My lovely bride, known to you all as The Preppy Princess, is taking a day to rejuvenate her mind and soul. She has requested, and any married male will recognize the tone, that I publish some thoughts in her stead. This is a great opportunity to discuss some things that have been percolating for some time. We’ll be focusing on time. While Stephen Hawking has some brilliant thoughts on the subject my intentions are easier to grasp. It all begins with the question: What watch should a man wear and when should he wear it?
GQ magazine has published a comprehensive article on this very subject and we thank them for many of the photos you’ll be enjoying. Let’s get started.
Photo: Davies + Starr; Bettmann/Corbis
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner – This is one of the all-time classic watches. Good enough for Che Guevera, it should be good enough for any capitalist. It’s water-resistant to 330 feet. But that raises the question of water-resistant versus waterproof. Common sense should answer that. Also, at $5,175, what would be your frame of mind when your Submariner falls overboard and is last seen dropping to the bottom of a very deep body of water?
Photo: Davies + Starr; Bettmann/Corbis
Omega Speedmaster – My thought is that if this watch is good enough for Buzz Aldrin and the crew of Apollo 11 than I can probably work with it. The Speedmaster is good-looking, durable, accurate and, at only $3,000, affordable. A rare treat in today’s marketplace. Sometimes you get more than what you pay for.
Photo: Davies + Starr; Branger/Hulton Archive/Getty Image
Cartier Santos – Oh, my. Where do I begin? In 1904 Louis Cartier himself designed this watch for a Brazilian aviator. This gold-and-steel watch pictured is a modern version of Cartier’s original vision. Self-winding, accurate, tasteful. With a $4,200 price tag it is a true statement of gentlemanly restraint.
Photo: Davies + Starr; Everett Collection
TAG Heuer Monaco – Steve McQueen has been called the King of Cool. We won’t debate that because there is no debate to be made. McQueen wore this blue-faced watch in the 1971 film Le Mans. First produced in 1969, you can capture your inner McQueen with this water-resistant classic for a mere $3,195.
Photo: Davies + Star
Movado Museum – Recognize the watch? Of course you do. The epitome of understatement and minimalism. Perfect with a suit; mandatory with a tuxedo. The next time you’re in the Museum of Modern Art’s design wing look for this watch. Since 1947 this classic, with only an hour hand, minute hand, and that discreet dot at twelve o’clock, has held a place of honor. This watch is also very accessible because of the modest $995 price point.
Traser P 6500 Type 6 – Enough with the dress watches. This is a watch that can take more of a beating than you’ll ever want to absorb. The type 6 is an authentic US-military watch designed and built according to government specifications. There is a whole gamut of technology inside the watch. Thousands of these watches are being worn today by the men and women of our Armed Forces. The only difference between the military version and the civilian watch is that your timepiece will have a date window. Price? There is one place to get this watch in the United States. If you have enough spine to wear this watch then you can make the call yourself.
According to GQ, here’s a quick rule for watches: With contemporary watches [those made after 1985], platinum trumps white gold, white gold trumps pink, pink trumps yellow. And all of those trump steel. Vintage watches are an entirely different story. We can get to that in another post.
Another reminder: A sports watch should be worn while participating in sports. You rarely wear a suit while playing a sport. Why would you wear a sports watch in the office?
A last thought… diamonds do not determine the value of a watch. Don’t get sucked into that sales pitch. It’s all about the attention to detail inside the watch. You can’t go too far wrong selecting a Swiss-made watch. Precise, elegant and worth every dollar you’ll pay. But always remember what you’re expecting from your watch. My father, one of the most “comfortable in his skin” men I’ve ever met, would go to the corner drugstore each year and buy a $12 Timex. It kept accurate time and he’d toss it after a year. All he wanted from a watch was a quick answer to the question “What time is it?”. There’s something to be said for that.
And with that I say thank you for your time.