“Honestly, separating the fashion watch from a real watch at times becomes quite difficult and greatly moves our objective standpoints, irrespective of our individual tastes.”
Fashion watches, for the most part, are on the receiving end of a lot of scorns and criticisms, disdain etc. from snobs, snob wannabes and imitators; those who do not, are rare.
The landscape and demographics targeted by current fashion watches – luxury or affordable – is primarily the people into the jewellery domain; dominated by an obsession for aesthetics and with not so much interest into the technical sides of things.
However, the fun part is: Most of them who jeer and sneer at fashion watches might refrain if the gold and diamonds are for real; they’ll plain overlook the Chinese quartz inside. What would they do with them hovering in the mid-zone? We’ll attempt at finding an answer to that question.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- An introduction to fashion watches
- Why there are stigmas attached with wearing a fashion watch?
- An introduction to affordable fashion watch brands
- Fashion watches that would make your 2022 come alive!
- What’s with these watches?
- Conclusion: AT THE END OF IT ALL!
- Fashion watches F.A.Q.
01. AN INTRODUCTION TO FASHION WATCHES
Wristwatches were initially a fashion accessory meant for women; more for decoration than for anything as practical as maintaining punctuality. That kind of makes every wristwatch a fashion watch till Boer War and WW1 shook things up around. According to Guinness World Records: Contessa Koscowicz of Hungary wore the first wristwatch in history! It was 1868 and the watch, an ornate wonder running on the Caliber 27368, with a cylinder-escapement and eight jewels. It was entirely made of yellow gold. This was the first wristwatch, made by Patek Philippe. Technically speaking, this is a fashion watch!
Fashion brands entered the watch market bit earlier than you might think. Longstanding fashion-and-lifestyle houses like Chanel, Cartier, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior have moved into the space previously dominated by the traditional watch manufactures. Are theirs’ fashion watches?
Opinions vary between –“Just being from a fashion house doesn’t make a fashion watch” and “It’s a fashion watch if it’s from a fashion house” Both claims are disturbingly true; the $15,400 tag of a Chanel or $11,000 for a Cartier go against the cheap-price-and-make theory behind fashion watches. But Cartier has earned more with their haute joaillerie than they have with their haute horlogerie and it is Coco Chanel’s classic innovations like the woman’s suit, the quilted purse, costume jewellery and the LBD (little black dress) – other than the phenomenally successful perfume Chanel No. 5 – that brought her brand its fame.
Still, both build in-house watches; a major criteria if you are looking for an affirming nod from someone who knows watches. These brands sell their watches based upon not just their bejewelled cases, dials, crowns and bracelets.
“Well, these might be luxury fashion watches then” – you might be thinking. Yes, they are; materials like the high tech ceramic or the 12.1 calibre automatic movement (manufacturer: Kenissi SA, a CHANEL partner) or the Cartier Calibre 9452 MC cannot be expected otherwise.
Now, take ‘luxury’ out and focus upon ‘fashion’. What do we see?
We come across a large variety of inexpensive watches from renowned fashion and lifestyle brands that cost a lot lower! But they look expensive, got an acceptable build and keep time as good as their luxury siblings. Only that, inside the watches you are not going to find any movement found in the prestigious brands. Do they last? Do they retain value? Here we arrive at the most important points to consider prior buying a fashion watch.
- Value: Depends on howstrong the brand’s history is. With a lineage that goes deep into the annals of horological history and innovations, a watch is more likely to retain its value.
- Lasting: A strong model from a strong brand helps even more. It ensures your watch will run and look as good 20 years later as it does now. It will never go down in value over time.
02. Why there are stigmas attached with wearing a fashion watch?
Traditionalists might say so for they treat watches as properties that need to be maintained, cherished and oftentimes, babied a bit too much. Those are meant only for exclusive usage unlike fashion watches that can be bought at the blink of an eye and then made to face the rigors of a daily urban and occasional outdoor life, without even feeling marginally bad about it. Still, the big difference they state are that the traditional watch companies like Rolex, Patek or Lange do not make jeans or sneakers. All of them make watches and it’s all that they’ve ever done.
Fashion watches, being shorter lived than real, traditional watches, testify that they are not made from top-grade materials. Neither do they undergo top-grade QC. They are meant to look fashionable and up to the trend for specific events or situations and that’s where their significance ends. A fashion watch from China might cost as much as a Casio Enticer Quartz or a Timex Easy Reader; only that it won’t last as much and not as well. Note: The above two are fine examples of fashion watches from real watchmakers. It could be wonderfully embellished and can take a wearer at the top of his elegance and shine both atop the wrist and inside the showcases alongside inexpensive costume jewellery, but they won’t be half as good as a Morellato, or a Trussardi or the Esprit watches. They could be shinier, though; but not as careful with the QC.
03. An introduction to affordable fashion watch brands
Fashion watches without the luxury prefix aren’t always that bad. A fashion watch could look like an ISO-certified diver every bit, but not just as capable in the deep waters. For recreational and urban use, it would do fine. However, it needs to be from a well known fashion brand to ensure that they don’t exhibit a terrible quality and do not claim what they are not.
Below we present a few fashion brands whose watches might not sell for twice their price years later, but they will surely give you a wonderful wearing experience as you slowly gear up towards making your first real watch purchase.
What does that mean? – These fashion brands make watches that are durable and will get you used to the feel of wearing more expensive, luxury brands in the future.
- Fossil: Fossil creates top quality, inexpensive men’s and ladies’ watches; stylish and beautiful to go with your daily attire. These watches perform great if you maintain them regularly; if you don’t, still they’re good for the first 5 years. Materials used in Fossil watches (and in its sub-/licensed brands) are way better than what’s usually found in most of the fashion watches and they are built to be both accurate and durable. All in all, Fossil makes great-quality watches with one of the best quality-to-price ratios.Other brands that come under the Fossil group are: Skagen, Michele, Relic and Zodiac while they manufacture watches under license from Armani Exchange, Diesel, DKNY, Emporio Armani, Kate Spade NY, Michael Kors, Puma and Tory Burch.
Fossil also has a Swiss side, but that’s another story.
Nixon: This California-based watchmaker caters not just to the choice of men and women but also of children. Unique designs, cutting-edge technologyand a lot of durability put them ahead of a lot of other brands.
- Anne Klein: Anne Klein passed away in 1974, leaving Donna Karanand Louis Dell’Olio in charge of her company. Every bit American, this privately-held company is now owned by WHP Global since July 2019. Apart from a full range of lifestyle products from apparel, to footwear, jewellery and watches.
- Cluse:This Dutch brand is based in Amsterdam and deals in watch and jewellery designing and manufacturing for women across the globe. They are one of the fastest-growing accessories brands in the world.
- Hugo Boss: Hugo Boss offers luxury fashion watches;reliable, smart and there’s at least one model for you that will perfectly match the occasion! They are around since 1924 and currently, a fashion powerhouse with multiple brand collaborations.
- Ice: ICE-WATCH as a brand started only in 2006 in Geneve and in the past 16 years, they became not just an international brand but also very much intercultural and intergenerational in their status. They produce entry-level watches but their range is vast. You’ll find multiple styles; ranging from trendy, colourful to sporty and elegant pieces, often with vintage finishes and also some of the most enticing minimalist designs.
- Lacoste: Lacoste S.A. is a French company founded by tennis player René Lacosteand André Gillier in 1933. Apart from watches, they also sell clothing and footwear; sportswear, eyewear, leather goods and perfume.
- Tommy Hilfiger: Tommy Hilfiger collections are massively influenced by music subcultures and the music industry as a whole. The company started off with menswear and later expanded into women’s clothing and other luxury items, like watches and perfumes in 1992.
- Coach: Coach started as an American mid-luxury fashion house specializing in leather goods (handbags, luggage, accessories and ready-to-wear clothing). They design their watches but the manufacturing is looked after by the Movado Group (who alsomanufacture the Scuderia Ferrari watches), making every Coach watch a fashion signature backed by quality workmanship.
- Maserati:Maserati watches are produced by Morellato, an Italian jewellery and wristwatches manufacturer (since1930) and were launched first in 2012. They come in striking details, from knurled bezels to gold and gunmetal finishes. What’s more, some of their models feature Solar-powered Seiko quartz movements, which allow using the stopwatch functions at will, without having to fear a sudden rundown of power.
04.Fashion watches that would make your 2022 come alive!
|S.No||Brand||Model||Type||Specs||Movement||Product page link|
|1||Fossil||Grant Chronograph||Chronograph Watch w/regular timekeeping||30 minutes quartz chronograph movement w/ 24-hours indication.|
|2||Nixon||Arrow||Regular timekeeping||3-Hand Quartz Movement|
|3||Anne Klei||3407NVTT||Regular timekeeping||3-Hand Quartz Movement|
|4||Cluse||Aravis||Regular timekeeping||Quartz Movement: MIYOTA Cal. 2115|
|5||Hugo Boss||Ikon Chronograph||Chronograph Watch w/regular timekeepin||Japanese Quartz movement and chronograph function.|
|6||Ice||Forever XS||Sports/Diver Styled||Quartz Movement|
|8||Tommy Hilfiger||Austin||Multifunction quartz||Quartz Movement with Day and Date Display|
|9||Coach||Park||Regular timekeeping||Quartz Movement|
|10||Maserati||Granturismo||Calibre: VR42 w/ chronograph function & Eco Energy Technology.||Shop Now!|
05.What’s with these watches?
I. Fossil Grant Chronograph: There are quite a few variations to this model but this oneis widely regarded as the coolest! It’s classic to look at; versatile in its use and oozes a quality at par with any dress/sports chronograph watch from other renowned brands. It delivers on all worthwhile points for less than $200. It features a 30 minutes stopwatch; a small-seconds counter and a 24-hour time display. The Fossil Grant reincarnates the time-honoured design elements in a budget-friendly package.
II. Nixon Arrow: Strong yet not overly masculine, the Arrowlets you hit the sweet spot on your stylistic targets. There’s a perfect balance ruling the scene; blending fashion with sophistication. It’s an easy addition to daily dress codes, ladies; inside your office or out of it. It has a commanding presence that easily moves to-and-fro between fun and formal. It’s menswear-inspired, paired well with Scandinavian design cues.
III. Anne Klein 3407NVTT: Based on the concept of a fully co-ordinated wardrobefrom the late ‘60s, this is a watch that blends in with multiple dressing styles, from elegant evening clothing to sharp business suits. An elaborate, feminine design within a modern, minimal approach.
This is one of those fashion watches that use quality Japanese movements. It ensures that the watch gets a long battery life and works flawlessly for years together, with little to no maintenance.
Best suited for women who appreciate a casual or semi-formal style, this watch is low on a sporty feel and therefore, not very well suited as an outdoor wear.
IV. Cluse Aravis: The Dutch design concepts show through the CLUSE Aravis; the refined men’s watch that brims with sophistication and elegance. A purist’s delight, the sleek minimalism forms the very core of this meticulously designed men’s watch running on a Miyota 2115 Japanese quartz movement. Swap the strap to personalise with a wide range of looks!
V. Hugo Boss Ikon Chronograph: Influenced greatly by the Rolex Daytona, Its stealth style gives it a very sturdy look and it goes well with its very sturdy build. The 60 minutes stopwatch is capable enough to be used at semi-pro level speed sports. The whole design is stark and offers a very high visibility whether daytime or dark. The 24-hour sub dial is a great aid if you are crossing time zones.
The classic design with printed baton hour markers and Paul Newman-style sub-dials perfectly frame a watch face that can undoubtedly be claimed as an echo from the past.
VI. Ice Forever Silli XS:Bright and peppy, this piece is for sporty women and kids under 12 years. The Ice Forever Sili Purple is the most vibrant piece in the collection and doubles up as a street-fashion accessory apart from its use on the playground, in the swimming pool and moderate outdoors. Made from top grade polyamide and rubber-blended silicon, it runs on a Miyota 2115 quartz movement, ensuring a long and accurate service. However, you are advised not to go deeper than 120 feet.
VII. Lacoste Capbreton:The Capbreton is a marine instrument-inspired watch that’s refreshingly modern in its looks, backed by an impressive build! The dark background and bright accents become its attraction factor. Apart from regular time telling, it shows the date through its 6’o clock sub-dial and 24-hours through the sub dial at 9.
VIII. Tommy Hilfiger Austin: Opt for this watch if you want a classy look in a contemporary frame. The Austin by Tommy Hilfiger sports a stylish look that goes anywhere from the office to the club and is a must-have in every fashion-savvy men’s watch collection. It brings you the calendar in a classy format, dedicating separate sub-dials for day and the date and a small-seconds complication.
IX.Coach Park:Named after the NYC Street, it gives out a cosmopolitan flair irrespective of when and where you are wearing it. The watch is crafted from stainless steel with rose gold PVD coating and is adorned with sparkling Swarovski crystals studded on the bezel. It is not recommended to take it into water but in case of an accidental exposure, it is safe until it crosses the 90 feet mark underwater. Suitable both as a daytime and an evening wear.
X.Maserati Granturismo: Elegance meets athleticism in the Granturismo V8 chronograph watch, just like in the automobile, that surpasses its bright and shiny looks. It’s distinctively sporty in its style and features a Solar-powered Seiko movement, so that you do not run out of power while tracking an event. The Granturismo is capable of tracking 60 minutes at a stretch, which is enough to use for any sporting event, amateur or pro-level.
06.Conclusion: At the end of it all!
Fashion is something heavily ruled by individual and collective psychology and various sociological factors, yet you cannot overrule the economic/ financial position (individual and collective) as important determinants for your preferences. Thus, it becomes the need for fashion companies to understand their customers’ behaviours and come up with products that are more or less durable and look good without asking for sky-high prices. For a better understanding, click here.
This made fashion companies come up with clothing and accessories that don’t demand a premium and watches – a prominent part of every person’s wardrobe – were benefitted the most. Fashion brands like Armani, Gucci and Hugo expanded themselves into the watch market, partnering with established watch making conglomerates like Fossil, Swatch, Richemont, LVMH, Citizen and Seiko and licensing them to make watches on their behalf. Some fashion brands, however, go to less-efficient watch making facilities to get their job done. In a bad way that is; earning fashion watches the bad name.
A fashion watch from a renowned fashion brand is therefore; always dependable. Just don’t take it to extremes. You’ll be good to go for 5 to 7 years at least with it, after which, you might get bored and like to upgrade or just get another fashion watch.
07.Fashion watches F.A.Q.
A. LOUIS VUITTON, Cartier, Chanel, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent.
A. Depends upon the type of watch you choose and then, how you use it. A hand of tennis with an automatic, fashion dress watch on could be highly inappropriate while a quartz-based fashion watch will come out unscathed. Just do not put them under extreme conditions and dry-wipe them well once a day (preferably at night) for years-long service.
A. Three to five years for time and/or day/date watches and two-plus years for multifunctions.