My good friend Alex consulted me yesterday about the practicality of wearing a watch everyday. Simply put, in a world where most people are glued to their handheld electronics, is it necessary to wear a watch at all? Being that Alex prides himself in his physical appearance and introduced me to Brooks Brothers Black Fleece, I thought his question should be answered here on Rum Cake for anyone else who might be wondering the same thing.
Ninety-five percent of the time, I do not wear a watch. I work as a photographer, wear raw denim and sneakers every day and don’t find watches necessary for casual outfits. That said, there is one occasion where I always wear one: whenever I wear a suit. To me, a quality timepiece completes a suit the same way a nice pocket square or tie-bar does. A watch gives a formal outfit a nice, finished quality and I have a beautiful silver Movado for such an occasion.
Wearing a watch has little to do with telling time. Maybe that’s why they’re so timeless? I digress… Any garment or accessory that has survived centuries is still around for a reason. Wearing a watch makes you look like the men you grew up respecting, and hopefully your behavior follows suit. If you work in an office environment that requires a suit, or you personally like the way a watch looks paired with casual outfit, I’d suggest a leather band. Scott just picked up a beautiful Tsovet watch with a medium-brown leather band that is great for everyday usage.
Choosing a watch is a very personal decision, each timepiece representing a unique history. Perhaps the most well known luxury brand is Rolex, and for good reason. Everyone from James Bond to John Mayer has chosen Rolex as their timepiece, and while you can obviously purchase them new, it can be fun to scout for deals on vintage watches. Rolex makes such quality products that they are not only collector’s items, but usable timepieces for decades and decades. Look for the Submariner Stainless Steel, their most versatile and popular model.
Looking beyond Rolex, Breitling offers some of my favorite watches out there. That said, you’ll pay a mint for the real deal, upwards of $5,000 for most models. The Swiss manufacturer is known not only for producing watches with aviation applications, but for its unique self-winding movement system. For my taste the watch face is too cluttered for civilian use, and I much prefer the aesthetics of Omega.
Omega makes great watches, and everyone from George Clooney, JFK and Prince William are owners of these timepieces. In 1995 the James Bond character even jumped the Rolex ship in favor of this brand. I enjoy how the Omega price point is more reasonable than other luxury competitors, with a lot of timepieces offered in the $2,000 range. For those with more disposable income, Omega does offer a watch that retails at over $100,000, though I actually prefer the look of the classic Seamaster 300M at $1,355.
There are very good watches by American and European designers, but if you want to invest in a quality watch that will stand the test of time, I’d invest in a Swiss timepiece. Scott owns a Tsovet, I own a Movado and I expect my next watch will be an Omega. Timepieces make excellent gifts, both for others and yourself. Reward yourself today.