How to Buy Your Wife A Watch

How to buy your wife a watch - NOMOS

So you want to buy your wife a watch. Of course you do. You’re a watch guy! A cherished timepiece is a gift like no other: a piece of functional art that your beloved can pass down to your children (should you be so blessed). Quick question: did you notice the word “cherished“? Of course you did. The obvious danger: you’ll buy a watch she won’t like. There’s a simple way to avoid that fate. Let’s start with a bit of basic psychology . . .

A huge percentage of our behavior is habitual. We get up, urinate, make a cup of coffee, get dressed, get on with our day. We like to think we choose our daily behaviors, but do we? How much of what we do is done by rational choice, how much is down to habit (a.k.a., subconscious stimulus -> response programs)? Wake up -> coffee. Habit. Done.

Buy your wife a watch - HUBLOT

You have habits/subconscious programs for everything. For how you take your coffee to how you drive to what clothes you wear. Think about that last one. Is your impeccable wardrobe the result of a well thought out, constantly evolving plan, or are your clothing “choices” motivated by a clothes buying habit locked in decades ago? What you probably call your “style.”

You also have a watch buying habit. Warning! You may think you know why you bought a particular watch, but you may not actually know. We like to convince ourselves that our habits – including our beliefs – come from carefully considered conscious decisions. Maybe we’re just rationalizing habits we didn’t choose and can’t control. Anyway . . .

OMEGA price tag

Write down the three things you like about your current watch. There. That’s your watch buying habit. Because of the way the subconscious mind works, past performance is indicative of future results. I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that every watch you own has those three “likes,” no matter what the brand or price.

I explained this methodology in First Luxury Watch – How to Buy. Apply it to buying your wife a watch that she’ll love, cherish, honor and wear. “Hey darlin’. I was just reading this post at The Truth About Watches about what women look for in a watch. Just out of curiosity, what do you like about your watch? Huh. What else? Really! One more.”

Reverso (courtesy

Now you know how to buy your wife a watch: choose a watch that has ALL THREE of her “likes.” Keep in mind that she presented them in order of importance. Don’t assume you know what she’s talking about. “What do you mean by cute?” Cute can mean size, color or even the strap or bracelet. “It keeps good time” might mean she can see the time.

What if she doesn’t wear a watch, even when she gets dressed up for a night on the town? Hello? Why are you buying her a watch? What if she’s only wears an Apple Watch? I repeat: why are you buying her a watch? Convincing a non-watch-wearing adult female to wear a traditional watch on a daily basis is less likely than convincing a 30-something male to trade his sports car for a minivan.

Bvlgari Serpenti - how to buy your wife a watch

This post assumes you want to surprise your wife with a watch, rather than asking her straight out which one she wants. You probably think you’ll choose one of those gift giving strategies. Nope. Your subconscious has been programmed to prefer one method over the other. Just as your wife’s programmed to prefer one type of watch over another. Lyndon Johnson said that a decision is only as good as the information it’s based on. So don’t guess. Ask. Happy hunting.


  1. Option 1 – Buy a Tank, tell her Jackie O wore it, and maybe she is happy.

    Option 2 – Buy the latest Apple Watch and definitely she is happy. As Robert says, ask whether it should be rose gold or steel, don’t guess.

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