The Virtues of Watches

 
With a smart phone, you don’t need a watch to tell time anymore. But there are two reasons why you should wear one anyway.

First, and most important: It’s impolite to look at your phone while you are in a meeting. You may be able to get away with it in a large meeting, but in a small meeting, you really shouldn’t even try. You may only be checking the time, but it looks like you’re checking email or worse. There’s no way to surreptitiously check the time on your phone because you have to hit the Home button to bring up the Home screen. That’s an unambiguous gesture. But a watch? It’s easy to flick your eyes over your watch while you’re taking notes, reaching for your water glass or taking a pen out of your bag. If you’re really skilled, you can do it while talking to someone without even causing a break in the conversation.

Second, watches are beautiful and can add panache, and sometimes even a jot of color, to an outfit. Witness:

 
 
 
 
 
Big watch
Black watch

 
 
 
 
 
Red watchband
Red watchband

 
 
 
 
 
Sport watch
Sport watch

Michele has brilliantly carved a niche for itself in the field of watchmakers, producing watchbands in new hues, a number of materials (leather, grosgrain and silicone), and textures (alligator, crocodile, calf-skin) every season. In the current collection of Michele watches, it seems they’re all decorated with pave diamonds — beautiful, but more expensive and that’s a shame. I bought a Michele watch in 2003, when the brand was fairly new, and many of the models at that time were stainless steel with mother-of-pearl faces and very affordable. Fortunately, the void has been filled by Shinola — a relatively new watch company based in Detroit. Shinola chose Detroit for its headquarters with purpose, so if watching the recent travails of this great American city have caused you a little heartache, here’s an opportunity to support Detroit and U.S. manufacturing.

I like watches with large faces — 32-34 mm in diameter — with slim profiles (i.e., not too clunky) and limited gadgetry (e.g., chronographs). I don’t have a preference between Roman and Arabic numerals; both can be beautiful depending on the typography, like these:

 

Shinola Gomelsky
Shinola Gomelsky
Shinola Birdy
Shinola Birdy
Michele Serein 16
Michele Serein 16

Timex Original (Women's)
Timex Original (Women’s)
Timex Weekender Slip Through
Timex Weekender Slip Through
Bedat No. 3
The dream within the dream: Bedat No. 3; no price listed on Bedat website

I am reserving judgment on the Apple Watch for now, but my husband (Gadget Enthusiast) has ordered one so I may amend this post in the future.

Watches: Shinola Gomelsky; Shinola Birdy; Michele Serein 16; Timex Original; Timex Weekender; Bedat No. 3

2 thoughts on “The Virtues of Watches

  1. I still prefer to wear a watch to using my phone. It’s so much faster to glance at my wrist than to take my phone out of my purse or pocket.

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