Some watches remain stylish for years and decades and are appropriate for nearly any social setting. The Rolex Submariner and its many imitators are perfect examples of classic and enduring style that is perfectly suited for wear anywhere and by anyone. Timeless watch styles like low-profile dress watches are also not subject to the volatile whims of the fashion industry, making them solid selections for the man or woman looking for an enduring timepiece with versatility and a long fashion lifespan. The trendiest watches that generate lots of buzz in the fashions magazines and frequently adorn the wrists of those on the cutting-edge of style also tend to eschew the guidelines of enduring style and classic fashion sensibility. Don’t become a fashion victim by falling for these five watch fads that have consumed the timepiece market.
Even though the fashion writers are still pushing the big and bulky watch trend, you should avoid it at all costs. Michael Kors seems to be the ubiquitous purveyor of this trend but even high-end watchmakers have jumped on board with Omega offering XL versions of its Planet Ocean watches, Breitling slowly increasing the size of its offerings, and Bell & Ross gaining sales with its large timepieces. Why should you avoid it? These watches begin to look like costume pieces once they cross a certain size threshold and you don’t want co-workers and friends thinking you purchased your watch from the Flavor Flav collection. A man should go no larger than 42-mm when purchasing a wrist watch suitable for all social settings. For perspective’s sake, that is the size of the iconic Rolex Submariner diver’s watch. Women should avoid watches much larger 30-mm, or the size of the largest Rolex Lady Datejust. Beyond taste, the functional reason for avoiding large wrist watches has to do with fitting an oversized watch under a shirt cuff. Try it once and you’ll understand.
Tortoise Shell and Plastic Bracelets
Fashion-oriented watches have increasingly been fitting their cases with faux tortoise shell and plastic bracelets in all sorts of colors. These bands are susceptible to scratching, don’t age well, and give the watch an odd weight balance that feels rather cheap. The aesthetic of these watch bands, even when new, also lacks a professional look that a true adult’s timepiece should possess. Don’t expect people to take you seriously in a board meeting or sales seminar if your watch is held to your wrist by a faux tortoise shell bracelet or an orange piece of plastic that looks like it came from a construction zone.
Fake diamonds have been adorning a disturbing amount of the wrist watches found in modern department stores. Looking like one of the “real housewives” or a ’90s rapper is not a fashion statement one should be striving for. The bling look actually cheapens your style since everyone knows that those glass chips are glass chips. Remember that your watch is not only a tool but also a fashion accessory, a fashion accessory that conveys a lot about your personality. Fake diamonds convey a negative message in most professional settings and could result in others not taking you seriously, or worse.
Customizing Fine Swiss Watches
What about real diamonds, you ask? Adding aftermarket diamond bezels to your watch’s dial and bezel and replacing the factory bracelet with a diamond-encrusted model is nothing new. In a post-2008 financial collapse environment, it is in poor taste to flaunt wealth in such a gratuitous manner. These gauche modifications also add little value to your watch as most professional jewelers will scoff at the aftermarket additions, and most buyers on the used-market prefer to customize their own Rolex instead of buying your personally chosen combination of diamonds, rubies, and emeralds.
Fashion Designer Wrist Watches
Michael Kors and Gucci are two names people aspire to own, and their watches move in high quantities. The thing with these watches is that you pay a good portion of the asking price merely for the name on the dial and not the quality of the actual timepiece. Stick to clothing items when purchasing goods adorned with the name of famous fashion designers. Get more bang for your buck by sticking with actual watchmakers that specialize in making quality watches. Should you want to drop serious coin on a watch, you can buy a quality timepiece from Omega or Rolex and have a watch that will last you forever and never go out of style. At the lower-end of the price spectrum, you could buy a Hamilton or a Swiss Army watch and have a better built watch than if you spent your money on a watch from Michael Kors or Kenneth Cole. You don’t want to look like a label chaser. Appreciate the quality of construction, not the perception of the label.
More from this contributor:
7 Timeless Wrist Watches: Classic Timepieces That Never Age
10 Fashion Tips for the Well-Dressed Man
Understanding What Makes a Modern Slim-Cut Suit