Watches

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mbc, Nov 2, 2003.

  1. mbc

    mbc Senior member

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    So I haven't worn a watch since I was 12 or so.. just got tired of it.. but I'm thinking of picking one up again.

    Now, as near as I can tell, there are two major choices to make in picking a style... the material of the band (leather or metal), and the colors (brown vs black leather, gold vs steel metal, etc). And I have to admit, I'm fairly clueless on what to wear when... it strikes me that a metal band is less formal than a slim leather band? What are the thoughts of the board members on which styles of watch should go with which types of dress (casual, evening, business, etc)?
     


  2. shoefan

    shoefan Senior member

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    First, gold is clearly dressier than steel, although one has the choice in fine watches among yellow gold, white gold and rose gold. (as well as the most expensive option, platinum). I personally find white gold and platinum to be the dressiest, as they more closely mirror the white shirt that is the dressiest look in menswear. Traditionally, I believe that, if you are talking about a gold watch, a bracelet watch (i.e. all gold) is dressier than a strap watch. [This is certainly the case for women's watches, but I've never seen this topic addressed for men's watches.] For the dressiest look (or maybe the cheesiest look, depending on your perspective), some watches add jewels on the face, the bezel (the metal surrounding the face), and even the bracelet. Again, this is more common for women's watches. When you move to strap watches, I would say that a black strap, in alligator or crocodile, is dressiest, with other black straps following, then dark brown, blue, burgundy, and dark green following in that order. In addition to plain leather, there are also, as you move to the sportier end of the spectrum, straps made from Ostrich (can be really nice in a dark brown, navy blue or green), Sharkskin (highly water resistant), and natural rubber. The safest choice, IMO, is a black strap watch with a handsome but understated face --the preferred option the Patek Calatrava models 5802/200 or 3919. But, you may find that over time you want to have multiple watches with various straps for a different look. patek calatrava collection
     


  3. Ranjeev

    Ranjeev Senior member

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    Hey Matt, I am by no means an expert on watches but I would have to agree with pretty much everything stated by shoe fan. I would also suggest that you choose a black leather strap as it is probably the most versatile watch available. I know that convention says that leather is the most dressy (especially reptile), but I often see individuals wearing metal bands with suits and it still looks okay. To each his own. The watch shown in the above post is great, but I bit pricey for me. I prefer to have a number of cheaper watches of decent quality because I am on a budget as a student and it allows me to have a number of watches that I can rotate depending on my mood and what function I am attending that particular day. I am sure that a number of members of this board will be able to help you with your dilemma but below is a watch that I own. It does not look anywhere as nice in this picture as it does in person but I can assure you it is a very nice watch and very cheap ($350 CDN, retail). Be warned that this is a big watch which is fine as long as you are a pretty big guy but it might look a little out of place on a smaller wrist. http://www.tissot.ch/cgi-bin....PRODUCT
     


  4. Kai

    Kai Senior member

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    I agree with Shoefan here, with the exception that personally, I think that a metal bracelet on a man's watch is slightly less dressy than a black leather strap.

    With respect to men's watches with diamonds and gold or platinum bracelets, I think that look is best reserved for women's watches. I find the big, diamond encrusted Rolex models with gold bracelets particularly unappealing. If you want your watch to make a statement, get a tourbillon or Patek's beautiful Celestial model with its star chart face. Leave the jewels to the ladies.

    If you want a watch that can be both sporty or more formal, the Omega Constellation with a combination gold/steel bracelet is a beautiful watch, and would look fine with a suit or jeans. If you only owned one watch, the Constellation might be a good choice, as it could go sporty or dressy.

    If you are shopping for your first watch, I would suggest:

    Swiss (more expensive): Omega, Longines, Rado, Baume & Mercier. These companies make very nice watches, and the prices are not as astronomical as some of the other luxury Swiss brands such as Patek or Breguet. Get them from grey market internet dealers for the best prices.

    Japanese (less expensive): Citizen, Seiko. These companies make watches of all styles and price ranges. Citizen's eco-drive and Seiko's kinetic lines both are quartz watches which never need batteries, as they are self charging. Buy these on ebay for the best prices.
     


  5. Ranjeev

    Ranjeev Senior member

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    Kai, I should of mentioned the part about jewels as well. Leave the bling-bling to 50 Cent. I am also not a fan of gold but that's just a personal preference. Kai, do you know of any good watch sites? I love the look of the Capeland model by Baume & Mercier but I do not want to spend that kind of money on a watch while still in school.
     


  6. vero_group

    vero_group Senior member

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    Matt,

    I recommend setting a reasonable budget for a watch first. Then, once you have saved up the money to fund the watch purchase, forgo the purchase entirely. Instead, use the money you've saved to buy shares of a publicly-traded watch manufacturer and/or marketer. These companies make obscene profits off buyers of watches worldwide. It doesn't cost much to make a watch, but these companies can charge an arm and a leg for one. Why be a consumer of watches when you can be an owner of the watch company and share in the profits the watch buyers are forking over? I have held onto Fossil, Inc. (FOSL) for several years now and the wealth-building has been phenomenal. Check out a FOSL stock chart sometime. There are other watch companies traded on the stock exchanges -- just do some research and invest. Time will always be marching on -- better to have it working for you than wearing it on your wrist, IMHO.
     


  7. Stu

    Stu Senior member

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    I agree with Kai that the Omega Constellation series has much going for it. I own the very watch he mentioned, the Constellation with the alternating gold and stainless steel band, in automatic. It is a lovely watch. I respectfully disagree with Kai, though, in his contention that it goes with casual as well. It is a very dressy watch IMHO, and I don't wear it with anything but a suit or a casual elegant ensemble.

    The all-steel band Constellations, however, are another thing entirely. They look great on a golf course, in a night club and work with a suit. A very versatile watch, and not that expensive.

    What you buy depends on how you will use it. The aforementioned steel-band Constellation will go with just about anything, as will certain models of Tag Heuer.
     


  8. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Um, because it looks nice and it's nice to be able to tell the time? What's the sense in having money if you don't buy nice things and enjoy yourself with it?

    I would certainly advocate *not* buying a really exoensive watch (a Patek.) unless you are a real afficionado. Impresses nobody, and it's like wearing a Kiton suit. Unless you are to the manor born and are used to wearing a small fortune on your wrist/feet/back, you will just be worried about scratches, getting it soiled, etc...

    If you are on a budget, get a moderately priced watch like Hamilton Tank (an American classic) for dressier occasions, and a Swiss Army something or another for day to day wear.

    If you have the means, get one of the more reasonable priced IWC models - you'll have the cachet of an insider's brand, and look pretty good to boot.

    Leather is dressier than metal. Black or brown alligator looks great for the evening. Don't get a diving watch.
     


  9. mrprlover

    mrprlover Senior member

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    I wonder why Rolex was never mentioned anywhere? Even in Kai's post it was left-out under the Swiss list. why?

    Curious.
     


  10. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    I think that the Rolex is seen, perhaps a little unfairly, as over-hyped, over-priced, and a little to common, by many members of this forum.

    The Oyster Perpetual is, imo, a beautiful and classic watch. That being said, there are about half a dozen watches I would choose before it.
     


  11. Kai

    Kai Senior member

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    I think that the Rolex Oyster Perpetual in stainless steel is a great sports watch. I'm not a huge fan of Rolex's "dress" watches, which more often than not are simply bulky, gaudy sports watches masquerading as dress watches. This is an over-generalized statement, of course. I left Rolex off of the list of Swiss watches, because I thought that a Rolex perhaps would not be a good choice for a first watch. In the Rolex price range, there are quite a few others I would put ahead of it. With regard to Ranjeev's question about internet sites selling watches, there are lots of such sites. Here are two that I have used successfully: (And yes, the B&M Capeland is a nice watch. I own the stainless chronograph with a black leather strap. Good looking, tough, and fun.) http://www.alanmarcusco.com/amc-cgi....FIG=amc http://store.thefinestjewelry.com/ Other sites I am familiar with (but haven't used) are http://www.prestigetime.com http://www.atlantictime.com/ For Citizen and Seiko watches, Ebay is truly your best bet.
     


  12. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Senior member

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    Here are a few broad generalizations with regard to the dressiness of watches: Gold is dressier than steel Strap is dressier than bracelet White/silver dial is dressier than black dial Less than 36 mm diameter is dressier than more than 36 mm Fewer complications is dressier than more complications Thinner case is dressier than thicker case Handwound is dressier than automatic Plain bezel is dressier than numbered bezel Roman/stick numerals are dressier than arabic numerals Because a particular watch will often contain more dressy and less dressy features, I find it useful to think of watches along a continuum from most dressy to least dressy: Classic Dress: Smaller (36 mm max), made of precious metal, and on alligator (or other exotic skin) strap. Â Contains a minimum of complications (at most second hand and date). Â Best worn with a suit. Â Example: Patek Philippe Calatrava. Contemporary Dress: Larger than classic dress, to accommodate the trend toward larger watches. Â Often contains complications beyond second hand and small date. Â Also found on strap and generally made of precious metal, but occasionally found in stainless steel. Â Can be worn with a suit or business casual. Â Example: Â A. Lange & Sohne Lange 1. Â Sport Casual: Distinguished from contemporary dress by its higher water resistance and luminous hands and markers. Â Often found on a bracelet. Â Best worn with more casual business casual outfits or with polo shirt and khakis. Â Example: Blancpain Aqualung. Sport: Larger and bulkier than sport casual. Â Often designed for a specific purpose, such as diving, thus known as a "tool watch." Â Should be worn exclusively on the weekends, but many men have taken to wearing them with a suit. Â Example: Rolex Submariner. Â If you were to get one watch, I would recommend something in category 2 or 3 for maximum versatility.
     


  13. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    matt,
    i very rarely wear a watch, but i do own two of them. a swatch "race car driver" model with a black leather strap and a face resembling a tachometer, and an old ('70s) citizen automatic which has a large brown body and thin brown strap. both are plastic but they look cool to me. i think there's an inherent sportiness, or professionalism, to wearing a watch, even if it is what people call a dress watch. for dressy or formal occasions, or at a party, i think not wearing one is the way to go.

    p.s. if you carry a cell phone, then a watch is just jewelry. i wouldn't spend more than $200 max. there are better things to spend your money on.
     


  14. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    l.a. guy, the point of having money isn't to have nice things, but to do good things with it. [​IMG]
     


  15. MPS

    MPS Senior member

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    I have a couple of automatic Oris Watches - a Big Crown Commander in steel and rose gold and a Big Crown Diver's Regulator in steel. I bought the latter for diving, but I wear it most of the time. I swap back to the Commander for very formal occasions (e.g. black or white tie). Oris have undergone something of a renaissance over the last 5 or so years (they really lost out during the "quartz era"). They're great quality and less expensive than most other Swiss brands.
     


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