I have a deeply held set of beliefs regarding what sort of watch a man should and shouldn’t wear. It incorporates a number of different factors ranging from the type of shoes he pairs it with to his age, hair style, sense of humor and the overall state of his career. There’s plenty that I could (and probably will eventually) say regarding this topic, but that is a post for another day.
Today I simply want to wind the clock back (ahem) and briefly touch on a few of the landmark watches that I’ve loved in my life.
1. The Timex Ironman: In 1984, at the tender age of 9, I saw and immediately loved the recently released Timex Ironman. It was the first time that wearing a watch had ever occurred to me and the unfamiliar feelings that it conjured were something that I would only come to understand many years later when I first discovered what a “crush” felt like.
2. The Casio Calculator: In 1985, Back to the Future debuted and Marty McFly, my then (and kind of now) hero, wore a Casio Calculator watch throughout it. I was smitten and though it took me several years to procure my own, I was never prouder than when I had the occasion to input or retrieve a phone number from my Casio Databank Calculator watch.
3. The Swatch Watch: The power of late 80’s fashion was strong and by 1988 I was completely obsessed with the Swatch trend. If you look closely at this photo of me giving my band director bunny ears while she instructed our class, you’ll see not one, but two Swatch’s on my arms. Classy.
4. The Timex Ironman IndiGlo: In 1991, Timex reintroduced the Ironman with their newly created IndiGlo technology and all the swooning puppy love that I felt for the first Ironman came rushing back at once. I immediately borrowed all of my sister Erica’s money and went and bought one.
5. The Timex Bracelet: In 1992 I picked up my first GQ Magazine and immediately subscribed. By 1994 I was completely enamored with the sleek, elegant, stainless steel banded watches that I was seeing on their pages and though I could not even imagine spending hundreds, let alone thousands of dollars on a watch such as these, I could absolutely spend the $7 (on sale!) that it took to procure this particular watch. Boy did I feel elegant……
6. The Casio G-Shock: In the late 80’s, the back of every GI Joe comic book had an ad for “Hercules Bracelets”. They were basically faux-leather wristbands that, when worn, created the illusion that even the puniest of arms were more muscular than they actually were. This was a principal that I had long employed by wearing sweatbands, gummy bracelets, or multiple swatches. Despite my desire for the elegance of my Timex Bracelet, by the late 90’s, the combination of the masculine impulse to appear beefy and rugged and a generally active lifestyle drove me to purchase the first of several G-Shock watches that I’ve owned. They are in many ways, the epitome of the quintessential “bro” watch, but despite this fact, they still remain my go-to watch for all physically active occasions.
7. The Timex Weekender: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; there is simply no better watch on the market for less than $100 than the Timex Weekender. And at a cool $30, that distinction is not ever going away. When I transitioned away from mostly freelance work into a corporate environment a number of years ago, I purchased one of these to be my designated business watch. As it turned out, it more or less became my primary watch and remained so up until Father’s Day two years ago.
8. The Victorinox Maverick GS Dual Time: Remember those expensive watches from the pages of GQ that I never planned on purchasing? Well excluding the extremely inaccessible, my favorite among them was always the Victorinox line of watches. There’s just something about their elegantly balanced lines and the general everyman ruggedness of the Swiss Army brand that make them the perfect watch for me. After changing jobs and generally settling in to a career path, my philosophy of when a man should allow himself to upgrade his watch permitted me to begin entertaining the idea of eventually investing. However, with my finances tied up in building a side business and raising two teenage boys, the reality of spending any money on a nice watch was definitely still far off. That is, until my wife Jenni spirited away some funds and surprised me with my present watch as a Father’s Day gift.
History alone tells me that this love affair is far from over, and though my Victorinox will likely be my primary watch for a long time, I have no doubt that eventually there will be another. Whenever that may be, and what direction it will take me, I can’t really even speculate at this point. Until then, I have a great watch that suits me and that’s good enough for me.
Do you have a dream watch? Do you think watches are obsolete? Let me know what you think!