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 Amazon Alexa or her rival Siri will tell you the time. Wearing a watch is therefore a choice, one in which many people choose every day. 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 should be enjoyed. Hopefully it’s water resistant enough to survive a run through a pool or the washing machine but at the very least you should expect be able to wash your hands with it. 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 colors and date features. Pairing it with a suit 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 passing. Strictly less than 40 millimeters in face diameter and always with a leather strap in the color of your choice but usually black to match 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 dressy watch, you want class here. 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 want to represent yourself well.
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 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 the work out your body is going through no matter the sport. Other features include a stop watch, lap timer, date, time, alarm and heavy duty 50+ Meters water resistance. 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, those are usually not 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.
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 may 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 lumination, various sizing, sapphire crystal faces, 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.
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 to celebrate 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.
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. All it needs to do is express your sense of style and purpose.