The 5 styles of Watch Every Modern Man Should Have

Some guys have 1 watch, some guys have 15 or 20. However many you have, these are the 5 essentials.

The world today can tell you the time a dozen different ways in the blink of an eye. Sweep your eye across any room and everything from a wall clock to a cell phone to a television will accurately tell you the time. Wearing a watch is therefore a choice, one in which many people choose every day, at any price range.

A watch is a non-verbal expression of style and success, the perfect union between beautiful form and utilitarian function. The modern man who lives a varied life needs at least one watch, though some will argue that more are required. Hopefully it’s water resistant enough to survive a run through a pool or the washing machine. Whatever your taste may be, there is a watch in every style at nearly every price range to satisfy the discerning consumer.

1. Silver Beater

This is your day to day watch. You wear it everywhere and you beat the hell out of it without shame or embarrassment. All metal band and casing with plenty of options to boot, a scratch on this watch is a mark of honor. The watch industry makes a ton of them with different face colors, band style and date function. Pairing it with a sweater or a polo shirt is just as easy as picking out your underwear- just go with dial colors you like. Never pick a watch face over 45 millimeters; you are not trying to signal a plane or hail a cab. Chronograph options are also available and this watch will likely be on the less expensive end of the spectrum.

Iconic style choices: Ashton Kutcher, Hamilton Khaki Field King. Leonard DiCaprio, Tag heuer Carrera. 

When to wear: To work, to vacation, to visit grandma.

2. Dress Watch

To be worn with a suit at a special occasion such as a friend’s wedding or someone’s movie premiere. Strictly less than 40 millimeters in face diameter and always with a leather strap in the color of your choice but usually to accent your shoes. This watch is classy with no extra dials or other embellishments.  A date feature is acceptable but diamonds are rarely a good option on a watch. The dial and general design alone should be the center of attention. Your goal is to have the watch seamlessly match your outfit since you’ll be in these pictures forever.

Iconic figures: Jon Hamm, Omega Vintage Seamaster Deville. Will Smith, Hamilton Ventura.

When to Wear: Weddings, funerals, promotions, first dates, prom, and legal hearings.

3. Work It Out

This is a training watch with a synthetic or rubber band and closure. It will do all manner of scientific measurements as you jog, swim or any other type of hard breathing exercise. Likely smaller in diameter than your day to day watch and with a digital read out, this will help you calculate your body’s work out down to the millisecond. Other features include a stop watch, lap timer, date, time, alarm, GPS, and heart rate monitor. More than likely, this is going to be the cheapest of any watch to get. This does not in any way include smart watches that are paired with your phone, most of those are not usually very rugged.

Iconic figures: President Barack Obama, Highgear Enduro Compass. Nicholas Cage, Ventura V-Tec  W25-R1.

When to wear: When you get sweaty outside the house, rarely with any formal or social attire.

4. Divers

While not indestructible, a diving watch is designed to withstand a ton of pressure, just like the men who wear them. Features on such a watch should include a screw down crown, a double safety clasp, water-resistant to 200 meters, and a unidirectional turning bezel for marking dive times. Many divers’ watches are ISO 6425 certified, but that is up for debate since not all watch brands choose to undergo this optional testing. This test by the International Organization of Standardization for watches approves these watches to be beyond merely water resistant and certifies that they can handle the pressure of diving at least 100 meters or more. 

If that were not enough additional features found on dive watches include helium release valve, underwater illumination, various sizing, sapphire crystal glass, and the date. They run the range of size from 40 millimeters and higher but bigger than 50 mm is going to cause problems for the center of gravity on your arm. Some of these watches will have rubber straps while others are a more traditional stainless steel. Given the feature set, expect to spend more than you would normally.

Iconic Figures: President Barack Obama, Tag-Heuer Series 1500. Daniel Craig, Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean.

When to wear: When you plan on boldly going where no man has ever gone before-underwater.

 5. Luxury

The legacy watch, worn on momentous occasions that you will immortalize in your memory. Expensive, possibly passed down from generation to generation. A watch of this caliber is meant to convey importance and great success. The meaning of luxury notwithstanding, this watch should be of a noticeable quality and origin that will last several decades if not longer. Not only does your watch command attention but it should also add to your persona, not outshine you. It does no one any good to wear huge bling at a special occasion; you wear this watch for you and only you.

Iconic Figures: Steve McQueen, Rolex Submariner. John F. Kennedy, Rolex President.

When to wear: Wedding Days, Birth of Children and Grand Children, Ending a War.

Bonus. The Lucky One

Sometimes there comes a long a Watch that you love. It could be something you found, something you inherited, or was a gift. For whatever reason, whenever you wear it, it brings you great luck and good fortune. This watch can be weird, it can have a great back story or better yet, have sentimental value. It breaks the standard conventions of Watch wearing and yet you can’t stop yourself from remembering all of the great things this one Watch has brought you. This is a companion and you should never lose or sell it. Ever.

In the end, regardless of whichever watch you choose, make it situation appropriate. A watch doesn’t need to cost a small fortune to be stylish nor does it need to be big enough to weigh down your arm. Recent watch trends move toward the slimmer side of things with a touch of vintage design thrown in for good measure. Some of these principals will apply to ladies Watches as well but I can’t speak to this personally. Regardless of gender, all a Watch needs to do is express your sense of style and purpose.



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