Watches need a wrist. But the way you wear it on your wrist can underline or break characteristics of the watch. Often, the overall look is made of a combination of factors, implicit and explicit, not only by the watch itself. For this Watches & Pencils, I would like to dedicate an episode to the many ways you can wear a watch.
Of course, the way you love to wear a watch is totally personal. Some watches almost ask to wear it in a specific way though. Or, for example, a prominent wearer did expose it to us this way (e.g. movie- and rockstars). It’s almost like wearing a tie. Put it on with a tight double Windsor knot to be more formal or put it on with a quick single and loose knot to be more informal and nonchalant. I ain’t talking about huge differences here. But these are nuances that can add some extra icing to the whole impression and make a watch really “shine”. The fundament, the watch and strap itself, must always form the starting point to decide how to wear it. As a general (personal) rule I tend to wear sportive and informal watches more loose and low on the wrist. The so called dress watches I wear more tight and more high on the wrist.
Sometimes you are limited in the ways of wearing. If we talk about watch cases for example, the wearability is being dictated by:
When it comes down to straps or bracelets there are other characteristics that limit or support wearability:
Nowadays we almost always wear watches for fun. Not as instruments. This way we can decide how we want to wear it, based on our own comfort and taste. But if we look at professions where watches are a vital part of the equipment we see some other aspects of how to wear a watch. To sum up a few examples: diver, pilot, doctor, referee and a rally navigator. They all share common values and arguments. Most of the time in no way bound to personal preferences, but more engineered from a practical and utilitarian point of view. Of course the watch needs to sit comfortable on the wrist. The final shape and design is often more or less bound to the following targets:
Ergo, forms follow function principle in some way. Interesting to notice that a lot of the watches and their designs are still beloved, even if it has been engineered from a more practical than aesthetic point of view. Often, the elemental aspects were designed to wear the watch in a different way. For example, the big pilots watches (or Flieger watches) were big and designed to wear over a pilot’s jacket. Nowadays the pilots watches are still big (a bit less though), but we seldom wear them over our jackets.
It’s interesting to discover individual preferences when it comes down to ways of wearing watches. As long as the decision of how to wear it is intrinsic I think it’s OK. A pre-owned or vintage watch with a bracelet that is way too short for you wrist may never be the argument to block your blood flow 🙂 What are your personal preferences and arguments? I like to read your opinion in the comments section below.
Teun van Heerebeek is contributor and visual artist to Fratello Watches. With his Watches & Pencils illustrations and other articles he likes to explore the vast watch-lands in all its diversity. His love for watches mainly originates from his eye... read more