In all these years of acquaintance with manufacturing, the question I received most often, from friends, friends and acquaintances, was: which watch do you recommend? If I prefer not to give suggestions to the ladies due to inevitable sexist inadequacies, for males a vademcum is useful to avoid bad blows. I therefore find it beneficial to inspire a critical approach to choice, one that is a virtuous middle ground between the emotional surge and the brainstem.

Two necessary premises. First of all, we specify that the watch is not intended as an investment, but as a durable good. By durable I mean an asset that can preserve its intrinsic, if not commercial, value. Which is no small feat. Let's say then that, contrary to popular belief, the watch is not an accessory, how can it be a bow tie, a scarf or a wallet; is a leader. That is, it dresses a part of the body that has specific measures and with which it must be in agreement.

Sure the clock has its own harmony, which depends only on its own criteria. Functional harmony, which concerns the consonance between ends and means, the choice of materials and functions in relation to the destination; formal harmony, which concerns the relationship between the shape / size of the case and the shape / size of the caliber. A professional diver is designed to plow the depths above the wetsuit, so even sea monster measurements will be justified. A dress watch will have to slide discreetly under the cuff of your shirt, so it's good to be smaller and thinner than the sporty Rolex we like so much.

We will be able to observe a 43.2 mm diameter case, apparently plethoric - like that of theIWC Portuguese Hand-Wound 8 Days - perfectly fit the caliber that animates it. On the contrary, to see a more contained 41mm tempo only, to look clumsy when called upon to dress a very small movement - as for example in the Girard-Perregaux 1966 Ultra Slim, where the GP01800 measures 30mm, an engine which was also chosen because it was larger than the previous 03300mm GP26. Then there is the shape of the caliber, which often does not follow that of the case. We are always moved a little when we can admire through the caseback a movement that is sartorially encased even between the edges and curves that embrace it, as in the past Gondolo Tourbillon 5101p by Patek Philippe and in the Tank Cartier Collection Privée à heures sautantes or enjoy it without veils like in the recent and exquisite skeletonized Tank Cintrée. However, as anticipated, the watch lives in relation to the wrist that wears it. For complexion and complexion. The model that looks good on my partner or girlfriend can be out of tune on me and vice versa. Take this into account.

All this clarified, there are 5 moments - I will call them Phases in deference to our Premier - that I always suggest to explore carefully before hunting hard money. Four of these are entirely up to you - whether you are an expert or not - one requires specific skills. Let's see them together.

Phase 1: The watch must please at first glance. Love at first sight is essential. You can learn to appreciate an object over time, even to take care of it for a lifetime, but if it hasn't struck us immediately, something will always be missing.

Phase 2: Once all the magnets of our gaze have been brought to light, skim with the intended use. What timepiece do I need? What do I need it for? To tickle my vanity or to whet the interest of some passing Vesper? There are those who say that the clock often makes the difference between cuddling and petting, but we firmly distance ourselves from these macho reviews. More pragmatic to reason by employment. If I intend to wear it to my upcoming wedding, I will certainly avoid a rough field watch; if the instrument will be forced to accompany me in the Transylvanian woods for a woodcock hunt with the Kurzhaar, perhaps it is appropriate to discard the dressy. Cool Deepsea Rolex and Panerai Luminor Submersible if I want to reach the Fossa delle Marianne or even just snorkel in Poltu Quatu, but if I have to take lap times when I go karting in Rozzano, maybe they will be little suited.

Phase 3: Objective quality and blazon. Here you will need an expert to evaluate the caliber, finishes, constructive solidity, prestige of the brand. Trend suggestions - even those guided by self-styled high society - are not always reliable, unless you are satisfied with an "aspirational" and "showy" purchase. A watch can be beautiful, precise, well made and patrician… at the same time: let's take advantage of it!

Phase 4: At this point a tax sorting: the budget. How much money do we have in our pockets? How much are we really willing to put on the plate? It is useless to knock on Richard Mille windows if we don't have the money to even make a monkey dance (any reference to the Perpetual Passion team is purely intentional). It is more dignified to admire from a glance, pretending to read the plaque dedicated to the patriot Francesco Restelli.

Phase 5: Try it on your wrist. The advance of e-commerce, of online shopping, will soon colonize even the more traditional sectors of luxury, such as Haute Horlogerie. It is futile to cling to the "culture of waiting", to the "ritual of the boutique", to "tasting the purchase": those who buy today - and especially those who will buy tomorrow - with the tasting of the purchase you water the Amazon package. But thank God they won't be our problems. Because we know that nothing clarifies the correctness of a choice like seeing the reference on the wrist. When you have, through the first 4 stages, carefully selected two and only two watches, put them on, ask your wife to vote for her favorite… and by exclusion you will find the right one.