Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

Please Bring Back


The lady’s watch, like the 1940’s Elgin shown above.

While I can cast a most appreciative eye over a man’s watch worn by a woman (Mrs. E. wears her grandfather’s Tudor, engraved with his name, rank and service number on the back), I miss seeing the delicate watches that once were worn over elbow length gloves or clipped to a sweater or jacket. They were sometimes called “cocktail” watches and were really more jewelry than anything else.

Watches in general are falling by the wayside for a younger generation whose electronic devices tell time and do so very much more. An anecdote told in “The Element” by Ken Robinson, Ph.D. illustrates why.

“You mean that’s all it does?” Said the philosopher’s daughter.

“Well no… it tells me the date, too” he replied.

I suppose that those delicate little machines of old said to me that time really wasn’t that important to the wearer, but it was nice to know and be able to answer a request for the hour should someone ask.

Don’t you think they should make a comeback? Especially since it is highly unlikely that you will ever have to rely on one to actually tell you the time. Your iPhone can do that for you.

14 thoughts on “Please Bring Back

  1. Watches are beautiful accessories, and some are just gorgeous the most gorgeous jewelry. I admit I have stopped wearing mine for the most part!

  2. I agree and I would venture the same thought for men as well. There was a great piece in the New York Times Magazine a week or two ago about “downsizing” watches to the traditional 35mm or so. One problem is that you have to be able to SEE the face to tell the time…a problem I find developing myself. I’ll never stop wearing my classic early 60s 1.25 inch diameter gold Rolex with the alligator strap, even if I can’t see the watch at all!


  3. I cant remember the last time I wore a watch! I just never really need to know the time and if I do I just look at the clock.

    Now if someone were to give me a Cartier Tank watch I could be convinced to wear it :O)

  4. I have my mother’s Bulova that is very similar to the picture and I do wear it on occasion (preferring the aforementioned men’s watch.) Meg Ryan wears a very charming ladies watch in You’ve Got Mail and it is so delicate and disarming. The last time I wore my mother’s the only hitch? That tiny face is tricky for my aging eyes.

  5. I have always loved these vintage 1930 and 1940 ladies watches. My mother and sister wore them and no one seems to know where they went. I just bought a beautiful vintage small evening watch with a platinum and diamond surround. It is lovely and was not that expensive.

  6. Inaugural post, Chris. Glad you’re feeling better.

    I gave my wife a beautiful 1920’s gold wristwatch that had belonged to one of my great grandmothers as a gift early on in our marriage. I had it re-conditioned, hand-engraved with her initials, new band, etc. I think she wore it about once. She’s little concerned with time as I quickly found out.

    I was taught when I first started going to dressy occasions (black or white tie) that a man shouldn’t wear a wrist watch – reasoning being that at a social occasion one shouldn’t really be interested in the time and that a pocket watch was the only acceptable time piece as it’s a more leisurely method of checking on the lateness of the hour. I’ve followed that rule for many years but I have to say I’m probably one of very few anymore. I see plenty of people sneaking outside to glance at, or talk on, their mobile devices, no matter how elegant the party. I’m sure there’s even some subtle texting going on. I daresay most all the men have their wrist watches on.

    I don’t know if that same rule applied to ladies – I’ve seen some pretty spectacular wristwatches – many that could easily pass for bracelets and some pendant watches that rival many brooches.

    But primarily I don’t care for watches with that convey too much information – the barometric pressure in Liberia or the apparent bank balances of the wearer… TMI to be sure.

  7. A dress watch would be a real luxury. I always wonder who is buying the diamond studded numbers I see advertised, as they certainly aren’t for everyday wear. The bracelet watch above is charming and falls somewhere in between sport and dress watches. I love the link bracelet. My own is a (silver & gold) Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust with white face and link bracelet. No stones. It has served me well and proven close to indestructible–it goes in and out of the garden, dish water, shower, swimming, water skiing . . . then off to meetings and dinners. Easily washed with a toothbrush. My dream watch . . . actually two–the Tank and the Hermes wrap-around Cape Cod (brown leather strap of course). Other casual choices which my husband and son have worn at one time or another–L.L. Bean’s (sage green grosgrain strap), Swiss Army’s cheapest version, and of course Timex.

  8. I wish I still had the tiny one that had a black velvety strap. It was stolen, but I loved it so. I felt so elegant and arriving fashionably late was never a problem.
    I think my Mother still has a watch like this.

  9. Ah-ha! I am a little slow but I finally found your blog! (I found it via your twitter page- couldn’t find it mentioned on blogger). And I am delighted! Yes I would love if the watch made a comeback. I, personally do not have a watch because my standards are impossibly high- I only want the best! I am waiting for Mr. Daily Connoisseur to bestow me with one. Maybe this Christmas? I can hope!

  10. Of course there are many so-called evening watches but to my eye they are mostly too flashy. I like the one in your pic because it is small but simple. I love my gold Cartier Tank, and wear it all the time. I like the fact that it doesn’t do anything but tell the time – doesn’t even have a second hand. I agree with Paula about the Hermes Cape Cod – lovely for sporty occasions. But what to wear with the LBD ?

  11. A suggestion for Parthenope, Tiffany’s Atlas cocktail watch with white gold and diamonds and a black satin band is a thought for the LBD. It can be had for (a mere) $9,000+/-. But it is still a strong silhouette for some dresses. A Piaget would be perfect, but they are a real investment. Ideally, you inherit a jeweled number! 🙂 A timepiece on a chain is a nice alternative to the wrist for formal. Or a timepiece that hangs like a charm on a bracelet.

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