Individuals act when there is an incentive. So what’s the incentive to wearing a watch in the 21st century? Especially when we’re all carrying smartphones that can tell the time? The benefits are numerous, and just a few are below. Note that this post isn’t arguing that all men “should” wear a wristwatch. Far from it. And also note that for our purposes, a smartwatch is NOT a wristwatch. We’re talking old school here. Quartz or automatic / mechanical. (Watch shown above: Hamilton Railroad Small Seconds Automatic – $649)
1. It’s much more subtle to glance at your wrist during a boring meeting than whipping out your phone.
2. It makes it super easy for that cute stranger at the coffee shop to ask you for the time.
3. Most watch straps give you a place to securely store your wedding ring while working out.
4. When travelling, at night you can look over and see what time it is without turning on a bright blue phone screen (which isn’t great for sleep).
5. The hell else are the Swiss gonna do?
6. They’re great for timing parking meters. Less tickets that way.
7. They’re also great for timing drinks while out on the town. Less hangovers that way.
8. A wristwatch can’t drunk text your ex at 2 am.
9. Nor can a wristwatch bombard you with robo calls when it’s election season.
10. A watch is a ticket to disconnect. You can go off on your own, but know when to be back.
11. They make a handy emergency compass.
12. Symmetry is overrated. Wearing a watch is a reminder of this.
13. Reflections off the crystal can drive cats absolutely bananas.
14. You don’t have to plug a watch in every damn night.
15. Because Diego Maradona wears two watches at once. And we all need to remind him how bizzare that is.
16. A watch won’t suddenly and embarrassingly expose your guilty pleasure ring tone (NSFWish) during a wedding/funeral/movie/job interview that ONE time you forgot to put it on silent.
17. This is movement specific, but the Valjoux 7750 “wobble” is oddly satisfying.
18. Because the “it’s a hair past a freckle” joke stinks.
19. What is life? If we start dying the day we are born, then would it not behoove us to appreciate our fleeting existence, instead of passing from one distraction to the next, until our hearts and minds are quickly dissipated into irrelevancy like a fart on a windy day? A mobile phone is a stunning achievement in technology, but for most, it does little to further the greater human experience. They are effective devices for communicating, but they’re also a gateway to becoming addicted to fleeting, wasteful distractions. Wearing a wristwatch on the other hand, is a constant, visible reminder that your life is not unlimited. Each flick of the second hand is a tangible signal of your eventual demise. We are all dying men, and our perishing only accelerates when we fall oblivious to the inexorable period at the end of our sentence. A wristwatch reminds us that we are always running out of paper and ink.
20. They look good.