Since writing about the etiquette – or the apparent lack of – in using one’s phone to tell the time, I have finally been enticed-slash-coerced into investing in a watch of my own.
Not that I mind, however, because it means no one will be able to tell when I’m discreetly checking the time so as not to miss out on key cultural experiences, better known as Really Poorly Scripted Reality Television, or simply Channel Ten’s The Bachelor.
With that in mind, I decided to investigate what features that men should keep an eye out when choosing their next timepiece.
Admittedly, trends in watches move at a much slower pace than clothing, particularly watches for men, but like clothing they do tend to go through cycles. Square, round, thin, thick, metal, leather – similar to plaid versus polka dot, timepieces go through their own rotation of kitsch to hip to mainstream, and back again.
So what are this season’s key trends in men’s watches?
According to Michael, when it comes to men’s watches at the moment, size really does matter.Michael Chylinski is the managing director at The Watch Collector in Melbourne.
“A trend that we have definitely experienced lately,” explains Chylinski, “is watches are getting bigger … to 42 millimetres (in diameter), where as in the past 50 years the standard size was 38mm.”
The move towards oversized watches has been one that has been gaining momentum over the past few years. Even some of the most traditional labels have designed their own take on this style, including Italian brand Panerai and Swiss firm Audemars Piguet. Both offer oversize options in either chronograph or traditional faces. Michael Kors, Gucci and Bulgari have also released their own version of oversized dials in a variety of styles.
Another trend that has taken hold is the use of treated metals, particularly with colour.Called the Pontos S Extreme, these watches are made using an exclusive metal known as Powerlite.Swiss brand Maurice Lacroix’s latest release of men’s watches focuses on state-of-the-art, colour-infused metals. Super hard yet lightweight, this is great for guys like me who somehow manage to break everything they touch.
“Twice as hard as steel, but half the weight, Powerlite is an alloy of five elements,” explains Maurice Lacroix marketing manager Christopher Leigh. “[This allows] coloured dyes to be applied to the material up to 15 microns in depth … which means that the material is able to take on a wide palette of colours whilst being impervious to scratches.”
At Dutch label TWSteel, colour is also playing an important part in their latest releases for men, particularly colour combinations. Managing director Nadal Wassel states that mixing coloured metals and leathers has been a big hit this season across both their sports and oversized ranges.
“We are witnessing a strong resurgence of navy [in accessories],” says Wassel, “which embodies a sophistication which isn’t as predictable as black. Our new Pilot collection has two Navy and Rose Gold models which are popular as statement dress watches.”
What do you think of the current trends in men’s watches?