Selecting a Watch
Each new decade offers its own contributions and creations, which make other items (those that are more familiar and established) redundant. Watches have for a long time fascinated me. Ever since I was presented with one by my father to mark my tenth birthday I realised there was something important about them. Other than keeping me on time for school, which, as a child, was the only place I was required to be on time for, I learned that a watch was a symbolic item. On my wrist was an item that represented something intrinsically significant to humanity and concurrently intangible: time.
When mobile phones began to rise in popularity the sight of a person walking down the street texting or speaking loudly on their mobile is discernibly more recognizable than seeing a person waiting for a bus and looking to their wrist for the time I wondered if this might be the start of the end for the watch. Everyone had a phone and every phone told the time.
But watches seem to be clinging to people’s wrists as firmly as a tree roots itself in the ground, and this is despite the invention and mass ownership of mobile phones. In decades to come, it is foreseeable that the watch might develop into something that is more of a quirky nod to the past, but it will undoubtedly remain. The way in which it resisted the threat of the mobile phone is enough to make anyone certain of that.
Isn’t it pleasantly suitable that a watch which is the prominent device which we use to mark the passing of time seems to be unaffected by the passing of time?
The obvious reason for this is because a watch isn’t an item that serves just one purpose. There are two main appeals of purchasing, possessing, and wearing a watch, and hundreds of appeals within the initial two, but here are the two, and they are as true for watches for women and they are for watches for men:
- Watches as an item by which to tell the time. This was the initial and sole purpose of the watch. It sounds almost too obvious to mention. It’s almost like saying that humans live on the Earth, except that, as stated a moment ago, there is another reason why people wear watches. Humans cannot live anywhere other than on Earth, but a watch might be worn other than to tell the time. There would have to be another reason for the watch to survive the mobile phone revolution.
- Watches as a decorative item. Watches are now items that rival earrings as the most popular item of jewelry a person can possess. They are, for example, far more sought after and seen items of jewelry than the bracelet or necklace. Part of this has to do with their functionality, because, perhaps, it gives the person wearing the item an excuse of sorts for their lavish purchase, and part of it owes a debt of gratitude to the way in which the marketing of the watch has developed. The appeal of watches as a decorative item is deliberate. It was born (or reborn) after the electronic watch revolution led by Casio and its F91W model which made watches dirt cheap. I should mention that I am aware that watches were fashionable items and jewelry before the F91W I’m not for one moment saying they weren’t but it can’t be argued that the marketing of the watch as an item of jewelry didn’t drastically turn up a notch after the industry felt so threatened by the digital age.
How to choose your watch
There are a number of overlapping categories that will help determine the type of watch that one should purchase for themselves or more difficultly, as a gift for a friend or family but it might be the case that the right watch will stand out when one notices it. For those who would prefer to think about which type of watch they might prefer before they start shopping because there is quite an extensive range to choose from then this article is a good place to start.
What do you want from your watch?
Perhaps you want a range of watches to suit a number of different needs and occasions? If though, one watch is all that a person can afford, or they only want one watch, then it is important to determine in which situations it will be worn, and why it will be worn. A person might want a watch to wear day in and day out. A watch for this purpose would need to be durable, relatively inexpensive, and somewhat suppressed (I use this word because what I want to mean is that the watch should not be too announcing and defined. It should be comparably plain so that it will match a large proportion of different styles of clothing.) A person might want their watch to be worn while they play sports or visit the gym. This would require a more comfortable watch, and one that is even more resilient than is usual. Then some people will want a watch for formal and dress occasions only. These are the types of watches that are more typically and readily classified as jewelry watches.
There is one final point to make with regard to this point. Some people will choose a watch to represent a certain aspect of their class or status. They will want their watch to act as a symbol of themselves, or the image they desire themselves to be projected as, at least. These people might forgo certain qualities such as durability or comfort in the sole attempt to buy into a certain brand. Watches, as they are items of fashion, are commonly prone to this type of customer.
Which material should you choose?
The first point to reveal here centres around comfort. A person who is intending to wear their watch while they exercise will definitely require a watch strap made out of either plastic or a type of fabric material. These choices aren’t going to be overly popular with those wanting to be able to wear their watch while they work (assuming that sport or exercise isn’t their work), and these watches will certainly be unpopular with those who are wanting to express a touch of class or status with their timepiece.
Those who want a watch to suit many different occasions, and those who want a formal watch, will choose between the following materials: stainless steel, gold, white gold, silver, diamond or jewel studded, platinum, or leather. The last mentioned material leather is a particularly effective material at transgressing between varying levels of formality. Diamond or jewel studded straps will always be formal and more fitting for dress occasions. If a person wants a more durable watch then they might opt for a stainless steel or another type of metal watch strap.
Which face shape should you choose?
This is more of a meaningful consideration for women. Men’s watches have typically round face shapes, and the choice is quite limited. Choosing a square or rectangle shaped face would be a rather feminine choice, but other than that there isn’t much to say with regard to the shape of men’s watches.
Women’s watches, however, are going through somewhat of a change in recent years. It is now considered fashionable for a women to wear a watch that presents the typically male round face shape. The choice whether or not to commit to this decision will be depending on why the women is purchasing the watch in the first place. If it is for function only then they might be better off choosing a watch with the traditional square of rectangle face shape because there will be more choices, which should mean better prices but if they consider their choice of watch one that is influenced by fashion then the round face could be the way to go. It depends if they will find one to suit their style. Some women will even purchase men’s watches. If that’s the fashion, then why not?
And now for some examples
An article on watches wouldn’t be complete without a few examples of specific watches to give an impression of the watches out there waiting for a wrist.
- DG7 by Dolce & Gabbana
This watch for men is one of those that transgresses between varying levels of formality, partly due to its leather strap. The automatic winding mechanism requires it to be worn every day, and this is even advised on the website. This watch is, though, without doubt, one of the upper range of the types of watches that should be worn day in and day out, which is partly down to the brand. Dolce & Gabbana are responsible for this sleek looking watch. The contrast of black and gold is one of the watches most striking features, as is the understated confidence of the wristwatch.
- Donna AR7346 by Emporio Armani
Again, this is one of the upper ranges of watches. This watch for women is a typically slender and delicate looking watch. It is light pink in colour, and those thinking of purchasing this watch will be pleased to know that its stainless steel strap means that the watch has a robust nature despite its fragile appearance.
- G-Shock DW6900SG-2 by Casio
This digital watch for men is described as iconic, simple, clean, and stylish by Casio, and it’s easy to see why. Casio are well known for prioritizing function over fashion, and the advertising for this watch leads with the current pieces of information: It is shock resistant, water resistant up to two hundred metres, it has a multi-functional alarm, and a backlight.
- Baby-G BGA160-1B by Casio
This is a watch for women and it is almost as effective, with regards to functionality, as the aforementioned G-Shock model, with one of the only differences being that it is water resistant to up to one hundred metres instead of two hundred. This black and gold coloured watch is an example of Casio Baby-G getting it absolutely right. This is function and fashion. One will notice the layering of the roman numerals on the clock face, which is a particularly appealing trait, and one I’m sure I haven’t noticed before in another watch. The only deterrent of this watch might be how distinct it is, but this might also be an advantage: this watch has its own style perhaps more than the other ones do.
Author bio: Teresa Jens is a busy mom, blogger and a freelance writer. She left the corporate world back in 2009 to focus more on her family and blogging career. She speaks fluently English and Danish and that is why she agreed to start writing for Uniwatches and their watch campaigns (also known by the Danes as ur fra Uniwatches).