by Ryno Mulder
Men used pocket watches to protect their timepiece from damage. It was only during the first world war that the wristwatch became a practical necessity for military men. Rewind 120 years to Marie Antoinette, the ill-fated French queen and history’s favourite celebrity socialite. She popularised watch collecting for women of class and sass. Around this same period, wearing a watch as a bracelet was launched as a fashion exclusive to women. In the centuries since then, what have we learned about wristwatches and women’s style?
Your watch will look best if it complements your complexion. Which begs the question: does your skin have a cool or warm undertone? And how do you even know what kind of undertone your skin has? Pale and pink complexions are considered cool, whereas yellow to brown complexions are deemed to be warm. It gets tricky, though: not all light complexions are cool, and not all dark complexions are warm. The easiest way to establish this is by holding up a piece of gold and silver fabric next to your wrist. Does the gold or the silver look better against your skin? If the gold flatters you more, you likely have a warm complexion. And if it is the other way round, you have a cool skin tone. So when selecting a watch, lean towards styles in warm metallics like champagne or rose gold if you have a warm skin tone. Or opt for shades of silver if you have a cool skin tone.
It makes sense to wear a watch proportionate to your frame and, more specifically, your wrist size. If you are petite, so should your watch face and strap be. If you have a robust build, you can wear a medium-sized watch face and band. At least, this is what conservative fashion decrees dictated. But as Beyoncé questions who Run The World (Girls), the world finally is coming around for women. Style always mirrors our evolving social values. So it makes sense that even if you felt like a girly girl yesterday, you just might want to slip on a chunky men’s watch today. In doing so, but without saying anything, you are telling the world what time it is. Hint: the future is female.