Why would you wear a watch these days? I mean a proper watch that just tells the time? These days you can put a computer on your arm that helps you run your life, so what’s the point in wearing something that just expresses the time of day and nothing more.
I could give you my short answer but that would be naive and subjective. The longer answer is a better debate, although I can’t guarantee my ability to be completely objective!
‘Smart watches’ are pretty awesome. They read you your texts, record your diary, get you onto the net, count your calories and your steps, make & take your calls. And they look…no, that’s subjective, sorry. Let me try to give an impartial description of the impression I get from a ‘Smart watch’.
I have meetings. Sometimes those meetings are with people who wear ‘Smart watches’. That little computer/diary/secretary/telephone says a few things to me about the wearer:
- I am ‘current’. I am prepared to keep up with the evolving world.
- I favour substance over style, function over aesthetics (I may be being unfair here, you may favour the look of a Smart watch).
- I am prone to distraction. Your conversation and your/my work are not stimulating enough for me and I need to carry this distraction/window to the web as a backup.
I also sat next to a youngish guy with a Rolex Daytona recently in a boardroom in ‘the city’ (I fucking hate when people call it ‘the city’, it’s just another part of London, which is just one of many thriving cities…sorry, I digress). The thoughts in my head, roughly in this order, were (and I don’t profess to be a perfect human):
- I want that.
- It is absolutely beautiful, I want that.
- You have too much money.
- Do you do anything for charity?
- But that is mechanical precision and history and it’s put together in a genuinely beautiful way. And I really, really want it.
- How did someone make all those infinitely tiny parts and put them together so perfectly?
- It is alive.
- I could probably never justify that spend.
- But maybe you can, for very good reasons of your own. I don’t know anything about you!
As an aside I also spend a lot of time in meetings with people who don’t wear a watch and I feel like they’re saying to me:
1. A schedule is not important to me.
And guess what…they’re always late (yes you are and you know it). It’s ok, I can’t function without a watch and I’m still often late. Anyway, back to my point.
There’s no right or wrong and as a total hippie I (honestly) try to not judge people on something as silly as what they have on their wrist but believe me, it does make a difference.
A watch that has been assembled by a human – a real watch that just tells the time, maybe the date too if you’re pushing the boat out – has moving parts that were lovingly, painstakingly put together by human hands in the same way people were doing it 100 years ago. Some of them are nearly 100 years old!! I think that’s magical. And even factory-assembled watches have that beautiful collection of tiny, perfect pieces working together. But admittedly they won’t allow you to read your emails halfway through a meeting…
The end. Oh, except I assembled all the non-‘Smart watches’ in this article by hand (except the Daytona!) and you can buy them. Email email@example.com or find @thebritishwristologist on Instagram for more details.