Most people consult their cell phones for the time. Are expensive watches no longer a status symbol?
Ask the kids in my family the time, they whip out their cells. I don't think they know what a wrist watch is. I wave my Tank at them, they look blank. "Why do you wear that?"
They aren't for the younger generations. I read somewhere that sales of watches have fallen sharply among the under-30s.
Among older corporate types, they can still be a big deal. Men generally have fewer ways to express themselves in terms of fashion and accessories than do women, so watches become important. There are HUGE watch snobs (who'll snigger with superiority if they see someone wearing the "wrong" brand) as well as watch geeks who hang out on specialized watch forums.
I thought they might have declined, OP, but then I noticed lots of advertisements in the New York Times for high-end watches.
And Fossil has a large array of watches on the very low-end.
So some people must be buying watches.
I've tried to give my teen and early 20's nephews watches as birthday and Christmas presents for years, and they flat-out tell me they wouldn't wear them if I do. They look at their cellphones.
It does seem weird to spend a lot (or even a little) money on a watch when it is just as easy to always look at your phone. I'm under 30 and have never worn a watch, but I guess some guys just want to wear them like an expensive bracelet and show off?
It's easier to look at your wrist than to take your cell of of your pocket/purse.
China and India are now the biggest consumers of non-quartz watches.
Watches are good if you spend a lot of time face to face with coworkers or customers. A glance at your watch is not as disruptive as activating your phone.
If you spend most of your time on a computer or on the company phone, watches are redundant.
This Christmas every store was overrun with watches. But they were mostly crap or jeweled ones.
When I first started nursing, I always wore a proper nurse's watch - one with a large face and a second hand, that could be used to count pulses and respirations.
I don't wear a watch any more. The hospital has clocks with second hands everywhere I look, and the a Star Trek vital sign monitor on every patient.
Can under-thirties even read the time off an analog watch face? ...if it's not a display with numerical digits?
So what do the youngsters do when they need to know the time while swimming, showering, at an event where cells must be off, or during engaging physical activity (sports, dance, running)? (all instances where it’s reasonable to want to be aware of the time)
Watchless since 2008, but missing it at the beach
I got my under-thirty bf a moderately expensive analog watch for Christmas and he likes it and wears it. He complains that he can tell time but it doesn't tell him what time it is. This baffled me til I figured out that he is used to knowing it is 2:13 pm or 10:22pm. Weird.
Emily Dickinson didn't learn to tell time until she had finished college.
A good watch is aesthetically pleasing, particularly on a man. They anchor the forearm and give it definition.
[quote]They anchor the forearm and give it definition.
The sale of wrist watches has declined, which has meant some brands have jacked up their prices enormously. Hamiltons go for about twice what they did fifteen years ago.
I like watches myself for the same reason r7 suggests--they're easier to check surreptitiously if you've got a lot of face-time with co-workers or clients or students than a cell phone is.
A hard thing for me is that I don't like how heavy they can feel on the wrist if they're at all sizable (and I don't care for delicate watches on men's wrists). I finally got a nice titanium watch that's very light.
I used to love and collect them. Now I just look at my cell, and I'm not young.
And yes, R10, I've known a couple under 30's who couldn't understand a dial watch. These were science graduate students, not dummies.
Very timely piece on gawker today called, "Why do Assholes Love Watches?"
My horse-faced wife gave me a vintage Rolex for our anniversary a few years ago. I gave her an awesome flat screen for the bedroom. Didn't know all she wanted was a feedbag full of oats & hay.
I never wear the watch.
John "Mr. Big" Preston
Expensive watches are jewelry for men.
I'm 33 and don't wear a watch, but that's because I don't like jewelry of any kind. I do check my cell for the time.
Do women still wear their watches with the face near the palm? As a wee kid in the '80s, I vaguely remember that was the thing -- men wore the face normally on the top of the wrist, and women on the other side.
I've always thought that fancy watches on men are tacky. I'm not a fan of men's jewelery, though. Pinky rings, gold chains, class rings, bracelets, piercings? Yuck.
There's a Swatch store in relatively prime real estate near my house. I pass it every day and usually see at least a few customers inside. So someone is buying watches in 2013.
I only like a watch on a man if he's got a hot, thick wrist and forearm. Otherwise, it's just too campy.
[quote] According to NPD’s data, the industry had sales of about $2.35 billion in 2010, up 4 percent from 2008. In those two years, sales were up 33 percent within the 35-to-44 age group and 104 percent for those 65 and older. Sales to the 18-to-24 age group, however, fell 29 percent.
Kids these days have grown up with cell phones and have never worn a watch and likely never will.
Still it's interesting that luxury time pieces have become fashionable in places like Hollywood. Classic times pieces from brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, are considered collectibles now. Maybe watches will be treated strictly as status pieces in the future -- jewelry worn by those who can afford them.
I do wear nice watches when I go out, but never at work. I never wear rings, because I always lose them.
r14 : [quote]A good watch is aesthetically pleasing, particularly on a man. They anchor the forearm and give it definition.
translation for Intactivists: forearm = shaft, wrist watch = mutilation scar, fist = head
well, the Walgreen's near me used to have loads of wrist watches and now has none.
I love metal watch bands on men, very sexy, but because I'm so hairy they'd act as a depilatory so I wear a cheap plastic watch for work
I just recently started wearing one again after we were instructed to turn phones off during meetings.
[quote]So what do the youngsters do when they need to know the time while swimming, showering
You're being serious with this?
Watches look better on hot guy, but not on a average looking guy.
[quote] Can under-thirties even read the time off an analog watch face?
They can if they have half way decent parents.
Mens watches are the single stand of pearls that older wimmen wear, like Barbra Bush.
A lot of the guys in my age group (I'm 23) wear watches. Purely as a status symbol.
And wtf@R10 - how old are you? 90?
I figured high end (nice) watches are popular, but regular ones not so much.
R22 sounds exactly like my dad. I have a watch I bought in India that can display the day of the week in either English or Hindi, but haven't worn it in many years. I use my phone most of the time, except on planes where my ereader has a time display feature.
Yes, sales have declined, but I think people will always buy watches as jewelry and for fashion. I still occasionally look at my watch (if I'm wearing it) for the time if my phone isn't in the immediate vicinity or if I don't want to dig down into my pocket for my phone.
I always wear my watch. It re-enforces my body part which when I'm really tired tend to sag, if you know what I mean.
ps: i'm a guy, I don't want to cause you gals a lot of expense buying watches to wear around your titts.
There are so many things we could give as gifts in the past that we can't give now. Watches, CDs, cassettes, video cassettes, DVDs, albums, transistor radios, stereos, amplifiers, turntables, books, calculators, pens that told time.
My sister could stuff her kids stockings with items like these as her kids grew up in the 80s. I put candy and beef jerky in my son's stocking. Kids today want cash and gift cards. They download their music, books and videos. Their cellphones tell time and have calculators. The only time my son listens to radio is when we're in the car and a ballgame he wants to hear is on.
I remember when they came out with calculator watches. They were so awesome. I had to do a lot of medical calculations at work. The fact that I could program my entire address/phone book into my watch seemed like cutting edge technology. I put my PIN number in there for my ATM card, my credit card numbers disguised as phone numbers so I could order from these things called "catalogues" without having to get out my wallet. It seemed so cutting edge! Everybody's phone number at the tip of my finger [italic] on my wrist [/italic].
Cameras -- another Christmas gift you can't give kids these days. And camcorders. They take photo and videos with their smartphones now. Wasn't the Flip camera this very popular video camera for something like 3 years? They don't even make them anymore.