Gents fashion watches are a relatively modern concept, the average man even 60 years ago would have not had more than one watch, watches were generally worn for practical reasons rather than a fashion item. And gents watches in the form of wristwatches have been around for a little under a 100 years, for men before that it was pocket watches that were the fashion.
The First World War saw the birth of the first significant number of gents wristwatches, these were little more than pocket watch mechanisms on a wrist strap. These were produced so that the soldiers could keep their hands free and still be able to see the time. Up until then wristwatches were only generally worn by women.
The sale of gents watches in the form of a wristwatch increased dramatically after the war and soon overtook the sales of pocket watches. So successful they were that by 1930 the wristwatch sales outnumbered the pocket watch by 50 to 1.
Of course there were always fashions in gents watches for those that could afford it, but nothing like the range of watches designed now to meet fashion trends.
Apart from people who are watch collectors, it is now quite common for men to own a range of watches to suit different occasions or lifestyles. Although fashion now means that men can have a range of jewelry items that may be worn, for many men the watch is still the largest and most obvious piece of jewelry. A gent’s watch is important because it is a very visible item that they can use to say something about themselves.
Rolex watches as just one example, although not to everyone’s taste perhaps, still get worn often as a status symbol of financial success. Just as the Omega Seamaster range of watches, as worn in the movies by a certain Mr James Bond, have come to represent a high-living active lifestyle.
Stylish Gents Fashion Watches and Price
Of course stylish gents watches don’t have to cost thousands of dollars, there are many stylish watches to be had at very reasonable prices. Skagen, for example, produce some very stylish designs that can look at home just about anywhere. Simple elegant designs made in titanium with matching steel bracelets make ideal dress watches for example. Or with colorful dials or colorful silicone watchstraps they offer a very contemporary range of gents watches.
Swatch has had a significant effect on our attitude to watches. Coming back from its worst crisis in the seventies for the Swiss manufacturers, the Swatch watch was launched. It was a plastic based watch, simple in design having only 51 components parts instead of the 90 plus components prior to this design, also it was relatively inexpensive.
The Swatch range of fashionable watches has gone on to become probably the most successful ever, it has also spawned collectors of these watches worldwide, with early and rare models fetching a lot of money. Could you be the one to spot the watch that others overlook now, but will go on to be a sought after collectors item of the future?
As with anything successful, others wanted to copy the success of Swatch and the range of fashion watches now available is huge, although very few will go on to have the brand desirability of Swatch fashion watches.
LED and LCD Gents Watches
Watches with LED displays arrived in 1972 following a prototype watch seen in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. These LED watches were very expensive and the display could only be seen by pressing a button because the battery was soon drained by the high power consumption. The “Pulsar LED” made by the Hamilton Watch Company in gold cost over $2000 when first sold, so it was not affordable to most people. By 1975 Texas Instruments sold a mass-produced plastic cased watch for $20, reduced to $10 by 1976. This resulted in financial losses to the Pulsar brand and it was eventually sold to Seiko.
Even after the huge price drop for LED watches their production run was to be short, this was due to the introduction of more efficient LCD technology that allowed a permanent display.
Traditional Gents Fashion Watches become Analogue Watches
It was not until after these “digital watches” were sold that the term to describe watches with hands as “analogue watches” came in to use.
Fashionable Gents E-ink Watches Are Here – Have You Seen One Yet?
The latest fashion watches to appear are E-Ink watches, using the latest display technology, as used in e-readers. They look like no other watch you’ve seen up to now!
So whatever watch you buy it’s a gents fashion watch really, it’s just that some are now specifically designed to meet a fashion trend or that of a fashion designer label.