What makes a watch truly special?

I love my watches, I always have. For as long as I can remember I have found myself staring at the wrists of passer-by’s and in fact at the wrists of every man I meet. I feel a certain discomfort when I do it. It embarrasses me a little when I get caught. But then the odd time and really quite rare, I get to say, ‘beautiful watch, what is it?’ In that instance, everything is forgotten and forgiven when those words come out of my mouth. Of course, those words have to be genuine and sincere. And they always are.

But what makes a watch truly special? Is there a recipe to getting it right every time? Can anyone produce a great watch?

The simple and honest answer is that I don’t know. Everyone is different and everyone is influenced by different things. For me a watch has to speak to me. It has to connect with my soul. It has to fill a void in my life and really this could be any type of void. For instance, I was in Redondo Beach in LA in 2011 visiting my brother and family. I was walking around a Ross store the day before leaving, picking up a few last things. The far opposite to fancy. I was trying on a pair of Converse when a watch caught my attention. I stopped dead in my tracks and just stared at it for a second.

Everyone else passed me by and went about their business oblivious to what was happening at that moment. This simple looking watch was speaking to me. It was connecting with my subconscious. In those brief seconds it told me why I needed it. I totally understood why. I didn’t go there looking for a watch and it never crossed my mind, but I knew I couldn’t leave without it and I didn’t.

The price tag could have said almost anything, well within reason, I was in Ross after all. Still I paid $20 for it and would have paid a lot more. That watch was special to me. Every time I wore it, someone would comment on it. It felt good. I would tell them where I got it and how much it cost, as it didn’t really matter. It only added to how special the watch was to me. It’s strange that I loved that watch as much as all the other watches I had even though it was by far the cheapest.

A lot of guys I know talk about when they hope to be able to afford their first Omega or Rolex and what one they will get. Sometimes I can’t help but pity them a little. Yes, Omega and Rolex are both fantastic brands that I would happily wear also. I just feel it is somewhat predictable or maybe just void of inspiration. I definitely can’t fault them in any way but I have never felt lifted or truly inspired by these brands. They each have some beautiful watches but none of them really speak to me the way others have.

A watch needs to enhance my world as I wear it, it should elevate my wrist, even if it is hidden under the cuff of my shirt. I love all types of watches, from the casual all the way to the Smartwatch and everything in between. When I look for luxury I don’t turn to expensive brands but more to quality and sophistication. Every component and material used in a watch needs to have been thought out carefully. At each point one question must be asked. Will this enhance the watch? If the answer is no or even if you are unsure, then it should be left out. Quality cannot be overlooked when designing a watch. Every aspect must be able to stand the test of time.

Style is just as important as substance when it comes to a beautiful watch. A watch needs to jump off the wrist. It should stand out from all else that is going on. Elegance must be evident from every angle and it should gleam from every curve. I should find myself lost in the depths of the dial staring deep down into the soul of the watch. I should understand its existence and know it was meant for me.

In my opinion, that is what makes a watch truly special.  

Written by PJ, Toc Watch.