16 Things You Have To Explain To People That Don’t Wear Watches
To some people, watches are simply antiquated accessories that told us the time before our iPhones took over. But to many they're something much more than that. They're an opportunity for personal expression, a glimpse into the pre-battery mechanical world, and a part of cultural history that usually gets better with age.
If you don't get the allure of a watch, print this out.
1. Watches are one of the few pieces of jewelry men can wear
Without handbags, jewelry, or designer pumps, it’s pretty much all we got.
2. Not all luxury watches are created equal
There is a lot more that goes into creating a luxury timepiece than precious metal and brand names, so do your homework before you go spending your bonus on something shiny. With the resources available on the World Wide Web alone, you have no excuse if you get taken for a ride by your friendly neighborhood watch dealer.
3. Old is good
Let’s just put it like this: If you show up at your next A-List red carpet event in a brand new Jaguar F-Type, you’re doing just fine. If you show up in a ’62 E-Type, you win right then and there. Same goes for watches.
4. The strap can change everything
It is mind-boggling how many consumers base their purchases off what material (or even color) the strap is. Changing the band is like changing the rims on your car. Except easier, and far less expensive. Buy the watch for the watch—not for its accessories.
5. Bigger isn’t better
2005 called, and they want their watches back. The days of 46mm+ behemoths are over. 42 is the new 44, 38.5 is the new 40, and so on. The mouth breathers in Middle America (and many on Wall Street) might not have picked up on this yet, but trust us, sense and reason have returned to wristwatch design. Mostly.
6. It isn’t about accuracy
Mechanical movements will never be as accurate as electronic, but that’s not the point. The internal workings of a fine mechanical wristwatch are an art form unto themselves, and unlike the latest iGadget, can be serviced, maintained, and passed down for indefinite use. So if you want to know what time it is down to the fraction of a second, check the Atomic Clock. Otherwise shut up about accuracy and enjoy.
7. Don’t buy the hype
The luxury industry is rife with rampant marketing spin. Here’s a little something you probably didn’t know: Something like 80 percent of the watches coming out of Switzerland all have the same basic movements in them. Don't be like the guy buying a BMW 7-Series with the same engine as a Honda Accord because the brochure is shinier.
8. Rolex isn’t always a good investment
Yes, Rolex makes extremely collectable watches and many of them become very sensible investments over time. But like any other mass-produced luxury commodity, the bulk of them lose a significant amount of value immediately after being purchased new. Then, somewhere around 30 years later, they level off and start climbing—sometimes to dizzying effect. Or, they're diamond-encrusted and gaudy and no one wants them because they feel dated.
9. You need more than one
10. They don’t have to be expensive
More often than not, price doesn’t equal quality when it comes to wristwatches. There are some pretty kick-ass mechanical dive watches for under $250 on the market, and they're a hell of a lot cooler than going the quartz digital route. Similarly, going the pre-owned or vintage route can save you some real coin on the luxury brands.
11. Watches are important
We may not be the guys who get to be the first to summit the tallest peaks, descend to the darkest depths of the ocean, set foot on a heavenly body, fly solo across the Atlantic, or be a debonair silver screen secret agent. But we can wear the same watches as the men who did, and that makes them downright important. And cool. Super, super cool.
12. The Apple Watch is not a watch
It’s a gadget. A pretty cool one at that, and it even shares some common design language with traditional mechanical timepieces. But I don’t think we’ll see too many of these being passed down from generation to generation, or evoking an emotional response from its owner. Or, you know, useful in any way, shape, or form after the next three iterations come out and render yours obsolete.
13. Not all that glitters is gold
If you’re shopping for a little bling, make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. There’s a load of difference between solid gold and the pretenders: Rolled Gold, Gold Fill, Plaque, colored-PVD and Electro-Plate. There’s nothing inherently wrong with any of those, just make sure you know what you’re paying for.
14. It’s what’s inside that counts
This is the single most important take-away lesson. While the aesthetic design of the case and the name on the dial are important factors to consider when picking a timepiece, it is far more important that you know what’s going on inside before you make your purchase. Even though you may not ever look at it, make sure you have a trusted specialist eyeball those little gears and springs inside to make sure it is kosher, and not some chop shop special.
15. Don’t be afraid of a little color
Even if your go-to daily fashion choices lean towards all black everything, a watch is the perfect canvas to add a little pop to your getup. Because orange dials are cool.
16. Real men wear pink (gold)
Yellow gold might not be your jam, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dress things up a little when the situation calls for it. Pink, Red, and Rose gold are all names for darker-toned gold mixed with other base elements that have proved to be incredibly popular with the pre-geriatric consumer market. Much more subtle and elegant, it's hard to go wrong with something like THIS.
James Lamdin is a freelance automotive and watch journalist based in New York City. He is also the Founder and CEO of analogshift.com, an online boutique for a curated selection of exceptional vintage wristwatches.
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