Whether you’ve finally got your hands on the elusive timepiece you were lusting after or just attained your first-ever luxury watch, there are certain rules to watch wearing that every man should stick to.
The following rules can, however, fortunately, be applied to watches that are expensive, inexpensive, formal and casual alike, being sure to prevent the possibility of faux pas.
Our timepiece specialists from The Watch Exchange provide some concrete rules that will help watch wearers stay up to date on watch etiquette and reveal the top fashion tips for men to style their watch correctly with the rest of their desired look. So whichever your choice of wrist candy, you’ll be sure to subtly impress with your watch-wearing knowledge.
- The left or right dilemma
The oldest watch dilemma in history – which wrist should your watch be worn on? Tradition dictates that the correct wrist to wear your timepiece should be the non-dominant hand. Now, there is logic to this long-standing rule. Its purpose is to protect your watch against greater exposure to damage by being kept on the hand that is used for fewer tasks. That way, your timepiece should remain in pristine condition for a greater length of time. As many with luxury watches often attain this asset as an investment in addition to a fashion statement, it is ideal to do everything possible to safeguard the timepiece. However, it isn’t entirely unacceptable to wear your watch on the wrist that provides the most comfort.
- Never mix wearing a dive watch with a suit
For formal events requiring suit attire, wearing a slim dress watch that fits easily under the suit sleeve is the rule to follow. Now that being said, there have been instances where this rule has been broken and in fact pulled off. But unless you are James Bond who must look suave yet also be ready to jump into a river at any given moment, it’s not a look for those who aren’t undercover spies unfortunately. For those sports lovers out there, sometimes it’s essential to leave the sports watch at home and save them for what they were built for – action.
- Wear dark with dark, and light with light
This is a simple yet important rule that will help you on a day-to-day basis to make the correct choice of watch. All rule you need to memorize is, wear dark with dark, and light with light. By dark and light, the rule refers to the colour of the watch dial. Typically, daytime activities should be accompanied by a light watch face, such as white or cream. Likewise, at night the desired watch dial colour is dark, so a focus on black, brown, or grey is appropriate. Following this rule will make watch wearing simple and straightforward, ensuring you have the correct watch on your wrist for the right events suited for that time of day.
- Limit how often you check your watch
This next rule relates largely to watch etiquette rather than style. For many men, the watch may well be the only accessory they wear, so it’s natural to perhaps be guilty of over-admiring it from time to time (pun intended) but beware not to admire it too much. Besides the possibility of looking flashy and wanting to show off your timepiece to those around you, there are also longstanding negative social implications of checking the time too often. You may be perceived as rude or impatient, so it may be wise to be conscious of how this may come across to those around you.
- Admire other men’s watches respectfully
As stated previously, the combined fact that a watch may be the only piece of jewellery a man owns as well as potentially being a long-term investment, this item becomes extremely precious to its owner. For these reasons, it’s not the accepted thing to go up to another man’s wrist and begin handling his watch to express your admiration for his timepiece. The majority of watch wearers take great pride in keeping their watches dust-free, fingerprint-free and well-polished. So, if you see a watch that you would like to show your appreciation for, do so, but from a distance, meaning you can look but you mustn’t touch it!
- Don’t wear the oversized watch
The oversized watch era has now come and gone, and it’s safe to say we aren’t sad about it. It’s time to wave goodbye to this fashion crime, where the attention-seeking bulky watch overshadowed the wrist and threw off the proportions of your entire outfit. Some popular fashion trends become icons, while others like the bulky watch we learn not to repeat again.
- Select a watch that matches your personality
A watch is not simply an accessory of one’s style. It is also an extension of one’s identity, an image we construct based on the purchases we select. They are an indicator of one’s status, class, and personality. Your choice of watch being no exception to this rule. So, one of the most pleasant rules of watch wearing is to choose a watch that suits you and your personality. That is, if you are a luxury enthusiast, perhaps the Rolex may be the watch for you. Other common pairings between the watch and its wearer is the Patek Philippe lovers for the classy businessman/woman, the vintage Casio watch fanatic for those trendy rebels and the futuristic watch, such as the Hublot for those self-assured leader personality types. You’ll always look best in the watch that matches you just as well on the inside as well as outside, so choose carefully!
- Tone down the bling (diamonds)
If you are a luxury watch wearer, then it may be unnecessary to opt for additional embellishments such as diamonds or jewels. The rule is to tone down the bling, as too much can overwhelm a look and have the opposite effect to the one desired – which in a gentleman’s case, is to subtly impress while avoiding fashion statements that scream attention. As such, wearing items such as diamond-encrusted watches have no place in a gentleman’s wardrobe, as it will only appear as a display of flashiness and above all distract from the rest of your outfit by drawing all attention to one point.
- Switch up the watches you wear
Just as you have different clothes for different events or activities, this rule can also be extended to watches. The same watch will not be appropriate for the office, the gym, evening work dos or dinner dates. So even if you aren’t a watch fanatic, it may be wise to have at least a selection of 2-3 watches that you can tailor to different occasions. An additional advantage to watch swapping is that it allows you to give your most precious watch a rest, meaning it will most likely last longer and be kept in excellent condition.
- Match your metals accordingly
Once you have chosen the appropriate watch for whatever occasion you find yourself in, it’s vital to not damage the overall look by mismatching your metals and colours. If your watch is silver, for example, select other accessories to match, focusing on the colour of your belt buckles, shoe buckles, rings, collar bars or pins, and cufflinks. A nice watch will certainly make a statement, but refining the details of your overall look will ultimately decide if you know how to properly wear a timepiece.