Watches are the shoes of men

Hagar says that he loves watches like women love shoes and handbags. He definitely has a bit of a watch fetish as he flicks through the internet and covets the big, hard shiny timepieces.

He doesn’t need one. They are very expensive and in case you hadn’t noticed there’s a recession on. And yet magazines are brimming with adverts for power watches – and the industry goes from strength to strength.

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Watches are big business these days. During the last ten years their has been growth in the sector. For example,  the Swiss watch industry’s exports grew from £2.5bn in 1986 to £10bn in 2008. It doesn’t matter that the primary function of the watch – to tell the time – is obsolete by our obsessive phone use. So why are we still buying them?

Men are still buying and cherishing quality timepieces despite that fact that in the early 1970s, the watch industry thought its time, excuse the pun, had come. Technology hasn’t dealt a fatal blow to the watch. Men covet mobile phones as well as, not instead of, their timepieces. Watches are one of the few things that a man can wear that he believes display true character, a sign that he is a member of a certain club – whether it’s an Brietling or a Swatch – it is a male indulgence  that can be done without, generally, drawing criticism. Watches are an ok piece of male jewellery: bangles can be weird, signet rings passé, ear studs noway and gold chains comedy. A Rolex or a Heuer Carrera, however, be it gold, platinum or stainless steel, is considered acceptable.

If the price is £50 or £5,000, men check the watch in the same way a women might note of another’s shoes. It’s their thing. And the watch industry is chuffed about it. Father’s Day is June 15th pop over to The Watch Hut and maybe a nice timepiece will do the trick this year.

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