A Watch Is More than Ticks, Tocks and Beeps

Ah, the wristwatch. An object that, technically, no longer serves any purpose beyond convenience in today’s digital world. There’s clocks everywhere — your phone, your computer, your appliances.

But that’s not really why we wear wrist watches is it?

It goes beyond the function of telling you what the time is. Its importance varies for each individual — to some, it is a core part of their identity, to others, it is an afterthought.

And I have to say, I am firmly elitist when it comes to watches. It physically pains me when I look at an individual wearing what in my opinion is a hideous monstrosity of a watch.

Don’t get out those pitchforks just yet though — hear me out. To a lot of people, the previous statement would automatically be associated with watch’s price — the more expensive the watch is, the better it is right? The higher the price, the more respectable?

Wrong.

A timepiece is, to me, an intensely personal thing. It should reflect who you are — it deserves your care, it deserves your precise efforts in picking it. A watch should have history, like the timeless Submariner. They should be designed with a statement in mind, whatever it may be — a subtle yet unmistakable statement like the Patek Annual Calendar, or a brash, sporty vibe like the Royal Oak Offshore. It should tell a story: A Suunto says you have an active lifestyle, a Seiko Citizen says you appreciate the design without breaking the bank, an Apple Watch is a symbol of your fandom.


So what frustrates me the most is not cheap watches, it’s the truck load of watches produced with the primary aim of extracting cash from your pockets. I’m talking about watches that deviate from the minds of the pioneering Swiss master craftsmen who built the industry and rely on big brand names and flashy marketing campaigns that lack passion or soul.

Primary examples of this include the characterless Armani/Michael Kors/Hugo Boss designer watches. Design is ripped off, material is cheap, price is shamelessly jacked up, and to top it all off, the shabby use of quartz (nothing inherently wrong with quartz but in combination with everything else this is the proverbial shit cherry on top of the shit sundae). I loathe whenever I see them in stores or worn.

I am frustrated by people who buy watches purely based on aesthetics.

“Oh, I just buy it because it looks nice.”

For christ sake, these things aren’t cheap! They cost hundreds of pounds! That amount of money can buy a large variety of respectable time pieces designed with character or a story in mind. Aesthetics alone is not a valid reason. We can do better.

The worst part is — what story do these mass produced monstrosities tell? These things have absolutely zero thought put into them. They are built without love or care or consideration of durability. What does it say about the person who picked it? Perhaps they just don’t care? Perhaps they don’t want to spend time researching watches and are solely looking for something that ticks the aesthetic box. Or perhaps, like more and more people, they use their mobile for time telling and a watch serves a purely fashionable purchase.
 
 Next time you are thinking of buying a watch, take a minute to think beyond the time piece that will sit on your wrist. Think about how it was created, what the creator wanted it to portray and what it says about you (don’t just buy it because it looks sweet with your new Yeezys!).

It disappoints me to conclude with a cliché so let’s use two: at the end of the day it is a case of to each their own.

(Unless you own a Michael Kors watch, you’re better than that, we’re all better than that)

AS