GQ’s ‘A Watch For Every Occasion’ Is Entirely Advertising Driven

So I picked up the latest GQ magazine at a cafe yesterday – this month is their GQWatch Issue. I flicked through the 10-12 page section and sipped at my coffee wondering when I was going to see a watch, let alone a brand, that was interesting. The Australian watch market is drastically uneducated but it’s eager to learn. Out of every category on this website, the one I feel readers have taken to the most is Horology. That’s a great sign, it means men are enjoying reading about watches and learning about great brands. I couldn’t help but feel the reason our market is so uneducated is that every publication that writes about watches delivers the same old shit again and again and again. The reason Tag, Omega and Cartier are the biggest sellers in Australia is because they are the only ones with an established presence and thus, an advertising budget. I just want to pick up a magazine or newspaper and see a refreshing article about a watch that surprises me, a watch that tests the Australian public and makes them question the norm.

As I read on I came to an article called ‘How to build the ultimate watch wardrobe’. Now from my own personal understanding of the world ‘ultimate’, I was expecting to see some ‘ultimate’ brands. The dictionary defines ultimate as ‘being the best or most extreme example of its kind’, so if I said to you what is the ultimate watch, 8 out of 10 men who know anything about watches would say Patek Philippe, one of the other 2 would say a boutique brand the other 8 guys have never heard of and the last guy would say something like Nixon. So what did the ‘ultimate watch wardrobe’ have you ask? A $23,000 Omega, a Chopard, a gaudy Breitling, a Cartier Santos and a two-tone Submariner with a diamond dial for a grand total of $81,635. If you told any watch enthusiast you spent over $80k on a collection that didn’t have a Patek/Lange, an Audemars Piguet, a steel Rolex or a Jaeger LeCoultre, they’d say sell the lot and buy a watch that counts.

I hit to see what $81,635 can buy you in the following 5 categories, Dress, Boardroom, Sports, Everyday and Weekend to form the perfect watch wardrobe. Here are the results, all brand new and unworn models.

The GQ article I read had an Heirloom category but I fused it with Dress because essentially they have the same values. Timeless, simple and elegant. With timeless being the major factor to fuse with the tradition of formal attire there was only one choice.
Patek Philippe 5916 Calatrava in White Gold – $19,500

Your boardroom watch needs to make a statement amongst your peers, it needs to be better than the guy’s watch who is sitting next to you and it needs to make the guy above you (if there is one) envious of your taste. This watch won’t be matched for individuality and respect.
A.Lange & Sohne Lange 1 – $23,000

After getting hands on with the brand a couple of weeks ago I just can’t go past Linde Werdelin. Their watches are so original and fascinating to look at. They are also purposely built as sport instruments and developed with professional athletes so you know you’re getting a capable timepiece.
Spidospeed Black DLC – $12,000

Your everyday watch has to be a mix of the Boardroom and Dress that continues to impress but that you’re not afraid to wear. You have to be able to throw it on confidently in the morning knowing it’s going to handle every aspect of your day, coffee with a client, meeting with the boss, dinner with a lady.
IWC Portuguese Automatic 7 Day – $10,000

The weekend watch needs to be versatile. You could be mowing the lawn, washing your dog, at the hardware store or changing the oil on your Shelby AC Cobra, in any circumstance you need a watch that is tough enough to get dirty but nice enough to wear to the sporadic Sunday afternoon lunch.
Tudor Heritage Black Bay – $3,500

To be honest I just want everyone to realise the sort of watches you can buy with that much money. Now the 5 I’ve just listed come to a total of $68,000 which means you’ve got another $13,000 left over. Now you could spend it on a number of things, a holiday, a Harley Davidson Iron, a serious injection to your wine seller or you could pocket it and know you’ve made 5 very solid choices in 5 essential categories. That being said I’d probably put my head down and try to source a mid 70’s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo which will set you back around $14000 to finish off a truly unbeatable collection.


James is the Founder and Editor of The Versatile Gent.

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