If you can wear your heart on your sleeve, then true style is found on your wrist. A signifier of taste and personality, a watch is the classic accessory that reveals time just as much as it contains it—and the more you have, the greater amount of stories to be passed on with each generation of owners. “I believe that most people have much more than one watch today, and they get more or less attached to it, depending on the season,” says Carlo Giordanetti, creative director at Swatch. We chatted with the experts about the idea of building a wardrobe of watches to choose from, and how to select your first timepiece.
How to find the perfect watch: Complement your personal taste
A watch is a whimsical, refined (you choose which) reflection of your personality. “Look at your potential watch as you would look into a mirror,” Giordanetti says. “At a certain point they were signifiers of status and now I think that’s gone. Now it’s about personality.” Remember Michelle Obama sporting a neon purple Toywatch in Paris? “People are having more fun with it now,” explains Nicolette Lang-Andersen, a fashion and wardrobe stylist based in Vancouver. “It’s a reflection of personal style—what do you want it to convey?”
STYLE TIPS: 15 accessories you'll wear forever
How to find the perfect watch: Determine your price point
Consider the purpose of your watch: is it an investment piece, or a uniquely patterned accessory to add to your collection? “Be prepared to spend at least a few hundred dollars,” says Lang-Andersen. “A Rolex, which is a collectible, will increase in value over time. Any other watch that isn’t a collectible, no matter how expensive, will not increase in value.”
And choose wisely. “A watch is something that when it enters your life, it’s there almost forever,” says Giordanetti. “You put a lot of emotion in that choice. It can be an expensive choice or an inexpensive choice, but it’s a very emotional moment.”
GALLERY: 10 rose gold watches for every price point
3 more style tips on the next page...
How to find the perfect watch: Think of it as an accessory
Not the on-trend, ephemeral type, a watch occupies a special place on the jewellery spectrum by nature of the special place it occupies on ourselves. “As an accessory, it has a sensual side because it’s attached to your body,” says Giordanetti, who admits to wearing two watches at a time—an homage to Swatch founder Nicolas Hayek—mixing a Swatch statement piece with a more expensive classic or family heirloom on the other wrist. “It’s something that you look at sometimes to tell the time, sometimes just because you love to look at the beautiful objects that you’re wearing.”
STYLE TIPS: How to find the perfect LBD
How to find the perfect watch: Don’t settle for just one
For the amount of technological resources available that tell time—iPhones, computers—the watch has not been replicated in style or allure. “I believe it talks to people and it’s one of the reasons that they choose it as one of their first accessories,” says Giordanetti.
“A watch, even if you put it down because a new one is coming out and you feel like you have to have it, you don’t throw it away or give it back,” he explains. “You put it in a drawer, and sooner or later you will bring it out. It will always be part of who you are.” And you can be both the white gold Cartier timepiece and a feathered Agatha Ruiz de la Prada for Swatch design from 1997.
The choice can be simply rooted in style or mood. “If your wardrobe is neutral based, you have the freedom to choose a watch that is neutral or one with more colour,” says Lang-Andersen. “Whereas if your wardrobe consists of a lot of colour, you would benefit from a neutral watch.” Take a look at your jewellery box for hints: “If you wear both gold and silver jewellery, then opt for a two-toned metal band and face.”
STATEMENT NECKLACES: 10 of summer's best
How to find the perfect watch: Bottom line—fall in love
Like anything you plan on keeping in your life forever, you’ll want to make sure it’s a good match. “When you go to choose your watch, look at it and say, ‘Do I want to be in a relationship with this thing on a long-term basis?’ Or maybe it’s a flirt and not a relationship, and why not? There’s legitimacy in that.” And plenty of good stories to be told down the line.
The top 10 most iconic fashion pieces of all time
Investment shoes: 11 shoes every woman should own
15 accessories you'll wear forever
10 rose gold watches for every price point