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Keeping a watch on time trends

Date

Stitched Up

Benjamen Judd looks at how clothes can make or break the modern day man.

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Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver Extreme.

Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver Extreme.

Since writing about the etiquette - or the apparent lack of - in using one's phone to tell the time, I have finally been enticed-slash-coerced into investing in a watch of my own.

Not that I mind, however, because it means no one will be able to tell when I'm discreetly checking the time so as not to miss out on key cultural experiences, better known as Really Poorly Scripted Reality Television, or simply Channel Ten's The Bachelor.

With that in mind, I decided to investigate what features that men should keep an eye out when choosing their next timepiece.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak model.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak model.

Admittedly, trends in watches move at a much slower pace than clothing, particularly watches for men, but like clothing they do tend to go through cycles. Square, round, thin, thick, metal, leather – similar to plaid versus polka dot, timepieces go through their own rotation of kitsch to hip to mainstream, and back again.

So what are this season's key trends in men's watches?

Michael Chylinski is the managing director at The Watch Collector in Melbourne. According to Michael, when it comes to men's watches at the moment, size really does matter.

TW Steel Pilot collection in rose gold.

TW Steel Pilot collection in rose gold.

“A trend that we have definitely experienced lately,” explains Chylinski, “is watches are getting bigger … to 42 millimetres (in diameter), where as in the past 50 years the standard size was 38mm.”

The move towards oversized watches has been one that has been gaining momentum over the past few years. Even some of the most traditional labels have designed their own take on this style, including Italian brand Panerai and Swiss firm Audemars Piguet. Both offer oversize options in either chronograph or traditional faces. Michael Kors, Gucci and Bulgari have also released their own version of oversized dials in a variety of styles.

Another trend that has taken hold is the use of treated metals, particularly with colour. Swiss brand Maurice Lacroix's latest release of men's watches focuses on state-of-the-art, colour-infused metals. Called the Pontos S Extreme, these watches are made using an exclusive metal known as Powerlite. Super hard yet lightweight, this is great for guys like me who somehow manage to break everything they touch.

“Twice as hard as steel, but half the weight, Powerlite is an alloy of five elements," explains Maurice Lacroix marketing manager Christopher Leigh. “[This allows] coloured dyes to be applied to the material up to 15 microns in depth … which means that the material is able to take on a wide palette of colours whilst being impervious to scratches.”

At Dutch label TWSteel, colour is also playing an important part in their latest releases for men, particularly colour combinations. Managing director Nadal Wassel states that mixing coloured metals and leathers has been a big hit this season across both their sports and oversized ranges.

“We are witnessing a strong resurgence of navy [in accessories],” says Wassel, “which embodies a sophistication which isn't as predictable as black. Our new Pilot collection has two Navy and Rose Gold models which are popular as statement dress watches.”

What do you think of the current trends in men's watches?

69 comments

  • Back to oversize watches? I though we were over the bling thing?

    Commenter
    Ugg
    Date and time
    September 27, 2013, 8:37AM
    • Oversize has been in fashion for years; probably more than a decade. I bought my first 42mm Oris in 2004. Now, with cheap quartz oversize watches being popular with the masses, we're seeing a return to smaller sizes and squared off faces.

      Commenter
      Problem?
      Date and time
      September 27, 2013, 11:14AM
  • Looking forward to the iWatch. We need a watch that can Facebook and Tweet.

    Commenter
    Matt
    Date and time
    September 27, 2013, 8:52AM
    • They already exist, but you probably haven't heard of them outside your walled Apple garden.

      Commenter
      Freddie
      Date and time
      September 27, 2013, 10:49AM
  • Actually, TW steel has been manufacturing smaller than their usual 50mm case size watches over the last few years.
    My new Omega Seamaster Ceramic is 41mm... Rolex Maxi case wasnt as well recieved as the previous iterations of the submariner.
    Omega's new movement in their Planet Oceans render the watch so heavy, that many are not opting for the 44mm size because its unwearable.

    The market is confused.

    Commenter
    Daniel
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    September 27, 2013, 8:54AM
    • Funnily, i've recently bought an oversize Russian watch from Hong Kong. Still awaiting to arrive.

      Commenter
      Not_A_Normal_Man
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      September 27, 2013, 8:57AM
      • What's funny about it? They've got your money, and you haven't got the watch!

        Commenter
        Blue boy
        Date and time
        September 29, 2013, 4:23AM
    • apparently Omega NZ America's Cup watches are now heavily discounted

      Commenter
      CAMPO4070
      Location
      Amsterdam
      Date and time
      September 27, 2013, 9:27AM
      • What do I think about Swiss designed watches that are substantially Chinese made, that are then re-packaged in Switzerland and sold for obscene prices?

        Meh.

        Commenter
        Zaphod
        Location
        Sydney
        Date and time
        September 27, 2013, 9:27AM
        • Which ones are they??

          Commenter
          tpcam
          Date and time
          September 27, 2013, 11:03AM

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