Some people have problems, and The Curmudgeon’s Etiquette is dedicated to solving them.
Today’s problem comes from the on-line watch forum that I regularly follow:
My job (and life) are fairly informal - and on the days that I am required to wear a jacket, my Damasko is more than sufficient.
Unfortunately my brother is getting married next month, I'll be in a tux and surrounded by a wedding party of big $$$$ watch guys. Panerai, Rolex, Speedy dudes. What I wear will be noticed in this crew - it always is.
I could head into midtown, hit up Wempe, and buy a $2k watch - but I don't really want to invest that much in a watch that will be infrequently worn.
$500 is probably the most that I'd want to spend on a one-off dress watch - what's my best bet here?
For $1k, what are some cooler, more versatile watches that could double-duty from tux to weekend wear?
The OP (Original Poster), I should point out, claims to live in Brooklyn, NY. Now, I think I can handle this, but I must alert you that when I lived in East New York, Brooklyn some six decades ago, this problem would never have popped up, so I have no track record on this.
By his own admission the inquirer already owns a Damasko watch. The Damasko, made in Germany, is not widely known outside of watch enthusiast circles, but is greatly admired therein. Here are some Damaskos:
Damasko watches start at about $1100 and run to over three times that price. Now it seems to me that no-one should get collywobbles at slipping on a watch of that price (and of its reputed quality) to attend any sort of affair. In fact, it is my firm belief that one should demonstrate one’s individuality by wearing whatever suits one’s fancy. A Casio G-Shock might be a bit over the top at a formal wedding. But what the hell—it’s your wrist after all.
Some responders to the original post suggested that the OP could simply go without a watch, thereby saving himself from the expected scorn from the big Rolex-wearing machers who don’t see a crown logo on his watch.
But I have another suggestion for Mr. Timorous: Get this Casio MTP-V007L-1EUDF:
It’s a classy-looking thin watch that will easily slip under one’s shirt cuff, so no-one will even notice the watch—unless they’re more interested in staring at your wrist rather than at the bride (and assuming you don’t roll up your sleeve to arm-wrestle). If, by any chance the watch did sneak out from under the cuff, a very quick glance may bring thoughts of a Cartier Tank watch to mind:
And you would have palmed off a $25 Casio as a piece of $6700 eye candy.
Still, the Curmudgeon’s advice is: Be a mensch. You’ve got a watch. Wear what you like. Don’t spend any more money just to keep up with the pseuds and show-offs. The hell with them. You’ll never see them again.
Épater la bourgeoisie!
On another thread at the watch forum someone posted this picture of Pope Francis:
Someone else claimed that the watch was a Swatch, still of modest expense. However, if the Pope was given to wearing a Swatch, why not this one?
To all those “Panerai, Rolex, Speedy (Omega) dudes” at every fancy wedding, I recommend that they take to heart these words by James Carroll about the Casio (or Swatch) wearing Pontiff:
The life of Pope Francis has itself become a kind of secular encyclical. In this white-robed octogenarian can be glimpsed the transcendent possibility toward which all desire stretches, whether that of the abject poor, who recognize him as an ally, or that of success-obsessed élites, who are ironically burdened by the ultimate vacuousness of the luxuries that he eschews.**
*Another member exclaimed: “That’s not a deal, that’s a freaking miracle!”