Christmas last year I blogged about the inordinate number of adverts for chunky and expensive wrist watches there are in GQ, Esquire etc.
(Strange, there are never any adverts for mixing desks, 500mm telephoto lenses, ivory stock air-rifles… the things men really buy.)
I was perplexed. By their reckoning, real men need to have a lot of £5000 watches. Maybe I’m naive and lots of men genuinely do. Anyway, I’m meandering. Perhaps I’m just a bit thrown. Read on.
This month, GQ (I buy it regularly, every year) has a 103-page “guide” to watches. Dozens are reviewed. Each one has short statement describing “what wearing this watch says about you.”
Here’s a little taster…
A. Lange & Sohne – After decades of communist rule during which the company was transformed into a “people’s collective” the brand was revived in 1990 by Walter Lange… this dress watch is (priced) at £11,300 and the Datograph Perpetual £100,000. Wearing an A Lange& Sohne says: “Even my black socks are louder than my watch!”
…and wearing a Bedat & Co says: “I’m a classicist- with a twist”
and wearing a Breitling says: “I recognise functional luxury as a goal in itself.” Seemingly this £8000 gold-cased watch has a quartz movement and was inspired by a sundial.
(There is no entry in this so called watch-guide for Casio.)
Dunhill (sponsors of Golf) – Wearing a Dunhill says: “To the question ‘Why?’ I answer, ‘Why not?'”
And apparently… wearing a Harry Winston Opus 6 says: “You can’t put a price on uniqueness.” (£54,000). (Seems you can, if you try.)
I was left deeply confused and feeling impoverished. Then on page 22 Nigel Blow (I didn’t make that up) of Harrods explained everything: “For guys there’s a huge expenditure now and it’s a way to express individuality. I read somewhere that in Italy the average guy has eight watches, and we’re definitely catching up. Now guys have different watches for different moments of their lives.”
Now I understand!
I need a watch for all the different moments in my life. Nigel Blow is so right. Do I have the right watch for the post office queue moment, or the being sacked moment? No. But we have to keep up with our male equivalents on the continent. Anyone who’s seen The Bicycle Thieves knows Italian men won’t take a dump without changing out off their Gucci G Chrono and slipping on a Maurice Lacroix Lune Retrograde.