The Financial Express

Wristwatch: How much are they relevant today?

| Updated: April 24, 2021 12:15:59

Picture used for representational purpose- Collected Picture used for representational purpose- Collected

Wristwatch is the only jewellery men can wear, according a saying. It testifies how wristwatches have been appreciated as a styling boutique for years. However, perhaps smartphones have taken the responsibility to tell the time. Still, wristwatches remain dominating on their own turf.

And the proof comes from the price. An authentic branded wristwatch may cost from US$50 to even $1.0 million, depending on its mechanism, brand value, materials and functioning process. Price goes up to $10-20 million, and even more in auctions. Billionaire businessmen, sportsmen, flamboyant celebrities, and such personalities are usually the consumers of those extravagant timepieces for a grandiose in lifestyle.

Switzerland and Japan are the countries that revolutionised the watch industry. While Swiss brands introduced us to the mechanical and automatic watches, Japanese brands introduced quartz and solar powered ones.

There are thousands of wristwatch brands in the world. Patek Philippe, Rolex, Omega, Hublot, and Richard Mille may be mentioned as some of the most luxurious brands while Seiko, Citizen, and Casio are the affordable ones.

Now the question is: Why do people put a watch on their wrist? Is it for time, or for fashion, simply?

Mr Fuad Bin Rahman, a retired Wing Commander of the Air Force, puts wristwatches as a part of decorum and further an exhibition of aristocracy. According to him, a wristwatch means a lot more than a mere timekeeping tool. “It’s like the smartest jewellery for a man. It speaks a lot about a man – his expression of attitude and class.”

Checking time is easy among all these smart gadgets today; but not putting a wristwatch gives an empty feeling, he says.

Even a few years ago, wristwatches were a part of daily life. But, innovation of smart technologies has changed the scenario. However, to those who are fashion enthusiastic and meticulous about their styling preferences, appeal for wristwatches is still strong to them.

Yet, are we assessing the potentials of wristwatches fully?

“When you say, ‘Hey, your watch is looking nice on you,’ you are literally initiating a conversation with someone unknown; that’s a kind of utility you didn’t think about right?” says Imran Khan, a watch lover and the owner of Zoo Tech, an online gadget selling platform. It may be a bit outlandish, but it is surely an special utility.

“It (a wristwatch) gives a wholesome look and boosts confidence with a vibe of sophistication,” Imran goes on to say, “and add the latest features - heart rate measurement, sleep quality, reading text message from the phone, etc. these watches become more than necessity.”

Watches have become smart, too, as they can count how many steps you walk a day, your heart rate, amount of hours in sleep, receive phone calls and read text messages, keep account of physical workouts and so on. “Smart watches are multitaskers, hence, people are more and more inclined to buying them. They are both good-looking and efficient,” Mr Imran Khan adds.

Farhan Sarwar, an International Relations student at Jahangirnagar University, has a bit different explanation on wristwatches. For him, these are not only a styling boutique but also a necessity in specific occasions.

There are some situations when someone is not allowed to use smartphones. Classroom or examination hall may be the suitable example for it. Whenever Farhan appears in an examination, joins a meeting, or goes on a tour, a wristwatch becomes a necessity for him.

We often hear people saying that it’s 2021 and wristwatches are simply obsolete. In reality, it’s not. Let’s try to detail how we can use a wristwatch in 2021 or the coming years as well.

  1. Enhancing personality and confidence:

A beautiful watch can fit with the attire perfectly and enhance your look. It subtly sends a signal about someone's taste. Whenever someone puts on a watch, it helps the person maintain a gentle gesture, enables them to exhibit more confidence and draws the picture of a pleasant personality.

  1. Travelling remote areas:

Travelling in places like forests, hilly areas or remote villages, often takes us out of mobile network, and even electricity connection. Such conditions demand a wristwatch for time keeping.

  1. A pleasant gift:

Watches are great heirloom items. A quality mechanical or automatic watch can last many years with only minimal maintenance and sincerity which makes it a sustainable gift. Nevertheless, the appeal of watches as a gift has always been the same.

  1. Formal outfit:

A good-looking wristwatch is always a good fit for a formal outfit. Be it an academic presentation or a professional job meeting, a wristwatch nicely syncs with the formal attire like nothing else.

  1. Fitness and others:

Smartwatches make the users smart too. Keeping all the digital services like receiving a phone call, texting someone or reading an email, one of the best usages of smartwatch is its assistance in physical fitness. A smartwatch with updated features becomes a part of workout and exercise.

Shafin Saifu is currently studying International Relations at Jahangirnagar University.

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