Photo credit: Andrew Loiterton
(I honestly did not mean that title as a pun, there's just no other way to say it.)
I recently began wearing a watch again. I can't really remember the last time I wore one regularly, it's been that long. I do recall an interest in a few particular designs about a decade ago, then that waned until I didn't care what the new seasonal styles looked like; I simply didn't want to fiddle with anything on my wrist. Mobile phones became a constant companion so you could always find out the time (if you could find the phone in your bag), or just ask someone on the street. (I don't think I've ever been told 'sorry, I don't have a watch' which over time made me feel a bit daft about not being more self-sufficient in terms of time-keeping.)
So what got me slapping a timepiece on my wrist after my long run of defiance? I came across a loopy, rubber-banded design in Dezeen's watchstore, the 'Take Time' by Mathieu Lehanneur for Lexon. I liked that it was super light and I didn't have to buckle myself into it one-handed (yes, I considered that a challenge). That was sometime last year, and I found myself feeling a kind of loss if I went out without it, as if I had wasted an opportunity to show the world my cool new watch (and that I was now taking responsibility for knowing the time - like a real adult!). I wore it with everything, even if it was too casual for my outfit or the event. However, despite my affection for its friendly blue face, I eventually abandoned it when it became a bit tough to get on - the rubber seemed to have stretched just enough that I couldn't get it to centre around the crown and therefore hold steady, and that's all it took to relegate it to....where the heck is that thing? I'm feeling a bit guilty now and am going to find it and give it another go tomorrow. I hope it cooperates because it's a neat watch. If not it can be looped around things like your bag and serve as a kind of pocket watch.
While I did leave the Take Time behind thanks to its insolence, I was undeterred, and replaced it with another watch I found in a sale. This one was by Nixon and it was big, square and yellow. A 'happy' watch and the price was right, so I went for it:
Yes it's as big as it looks and it covers nearly the entire surface of the front of my wrist. And I love it. What's interesting is that I don't mind its traditional leather strap and taking those few seconds to do it up - a task which previously seemed daunting for some reason. Now, canary yellow isn't for everyone (says the girl in the neon lemon skinny jeans), but I will recommend it as an instant mood-lifter which seems to work on others as well. Like sunshine on your arm and no SPF needed. I think everyone should have one thing that's a crazy shade of yellow.
So, now that I've demonstrated commitment to this entry-level of watch wearing, am I ready to take the next step? Advance to a 'real' watch of conspicuous distinction like the ones here? (Let me first step into daydreamland and pretend budget isn't an issue because that's the only way this conversation is going to make sense.) A good watch, an eye-wateringly expensive watch, is a status symbol. It tells the world 'I have arrived'. Well, I'm still in the car circling the venue and I don't need to pretend otherwise, so that's not the impetus. For me, the aspirational push comes from the fact that these timepieces are marvels of design. They are exquisitely beautiful in their craftsmanship, representing at once cutting edge technology and rich heritage. I have to admit that I'm not interested in the jewels often found on luxury women's watches; I'm more attracted to the refined precision of the men's designs. Blingy, I am not. I mean, look above, I'm clearly in a less-is-more state of mind. And it's that kind of thinking that makes good design. (If an integral component doesn't get too stretched out, that is.)