Ask any of my friends or family and they’ll confirm I’m an unconsolable watch nerd. Between nine and ten, I amassed a handful of Swatches, and when we made a trek to Mexico when I was 11, I dropped a month’s allowance on a fake Rolex in Tijuana because every pre-teen should be rocking a Datejust. The Roller met an early - and predictable - demise and I begged and pleaded for a Casio Databank (the first of three), which lasted me through most of my middle school years before I turned neo-hippie and anti-electro.
My watch fetish faded of the better part of a decade until I began noticing colleagues wearing beautiful, ornate Swiss pieces well outside my price range. That lead to a (sadly misguided) rep or two, before ponying up the cash for a Hamilton Khaki. It had everything I wanted at the time: A slick automatic Swiss movement (ETA 2893), dual-time, 24-hour subs and a case that didn’t make me look like an entrant in the douchecapades. And while I know it’s just a tarted up Swatch (isn’t everything nowadays?), the price and style were right.
Two years in and it’s still my go-to watch. But as someone that values form, function and technology, it’s missing something - that last bit. And every watch is.
Trying to find an attractive, functional and tech-rich watch is an exercise in futility. They simply don’t exist. My friend Jonny’s Casio G-Shock Aviator has all the kit you could ever want: Solar power, world time, auto-receive, time-swapping, calendar, stopwatch and alarm. It’s also ugly as sin, 50mm wide and 16mm thick. It’s like strapping Flava Flav to your wrist.
Head over to Watchismo and you’re met with hundreds of styles, yet barely any substance. A piece that displays time in binary is fine for an extroverted geek, but what about functionality? Please, bring on the new display technology, but what’s the point when it can’t convey even the most basic information at a glance? And things get worse and even more convoluted when a manufacturer attempts to tether a smartphone.
So with watches finally making a comeback, it’s time for an industrious, forward-thinking entrepreneur to up the game. Make it light, make it thin, cram it full of the latest and greatest technology, then price it accordingly. If you keep the gimmicks to a minimum and put a premium on build quality, they’ll pay. I’ll pay. And you’ll disrupt one of the oldest industries in the world.