Phone. Wallet. Keys. Watch. There are certain essentials that every man needs to make sure he has with him before he even leaves the house, whether it’s just a short stroll to grab a cup of coffee down the corner or a month-long adventure on the other side of the globe. Timekeeping and mechanical watches are still essential tools for the globetrotting lifestyle. Whether it’s fashion, nostalgia, tradition, or the necessity to be on time and keep appointments with friends and family or business associates, a watch is a must-have accessory for every man. In this guide, we’ll delve into how a mechanical watch fits into the globetrotting lifestyle and why every globetrotter needs a good watch.
Be on Time
This one is the most obvious reason to have a mechanical watch (or any watch, for that matter). But it’s also the most important. When you’re on the go, keeping proper time is important, whether it’s making sure you’re on time for your flight, scheduling business meetings, or even being punctual for a romantic night out in a new city with an old flame. Yes, everyone’s phone and computer can keep time these days. But when there’s no power, your batteries ran out, or you’re in a remote locale, nothing else can compare to the old-school reliability of a mechanical watch. Through a combination of classical engineering and mechanics, the only thing a mechanical watch needs to keep ticking is you.
Durability and Functionality
“It takes a licking and keeps on ticking” is a phrase that can be traced back to classic watch commercials of the 1950s, but the premise can be applied to just about any mechanical watch as well. Obviously, durability can vary by brand, model, and materials but most dive and aviation watches are built with durability in mind. When you’re jet setting, you don’t want to worry about whether your watch can withstand changes in air pressure or humidity. When you take your watch to an exotic beach or on an alpine ski adventure, you don’t want to worry about your time piece’s resistance to water or corrosion, either.
Always do your research, but chances are you’ll find a watch suited for your globetrotting adventures, no matter what external conditions you encounter. It’s just another reason to go with the tried-and-true nature of a mechanical watch.
We get it. Times have changed. But have they really gotten all that better? In a lot of ways, they have, but there are still those of us out there who appreciate mechanical watches over digital and smartwatches. Fashion and aesthetics play a big part in one’s love for the classics, which is why oftentimes the same person who wears a mechanical watch will still dress the part when they’re on their globetrotting endeavors.
When you were your mechanical watch while traveling, it harkens to the old days of travel, where everyone was dressed to the nines as they boarded an aircraft, waiting to be served a gourmet dinner and champagne by a friendly crew. Travel was luxury.
Those days are gone. But your mechanical watch is still here, and bringing it along with you can remind you that your trip can still have a hint of that old-school luxury along with it.
Turn Heads and Network
Whether for business or pleasure, the traveling experience is a social event. If you’re a die-hard collector of watches, there’s no doubt you’re checking out TV shows, magazines, and social media and looking at the timepieces more than the outfit. But when it’s your turn to bust out the crown jewel of your watch collection, it’s an affirmed assumption that others are doing the same.
Watches make great icebreakers and conversation starters, and many that have good taste in watches are amicable to discuss their timepieces and collections with others. Traveling can be long and arduous, but sharing a friendly conversation with like-minded individuals can help pass the time.
This kind of networking has led to lifelong friendships, business relationships, and even trades and sales of watches amongst collectors. The horology world is small, but it’s a close-knit one. Chances are if someone notices your watch, they love watches as much as you do. Go ahead, wear your watch while traveling, but be prepared with friendly conversation and smile.
Networking and making friends might be fine in certain situations, but you might not always want to show off your most beautiful or expensive watches while on the go. In fact, depending on your destination, this may not be the smartest idea, as certain watches have made tourists targets of crime.
You might not necessarily want to network or drain your social battery while traveling, either. That’s perfectly fine. The good news is that, due to the versatility and wide range of styles, there are mechanical watches out there that fly under the radar.
Watches with subdued features like leather or NATO straps and plain, but readable watch faces in simple color schemes can help you keep things low-key. If not being the center of attention is your bag, that’s perfectly fine. It may even be the preferred strategy to have the most authentic experience depending on where your travels take you.
Written by Marco Cummings for Matcha in partnership with DuFrane Watches.