By Rob Murdoch
Once upon a time, most men would have had one, maybe two watches. One would have been passed down through the generations — generally an old dress watch — and the other watch would have been the standard sports watch.
But this changed in the 1980s when the Swatch revolution took hold. Their very affordable price meant they became fashionable, rather than functional. Fast forward a few years into the 1990s, money became more freely available and all of a sudden the high-end watch industry began to take hold, with Swiss mechanical movements coming back, along with old complications like tourbillons.
The Swiss watch industry was back big time and the big watch specialists started to push the boundaries too. Watches became oversized, stand-out timepieces. Military watches were reissued with a modern take, while oversized sports watches designed for diving, sailing and motor racing became available, utilising materials like ceramic.
However, there is a price for this development, and that is the cost of these watches.
To me, this leaves a gap. What about the everyday person who wants that piece of individuality and versatility, but cannot afford the expensive oversized Swiss range?
Brands such as Navy Seals have moved into the market to solve this problem, a company we are working with exclusively in the UK.
The owner of the Navy Seals watch brand is passionate about offering a high quality watch, using high grade materials but at an affordable price. In order to do this, obviously the watch needs to come from China — which is fine, as many lower end Swiss watches use components from China.
So if I can close referencing the Navy Seals philosophy, oversized watches can be dressed up or down; they are versatile, fashionable and most of all, they can be affordable.
This article was taken from the July 2012 issue of WatchPro magazine, out now. If you work in the watch industry and would like to write a guest column for WatchPro then email the editor at email@example.com