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Mens Watch Styles: Dos and Donts

Updated on October 1, 2009
Think Sexy George Clooney.
Think Sexy George Clooney.

You probably think of your watch as being pragmatic. True, it serves a simple purpose, but today I want to share a little known fact with you: your watch style matters to women. It's subconscious for some, and foremost thinking for others. I realize you might have a hard time believing that. And I realize that makes me sound vain. I’d like to pretend I don’t check a man’s watch out the second I meet him. But I can’t – because I do.

Watches are sexy. Did you know that? They are. Or, at least, they can be. When I see a man with a nice watch, I imagine him slowly removing it just before getting into bed. With me, I mean. So, if he has some silly boy's watch on, it's going to put a damper on things.

Think Matt Damon.
Think Matt Damon.

It's time to start viewing your watch as an extension of your sex appeal. Don’t worry, this isn’t about name brands or price. I don’t care you if you spend $10 or $1000. What I care about is how it looks on you. This is the only piece of jewelry I like to see on a man, so it holds a lot of water for me. It’s not a deal breaker – but it’s something I will probably go to great lengths to correct!

There are a number of styles out there. Personally, I believe men look best with a large band and large face. The idea is to make your wrist look big and strong. Don’t laugh, either! It’s the same principle used in military dress uniforms. Add a little height and width and the man looks more competent. Sounds silly, yes. It’s a psych thing.

Think Brad Pitt.
Think Brad Pitt.

Sportswatch (preferably silver)

Yes. Yes. Yes. This is the watch I want to see you in. Don’t worry about the category name - this is a man’s watch and you can wear it with anything. Something classic and elegant that spans your wrist – nothing small and frou frou, please. I see these and I think “real man” Honestly, I do. Also, diver’s watches and Swiss Army watches are included in this category, for the purposes of this article. Remember, it doesn’t have to cost $500 bucks. It’s the style that matters.

Think High School Biology Teacher.
Think High School Biology Teacher.


Nothing says high school science teacher with fogged up glasses quite like this baby. It also reminds me of the watch every boy in 5th grade had. Which makes me view you in the same light if I see one of these on your wrist.

Calculator (also digital)

Do the people who own these really use them for math? I would think any serious mathematician would have a fancy, thousand dollar calculator – why would they need a watch that can only do the basics? A watch with incredibly tiny buttons that probably make you miscalculate? I have to assume the math whizzes aren’t using these. Which makes me wonder who is?? Hopefully not you!

Liberace would love this.
Liberace would love this.
Think Major Headache Every Time You Check The Hour.
Think Major Headache Every Time You Check The Hour.


These make me think you’re a female at heart. I don’t care if you spent 30k on your gold Rolex – I will not touch you with a ten-foot pole. I had a friend with one of these and I was forever asking him to cover it up whenever we went out together. If you are going to be seen with me, I don’t want you looking like Thurston Howell’s long lost son.

Dress (leather wristband, usually)

A lot of men wear these and I honestly cannot stand them. They just seem girlie to me. They also seem flimsy, which is how I tend to think of the man wearing one. I see leather and I think “not strong enough” Yeah, it sounds bad. Sue me.

Other things to consider:

  • Shape - I’d go with circular. Square just always seems a little odd to me. Makes me think you’re trying to make a statement of some kind. Are you?
  • Finish - Matte. Anything else is too hard for the average man to keep clean. And greasy fingerprints on a shiny surface are pretty yuck.
  • Gold – Generally, a no-no in men’s watches. Makes you look like you care too much, or, like you want to show your wallet off.

Think James Woods.
Think James Woods.
Think Larry the Creepy Car Salesman.
Think Larry the Creepy Car Salesman.
  • Gold/Silver combos - No. I’d rather see you in gold, than see you mixing gold and silver. Yes, I realize they come that way so someone thinks they look good together. I’m not that someone.
  • Mod Watches – By this, I mean wacky designer. You know, the bizarre ones whose design renders telling time impossible? What’s the point? Get a real watch!
  • White Face – This can work on a sportswatch, but please avoid this if you have a leather band. The contrast makes them look a bit cheap, most of the time.
  • Black Face – I prefer this on sportswatches, for some reason. Very sexy.
  • Diver’s Watches – Don’t get one of these unless you at least know how to use it. I can’t tell you how many men I’ve asked to teach me how they work. The reply is generally “No idea, just liked the look of it.”

Certainly there are exceptions to these rules. Some sportswatches are awful, and some leather bands look good on the right man. Generally, however, the reverse is true in each case. So unless you're a fashion guru, I'd advise you to be safe and stick with the sportswatch.

Why mess with proven sex-appeal?

xx Isabella


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