Personal finance

A Watch Can Be an ‘Invaluable' Gift—Here's Kevin O'Leary's Advice for Picking One Out

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From graduations to anniversaries, wrist watches are versatile gifts that are appropriate for almost any occasion. But picking out a timepiece for someone else to wear can be tricky.

Luckily, watch aficionado Kevin O'Leary has one simple tip that can streamline the selection process.

His advice: Think about the recipient's day-to-day style, the "Money Court" judge tells CNBC Make It. Do they tend to dress formally or casually? What colors do they like to wear? These factors are likely much more important than what brand the watch is or what kind of internal movement it has.

In general, O'Leary suggests going with a sporty watch in the style of a Grand Seiko, since sports watches can be worn both formally and with T-shirts and jeans.

"I would definitely choose a watch that is going to be both useful in an informal and formal environment," he says. "That makes the watch invaluable and becomes the watch they wear every day."

And you don't need to break the bank on an expensive Rolex either. Focus less on the price tag and more on how it looks and feels.

"The dial is what you're investing in," O'Leary says. "If you don't like the dial and you don't like how it sits on your wrist, you shouldn't buy it. But if you like the dial and you like the style, it doesn't matter what the price of the watch is."

This is where it's a benefit to have a watch that can be styled in different ways. The flexibility is especially important, O'Leary says, because most people aren't constantly building their watch collection. Instead, they simply pick a watch and wear it all the time.

"Most people don't have massive watch collections, they have one or two pieces that are their standard style," he says. "If you're if you get this watch, they'll probably have it for a decade or longer."

O'Leary adds that the watch you give may even outlive the intended recipient and become a family heirloom one day, so picking something with universal appeal may help it stand the test of time.

"There's nothing more sentimental than your father's watch," O'Leary says. "You should think about that when you're gifting your son or daughter or wife a watch or vice versa. That piece will probably be on the wrist of their children one day."

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