I refused to wear watches for a while. It was my way of rebelling against tradition by not wanting to keep track of time. Mitch Albom, the author of The Time Keeper, may have approved: In his fable he notes that everything in nature happens when it’s supposed to, but only man keeps track of time.
But my life got more complicated, and it was annoying to look at my phone every five minutes to see what time it was. The thought of wearing a stainless steel shiny contraption around my wrist in order to be more efficient made me want to break out in hives. So, as with all things that are true and honest, as I shopped for a new watch, I went back to my roots, and that usually comes down to the aesthetic influences of growing up in England. Memories of my first luxurious watch came flooding back to me. It was an elegant watch with a leather strap, the color of fine cognac, and a golden face with delicate dials. After wearing it for a while, we had inextricably become one, as the leather had soaked up the scent of the perfume on my wrists, which meant the watch was infused with my scent even when I wasn’t wearing it.
The passage of time also made the leather look darker, and worn-in, which is just how a watch with a leather strap should look. I can’t help but give a nod to my father as I look down at my new leather strap watch. He wears no other kind, and it was my father who first taught me that other watches are nice, but only a leather strap watch is timeless.
Cartier’s Tank story continues from Américaine and Française to their latest Tank Anglaise. It’s a slightly bulkier version of its predecessors, with a face that fits across the wrist with an ergonomic curvature.18K white gold, diamonds, leather, $27,400. Available at Cartier/South Coast Plaza
It’s mesmerizing to watch Chopard’s seven floating diamonds move freely a few millimeters above the watch dials. The Happy Sport watch is casual enough to be sporty, with just enough bling. Happy Sport medium automatic watch with purple alligator strap, $8,100, available at Chopard/South Coast Plaza
If you love wearing a men’s classic style watch with a feminine twist, look no further than the HMS ladies watch by Arnold & Son. The HMS Lady is named after the hours, minutes and seconds the watch shows, undoubtedly for many years to come. Rose gold watch with diamonds, alligator skin, limited edition, with only 100 models made, $19,650. Available at arnoldandson.com