The Time Has Come
There’s a particularly odd thing happening in the men’s style world. It’s not new, and doesn’t seem anyone’s caught on to the disparity. Here’s an example of what I mean: let’s say a guy has a YouTube channel, and he’s doing quite well. He’s an influencer. Joe YouTube talks about men’s style and fashion. He’s recently put out a video of fashion trends that need to die this year. A common enough video. In it he talks about highly over-priced shirts with large logos on them. I agree, the trend needs to die. In the video he, as he has often done, calls out the industry for selling you a $10 shirt and charging you an additional $75 for the honor to where their logo (and advertise for them – yes, you just paid to be allowed to advertise a company). Then a few videos later Joe YouTube gives you a list of the best watches under $1,000. What. The. Fuck. I can buy a cheap Walmart watch and have it plated in 24k gold for less than that.
These videos (and articles) sometimes originate because a watch company is sponsoring it. In which case, anything said about that brand is biased and useless. No one being paid to promote an item will trash it in the promo. Part of it is many of these men have large (even appallingly large) watch collections. It’s their Gucci shirt. So, they’re biased. When I say large, I mean the watch collection is worth more than their car, and their wife’s car. Granted, some were given to them by the companies that sponsor them, but no one has a Vincero watch as the centerpiece of a $60,000 watch collection.
To some extent watches are obsolete. Not really, but the argument could be made. While there is some truly exquisite work put into some watches, no watch should cost $1,000. Especially since most watch movements are made by a second company. There are companies that use the same movements as Rolex, legally, for far less. So, what are you really paying for when you buy a Rolex? Name recognition. If they put a Casio on James Bond in the next movie, that watch will suddenly be selling for $1,500 – from a company notorious for selling inexpensive watches.
Do you need a watch in today’s modern world? Yes. In fact, you need more than one.
Let’s dispel a few modern myths. Yes, you can just use your phone. And you’ll look like a schmuck, because you are. But by the same argument, there’s a ton of things you could dispose of that your phone can do. Your phone has a built-in note taking app, not to mention the copious others on the market. Your phone even has voice memos built in, free. Yet, people still use notepads, post-its, even scrap pieces of paper. Your phone has a calculator built in, and yet not only can you still find the cheap calculators at Walmart and many other stores (many of which do far less than the one on your phone), but they still make clip boards with built-in calculators.
The list of things that your phone can do that you use other things for is extensive. And the reason for this is simple, using your phone for those things is cumbersome and sometimes downright uncouth. When you’re out to dinner, especially with your special lady (or guy), pulling out your phone is a big faux paus. Even to check the time. There are numerous studies that repeatedly find when someone pulls out their phone, it sends the signal to the people they are with that they are no longer important. Even having it out on the table is bad. If you’re in a suit or blazer, you simply don’t pull out your phone unless it’s an emergency. Not only are watches convenient, many are works of art. It’s male jewelry. And several polls and studies have repeatedly come to the same answer, women like a man with a watch. A good watch automatically ups his game.
So what makes a good watch? For most women, they couldn’t tell the difference between a Rolex and a Timex. Neither can most men. The guy you’re talking to is standing 4 feet in front of you. He’s got a drink in his hand, you’ve seen his watch many times. Are you likely to know who made it? No. A watch snob likely could, but you’re not one of them. Not if you’re this far into this article.
If you are new to the watch scene, go with simple and classic styles. It’s okay to start with a boutique watch like Mvment or Vincero, but know that it’s not made to last, and the quality isn’t half what they claim it is. But, it’s a starter watch, it doesn’t need to be. Any watch over $200 should have more than a name behind it.
I own two watches. At some point I’ll need a third, but not just yet. One is a cheap watch I bought intending to beat the crap out of it. I wear it when working in the shop or the yard, when exercising, and swimming. It cost me $15 and it’s exceeded its price. Its water resistant, which means it can accept getting splashed occasionally, yet it has held up to snorkeling and shallow dives (real dives require real equipment). My other I bought in the 90’s (it’s not in production anymore). I wanted a watch that looked good, and could take the pounding from golf and some other activities. It’s a nice casual watch that I’ve worn to a few semi-formal events. The crystal is still in excellent condition, the bezel has a few scratches. I’ve replaced the band once, and will be doing so again soon. I’ve gotten several complements on it. It’s a Timex that cost me $30. In 30 years of wearing it, only my brother who used to sell jewelry knew it wasn’t an expensive watch.
Not only don’t you need to spend a fortune on a watch, you can be hip and fashionable by not spending a fortune. A surprising trend even among the wealthy is to wear a classic Casio digital watch. Not a G-Shock but the F-91W aka Casio Classic. There are celebrities and millionaires and industry giants wearing a watch that costs less than $20. Cassio has even started making them again.
Should you be wearing a watch – yes.
Should you buy one because of the name and pawn your car to do it – no.