Ranger Steel Model Sm



If it’s an all-rounder that you are interested in, then look no farther than Rolex. The classic Submariner was introduced in 1953 and was James Bond’s first watch of choice – proven to look great with a tuxedo while saving the world. The Submariner was the first water-resistant watch up to 100 metres (330 feet) and became something of a favourite among scuba divers.


R3540 1680 Submariner Sm


Alternatively, you could choose a Rolex GMT Master. Launched in 1954, these watches were designed in collaboration with Pan Am Airways and issued to their crews on long-haul flights. The GMT hand allows the wearer to set their watch to two time zones, using the rotatable 24-hour scale bezel.


Bring a friend…

Chances are your husband-to-be’s best man or usher will have a good idea of his likes and dislikes, so it can be very helpful to bring him along. He will be able to tell you the sort of things that they talk about together and he may have childhood stories that could help you choose. Likewise, it’s worth talking to your fiancé’s parents. Often our choices and tastes are influenced by what our parents love.


Ask lots of questions…

The most important one is who are you going to buy your watch from? There’s lot of choice in the pre-owned market these days, but it has meant that there are also a lot of fakes. Make sure you get to see the watch – either through verified pictures or by visiting a dealer. A reputable dealer will never mind answering questions about a specific watch or the market generally. So, if they’re avoiding your questions, or seem impatient to get rid of you, steer clear. Good questions to ask include: does it come with its original box and papers? Has it been serviced? What guarantees does the watch come with? Most pre-owned luxury watch dealers offer a minimum of one year’s guarantee.


And finally…

Don’t forget that when you’re setting your budget you also need to research ongoing costs, such as insurance and refurbishment. Pre-owned watches can sometimes need repairs and it is wise to service them every three to five years.


We’d love to help you make the perfect proposal. To help you get started, you can browse our latest collection of vintage and pre-owned watches, or contact the David Duggan showroom directly for more advice.

Pre-Owned Watch Brands