The tool watch
Variants on the basic improvements made to wristwatches during the early part of the last century tend to be of the complex, mechanical variety, meaning anything that is dust and waterproof and comes fitted with a self-winding movement if mechanical (which it should be) could potentially be described as a “tool” watch. However, today, the term is more strictly applied to a set of aesthetic considerations driven by a desire for overall robustness – achieving along the a genuine sense of “horological heft”. Such watches may also come with one or more “tools” – or complications in watch-making parlance – but whether these are ever usefully deployed is another matter.
Released of its need to serve its master in a variety of guises (and quite possibly less than convivial circumstances) the dress watch is required to dazzle in the least flamboyant manner imaginable. Which means, inevitably, the Devil lies in its details, including the choice of metal used in the case and, if fitted, bracelet as well as the overall elegance of its design. It’s the latter consideration that generall denotes a quality “dress watch” and will broadly follow the history of watch design itself: round, gold, high-gloss black leather strap; square or rectangular steel or white gold on patent leather strap or matching bracelet, or some modernist trope thereof.
Assuming for the purposes of this article you have a functional computational device for use whilst riding, sailing, running and the like, the true “weekend timepiece” need only show a hint of horological know-how, wrapped up in an insouciant approach to watch ownership: it can be playful and even a little pretentious (a little, mind), but it shouldn’t cast a shadow over the belief that, back home, lies a veritable army of more aspirational wrist candy. In this guise, plucking something from the growing number of Scandi-inspired watches is relatively easy. Alternatively, stay true to the idea that all great designs have their day and experiment with one or other “outlier”.