For better or worse, our accessories send a very clear message about us as individuals — our personality, social status, and wealth, among a plethora of other immediate signals.
Now, the world of accessories for the modern man is relatively limited, to say the least. And this very limitation in how we express ourselves only emphasizes the message being sent! It places a strict sense of importance onto every element of our attire, especially those elements which complete and "put our signature" onto how we project ourselves to the world around us.
Whether it's a belt, ring, bracelet, or wrist-watch - every accessory seemingly has the power to make or break our appearance altogether. And with it, the sort of impression that we impart onto everyone that comes our way. But, while you can definitely play around quite a bit with other accessories, there are some cardinal rules that every self-respecting man should know when it comes to matching a watch with their outfit.
Matching Your Watch To The Occasion
Before you go pulling your hair over which watch you should wear, and which you should avoid - the very first question that you should ask yourself has to do with how formal your attire is going to be. Are you going to a black-tie event, or are you just headed out for a night on the town? After all, if you're planning on donning a suit, the last thing you'd want on your wrist is a bloated rubber watch with a bright LED screen (unless you're hell-bent on going against any and all style conventions).
Traditionally speaking, classic watches were strictly meant for business and formal occasions, while their casual counterparts were better suited for a more relaxed setting. However, in a modern world where sneakers and suits are often an acceptable pairing - the history-bound rules behind pairing a watch with your outfit have seen some drastic changes.
So, instead of laying out the Enchiridion of watch pairing - let's take a look at a simple break-down of the most common types of watches and what outfits they'll complement best.
The Different Categories Of Watches (And What They're Good For)
Just like any outfit, every type of watch has a specific intended purpose and situation where it can accentuate or totally throw off your entire appearance. One of the easiest ways to avoid total fashion disasters is by wearing the right type of watch for the right occasion. Let's take a look at the most common categories of watches that you've likely come across at some point in your life.
Typically these are relatively minimalistic watches with little to no complex visual features that come strapped with a gorgeous leather band. These types of watches are an ideal candidate for formal events. However, they are versatile enough that they can just as easily look great with casual outfits. We've put together a list of the best dress watches for men.
These types of watches were originally purpose-built for one thing - diving. As such, they feature high-grade water resistance alongside a wealth of gauges and technological features that span far over-top of your typical chronological date and time dials. Generally, diving watches are best paired with anything from casual to a semi-formal getup. In fact, you can even find James Bond sporting a Rolex Submariner and an Omega Seamaster with a suit. However, for very formal events - you should still stick with a classic dress watch.
Compared to diving watches, this category can easily be the perfect median between something you can wear with confidence alongside a business-casual outfit and a watch that goes beyond the minimalism of a classic model. And just like their deep-water cousins, they typically boast a wealth of added features. However, be careful as this category is very broad and spans from an all-rubber G-Shock that you'd pack for a camping trip to something with a little more finesse such as a Chrono like the Baume & Mercier Capeland.
So, how do I choose the right watch?
Among all of the accessories available to the modern man - the watch carries the most power in terms of accentuating the sort of message you're projecting onto the world around you, about yourself. While there are definitely some conventions in place to help you avoid giving off the wrong impression - it's really all about you. After all, it's your personal tastes and unique identity that you're highlighting with your choice of accessories.
So ultimately, the optimal watch for any given occasion is the one that you feel suits you best!