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A guide to help the average man... look less average

The wristwatch - part 1

Mark Kwak

 Image Source: Rolex

There's no secret about it. I love watches.

In fact, I'm so fascinated with watches that I've been intentionally holding off on writing a post about them. Truth is, I have no idea where to start. Contrary to popular belief, there is actually much, much more to watches than their simple ability to tell time.

Just take a gander at This behemoth of a site is solely devoted to watches, and it's perpetually overflowing with information. Self-titled "Watch-Idiot-Savants" gather there to discuss their horological passion in gruesome detail, and of course to flaunt their latest five-digit purchases.

Anyway, all this to say that when talking about watches, things can get hyper-detailed and overtly complicated. So instead of inundating you with confusing info, like the intricacies of gravity-defying tourbillons, I figured I'd start with the basics, and simply answer the three most overwhelmingly common questions I get asked about watches:

1. I have a cell phone, what do I need a watch for?

2. What watch should I get?

3. How many watches do I need?

Let's start today with question #1. "I have a cell phone, what do I need a watch for?"

watch and phone

Well good sir/miss, you ask a very loaded question that I have a difficult time answering. Why? Because it makes me want to stand on a pedestal, clear my throat, and initiate a speech longer than a Rand Paul filibuster. In the interest of time and your attention span though, I'll try to keep things relatively short.

First off, let me clear the air and say that I don't think there is anything wrong with using your phone to read the time. It's convenient, logical, and obvious, and I do it all the time. However, this question makes the presumption that there is no more significance to a watch than its mere ability to tell the time. I very much disagree with that presumption, and will go into it in more detail below. However, before I start, let me first outline a couple trivial, but tangible reasons for why a watch is still good to have around, even when you own a cell phone.

1. Watches are often waterproof, cell phones are not.

2. Some watches will take a beating far better than a phone will.

3. Watches are much better at keeping their battery life.

4. A flip of the wrist is more convenient than a struggle to get your phone out of your pocket.

5. Watches are aesthetically pleasing.

6. You can more easily check the time without looking rude.

Now, if the reasons above aren't enough to persuade you to strap a watch onto your wrist, allow me to to go a little deeper.

As I've already said, I believe a watch's purpose is far greater than just its practical functionalities. In our society, a watch can embody multiple traits, and in many ways, takes on the role of (inhale) social status symbol, fashion statement jewelry, subtle indicator of punctuality and effort, up-leveler of classiness, family heirloom, and brilliant display of human craftsmanship. See below for more detail:

Social status symbol: A nice watch has the potential to subtly show others that you're of some worth. That maybe you're important in some way, and that you can appreciate the finer things in life. Please don't flaunt your watch, or really even mention it, but there's no harm in wearing something that helps improve others' perception of you.

Fashion statement jewelry: Let's be real, a watch is acceptable man jewelry. What is jewelry's purpose? To bring your look to the next level. You can consider a watch as the cherry on top of your already stylish outfit.

Subtle indicator of punctuality & effort: Believe it or not, just by strapping a watch on your wrist, you subconsciously give people the impression that you are both punctual and hard-working, even if you're not.

Up-leveler of classiness: If you wear a proper watch, you're almost effortlessly up-leveling your classiness. You look and generally feel more like a gentleman, and the opposite sex probably agrees.  If anything, it shows that you care.

Family heirloom: Unlike most men's clothing or accessories, watches are very appropriate heirlooms that can be passed down from generation to generation. I mean, imagine being passed down your grandfather's Omega Speedmaster Professional, aged with the perfect patina. Glorious.

Brilliant display of human craftsmanship: Whether it's a simple Mickey Mouse quartz watch, or a full-out tourbillon chronometer, a watch is quite a fascinating device. It crams hundreds of small moving pieces into a tiny chamber that mechanically keeps the time as accurately as a computer would. I've seen videos on the making of a Rolex watch and am enamored by the precision and skill it takes to build one of these things. It's a shame most people don't know what goes into the process.


Well, so much for keeping things short huh?

Of course, at the end of the day, it's completely your choice as to whether or not you want to wear a watch. All I'm trying to say is that there are a plethora of reasons as to why you should, and those reasons shouldn't be ignored so easily. Do yourself a favor and buy yourself a timeless timepiece (pun intended). If anything at all, it will up your style game.