Does anyone wear a watch anymore? You bet! There many benefits to wearing a watch. But those advantages can go way beyond what you might have thought in the first place. So here are 11 reasons to wear a watch in the 21st century. Besides, obviously, just telling the time.
1. You convey respect and curiosity
How in the world can a watch convey all these values at once? Glad you asked.
Picture this: you’re in a meeting room and really need to check the time. Yet, you don’t have a watch. What do you do?
If your smartphone is on the table (face down or up, it doesn’t matter), you’ll have to flip it or wake it in order to know what time it is. And at that particular moment, the time is this: it’s time to show some respect to all the participants.
Not all meetings are fascinating. Everybody has things to do. Yet by reaching for your smartphone, you can only signal that you don’t care about what’s happening in the room. And don’t get me started about reaching out for your phone if it’s still in your pocket… this looks even worse.
And this is not only true for business meetings but also any rendezvous you might have with your friends, family or loved ones.
By not reaching for your phone (or anything else that has nothing to do with the task at hand, really), you show that you can – for at least a little while – just enjoy some quality time with the people around you. Meaning: you’re not connected and reachable all the time. You just don’t need to.
I know: the smartphone has increasingly become a part of our lives, and it’s accepted now in pretty much every situation. But by staying in the present, you show that you care. About the people and the discussion. You show that you’re curious about what’s happening right here, right now.
Now, should you really know what the time is: can you beat a quick glance at your analog watch? I think you can’t. Even your smartwatch won’t do the trick, since most of the time, you’ll have to rotate your wrist to activate the display… busted!
2. Watches are just super convenient
Of course, wearing a watch is convenient. You won’t have to check your smartphone everytime you need to tell the time. And believe it or not: this is still the main reason why people wear a watch in the first place today.
Ever needed to catch a train in a hurry? Yeah, we’ve all been there and done that. Now, dare to tell me that you didn’t check the time every 45 seconds, just to make sure that you still have the chance to catch your train back home (or anywhere else, for that matter).
Do that with a smartphone in one hand and your ticket in the other one, and all of a sudden, this makes for a very unpleasant, inconvenient experience. Of course, you can. But why go through the hassle?
And this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Because watches can feature a lot of other super useful complications (functions), conveniently available on your wrist:
- you travel a lot a need to speak with your HQ or want to stay connected to your loved ones: get a GMT watch to know your local and home time zones at the same time
- you’re a freelancer on the go and need to time how much you work for a client: get a chronograph or electronic watch with a stopwatch (that is to say pretty much every electronic watch ou there)
- you’re a diver (or a speaker!) and need to time your dives (or speeches) to the minute: get a diver watch with a rotating bezel
Sure, a smartphone or smartwatch can do all that. But you just can’t beat the practicality of a wristwatch.
3. Regular watches are sustainable
This is my favorite reason to answer the question: are watches still relevant?
Watches are more relevant than ever. In an ever-evolving world where Earth resources become more and more scarce, buying a regular watch makes more sense than ever.
Of course, you can’t beat having no watch at all. After all, who needs to get a watch when you can tell the time from your computer, smartphone, radio station, digital billboards… you name it. Sure.
But what if you’re into smartwatches? Not only many people have stopped using their smartwatches over the course of the past year, because they don’t find them as useful or convenient as they thought they would be. But more importantly: just how much time do you expect to keep your current smartwatch? 2 years? What about your smartwatch not being updated from the manufacturer anymore at some point?
If you like to wear something on your wrist to tell the time, be a responsible consumer and get a regular watch. It’s going to last you a lot longer than a smartwatch. And that’s especially true if you get a mechanical (automatic or manual winding) watch that. When serviced, these gems can run for several decades!
Even a simple quartz timepiece will do a better job at respecting the environment than a smartwatch.
4. A watch states your style
Do you really think that watches are out of style?
Come on, they are more stylish, useful and desirable than ever!
You don’t have to be into haute horology to appreciate how much a watch can define your style, right? Even a simple, affordable, tasteful watch will up your wrist game instantly. And your style as well.
Because, as Coco Channel said it better than I ever could: “Fashion comes and goes but style lasts forever”.
Let’s face it: fashion watches may be cool while their time lasts… but what about your style? What about making a statement by carefully choosing the clothes and the watch that you wear? What about defining your style based on that small yet handy and powerful tool?
A Casio G-Shock says rugged like no other. A simple white dial 3 hander means the absolute business. A tool watch (like a diver or a pilot watch) speaks volume about realism and practicality.
And your watch band can speak up, too! Leather strap, rubber band, metal bracelet, Nato straps… they were all created for a reason: to suit pretty much every occasion under the sun.
As you can see, not only can a watch fit into your style and lifestyle. But more importantly, watches state who you are.
5. It’s an ode to beauty and craftsmanship
Long gone are the days where people would only get a watch to tell the time. The switch happened somewhere in the second half of the 90s when cell phones took the world by storm. Sometimes, it’s more convenient to have a regular watch (like discussed in point 2), but let’s face it: we don’t need them anymore.
Watches have become, first and foremost, an element of everyday style. And that’s all good!
But if you dig a little bit deeper, you will understand how magnificent, fascinating and just plain beautiful the world of watches and horology is. Think about having a complete mechanical movement in such a small case, with the sole purpose of telling the time: isn’t that marvelous?
And if you look at high-end, luxury brands, a whole new level of beauty will strike you. Some complicated movements take years to develop, and months to assemble (no wonder why they cost so much). Not only that, but experienced watchmakers work hours on end to shape and perfectly finish every single part of a watch, even the tiniest ones that you can’t see through the transparent case back.
If that is not worth your appreciation, admiration, and respect for the ultimate pursuit of perfection and beauty for the sake of it, I don’t know what is.
Most high-end luxury watch collectors don’t get watches because they tell the time or are worth tens of thousands of dollars. They possess watches because it’s a way to be part of and celebrate beauty and craftsmanship.
6. It’s a great conversation starter
You might not need to get a watch to have any conversation started. But don’t tell me you never, ever got complimented on your watch in your life! I just wouldn’t believe you – unless, obviously, you don’t wear a watch.
So whether you wear a watch specifically for that reason or not, every now and then your timepiece will become a great conversation starter. I could get you a simple “nice watch!” all the way to “oh my god, is that a Rolex reference 5517???”. (If you don’t know the 5517, it’s called the Milsub. It’s a very rare piece grounded in history and has a following among watch lovers like no other).
Whereas watch enthusiasts are few (but I bet you are one of them if you’re surfing on this website), watch lovers are plenty. And it’s always good to share a common interest or straight up passion before going into the specifics of a more formal discussion. Or even an informal one, for that matter!
And you don’t have to wear any expensive or rare watch to trigger people on what’s on your wrist. So many affordable watches will do the trick just fine!
7. It’s a great way to commemorate an important event in your life
It’s great to have a precious item that will help you commemorate a life-changing event.
Your graduation, your first job, your wedding, your important birthdays and anniversaries, and any big decision should be celebrated. And what better way to commemorate those by treating yourself with a precious watch? (Precious in the sense that it’s special to you, not because it’s made of precious metal. Money is no object here.)
Sure, watches are not the only way to help you remember your achievements in life. Some other items or jewelry can, too. But I get it: not every man loves jewelry. I certainly don’t, besides the (very) occasional bead bracelets. So I just go for watches.
Because not only I enjoy wearing watches every day, so I get to have that little extra confidence boost when I check the time on a special watch. But it will make for a great legacy piece as well! (Read on for more about this.)
8. You’re nostalgic of an era
Remember when I said that in the second half of the 90s, cell phones took over the world?
That’s true, but I can remember very vividly that Casio calculator and remote control watches where all the rage back then. After school, my best friend and I would pass by electronic stores on our way home and shut down the televisions that were on display, upsetting the sales advisor who wouldn’t understand what was going on. I know, that was childish.
There is no secret that I love the 90s. Not only for the music but also for the good times that I had back when I was a teenager. So what better way to connect to a decade that you love (or are nostalgic about) than getting a watch from that very same era? It’s something that you can have with you every single day to trigger some memories from the good ol’ days.
Pick your decade: you will able to find watches in pretty good shape all the way back to the 1920s or 1930s. Of course, they won’t look brand new, but that’s not the point. The point is to connect instantly to that special space in time, whenever you like it.
And luckily enough, many manufacturers reissue models and designs based on older originals models. And sometimes, you get even luckier, because some watches are exactly the same today as when they were released. Like the Casio F-91W release in 1991 and still available today (hence the name, check it out on Amazon).
Being a baby from the very early 80s, I got myself a Casio G-Shock GW-M5610 which is a direct descendant of the GW-5000 -the very first Casio G Shock ever, released in 1983. So you can find your grail nostalgia watch too! (Check my full review of the Casio G-Shock GW-M5610.)
9. You’re passionate about history
The previous was all about the good times that you lived yourself. But what about those times that preceded you and that you’re passionate about?
Watches are rooted in history. They were created to tell the time. At first, they could not be worn on a wrist, because the manufacturers couldn’t build movements that were small enough to fit into a case.
But then, technology evolved, innovation took over, and they made the movements so small that women (yes, they were the first ones!) could wear watches on their wrists – a groundbreaking idea back then.
Fast forward almost a century, and now you’ll find wristwatches strapped to the wrists of soldiers. Watches were essential, tactical tools for soldiers on the ground. And later during WW2, in the air as well. Being able to tell time accurately was a matter of life or death (and it still is to this day, on war grounds).
Then came the conquest of the moon in 1969. The moon watch, as it is called, is none other than the legendary Omega Speedmaster built a few months before take off. It has been tested and approved by Nasa for spatial flight (these guys don’t screw around, and they didn’t back then either).
From the 18th century (with roots dating from several centuries before that) up to today, from fashionable ladies watches to rugged tool watches for soldiers, on Earth or in the space, watches are a way to get a piece of history.
There is a watch out there that was made in – or has its roots in – a year and an even that you’re passionate about. It’s about time to find that gem!
10. It connects you to your family legacy
Can a wristwatch have any importance in your life?
I think it can.
As Patek Philippe said in one of their advertising campaigns in 1996: “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.” That’s quite a statement! And it doesn’t have to be expensive: that’s true for any timepiece that has been in any family for more than a generation.
I wish my dad and granddad were watch enthusiasts. Why, you ask?
Being the owner of a timepiece that was theirs could connect me to my family heritage and legacy like no other. It’s such an inspiring and humbling though to wear a watch that was previously owned by one of your family members. It’s like sharing a story (or even a piece of history) in the metal. With a tangible, real-world heirloom item.
So if you’re like me, start a family watch collection.
You’ll be glad you did when you’ll hand over your special timepieces to your children or grandchildren. Maybe that will not make a lot of sense in their 20s, but I can assure you that it will in their 30s and later.
11. It’s a great reminder that time is a limited resource
This is my favorite of the bunch. And I’ll keep it short to make the form follow the function.
Sorry for the deep thought, but our time on Earth is limited. So you better make the most of it while you still can.
I assigned a particular watch in my collection to help me remind this. I don’t wear it every day, but I see it every time I open my watch box.
And it instantaneously helps me refocus on what’s important.
Because focussing on what matter and being humble and appreciative of our time down here is the only way to aim for the sky.
So why not browse through my favorite watches now?