Perhaps the best accessory a man can own is a watch. They’re stylish, easy-to-wear, and can be utilized for both time and fashion. On one hand, it’s a timepiece and on another hand (no pun intended), it’s a piece of jewelry that tells a story.
Watches Have Meaning, Style & Function
What separates watches from other pieces of jewelry isn’t just the time-telling aspect of it. Watches hold more sentimental value than other pieces of jewelry. You’ll usually hear more stories about someone’s watch than about their necklace or their bracelet.
That’s because watches are also durable and can withstand the test of time. It’s not uncommon to see people wearing watches that their grandfather wore back in the 80s, which is why they’re so valuable. They tell the time both figuratively and literally.
But what if you’re in the market for a new watch? Well, first off, let me tell you that there’s no “one watch” to solve your problems because there are different watches for different activities.
There are watches for people who are around water all the time and there are watches for people who like to wear suits to work. But maybe you’re an all-around guy. Maybe you like to wear suits to work, but you go swimming in the evening.
The 3 Watches Every Man Should Own
In this article I’ll help you find the three watches every man should own. Now, does that mean you have to go out and spend your hard-earned money on three watches right away? Absolutely not!
Watches are meant to be cherished and you can do that over a period of time. Some people take years to buy their second watch. Others take months. It’s up to you to decide whenever you feel like you’re ready to buy another timepiece.
However, these three are absolute essentials if you’re looking to start a watch collection. Not only do they cover the entire spectrum for utility, but they’re also very simple pieces that are easy on the wrists.
Here are my three types of watches every man must own!
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A field watch is great for the outdoors. It’s simple, great for active work, and fits well for most seasonal outfits.
Originally designed for soldiers during World War II, these watches were literally called “trench watches” because they would wear them in the trenches while they fought. Therefore, field watches were built to be durable and tell great time.
Field watches usually have large dials, around 38mm-45mm, and are also built with stainless steel or titanium casing. And because battles could go throughout the night, most field watches are now equipped with lume hands and numerals.
A field watch’s dial tends to have a very high contrast so that it’s easy to see the time. The dial colors are usually white numerals on a black dial or black numerals on a white dial. To top it all off, most field watches come with leather or canvas straps.
Some people might think that a bracelet strap would be more durable for a field watch, but that’s not the case. Bracelet straps can scratch easily and the purpose of the leather and canvas straps is to be able to change them out quickly in case of an emergency.
All in all, the field watch is great for outdoor activities. The stainless steel/titanium casing provides a solid reinforcement against scratches and marks. The lumed hands and numerals allow you to use this watch during nighttime, and the leather canvas straps are easy to wear and replace.
Despite its name, a dress watch isn’t only meant to be used whenever you’re going to a formal event. A dress watch’s purpose is to elevate your outfit and if you’re wearing the right clothes, it’ll do its job.
The standard dress watch has a clean dial face, a thin case made from precious metal, and comes with a leather strap. For a dress watch, the presentation is the first priority. Timekeeping is second. There are several things you need to make sure you’re doing right whenever you wear a dress watch.
For one, the dress watch must be proportional to your wrist size. Too big of a watch dial and you’ll look uncultured. Too small of a watch dial and your watch will have no effect on the crowd.
Secondly, the dress watch must be simple. The most a dress watch can have is a date window. Things like a sub-dial, a chronograph, or a perpetual calendar will only take away from how a dress watch looks on your wrist.
You should also wear jewelry to complement the watch, but to do so, you must first understand how to properly wear jewelry. A well-fitted bracelet or a nice pair of rings will improve your outfit even more.
Even though I said that the standard dress watch has a clean dial, thin case, and a leather strap, these standards are starting to be broken. With major luxury brands like Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Richard Millie, and Rolex creating new watches every year, the rules of a dress watch are constantly being modified.
Today, the idea of a dress watch is relative. People can get away with wearing something like an Omega Speedmaster and have it considered to be a dress watch in the sense that it was worn to a dinner party.
However, if you’re looking to follow the rules of time and go with the standard look, then I recommend something like a Nomos Tangente or an IWC Portofino to start off. Some more budget-friendly options are the Seiko Presage and the Hamilton Jazzmaster.
Quick note: If you’re enjoying this article on watches every man must own — then you’ll probably like this article Is a Rolex Worth It? too.
Diver watches were originally meant for people who spent a lot of time around water. But like the dress watches, diver watches have experienced a slight change in the rules.
Thanks to their ruggedness and aesthetically unique look, diver watches are starting to be used for their looks as well as their functions. A well-fitting diver watch can look great on a rugged outfit, such as a leather jacket on denim.
But their functionality is still what makes them special. They have many features that other watches don’t have. The most obvious of these functions is that they’re waterproof and can withstand different pressures underwater.
Along with being waterproof, dive watches also have bezels that can act as a timer, a reinforced sapphire glass, a crown to adjust the time, and a strap that is either made up of metal or rubber
As for withstanding the pressures of being underwater, you’ll want to get a dive watch that fits your activities. A watch that goes up to 100 meters can be used for things like recreational swimming and scuba-diving.
Watches ranging from 200-500m can be used for scuba diving as well as the other activities mentioned above and watches that go up to 1000 meters are usually military-grade watches intended for deep-water diving.
Dive watches have become a norm for watch enthusiasts because they can withstand most of the rigors of on-land activity and can also be styled fairly well with different outfits. A common outfit that people would wear with dive watches is a white t-shirt, jeans, and your favorite pair of sneakers.
Out of the three pieces I’ve mentioned, most people like to start with a dive watch. They’re a medium between a dress watch and a field watch. They look nice, are easy on the wrists, and keep great time.
If you’re in the market for a new watch, I recommend that you try out a dress watch, diver watch, or a field watch. All three options are wonderful and each watch type can be worn to elevate your style.
For both watch novices and watch veterans alike, you won’t go wrong with choosing a watch under one of the three categories I’ve mentioned. They all have their own special characteristics to them and will help you become a better man.
Tristan is an avid follower of men’s fashion. He loves wearing a well-fitted white t-shirt and talking about watches. When he’s not writing about the latest Seiko timepiece or the best outfits for the season, he’s playing tennis, watching Mad Men, and taking naps.
WHAT WATCHES DO YOU ALREADY HAVE IN YOUR COLLECTION?
Let’s continue the discussion over in the Gentlemen Within Private Facebook Community.
Looking forward to seeing you in there.
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