The Wristwatch – Part 2

Ages & ages ago, I wrote a fairly long post about wristwatches. It was originally supposed to be part of a 3-part series, but as many of you may know, I’m a lot worse at keeping up with these things than I hope to be. Sorry!

Well, today I aim to continue that series… better late than never right? Just to recap, the last post was about answering the question: what do I need a watch for?

Today is question #2: Which watch should I get? A loaded question if there ever was one.

iwc big pilot The Wristwatch   Part 2

Source: lushbling

There are many different types of wristwatches out in the market today. In fact, it’s a bit ridiculous how many different styles there are to choose from. Think about it: small, big, dark, bright, on steel, on leather, square, rectangle, gold… you get the point.

Well to me, I think the question of “which watch to get” depends on several factors.

1. How many watches do you intend to have?

2. What is your lifestyle like?

3. How much are you willing to pay?

These three questions will shape what watch you could/should end up with if you ever decide to buy one. So let’s venture a bit through these questions.

1. How many watches do you intend to have?

I personally am a 1-2 watch person. The simplicity is nice. I will say, I do know there are giant watch collectors out there that want to have 20 different types to match any given situation. In the case that you’re a big watch collector, I can’t really help you as much, mainly because you should just get what you like, and whatever fills the holes of your collection. Don’t have a chronograph yet? Get one. Have a white faced watch but need a black one? Done.

Well, for the rest of you who don’t own any watches, first think about simply looking for one all-arounder. There’s something nice about having just one, especially because you don’t have to really think about what you’re going to strap to your wrist every morning. Now if you already have one watch, I will say that there’s something great about adding just one more to the collection, keeping one for more dressy occasions, and one for more everyday situations. This way, all bases are covered.

2. What is your lifestyle like?

If you live a rough and tumble lifestyle, where you’re constantly putting your hands and body in dirt, then your watch will need to be rugged. For others where the most rugged activity you engage in is a boardroom meeting, perhaps your watch doesn’t need to be waterproof to 300 meters and able to take a massive beating.

This factor will usually determine what band you wear (rubber, steel, leather) and what the overall style of the case will look like (slim and streamlined vs chunky and solid).

3. How much are you willing to pay?

As you may know, watches can range from anywhere $5 to $500,000.  Absurd, I know, but it’s just the nature of the game. Only you can decide what you’re willing to pay for a wristwatch. I personally would spend more than the average person because watches are like a hobby of mine. I respect the work that goes into a nice wristwatch, and the significance of a good timepiece, so I’ll probably be willing to splurge a couple grand on a watch I can have forever.

On the other hand, there are those who aren’t comfortable with spending over $50 on a watch just yet. The choices between me and a person like that are completely different.

jaeger lecoultre master ultra thin reserve de marche watch The Wristwatch   Part 2

Source: watchalyzer

Now, all of that being said, it basically leads me to the conclusion that I cannot make everybody happy when it comes to answering the question: which watch should I get? However, hopefully it helps you think about what type of watch you’re in the market for, and what you’re willing to spend to get it.

Just so that I don’t leave you hanging though, I will say that I do have some favorite watches in particular price ranges. All different use-cases (some are dressier, some are more utilitarian), but they are awesome in design and function from my perspective. Here they are, in a ton of different price ranges:

$25-$75 : Timex Easy Reader Black ,  Seiko 5 , Timex Weekender

$75 – $150 :  Timex for JCrew , Casio G Shock 7900 , Orient Mako

$150 – $300 : Citizen Nighthawk , Seiko Diver

$300 – $600 : Hamilton Khaki Field , Tissot PRC 200

$600 – $1200 : Archimede Pilot , Tag Heuer Aquaracer , Stowa Antea

$1200 – $3000 : Nomos Tangente , Cartier Tank Solo , Baume et Mercier Classima

$3000 – $6000 :  Omega Speedmaster Professional, Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso

$6000 – $12,000 : Rolex Submariner , IWC Portuguese , Rolex Daytona

There you have it. Watch out for the 3rd part of this series in 2016! Just playin’.

Random thought of the day

I had a random thought today that I wanted to share with you all. Would love to see what your thought on this particular topic is:

Screenshot 2013 09 04 22.34.35 1024x572 Random thought of the day

Samsung just announced the Galaxy Gear, a smart watch that is supposed to complement your phone. The release of this makes me think that smart watches will be a normal, everyday thing soon enough. The question is, do you think people will wear REAL wristwatches in say, 5 years? I sincerely hope so.

Maybe we’ll wear our real wristwatches on one wrist, and these things on the other?

 

The wristwatch – part 1

VM FOLIO ROLEX SUBMARINER SM The wristwatch   part 1

 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 Watchuseek.com. 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 The wristwatch   part 1

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.

 

Style rules – part 2

Welcome to the second installment of simplerman’s commentary on Ralph Lauren’s Rules of Style. Gentlemen, it looks like today is all about accessories. Let’s do this.

style note 04 Style rules   part 2

You know, it’s very strange. I didn’t use to be a fan of tie bars. I actually thought they gave off a bit of a pretentious look that I wasn’t fond of. Well thank God, because the times have changed and I’m now very much on-board the tie bar train. I want to slap my old self for thinking the way I did.

Anyway, yes, definitely make sure your tie bar is shorter than the width of your tie, as otherwise, it can look ridiculous. I recommend having the tie bar hit at least the middle of the tie, but don’t feel the need for it to extend all the way out and match your tie’s full width. 1 and 1/2 inches is a good length I’d say. Also FYI, I only shop at one place for tie bars: it’s The Tie Bar.

style note 05 Style rules   part 2

Sigh, I love watches so much. This particular accessory has a special place in my heart, and I promise to you that I’ll be writing about them soon enough.

The interesting thing about this rule for me, is that I agree with it wholeheartedly, but think that you can make one exception. I’ll get into that exception in just a second, but yes, you shouldn’t be wearing digital watches to any formal event (or any event that isn’t extremely casual, in my opinion). As a general rule, larger/thicker watches are for more casual events, and slimmer, smaller watches are for more formal events. The ideal dress watch is slim, simple, analog, on a black or brown leather band, and under 38/40mm in diameter. Casio G-Shocks should be left for going hunting or hiking, and blingy/oversized fashion watches should be left for… never.

So the exception I’m talking about is regarding the ability to use a nice diver watch (metal band, a bit thicker and bigger than a normal dress watch) in dressier situations. Big watch snobs will tell you that you should never do it, but I disagree. I think a nice diver watch, as long as it’s not too thick or loud-colored, can look amazing underneath the cuff of a nice suit. Just my humble opinion.

style note 06 Style rules   part 2

So this rule is pretty self explanatory. Just like the rule about watches, this one is about wearing your accessories appropriately. Don’t pair a business casual outfit with Nike Wrap Sunglasses. Save that for when you’re wearing a track or wet suit. Trendy hipster glasses probably aren’t the best fit with a semi-formal/formal outfit either. Use common sense on this one, and remember, the less flashy the eye/sunglasses, the more appropriate they probably are in most situations.

Leave loud colors and patterns for casual-wear, and stick with tortoise, black, or metal-colored frames for formal-wear. I recommend just buying a pair of Ray Ban Aviators or Wayfarers and calling it a day. Those classics work in basically all situations.

So there you have it- some rules to keep when wearing accessories. Basically the main takeaway is that you should consider how your accessories will work with the rest of your outfit. Matching/pairing appropriately will make a huge difference, and it’s important to remember that.

Really quickly, I’m also going to say that I believe less is more in the case of men’s accessories. It’s definitely cool to “up the game” of your outfit with some nice accessories, but sometimes, I say it’s okay to put down the pocket square, eyeglasses, diamond studs, and bracelets. Just put on a wristwatch and call it a day.

My leather favorites

I’m a huge fan of leather… and beef I guess, so maybe I’m a huge fan of cows.

Anyhow, I wanted to show you some of my leather items, and why I think that all of them are musts in a man’s wardrobe.

1. Leather Jacket

leather jacket My leather favorites

Theory Leather Jacket

Want to feel badass? Get a leather jacket. Not only is it a classic piece that has always been in style, but it’s also one of the most standout pieces you can own. What I mean by “standout” is that if you get a nicely fitted leather jacket, it will get noticed, likely leading to loads of compliments. However, the great news is that you can still wear this bad boy quite regularly. You might get compliments on your red pants, but if you wear them 4 times a week, people may start to wonder if you have other pants. The same does NOT apply to your leather jacket, mainly because of its versatility & timelessness.

2. Leather Shoes

leather shoes My leather favorites

Clarks Beeswax Desert Boots

A must, in every way. Black or brown in both dress and casual forms needed. I personally think that wearing leather shoes contributes the most to distinguishing boys from men. Sorry to offend grown men who still wear sneakers and athletic shoes everywhere, but in my life, I felt it was a big step to go from Asics to Johnston & Murphys. Plus, let’s be real, leather shoes look great.

3. Leather Belt

leather belt My leather favorites

Hugo Boss Leather Belt

Gotta have a leather belt. Other material can be used for casual belts, but leather is king here in my opinion. A must for dress belts, and highly recommended for casual belts as well.

4. Leather Watch Strap

leather watchstrap My leather favorites

Hamilton Leather Watch Strap

I love both stainless steel watches and leather strapped watches, but recently, I’ve started to favor leather. There’s something so classy about leather strap watches, and they can be used both casually and formally. Black leather without contrast stitching is my ultimate preference, but as you can see in the picture, I love me some brown leather (with contrast stitching) as well.

In all, leather is the way to go with various items in your wardrobe. They’ll get better with age, hopefully last a long time, and provide you with that bit of badassery you’ve constantly longed for. Timeless, slick, and awesome.