Up until the outbreak of World War 1, the wristwatch was considered a lady's accessory. But in the heat of battle, soldiers found they did not have the time to fish around for a pocket watch. So the men's wristwatch was born.
After the war, this new way of wearing a watch transitioned into civilian use. Initially ridiculed by the public as a silly trend, men's wristwatches soon became the norm and their practicality made pocket watches obsolete.
Nowadays, some might argue that wristwatches are becoming obsolete. After all, the cynic would ask why a man needs a watch when he could easily check his phone for the time.
#1 Watches Are Convenient
Phones don’t keep you punctual. Watches do.
“I don’t need a watch because I have a phone” is a common response from a generation who are now questioning the adverse effects of constant cellphone use. The truth is, regularly fishing in your pocket for a cell phone just to check the time looks desperate.
A quick glance towards your wrist is a much classier way to keep track of time during a date or a meeting. Not to mention how rude it would seem to your companions if you pulled out your phone during a conversation.
On other occasions where it's advisable to leave the phone concealed – like the beach, a funeral or a wedding, a watch is a much more subtle and convenient way to check the time.
#2 Watches Are Functional
Any item inspired by the military has a functional use. Wristwatches included.
Wristwatches were first used in the 19th century by the military to synchronize maneuvers during the war. Since then, specialized watches have been used in the depths of the ocean by divers and high up in the sky by aviators.
A complicated watch is designed with features beyond the basic function of displaying the time. Such functionality is called a complication. Two of the popular complications are the chronograph, which allows the watch to function as a stopwatch and the moon phase complication, which displays where the moon is in the lunar cycle.
#3 Watches Are Reliable
The best watches don’t use the latest microchips. They are powered by ingenious mechanical clockwork technology that predates electricity. So when your cellphone runs out of battery – you can trust the technology that keeps running on your wrist.
One of the big advantages of a watch – especially over a smartphone – is how long it can operate in the field. Many watches are made to either be self-powered through motion or use a small amount of energy from a battery. Think years of maintenance-free time telling…..compare that to a smartphone's 8 hours!
When you need to keep track of something as important as time – a unique device to measure and manage it is justified.
#4 Watches Are Stylish
The range of acceptable jewelry for a man is limited. Many men are only going to be seen with three main accessories decorating their hands – one of the types of men's watches, a stylish pair of cuff links, and a simple wedding band if they're married.
In addition to helping wearers stick to their schedules, wristwatches make it easier for them to display their sense of style. They are a form of self-expression – reflecting a hint of danger, adventure, and sports depending on the make of the watch.
So how can a man get compliments with accessories?
Watches can communicate a lot about the wearer's personality. For those that prefer to avoid chunky bling on their wrist, purchasing a Rolex can be a way to sport an understated, timeless, and incredibly masculine accessory.
As the saying goes – boys look at their smartphones to check time – men look at a watch.
Call it what you will, one of the key reasons to wear a watch is because a quality timepiece is a man's equivalent of the engagement ring.
#5 Watches Embody Craftsmanship
A wristwatch is more than a time-keeper. It is a symbol of tradition and history encased in a showpiece with extreme craftsmanship.
Not many men realize that they are wearing pieces of art on their wrists. Some watch houses have four craftsmen working on one watch for several months – creating complex pieces of mechanical technology by hand.
It's detailed art at the higher end of human ingenuity and creativity.
An analog watch has a simple and consistent mechanism. The way of expressing it is where the bulk of the creativity comes in. Watch design is inherently artistic. There are a lot of generic and non-inspiring watch styles out there. The best stuff is beautiful though and how often do you call a tool beautiful?
Art on a watch can come in multiple forms. The dial can literally be a painting, or the design of the instrument itself is pure art. The movement arouses as much fascination as the dial and case for many people.
#6 Watches Make Great Heirlooms
Not only is a timepiece the quintessential gift – it is the quintessential heirloom. No matter what your philosophy is on the end of life, we can all agree that people can live on through the memories of those that knew them.
Owning timepieces from a different era is a remembrance of people who lived before you. Having their watches makes you think of them, in a real way. One of the best reasons to wear a watch is carrying on a tradition. Take your relative's watch with signs of use, care, and love and wear it with pride.
A watch collection is also a legacy. It doesn't necessarily have to be worth a mini treasure – but leaving your watch(es) to someone you care about is in essence passing on values that were important to you, to someone else.
#7 Watches Prevent Distractions
When you look at your watch, you get the time – and nothing else. (If you're wearing an aviator watch you might get an extra time zone or two.) When you look at your phone you get the time, a text message, Facebook notifications, a bunch of emails…and half an hour later you're watching funny cat videos and you've completely defeated the purpose of checking the time.
Don't fall into that trap, gentlemen. Check the time on a timepiece…not a time SINKHOLE.
You can also check your watch without distracting other people. If you want to check the time at a meeting and you pull your phone out of your pocket in front of everyone…now the entire meeting room knows how bored you are. Not a good look in a professional setting, gentlemen. You come off as quite rude, to say nothing of being disrespectful to whoever's speaking. A watch lets you subtly check the time without signaling that you have better things to do.
#8 Watches Give You A Relationship With Time
Since the days of the sundial (and probably before) – men have been obsessed with devices that measure time. They are a reminder that our time is limited.
Wearing a watch has a positive effect on my attitude towards time. I am more attentive to how I spend the 24 hours each day.
Beyond the technical and mechanical intricacies of a watch, men are fascinated by these devices that claim to mark and control time.
There is a passionate community of watch lovers who dive into the details of watch-making and collecting.
The only other obsession matched with the passion for this inanimate object is the passion men share for cars. A watch collection is far easier to maintain and less expensive as a hobby.
Wearing a watch is a great way to add interest to an outfit, especially if you’re a guy.
Find a wristwatch that really stands out from the rest – it could be the beginning of a long friendship.