Are Men's Watches Archaic?*

     There are some things, like good manners, which really should never go out of fashion. Regardless of which direction the tides of style will lap, ebb and flow, there are some items which should never be discarded. Fads will come and go (does anyone remember the short lived craze of “meggings” for example?) but there are some items which will, or at least should, remain a staple of men’s clothing choices from here to eternity.

   As I’ve mentioned here before at The Totality – no man should really go without a set of ties in their wardrobe despite the practical uses of this style of neckwear having been rendered obsolete long ago by the invention of handkerchiefs. The topic of today’s post, however, is another item which should, for all intents and purposes, be rendered archaic but, due to their effortless gracefulness, will remain a part of men’s wardrobes for years to come. I am indeed referring to the classic watch.

   In this digital era it would seem rather peculiar to suggest that a man should sport a watch for the practical purpose it was invented. If you are reading this post on a computer it’s easy to see what time it is with a perfunctory glance to the bottom right hand corner of your screen. Mobile phone owners (which now constitutes most adults) can easily check the time on the device they keep on their person for most occasions and, as such, an extra item sported simply for time reading purposes is rendered pointless on a solely practical level. So, despite all of this – why should a modern gentleman make the decision to purchase and sport a watch if they can’t be used for the purpose for which they were intended? Like ties, the answer of course lies in aesthetics and, to a degree, semiotics.

   Men, as also noted in these pages, have very few opportunities to add embellishment and accessories to their outfits in the same way that women do; ladies’ fashion encourages adornments to all sartorial compositions at all times whereas male equivalents are often based in banal minimalism. Like ties, watches offer a great redress to this situation. Sporting one around the wrist is a way of adding a touch of class to an ensemble; it screams stately and regal and bestows the wearer with a dapper, classic image. Even if it is possible, and sometimes easier, to check the time by perusing your phone, watches can still be important from a purely ornamental perspective.

   There are two ways one should go about selecting perfect fashion watches – the first is to plump for a masculine, understated timepiece with focus on quality: the type of timepiece that can be found at the Branded Watch Shop. Leather straps are essential for this and subtlety over brashness can be utilised to create a perfect, elegant “gentlemanly look”. Imagine the type of timepiece James Bond would sport and you can’t go too wrong. The second example is the “statement watch” – used to make more bold impressions. Colourful, often neon, these timepieces can be used for colour blocking sartorial compositions and should primarily be used in context with informal outfits.

   An example of how to make poor watch choices can be found in the unlikely figure of the multi-billionaire oligarch Roman Abramovich who, in spite of his preference for tailored designer clothes, is often seen sporting what appears to be a Casio model from the 1980s. It is proof, if an example were ever needed, that money can’t buy you taste.

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