Any man who wears a watch every day knows that it’s about more than just telling time.
A classy watch symbolizes both status and masculinity, and makes a bold fashion statement that says time is of the essence. The addition of a nice watch to your ensemble can go a long way in making good impressions in both the professional world and in your social life.
Sadly, as a result of our generation’s obsession with cell phones that readily tell time, the essential timepiece has slipped from our wrists into our pockets — the exact opposite of what happened after World War I when soldiers found that pocket watches were impractical during battle. But as college students, donning a fashionable wristwatch couldn’t be more practical — it’s a sign that we are entering the real world.
Now, if you have the money to spring for one of the watches included in Esquire’s “2010 Watch Awards” like the timeless Rolex Submariner worn by James Bond, then I say go for it. But the average Northwestern student probably does not have $29,850 to drop on a watch, especially when that money could be used to finance this elite education.
As college students, we must be frugal with our stylistic decisions. So here is a compilation of some hot watches that suit different lifestyles, but don’t break the bank.
The sport watch: Casio G-Shock
The G-Shock is perfect for the Northwestern student who likes to live on the wild side — these watches are built to last. Named for its advanced shock resistance, this digital watch line was designed with the athlete and the outdoorsman in mind. However, that doesn’t stop entertainers like Kanye West from sporting them as casual wear. Whether you need a G-Shock to support an active lifestyle that includes 24-hour defense at the Rock, hardcore workouts at SPAC or just like the variety of bright color options they provide, this watch is durable. Our football team could really learn a lot from Casio. $70-$200
The hipster watch: Swatch Original Gent Family and Irony Big Family
Let’s be honest here: nobody likes hipsters. But it’s definitely possible to like one of these retro Swiss watches from the 1980s. Though over time, Swatch became synonymous with tight jeans, ironic t-shirts, huge glasses, unkempt hair and south campus pretentiousness, its thin and simple design remains a classic accessory for the more artistic crowd. Maybe the inexpensive price tag will act as some form of ironic protest against consumerism, or whatever hipsters are into these days. Regardless, these watches prove that class symbols do not have to be gaudy. $50-$95
The American history watch: Timex T-Series
Timex watches are an American standard: They suggest an appreciation for the American past without losing track of the present. The T-Series exemplifies this modern retelling of an American legacy: Blessed with contemporary design features like chronographic measures and a INDIGLO night light, the watch also contains an inscription of “1854” on the stainless steel back, meaning this watch is for the all-American who is prepared to make history in the future. Timex watches command respect in social circles ranging from ASG to Amnesty International and beyond. If you think about it, the overwhelmingly big and bold design of the Timex is a reflection of America itself; perfect for the student who aspires to be the next president. $110-175
The fraternal watch: Orient Metro Series
The Orient Metro gives a new face to the fraternal order. Its big square face, stainless steel case and semi-skeleton design that exposes the inner mechanics of the watch offer a modern, sophisticated look for a new generation of man. The contrast of the leather band with the metal frame creates a casual element that accents any Busch Light can or red solo cup. With this watch, even the sleaziest north campus dweller can be accepted in the most elite of brotherhoods, or at least get noticed at a frat party. This watch defines manliness and exclusiveness which compliments any Greek letter t-shirt or sweatshirt. $210
The twenty-first century watch: Flud Exchange
One word to describe this century is unconventional. Along with new innovations in media and drastic decreases in our generation’s attention span is a need for a new kind of watch that exceeds our expectations. The Flud Exchange satisfies that need. Its design looks like a new technology developed in a Tech Laboratory. This watch features an off-center dial that keeps up with the most off-center of lifestyles. Flud is also aware of this generation’s tendency toward boredom so the Exchange also incorporates an interchangeable silicon band that gives you control over the look of the watch. Though it doesn’t have the functions to fulfill tech junkies, it certainly reflects a new age style. $90