A watch can make or break a man’s formal look. Here are three pointers to help you find a proper, dressy and versatile piece.
Profession and role matters
New Delhi-based Rishab Suresh, country manager of Swiss watchmaker Vacheron Constantin, believes a man should choose a watch brand, design and its constructional details for himself and not for others, and keeping his profession in mind. Suresh says bankers, lawyers and doctors could wear valuable but understated watches with minimalistic chic and sleek aesthetic. “Whereas, C-level executives could go for slightly little out-of-the-ordinary yet sophisticated pieces. Men in creative industries like media or advertising can experiment with off-centre dials and bespoke watches. And business owners or YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization) members can be flexible in their choices by choosing high-end and elegant styles,” he adds.
Think mechanics and design
According to experts, battery-operated quartz (watch that uses an oscillator and is regulated by small piece of quartz) is good, but a handmade mechanical, automatic or hand-wound (manual) watch, although expensive, lasts longer. Suresh says, “When every part of the movement is handmade, it improves the working and durability of the piece.” Mumbai-based Hamza Patel, director of AP Group, however, feels quartz watches are good for office wear. “A true watch lover will always buy a mechanical watch with precise movements,” says Patel. AP Group retails and distributes premium and luxury brands in India, like Guess and Gc watches, and Swarovski crystals.
Next factor is the shape and size of the watch. Most makers say an average men’s watch dial size is anywhere from 37- 42mm in diameter and not more than 15mm thick. Gaurav Mehta, designer and founder of Jaipur Watch Company (JWC), says you should pay attention to this aspect. “In my experience, 95% of Indian men like round watches and only 5% prefer to wear rectangular ones (for work wear),” he says. Mehta’s top choice is a classic watch in steel-gold combination with a white dial, round case, single sub-dial, a leather strap, folding clasp and with minimal functions.
Invest in charming bespoke
According to Mehta, who owns over 350 vintage, HMT and other watches, a bespoke watch is a conversation-starter as it has a story to tell. “For instance, our brand’s 18-carat gold watch has a gold coin minted in India in 1918.” Mehta claims it is one of its kind and can initiate a chat at a formal evening. JWC also customizes timepieces using monograms, emblems, flags, insignia or motifs. Then there are players like Pranav and Brijesh Vissanji of Mumbai-based Bespoke Watch Advisory (BWA), which is a service that helps watch connoisseurs procure watches from around the world. Brijesh believes the “bespoke” element in watches is different from branded work-wear watches and the word is sometimes misinterpreted, but yes, men have been looking at customizing watches in a big way of late and do not shy from flaunting expensive pieces to office. Under its Bespoke by Chronos service, BWA also conducts horology workshops and customizes handmade belt buckles, buttons and cufflinks—based on a theme worked around the procured watch.