Watches – Why Do Some Designs Endure?

It’s the same with all objects that are bought for both function and style: why is it that some designs endure, and others fade by the wayside? Forgive the pun, but it’s true that there are timeless styles in men’s and women’s watches that seem to stay with us forever. What is it that makes these the ones that are inspirational and imitated?

Citizen Promaster Watch
Citizen Promaster Watch

Let’s go back a little while and take a look at a bit of history, for there are some telling turning points. It’s worth considering that wristwatches – as favoured by us today – are a relatively recent addition to the style stakes. Up until the early part of the 1920’s watches were primarily of the pocket variety, usually worn with a chain. The original wrist watches were considered a passing fad, and were almost exclusively watches for women. You may ask what changed, what brought about the wholesale embracing of the wristwatch.

The answer is simple: World War One heralded the wrist watch as a common accessory. Soldiers found pocket watches to be unwieldy on the battlefield, and post-war the wrist watch was the thing to have. That the basic design has remained as it is to this day, albeit with some variety, is an example of getting it right in the first place.

Look at classic men’s watches today and they tend to follow three possible options: the dress watch, generally a slim and neat design with precious metal casing; the showpiece watch – think classic aviator styles that prevail today, and the Sports Watch, the chronograph that offers many functions. With ladies watches it is to the dress watch that most designs are aimed, but there are some options available.

The reason why a style endures is because it transcends trends: a typical sports watch – an example may be the  Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive Aqualand Diver Watch which is a stylish and practical diving watch – would look good when used as intended, in this case for diving, just as it would worn for a night out or to work. It would also look great now, or in the 1950’s, and will also do so in 50 years time. It is versatile, and it offers form and function in equal measures.

Some designs, those that are considered classics, are always going to be with us because, quite simply, they work. Why, after all, fix something that is not broken?

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