Go on, you know you wanna’ say it!
Honestly, tell me the very first thing that came to your mind when you saw the featured photo above. That watch. You’d ask yourself, “What the- what is that abomination?!” I know there are watch enthusiasts out there who will refuse to accept this example as a ‘proper’ watch. Try as much as you want to deny it but it’s true.
This is exactly why I feel the need to address this issue in writing today. Before I dive in however, I would like to clarify that this is my personal take on things. This article is NOT meant to put down or bash anyone in particular – just an observation I feel needs pointing out. All clear? Good, let’s begin.
“Fashion watches?!” “Is that a MVMT? Eww!” Get a REAL watch man!1!”
Let’s say that you’re relatively “in the know” when it comes to watches, okay? You’ve been consuming media on every platform imaginable from all around the world. At this point, I am confident enough to say that you would have been exposed to the term “fashion watches” and the subsequent opinions surrounding them. Not exactly a rosy picture, right? Flash one on social media and reactions can range from a witty knock to an outright insult.
As a result, it’s common to hear about brands like MVMT, Daniel Wellington, Invicta, Fossil and Michael Kors receiving their share of flak. Question is, do they deserve it? Why the hate? Okay, some quarters might see those brands in a bad light because they are not true watch manufacturers but merely fashion houses out to capitalize on the notion that a watch is, in fact, merely an accessory. Then again, is it not?
To watch enthusiasts and collectors, perhaps not. To the average Joe/Jane who is looking for a fuss-free watch to tell the time? Most definitely yes. Like it or not, watches are a niche hobby and the vast majority of people out there just want a watch that looks decent, tells the time and doesn’t require winding every other day. If it makes them happy, who are we to berate their choices?
Plus, SOME of these fashion brands put out watches with credible movements. It’s possible to come across a few with quartz Miyota movements – heck my Porsche Classic 918 Spyder chronograph has a Ronda movement and my Calvin Klein bears the ‘Swiss Made’ badge. Additionally, while some of them are purely standalone watch and accessory brands, the others legitimately manufacture their own timepieces – Fossil makes licensed accessories like watches for Michael Kors, DKNY, Marc Jacobs, Burberry and Adidas. Quite the list, right?
“Right, but for the same price, they can get an Orient or Timex!”
Exactly! Wouldn’t you want to be the one who is responsible for introducing them to these brands? Imagine, for a minute if you will, that you are the proud owner of a new Invicta – perhaps you got it as a gift – and you rush to show it off on watch groups only to have your watch torn apart by other members. Do you really think you’d wanna’ pursue this hobby any further? It’s only human nature that you’d turn away with a sour taste in your mouth.
So, why chase away a potential watch enthusiast when you can just accept the fact that EVERYONE has to start somewhere? To those who follow the hobby/industry closely, I implore you to be patient in introducing this passion to newcomers. One fine day, that newbie you guided might become one of the most notable collectors and all credit will go to you. Why wouldn’t anyone want to be that person is beyond me…
Now, I will be the first person here to admit that I am always learning about watches and well, anything in life really. I recall reading this saying somewhere and it has since become one of my key principles. The saying goes, “If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.”
Consequently, I try my best to be the dumbest person in whichever room I find myself in. At this moment in time, I can safely say I know what kind of watches I’d spend my money on. However, that was definitely not the case a few years ago where any watch that looked shiny and impressive was immediately on my wishlist regardless of its pedigree. Do I regret my choices now? To an extent, yes. Would I have it any other way? Absolutely not, because I paid to learn – and those are the lesson you never forget.
Does that mean we all have to behave like peace-loving hippies?
By all means, behave in whatever manner you feel comfortable. I just want to conclude this piece by asking each and every one of you out there for one small favour – do NOT put a newbie down regardless of the watch he/she is flaunting. As long as they are open to learning, everyone should put in the effort to introduce, teach and guide them along the way. At the end of it all, everyone benefits and no one loses.
With that said, there is one segment of this hobby that does make me a little (okay, a lot more) hateful, but that’s another story for another day. In the meantime, I’m sure we can all agree that this is the way to grow our passion for the better. Were you ever sidelined for flaunting your watch? Had a bad experience with snobby collectors? Feel free to share your stories in the comments below!