You were in a rush this morning. The kids were screaming, the phone was ringing, the coffee was spilling, but somehow through all of that, you made it to the last train, you sit down, cross your legs, only to notice two different shades of grey socks peeking out from under your slacks. No big deal you think to yourself, they’ll be under my desk most of the day. Then you look down at your wrist to see how late you really are, and absolute horror overtakes your entire being, as you stare down at your U-Boat Flightdeck Chronograph, all 50mm worth of it, doing it’s best to pop the cuff buttons off your custom tailored J. Hilburn dress shirt. How could this tragedy have occured? How did you get your cuffs buttoned in the first place?
This could happen to the best of us on a bad day. Sadly though, this same scenario, takes place around the world, premediatedly, everyday. Therefore, like everything in nature there are rules, eventhough, as in nature there are exceptions to these rules, to which those of us seemingly held tight by these regulations of wearing the proper watch to match your particular outfit of the day, are puzzled how they skirt the norms with such easy abandon. But as with anything, especially anything falling loosely under the fashion category, rules bend and morph over time and matching watches with clothing is no exception. Articules written two years ago on the subject, with self imposed gospel like authority now, contain a fair amount irrelevant material. With that being stated there are still, and always will be, a few, I hate to say rules of engagement, so I will use guidelines, when it comes to pairing our time and fabric.
Men wear little jewelry in comparison to women, so a watch is really the front line when it comes to expressing his personality, showcasing his personal style, and telling a little bit of his story through the watch on his wrist at any given moment. Dress, Diver, Chronograph,Flight and Field watches to name but a few, can make for a real blurring of the guidelines as they were, and giving new boldness over the authority of an individual’s tastes and style.
The dress watch has evolved from the less is more theory, as the advent of moonphase and other high horological complications have shown that engineering can also be elegant on an entirely different level from simplicity. And as such, the board and ballrooms around the world have gained respect for the new definition of dress watch. Yellow gold, white gold and platinum all encase the pushing of the old boundries aside. That’s not to say there not are not still limits as to how far off the track you can wonder and still make the correct impression. A white, round dialed watch with a simple leather band will, I believe, forever be at the top of the list for formal attire.
Business casual could and still does at times follow many of the same guidelines as formal, but this being 2017 the field has opened widely and in the right instance you may look across the table at your next meeting and be staring at a colorful Richard Mille RM 011 speeding towards your line of sight from someone in a Brooks Brothers suit. That will be the aforementioned guy with that special gift of walking away, unscathed, from our precious guidelines. But even the general watch lover has many more options in that grey area between dress and casual watch. There are people who will tell you anything on a braclet is a casual watch at best. Try telling that to the guy wearing a Rolex 18K Rose Gold President Day-Date. You may have a debate on your hands.
Matching a watch to casual attire should and could be a slam dunk, right, kind of match some kind of color to something on your body and off you go. But wherever you go in today’s world you are constantly making a statement whether you realize it or not. So simple rules such as, at least matching your watch and belt buckle tone, might be a good guideline to observe. In my humble opinion other than that, it is called casual for a reason, so surely this is the venue to exhibit your fun side.
There many things that can affect any type of style guideline, such as skin tone, wrist and body size in general, can termined how big you can go before your hand disappears. In turn there are also tricks that can be utilized to soften the guidelines a bit in your favor. Tarang Patel diamond expert and part owner of Hal Martin’s Watch & Jewelry Co. in Houston Texas, has his left shirt cuff customed tailored a bit larger by J. Hilburn to accomadate the larger dimension watches of today, and still retain a detailed look. And as we all know, the real value is in the details.