1: THEY’RE STYLISH
We decided to start this list with the most obvious reason. Watches, throughout their history, have always been associated with class and sophistication. Whether worn peeking out under a suit and shirtsleeves or proudly displayed with athletic or casual wear, a watch makes a statement on the values of the wearer.
Whether you want an understated watch that speaks to a formal sensibility, or one that boldly hints towards an adventurous nature, there are plenty of case and band styles, the latter often interchangeable to a degree, to express yourself in exactly the way you desire.
With nearly a century of contemporary usage under their belt, watches have gone through enough stylistic changes that anyone can find one that suits their personal taste and wardrobe.
Whether you want a contemporary or vintage watch, or one that is either simple or packed with additional features, the perfect balance of form and function exists for everyone.
The latter of these segues perfectly into our second reason:
2: THEY’RE FUNCTIONAL
While many may list “style” as the first quality of watches, the fact remains that the accessory developed out of a very real need to read the time accurately.
Many watches now have additional features, called complications, such as a stopwatch or a tachymeter which can be used to measure speed over time. Other watches, such as pilots watches or divers watches, may have built-in complications and design choices used to fit their usual operating parameters.
Some occupations and recreational habits demand specialized watches. Are dress watches mandatory to allow you to function at high-elegance affairs? No, but they certainly help you leave the impression you want.
Sport watches, on the other hand, combine style and function for those who need them the most. These watches tend to be tested at higher levels of water resistance than their regular counterparts.
Divers watches, for instance, have additional features improving the functionality, legibility, and durability of the piece underwater. Some pilots watches have a specialized crystal to ensure functionality at varying altitudes.
3: YOU’RE A HISTORY BUFF
It’s no secret that watches come backed by a rich legacy. The original portable watches appeared in the late 15th century and were worn around the belt or neck. These contraptions were highly inaccurate and could not measure minutes or seconds until a few centuries later.
Men’s wristwatches came into use initially for functional reasons rather than fashionable ones.
Improvised wristwatches first appeared during the Boer War, made by tying pocket watch cases to the wrist with a bit of string, and mass-produced men’s watches were common for soldiers during World War I.
These watches differed most strongly from their modern counterparts in two unique ways: Firstly, these watches often featured protective coverings which would hide most of the watch crystal, increasing protection while reducing legibility. Secondly, the watches used had their dials painted with radium in order to increase luminosity.
4: YOU LOVE QUALITY CRAFTSMANSHIP
From the beginning, watches have been appreciated for the intricate machinery allowing them to function. Even quartz watches, which feature less complex electrical mechanisms, still maintain their visual appeal.
Craftsmanship, however, is where mechanical and automatic watches shine their brightest. Though contemporary quartz watches may be slightly more accurate than their predecessors, they lack the complex interior of their counterparts.
Unlike quartz watches, which use batteries, mechanical and automatic watches both use a complex system of gears and springs in order to function. They may feature partially clear cases or casebacks to showcase this element of their design.