Who needs watches anymore, right? We can just pull out our smartphones if we need to tell the time anyway. Except watches are actually so much more than just timepieces.
Did you catch our conversation with the people who make the watches, genius watchmakers LEFF Amsterdam and Mondaine for their thoughts about why watches still matter in the modern world? Well we've now caught up with some of the people who actually wear them too. We had a chat with several fashion influencers and bloggers for their thoughts on why watches are still so important, as well as some all-important style tips on how best to wear you watch.
Ste Huyton (Style Fade)
Time is something that money can’t buy; it can only be observed and how you approach the latter is as important as ever. I’m a firm believer in fashion being in the details of an outfit, and the basic staples should be enhanced by complimentary accessories. I have a few different timepieces and I like to try and finish classic/smart styles with a nice analog dress watch, and keep the digital watch for sports activity or casual wear. Either way it’s important to remember that style is not defined solely on the clothes you wear but how you wear them and make them your own – a watch is a classic and timeless way to do this without being overtly flash.
A good time piece is not only an accessory but a statement of style, elegance and self expression depending on the type of timepiece. For example, a diving watch could reflect an adventurer or explorer. A world piece could be suited for a traveller. How you also style your watch can communicate your personality or lifestyle. It is the one accessory that makes a gentleman stand out with the flash or glimpse of a wrist.
The two rules to follow when styling a watch are digital is considered casual and analog formal. For formal dressing, a classic plain white or simple face is best suited. It simply needs to show the hour, minutes, seconds and date. For business or business casual, you can play with a chronic, diver watch or even a pilot. Anything else is is considered casual, such as a digital watch which is best suited with jeans or alike. You can of course style your watch as your want but as a rule of thumb, you should never wear a digital watch with a suit or a diving watch with a black or white tie. If in doubt, match your watch with your shoes and be sure that it is proportionate to your body.
The importance of a watch cannot be played down. For me it’s one of the most constantly used and reliable items in my everyday life. I’m one of those people that can’t leave the house without one, and I’ve definitely not fallen into the habit of using my phone over a humble timepiece. My love of watches started when I was a kid, and as soon as I learned to tell the time I saved up my pocket money for something to pop on my wrist. For me, I don’t have many rules when it comes to wearing a watch, but what I do think about when choosing my watch for the day is whether it will complement the rest of my outfit and if it works with the colours that I’m wearing.
As for what I look for in a watch, well I like to keep that simple too. A good quality strap is as important as the face to me, but we do tend to see the face first. Simple design, with clear dials and classic - nothing too large, too colourful or too dominating. A few of my favourites are the Paulin Chronograph, Mondaine Helvetica Collection and the Skagen Holst.
A watch, when wearing the right one, is the piece in your outfit that never changes - it is the most consistent detail that identifies you daily! With this in mind, I usually pick out a colour and face that honours my minimal outfits and perspective equally (grey). What is nice these days is that the likes of Daniel Wellington & Mondaine both offer easy changeability, meaning you don't have to fork out a ton to change your look when it comes to it... Some even come as a bundle with an extra strap which completely takes the pain out of decision making.
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Watches like shoes, are something people pay particular attention to, so don't scrimp on a watch. It's an investment piece so try and stretch that budget to the limit. You want to impress and first impressions last - a watch says a lot about the person you are, or want to be portrayed as.
Like a man's shoes, his watch says a lot about him. What you wear on your wrist should speak to who you are, your personality, interests etc. Or, in less Hallmark terms, should at least chime with the image of yourself you're trying to project. Try to avoid mixing metals where possible. Although not a cardinal sin, a stainless steel watch will always mesh better with silver jewellery, rather than gold. If versatility's your priority, look for a watch with a strap that can be switched out. That way you can easily ensure your timepiece is ready for anything - whether a black tie ball or a few pints down the local.
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I think the watch really compliments your outfit on a daily basis. When wearing, for example, some sneakers, jeans and a plain white t-shirt, you still look the part when having a nice watch on your arm. The choice of watch also says a lot about the person wearing it, and can be a great conversation starter. For me, I feel it's important to find a model that goes just as well with a casual look as it does in formal situations. Invest in something you want to keep with you during life and let the wear and tear show your story.
I usually like the classic steel watches with black or white dials. The fun thing about choosing a classic watch like this is to play around with different straps to suit the occasion. The nato straps are great for the summer months to give it a more laid back look and also make it a bit less formal in a day to day setting.
A watch is a unisex piece of jewellery - literally anyone can wear them, and for me, an outfit isn't complete without one. For a woman who's slightly anxious in her own presence, a watch has always been my comfort blanket. Not only does it bring an outfit together, but if you're ever feeling out of place, you can always look to the time.
I tend to go for a basic design with neutral colours and I'll layer it up with delicate bracelets to make it more of a feature piece.
Featured image by David Nartin.