Mastering the Art of Wristwatch Fashion and Choosing the Perfect Watch: [Part 2] Wristwatches in the Modern World

Mastering the Art of Wristwatch Fashion and Choosing the Perfect Watch: [Part 2] Wristwatches in the Modern World

The Wrist Watch in the Modern World

Technology has come a long way since the early days of the ‘Great War’ and, chances are, you don’t need to be precisely timing the start of military manoeuvre any longer. So why even wear a watch today? The majority of people now have a mobile phone which can be pulled out of a pocket at any moment. You may have assumed that a large proportion of people have retired their wristwatch in favour of a modern-day upgrade, but this isn’t at all what’s happening...

The boom in technology did see the popularity of the wristwatch decline in the early 2000s, but later on in the decade they seemingly began gaining popularity again. Was it about nostalgia? If it was then that nostalgia has continued to endure, as the watch industry has seen an upward climb year on year ever since, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

Whilst the key industry players who pioneered the wristwatch all those years ago have remained strong, new smaller independent watchmakers have also been entering the business. Nation of Souls, for instance, is a relative newcomer, but is already making its mark on the industry and gaining a fanbase and reputation for innovative designs and consistent quality.

So why is it that the humble wristwatch remains as popular as ever when most people these days can easily pull out a smartphone to check the time? Here are a few possible explanations. 


Just as the military found over 100 hundred years ago, it’s so much easier to glance at your wrist than it is to remove something from your pocket or bag to read the time.

PICTURE: Silver and Blue Argo

No Dead Battery

A good quality quartz watch has a battery that will last up to 3 years, so it shouldn’t run dead on you at a time when you need it the most! So, if your mobile/smartphone battery runs flat, you can still rely on your trusty wristwatch for the time. A self winding automatic watch doesn’t have a battery at all and will wind whilst it's being worn.

Important Detail

If you’re shopping for a watch, you’re almost certainly thinking about how it will look on your wrist. Male jewelry has some classy choices out there for the individual stylista fashion-conscious man, and there are certainly some outlandish watch designs out there too, but most quality wristwatches are stylish and will perfectly complement your own look.

 PICTURE: Gold and Black Eclipse

A wristwatch may be a subtle detail to your overall look, but you can be sure that most people will notice when you’re wearing one. The right watch can be versatile enough to match any outfit in your wardrobe. Interchangeable straps can help greatly with this, especially if your preference is for coloured leather, rubber or metal straps, and of course you could start your very own watch collection!

A wristwatch can certainly bolster your social status, much like the clothes you wear, but with so many fake high-end watches around, high quality smaller brands are real contenders for originality. 

You're In Control 

Talk to any successful individuals in the world and they all have one thing in common: Time management. Having a wristwatch enables you to effortlessly keep an eye on the one thing that can so easily escape us. 


If you are looking for a convenient, at-the-ready, hands-free timekeeping, a wristwatch is your one and only option. However, most men wouldn’t necessarily find that their rubber-banded sport watch paired particularly well with their business suit and leather shoes, which is why many will start a watch collection as an extension to their wardrobe.

If you are seeking a good-looking watch, you really have five choices: dress, field, driver, aviator, and racing.

The Dress Watch

First made in the early 20th-century for gentlemen. This style is all about sophistication and keeping things sleek and simple. Dress watches are typically thin so as to easily slip under your dress shirt cuff and can be square, rectangular, or circular. High-end models are often made from silver or gold. The face normally displays a simple hour index (symbols or numbers) and there are usually no complications apart from perhaps a day/date function.

The band of a dress watch is generally leather, but they can also have a  metal band options such as a link bracelet or mesh strap.

The Field Watch

The field watch is a direct descendent of the "trench watch" that was a must for the military during WWI. The field watch enabled the synchronisation of military manoeuvres amongst soldiers in the battlefield.

Field watches today continue to have a practical military feel. They're stylish, and rugged and are generally small to medium in size and feature a functional, easy-to-read index. Usually black on white (or vice versa) and may also illuminate for dark conditions.

Many field watches have a feature known as "hacking seconds" which enables the user to stop the second hand. This makes it easy to synchronize your watch with another, literally to the second. The band of a field watch is generally canvas or leather as metal would be too heavy and can easily get scratched. A field watch may include the date, but generally it won’t have any complications.

The Dive Watch

The dive watches continue to be popular with divers for obvious reasons, but also with trendsetters who may or may not take the watch into water.

Just as you may have guessed, a dive watch is designed for people who want to wear a watch in water. They are manufactured to be water resistant so have additional gaskets and seals most other types of watches don't have. A standard depth rating is 100 meters for the average dive watch, but some can go even deeper like the 200 meter rated Ocean Explorer

PICTURE: Silver and Orange Ocean Explorer Diving Watch

The case is usually stainless steel or titanium since these materials are corrosion-resistant. The band or strap can also be Stainless Steel but many now feature the option of a rubber strap. These tend to be extremely comfortable and are of course water resistant. They come in medium thickness case with a bold and easy-to-read face. Sapphire is often used to protect the watch face.

The case will typically feature a uni-directional bezel, which is a dive watch's defining feature. The bezel usually only rotates counter-clockwise, and is used to give you a visual reference for how long you've been under water. When you enter, you'll line the bezel up so 0 is on the minute hand. The bezel marking will then point to the number to show you how much time has elapsed in the water. Of course, if you aren't a diver, you probably won't use this feature!

Most dive watches come with metal bands that are a bit longer than average in order to fit around the bulky diving equipment you may be wearing. The only complication is usually the date.

The iconic heritage of the dive watch and its all-metal band and case make it great for everyday wear. It's also a great watch for sports, casual meetings, business casual, and even business formal. Like James Bond, you can even pair it with a tuxedo!

The Pilot Watch

The earliest aviators depended on a good wristwatch to help them navigate. The iconic Santos watch was actually created by Louis Cartier back in 1904 with his pilot friend in mind. And, decades later, watchmakers continue to build pilot watches around this design, with the addition of a Chronograph.

Most pilot watches, however, don’t follow a distinct design. They range from medium to large and they are made for easy reading, even in a dark cockpit, so they generally have an oversized, clean-looking face. The band is typically made from leather  or stainless steel and is longer than average (made to fit around a pilot’s flight jacket cuff). Complications include the date and generally a chronograph.

The Racing Watch

Since the 1930s, wristwatches have been a mainstay for racers.The size of a racing watch is usually medium to large with a large dial to allow room for the chronograph. Most have clearly written numbers and sometimes bright colors that are in stark contrast to one another. The case is usually made of stainless steel with a metal or leather band. Complications may also include a date.

Racing watches are generally quite colourful and, because of this, are best reserved for casual wear.

It's true to say that there is a watch for most fashion trends, dress styles or occasions, which is perhaps the reason for their enduring popularity.