News & Opinion | July 10, 2018 10:43 am

Here’s Why Men Wear Watches That Don’t Tell Time

It is all about the fashion.

Andy Warhol wearing a Cartier Tank, the watch he wore frequently but rarely set. (Jack Mitchell/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Andy Warhol never used his Cartier Tank watch to tell the time. He wore it because “it’s the watch to wear,” he said once, according to a September 2017 article in The New York Times. Judson Lee, 38, a director at an advertising agency in Fayetteville, Arkansas, owns three watches but rarely sets them. For men like Warhol and Lee, having a watch is more like owning jewelry than a tool. With smartphones constantly in our hand or pocket, watches are not as vital as they once were in any practical sense. At first glance, this might seem silly, but most men’s accessories don’t serve a purpose beyond looks. Take ties and pocket squares for example: They look pretty and add polish and status.

“At this stage [a watch] is really like a nice pair of socks, because it brings the look together and makes a man look more finished,” said Basha Singh, the director of made-to-measure and VIP styling at Ralph Lauren’s flagship location in New York, according to the Wall Street Journal.