Let’s be frank. Clumsily fishing for your cell phone to check the time during a business meeting or on a date does not make a great impression. A quick, discreet glance at your wrist watch gives off a much more poised, self-assured and classy vibe. The added bonus? It’s an opportunity to impress everyone with your timepiece choice and hint about your merit.
A man’s watch is a telling social signal. More than clothes or shoes, a watch is the definitive style and tax-bracket cue.
Men are fascinated by watches, and buy them to impress other men. Unlike those other status trophies like a flashy car or a mansion, a watch can be carried into a boardroom, a cocktail party or a golf game. And although women don’t expect men to wear Rolexes and Cartiers, checking your time on your cell phone like a school boy, is not likely to leave your date breathless!
A word of advice though. You need to spend upwards of $2,000 to have a timepiece that speaks well of your sense of style, status and wallet heft (real or aspirational). An Apple Watch may be a good way to wean off the cellphone, but as singer and noted watch collector John Mayer said, “I can’t give up precious wrist space for an Apple Watch.” And Timex or Casio? Well, they will speak more of your frugality than your sense of style.
Think instead Omega, TAG Heuer or Breitling on the lower end of the luxury scale, and Rolex (Kanye West’s self-confidence source), IWC and Cartier on the higher. (You can also think Patek, but only if you belong to the world’s wealthiest 1 per cent. Patek Philippe is the ultimate power watch. The brand’s timepieces hit stratospheric prices at auctions. One rare vintage piece sold at auction for over $24,000,000 in 2014.)
Need proof that a luxury wrist watch makes all the difference in how the world regards you? Talk to writer and globetrotter Matt Meltzer. He did an article for Thrillist magazine in which he recounted how wearing luxury timepieces affected the treatment he received during his travels. (It might interest you to know that Meltzer rented these fine wristwatches, from a company called Eleven James. For $150 a month he had the blissful self-gratification of sporting a Blancpain Fifty (retail value $10,500), a Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronograph (retail value $5,523) and a Bell and Ross 03-92-S (retail value $3,900).
Going by Meltzer’s account, he had the time of his life researching this article. Wherever he went he became very popular very quickly, and was the recipient of first-class upgrades, dinner invites from the rich and powerful, and flirtatious salvos from women he deemed “above his league.” In short, life was his oyster!
So, by all means, keep the cellphone for texting, net surfing, email and chats. But if you want the world to see you as a man of substance and style, buy, rent or borrow a timepiece that subtly but effectively places you in this category.