Watch Yourself

K, so GQ released an article about affordable watches that celebs wear. I don’t care about celebs, but I do care about affordable.

And I was down. There was the John Mayer/G Shock marriage.

Bear with me.

A word about John Mayer. NOT Ivy, but a remarkable guitarist. And a truly remarkable blues guitarist. He had the best line once. He is in an interview about blues guitar, and the interviewer asks him where he’s from, and he says, “Fairfield Connecticut, home of the blues.”

Steph Curry wears a Movado. I don’t like either. The 3 point shot is a party trick, and has removed defense from the game. Wait, I do like Steph Curry as a guy. Heard him on Smartless. He figured out how to game the game. No fault of his.

But then we get to Bill Murray and Timex. Which is why I read the article. Who doesn’t love Bill Murray? I do. And who doesn’t love Timex? I do. The Weekender WITH a Nato strap (no leather thanks, that is pre Covid) is perhaps the most Ivy watch of all time.

I’m all in. Until the picture –

… where you see him wearing a Timex that he can see on one hand and a Cartier he cannot see on the other.

16 Comments on "Watch Yourself"

  1. What do you mean “no leather thanks, that is pre Covid”?

  2. What does any of this have to do with Ivy style?

  3. I’ve heard it said that if you’re not going to wear an heirloom piece, then you might as well wear a Timex Easy Reader. As a degenerate watch collector, I disagree, but respect this ethos.

  4. Yes. The 24 hour Weekender/NATO. Perfect.

  5. I wear a Timex like the Weekender with a mottled olive NATO strap. It tells the time, which is all I really want from a watch. That said, I’m about to get my dad’s 1980’s Rolex GMT Master refurbished for the third time. That one doesn’t keep time all that well but it comes with memories.

    • I’m partial to JLC – reverso is my daily wearer, but love a Timex. @whiskeydent, if an 80’s GMT isn’t keeping time well there is something wrong. If you haven’t been sending it back to Rolex and instead using another watchmaker, would send to Rolex. If sending to Rolex, would read your dealer the riot act.

  6. I’m a one watch kind of guy, mainly due to budget. The Timex Weekender (with a black NATO strap, mainly due to the leather one cracking over the years) is plenty for me. As whiskeydent says above, “it tells time, which is all I really want from a watch.”
    But if I had a pile of disposable cash lying around, my “fancy” watch would be the Cartier tank, mainly due to its un-flashy elegance. It’s a nice counterpoint to all the gaudy and garish status symbols out there. I would not, however, wear both watches at the same time, mainly due to the fact that that’s just silliness.

  7. I wear a version of the Weekender with NATO strap and that has the red 24 hour numerals and a date display. Also a Casio F-91W. I think each was in the twenty dollar range. Reliable, understated, and tasteful like a blue ocbd.

  8. I (just now) finished a piece about how America is presently being polluted by populism. More particularly, populist ideas. Okay, well, that’s generous. So, more accurately: populist opinions. Which are, as both the piece and (the study of) history confirm, lazy. Really lazy. Uninformed and fickle.

    When it comes to clothes and accessories, I’m not sure which opinion (or is it an idea?) is more populist: “Owning and wearing and expensive watch matters” or “A cheap watch is just as good as an expensive watch.” I own and wear expensive watches, but they’re family heirlooms that bear the lovely burden of the nostalgic-and-sentimental. They’ve increased in value with the passing of time, and aesthetically (yes, I did), they’re rather simple and modest.

    I’m not sure how much I’d pay for a new watch. The symbolic (sacramental?) force of certain watches, if only because of the stylish (or just plain cool) icons who favored them, cannot be denied. Ditto for all sorts of other totems.

    It just so happens I work and live in an area (culture) where plenty of men (and women) notice others’ watches — and, more often than not, either comment and/or ask about them.

  9. Michael Powell | February 12, 2024 at 4:52 pm | Reply

    A Rolex is accurate to -2 or +2 seconds per day. Steph Curry’s G-Shock is accurate to -2 or +2 seconds per 2 weeks. You can wrap that G-Shock around a hockey puck, slap shot it into the net, and still tell time with it. Try that with the Roller.

  10. Love this post, thank you! I love watches, I have had new and vintage, from Rolex to Seiko, currently have an Omega Planet Ocean, No Time to Die Seamaster (vintage looking) and a Speedmaster (timeless) and debating keeping versus trade for vintage piece(s), or I may just ad one or two vintage pieces. Watches new or old are Ivy as far as I am concerned. I would love to see more of this.

  11. Thanks John for the Timex Weekender shout-out. I have owned the scarcer navy-dial chronograph version for years. The assertion that “owning and wearing an expensive watch matters” doesn’t sound populist. That sounds, as the kids say,’bougie’ to me. The statement “a cheap watch is just as good as an expensive watch” doesn’t sound populist either. It sounds post-modernist or socialist, in that differences in quality don’t, or shouldn’t, exist. For example, it often seems that they believe that an ugly thing is no different than a beautiful thing.

    Speaking of beautiful things, that brings me back to my Weekender chronograph. I don’t overthink it. Its classic design pleases me and my strap (often ‘Inmate Orange’ from NATO Strap Co.) adds a sporty bit of pop. True, it is inexpensive but there are makers who provide a very similar version for over five times the price if you prefer.

  12. Charlottesville | February 13, 2024 at 2:26 pm | Reply

    My dad wore a Hamilton watch on a leather band, but when it was stolen he bought a Timex. I now have a Timex as well as several Hamiltons, including a favorite from the 50s with a curved rectangular case that looks a lot like the one my father had. Except for a brushed steel, battery-powered LL Bean camping model on a black nylon strap that I bought at least 40 years ago, all my watches have leather straps and all keep good time, even the ones that are older than I am. That being said, the silk or nylon striped grosgrain ribbon bands are the ones I associate with Ivy, or at least preppy. As I recall George H.W. Bush wore them, even with suits. The NATO bands are similar, but have a bit more “hardware” on them.

  13. I wore a gold colored simple Timex with a nylon strap from the early 1960’s till about 1970. In 1971 I worked part time at a “carriage trade” jeweler. The Rolex rep would show up about three times a year. He offered the salespersons a Rolex at cost less 10%. I bought a gold Rolex with a brown leather band for around $600. To be honest it didn’t look any different than my Timex, simple and not much thicker than my Timex. Unfortunately it was stolen in NY ten years later.
    I then bought thin Seiko gold watches, two square tanks and three round. One tank has a black leather band, one brown. One round Seiko has a black leather band, one brown leather band and one nylon ribbon bands. Of course I own an assortment of very cheap basic less than $20 Casio digitals for the field (hunting and fishing) and cheap motorcycle watches.

    I like simple thin watches, but I do appreciate expensive watches. Free men are free to choose.

  14. I should add, the only expensive watch I truly ever desired was a Cartier Tank,

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