Watches: Timeless Accessories


I love watches. If I had more space, I’d have a drawer full of them. As it is, I’ve got four (two need new batteries) but unchecked and with unlimited money, I could quite easily expand the collection to hundreds. I’ve loved watches since I was a teenager, when the Swatch Watch trend was at its height and there was actual competition at school to see who had the coolest one. I think I did (obviously – everyone loved their own) because I had some arty one with what was basically a poor replica of a Renaissance painting on the strap. I think I still have it somewhere, as I was reluctant to get rid of it even after it broke.

The watch is a highly underrated accessory in my view, and they seemed to fall out of favour for a while. I think they’re coming back into fashion more these days thanks to the proliferation of Instagram stars and bloggers who love taking photos of their wrists showing off these new, gorgeous watches. And, also, the Smart watch is becoming more of a Thing these days – I predict it won’t be long before we see smart watches from all the big watch brands that look just as good as any fashion watch.

I have to say though, I will personally never buy a smart watch. When it comes to watches, I’m very old fashioned. I won’t even buy a digital watch – I like analogue faces. I think this is because in my eyes they’re a lot more elegant than digital watches. Aside from smart watches (the Apple watch is a thing of beauty, I’ll admit), digital watches tend to be big clunky things that dominate the wrist, whereas analogue watches can go from the chunky men’s diving watches (think Tag Heuer and Tissot) to the daintiest, tiny ladies watch. You can get an analogue watch to suit any outfit or any occasion.

That’s why, in a perfect world, I would have a drawer full of watches. The two I wear the most are the ones in the photo – my rose gold Abbott Lyon and my ever faithful, slightly battered black and gold Toy Watch – and I wear whichever one goes best with the outfit I’ve chosen. The Toy tends to be for everyday wear – as it’s quite chunky, it works with jeans and t-shirts and isn’t too much of a statement (despite being covered in bling). The Abbott Lyon is my ‘evenings and business meetings’ watch because it’s sleeker and a bit smarter, despite having a bigger face. I also find the Abbott Lyon is a conversation starter, usually along the lines of ‘that’s one of those watches all the Instagram kids are wearing’ – the power of social media at work, everyone!

Watches are, pardon the terrible pun, timeless. It’s worth getting one that you know will go with everything you wear, or a couple that you can swap between depending on the situation or your outfit. There are thousands out there, ranging in price from under £10 to literally tens of thousands – browse the Blancpain and Breitling websites if you want to make yourself wince, and possibly run across a watch that costs more than your house.

As with every purchase, set a budget and stick to it, and make sure you try the watch on before you buy it. The face has to suit your wrist – if you are small of wrist, a large faced watch or a chunky diver’s watch might not suit you. This advice applies regardless of your age or gender, and as it’s something you’ll be wearing every day, it makes sense to get one that you’re entirely happy with and you know suits you well. It’s worth going to a jewellers and trying on watches to get an idea of what will suit you – you might make the final purchase online, but it’s always a good idea to try a physical watch on if you’re not sure about the face size.

And as a final tip, get the strap properly adjusted if you get a bracelet strap instead of a buckle strap. It costs a few pounds at a jewellers or somewhere like Timpsons (if you’re in the UK – also consider The Watch Hospital if there’s one in your town). You’ll be given the links that are removed to keep, so if your wrist expands, you can get them put back in.

A good watch can last you a lifetime. The problem will be not buying a lifetime supply of watches…

(I was not paid by any of the named brands in this post to mention them.)

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