Cobalt Health & Beauty

Watch style for men: the automatic way

All Areas > Health & Beauty > Style & Fashion

Author: Al Hidden, Posted: Thursday, 24th August 2017, 08:00

Modern analogue watches, whether automatic or quartz-powered, are anachronisms now digital technology is ubiquitous. However, though few men must wear one, a traditional watch remains one of the few universally acceptable pieces of male jewellery

Functional origins
Over a century ago, men’s wristwatches originated as functional timepieces for warfare, aviation, diving and motorsport. Nowadays, technology means divers, pilots and racers no longer need wristwatches. Instead, watches make statements, demon-strate affinity with such fields, celebrate watch craftsmanship or make soulful counterpoints to digital technology.

Pilot watches were originally large-dialled for legibility in cockpits, while racing chronographs measured time and speed before digital timing was invented. And dive-watches? They had to be easily read, water resistant and show remaining dive time. Dress watches just have to be slim and stylish…

Affordable homages
Prices for modern automatics range from under £100 to millions! Watch brands range from the affordable, such as Gloucestershire’s Geckota, to global luxury brands like Omega, Rolex or IWC.

IWC’s £7,200 Big Pilot is directly descended from the firm’s 1930s watches. At the other end of the scale, Geckota’s 44mm and 40mm K1 are respectful homages to early pilot watches – with proven Seiko automatic movements, sunray dials, sapphire crystals and 100m water resistance – costing a couple of hundred pounds. And the 40mm dial suits smaller, maybe feminine, wrists too!

No other watch has the Moonwatch’s cachet
For divers, classics like Omega’s Seamaster do for thousands of pounds what Seiko’s SKX007 does for £200, but with different history, coveted ‘Swiss Made’ labels, ultra-exotic materials and costly marketing.

Racing chronographs too: Geckota’s draws inspiration from a 1960s Heuer Camaro – with intelligent modern twists such as Seiko’s VK43 Meca-Quartz movement for mechanical ‘feel’ with quartz’s low-price and accuracy. The £299 Geckota may not have the cachet of the Omega Speedmaster chronograph that visited the moon. Yet, like other good affordable brands, it is a capable watch, with a story and Seiko’s legendary reliability. Not everyone wants to wear £5,000 on their wrist…

Automatic dress watches range from Orient’s highly underrated Bambino and the Swiss-made Tissot T-Classic (both under £250), to Rolex’s iconic Datejust costing 30 times as much.

An antidote to digital technology
Whether it’s Rolex luxury or Geckota’s affordability, whatever your reason for buying, the right automatic watch promises years of pleasure, association with watch history and a refreshing antidote to digital technology.

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