Luxury watches are unique among the various items of menswear because they are the one accessory that is ubiquitously worn, both in formal and casual situations. Although the perfect watch for a black tie affair is likely not the same type of watch that one would take while vacationing on a tropical beach, luxury timepieces can be found on the wrists of men dressed in both swimsuits and three-piece suits alike.
Additionally, luxury watches are often able to retain much of their value throughout the years, and in certain cases, even appreciate if given enough time (and the right circumstances). Most possessions in our lives either wear out or become outdated as subsequent iterations are released. While watch companies are always releasing new models and working to improve upon their designs, the core function of a watch has not changed throughout the years, meaning that a finely crafted timepiece will never truly become outdated.
In terms of pure functionality, mechanical watches will always fall short of their quartz counterparts. The invention of the quartz movement more or less “perfected” the art of timekeeping; however, the ability to accurately tell time has become increasingly less important as other devices within our lives take over the same function. For many modern luxury watches, their performance ability falls secondary to their design, materials, and their importance within their respective manufacturer’s history.
The lack of a necessity for wristwatches has allowed them to transcend their strictly functional origins, and become tiny pieces of mechanical, wearable art that can be used to express one’s personality. Free from the confines of producing timepieces designed around function and practicality, many luxury brands are embracing their freedom, and are now manufacturing watches that showcase their technological achievements or use of exotic/proprietary materials.
Today there is a timepiece manufactured for nearly every possible environment or situation. From black-tie affairs to mountain climbing, from deep sea diving to automobile racing – there even exists a watch officially certified by NASA for manned space explorations, namely the Omega Speedmaster – there is a watch for every man and every occasion. The amazing diversity among timepieces and the sheer number of available options means that selecting a single watch has become no easy task. Thankfully, there is no reason that we must be confined to a single timepiece, and many men these days are choosing to own multiple watches.
The wristwatch is no longer a single item that exists within a man’s wardrobe, but rather it has become an entire category of menswear. Although there are some watches like the Rolex Submariner that are equally at home at the beach as they are in the boardroom, many men enjoy having the option of multiple timepieces, with each one filling a slightly different role within the man’s life.