Quarter to 12
At a certain point in a man’s life, he buys (or is given) a wrist watch. This is literally a default accessory for a male, and something that serves many purposes, and makes many statements.
A watch can be worn at any time, in any setting. A watch can be worn with a suit, or with a T-shirt while drilling beers with buddies at the bar over a game of billiards. It can be a slim dress watch, complementing the formal wear of your office dress shirt, or it can be a large, bulky power watch when drawing the eye is your intention.
A watch need not be expensive. I’ll go as far as to say that 95% of the population couldn’t tell the difference between a 15 dollar watch and a Rolex Oyster. That being said, if you have the money at some point in your life, do some research, look at some galleries, and get yourself a nice watch. Think of it like a car – your first one won’t be a Porsche, but you’ll aim to get there eventually. Many people miss the important distinction between a sport watch and a formal watch. This likely isn’t due to ignorance, but merely a result of the times. A dress watch is small, has few dials, and is intended to be discrete, only peeking out from under your suit’s sleeve when you cross your arms or the like. A sports watch, on the other hand, is meant to be glow-in-the-dark, large-faced, and visible at 300 metres below water.
With that difference illustrated, you may feel that’s counterintuitive to what you see today, and you’re right. Nowadays, people figure, why in God’s name would I spend the money on an invisible gold thing hidden by my shirt cuff when I can instead buy a diamond-encrusted watch with a circumference greater than the face of Julia Stiles? Why be subtle when my wrist can instead scream ‘Hey, I have the money to buy a small country in the middle-east and name it after my secretary I’m nailing, just for shits and giggles’? This is the norm nowadays, and there isn’t anything wrong with it. The question really becomes ‘Am I gentleman with deep roots in tradition, a rockstar, or a twisted hybrid of the two?’ Stylist experts assume that the sport watch trend began with the extended wearing of the Rolex Submariner around the office or at formal dinner parties. These men want us to believe that aside from their 9 to 5, they also spend great lengths of time stalking the tiger sharks along the Great Barrier Reef. Absurd image to project, but isn’t that what being a sartorial male is all about?
The silver versus gold watch debate is another question often asked. I’ll take silver all day over gold, since I perceive gold to be old-fashioned. That being said, I’m a part of the contemporary generation where fashion progression and rebellion is actually the norm. Personally, I like black watches, or a watch with that grey gun-metal look to it. If you want a happy medium, go for a silver watch, with a deep black face on it. Nothing screams sharp like that contrast placed boldly on your wrist. Also, don’t worry about matching your cuff links with your watch; in this day and age, no one is looking that hard. Unless you’re having dinner with Ralph Lauren himself, you’re probably safe.
If you have the money, or just an interest in watches, buy a sport watch and a dress watch. If you’re going to a friend’s house for dinner with his wife, or any situation where you’re leaving the dress attire at home, bust out your TAG Heuer steel-bracelet dive watch. Headed to your buddy’s wedding, or any other situation where you’re wearing a nice jacket or a penguin suit, and bring along the Hermès Arceau that your wife bought as an anniversary present. Personal taste rules though, always remember that. Fashion purists will say a man looks silly with a smart, slim suit and a bold power watch, but I beg to differ. To each their own, I say. Wear whatever makes you feel confident and puts you ahead of the schmuck standing beside you.
Take a lesson from Jay-Z. If he isn’t swag, who is?
Jordan Skrlj Sterling