If someone were to ask you what your watch does, we wouldn’t blame you for assuming that they were three hands short of a timepiece. Because it tells the time, of course, nothing more, nothing less, and don’t ask me again. But let’s be honest, to many a watch is so much more than a functional device designed for timekeeping. It’s a fashion accessory, a statement of intent, a health checker, alarm setter, peace wrecker and so much more. The question more aptly posed should be; is there anything that thing can’t do? So, whether you have a real deal haute horology timepiece or have been shopping in Bangkok’s markets for something off the factory floor, here are 5 IDEAL ways to make the most out of your watch.

DON’T UNDERESTIMATE WHAT YOUR WATCH CAN DO

We’ve already established that a watch isn’t simply for time telling, but it’s also true that all watches weren’t created equal. Indeed, there are certain watches which have more features than others (many of which lay undiscovered for a lifetime) as well as design elements and aspects which set them apart from the rest.

Probably the most commonly misunderstood element is the watch’s chronograph. The chronograph allows you to measure time when it elapses, but can also track GMT (pretty handy if you travel a lot and switch time zones). In general, a watch’s merit is measured depending on its complexity, in addition to its aesthetic appeal, design, heritage, and construction, so if you have a complicated watch, try to at least find out what it can do – and take advantage of it accordingly.

FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION

Well, in the watch world, perhaps not. But before you go shopping for new wrist candy, you’ll need to decide exactly what you want from your watch. In the modern world, it’s unlikely you’re going to be genuinely reliant on it to keep time, though of course it needs to do that accurately to keep up the facade that it’s something more than glorified jewellery.

If you’re looking for your watch to do more for you, like monitor your steps, your heart rate, serve as an alarm and the rest, then obviously a smartwatch is a smart choice. If you’re seeking precision, for the sake of training or work, then something durable and digital is your best bet. But more often than not, the watch’s appearance and level of comfort are the dealbreakers. In this case, form triumphs over function.

A WATCH FOR EVERY OCCASION

Wardrobe over wrist, or so the mantra should so often suggest. Because watches can complete your look and showcase your personal sense of style in a way few other accessories could ever hope to. And just as you own more than one pair of shoes worn suitably for different occasions, so you should also consider owning more than one watch.

If splurging on several timepieces seems frivolous (us too) then you can comfortably get away with owning just two. Something simple for the day time, such as bracelet strap pilot watches, and something more dressy for the evening. This generally equates to either a silver or gold case, a beautiful leather strap, and dials which are subtle and understated. Brands like Omega are famous for their dress watches, particularly the Omega watch with an attractive Omega deployment clasp. And if you can’t decide on either watch, who says you can’t wear one on both wrists!

SWITCH UP YOUR STRAPS FOR SUMMER

Watches can reflect the seasons, your mood, or the occasion, just like clothing. That being said, a chunky chronograph watch will not go with a black-tie event, and neither will a leather-strap watch look or feel appropriate for a day at the beach. For the upcoming warmer seasons, you’d do best with a nato strap since this fabric is a lot more comfortable and handles a sweaty wrist well. For the beach, though, the best type of watch strap is one which is made from silicone or rubber, and you can easily find them on divers’ watches as well, which means you won’t need to worry about making the watch wet.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR TIMEPIECE

No matter the worth of your watch, it’s a piece of jewellery and should receive the proper care and attention such a title suggests. A good quality watch will even increase in value (unless it’s a fake of course) as time goes by, especially if you keep its inner and outer workings in top condition. This is even more pertinent if your timepiece belonged to someone else in the family, passed down as an heirloom and as such, holds sentimental value.

Regular servicing and cleaning are essential for any watch, and whilst brands offer such servicing, you’re usually better off taking advantage of independent service providers (found in most towns and cities) who can change glasses, refurbish the watch’s dials, and fit parts for replacement without you having to send off the watch for a lengthy period of time.

 

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.