Written by Meredith
Is it just me, or have watches almost disappeared off of our radars? I can remember the days when we needed watches to be able to tell time, but those days feel so far away. With a cell phone in everyone’s back pocket, watches are no longer necessary items.
While at first it may seem like watches are another unfortunate casualty of society’s technological progression, this doesn’t appear to be the case. Once an item is no longer a necessity, it can become an accessory, and we love accessories. Instead of only wearing the same watch all the time, why not have different watches for different outfits? I’m not saying that we should all run out and buy seven different watches, but the next time I see a lonely watch sitting in the jewelry case at a thrift shop, I’ll probably take a second glance.
It’s important to remember, though, that not just any watch will work for the office. They shouldn’t be too large or too flashy, both which are common tendencies in watch design. In case you haven’t heard already, bigger isn’t always better, and you don’t want to blind your boss with your wrist bling in the middle of a meeting.
Watches as necklaces are also an increasingly popular option. You don’t have to look hard on Etsy or vintage-inspired shops like Modcloth to find plenty of whimsical pieces from which to choose. When deciding on one for yourself, I would avoid being both too cutesy and too overwhelming. You don’t want to come across as silly wearing some fairy princess necklace, but you also don’t want a huge, gleaming medallion hanging from your neck (both are available).
Another general trend in accessories is steampunk design. Steampunk is a genre of science fiction that focuses on the Victorian era (the time period when steam was the driving energy force in industry), in particular, how society at that time imagined the future. For jewelry, this means necklaces, bracelets, rings and watches that display their inner mechanics but with the addition of a few fantastical flourishes. Below is a good example of the steampunk style.
I have several steampunk items favorited on my Etsy account. I love the intricate detail and imaginative design, and they kind of remind me of the style of Tim Burton films. Couldn’t you see Helena Bonham Carter wearing a pin like this? Functioning steampunk watches are rather expensive and usually a little much for the office, so I found two watches that echo the style by exposing some of their inner workings on the watch face.
In addition to overall design, one also has to consider the power behind the watch. There are your typical options, such as manual winding and battery power, but did you know that some watches are powered by the movement of your wrist? Self-winding or automatic watches do not need to be manually wound by the wearer because they have a special weight that rotates with the movements of the person’s wrist. This was news to me (am I behind the times?), so I had to include one. The Stuhrling “Wall Street” watch, below, is an example of this form of watch power.
There are a lot of cool watches out there, so it was difficult to choose just eight to share with you, but here are a few that I think would fit perfectly in a work wardrobe:
Kenneth Cole Automatic Skeleton Watch,$60
Vintage Zaria Watch, $45 (from Soviet Russia!)
Jacques Lemans Geneve/Gloria Watch, $350
Stuhrling “Wall Street” Skeleton Watch, $82
Modcloth True Love Watch, $25
Fossil Stella Mini Watch, $85
The Librarian Watch Necklace, $25
Modcloth Watch ‘n’ Soda, $30
One particularly awesome kind of watch that I wasn’t able to include in my collage of options is a twenty-four hour analog watch. Obviously, what watch doesn’t keep track of all twenty-four hours in each day? However, ordinary watches don’t display all twenty-four on their watch faces. The first such watch that I came across was the Navitimer Cosmonaute watch by Breitling (below), designed to be worn by astronauts because AM and PM don’t matter when you’re bopping around in space.
Price tag? We’re looking at $3,500, no sweat. To my disappointment, research into similar watches in the young professional-friendly price range produced nothing, so for now, I have to be satisfied with the mere twelve hour display. Unless, of course, one of Cubicle Chic’s lovely readers has located the elusive twenty-four hour analog display watch shop…