Free 2-day shipping in the continental U.S.

Wristwatches Are Still a Thing

They Even Look Better Paired with William Henry Bracelets!

With the advent and ubiquity of smartphones in this day and age, the classic wristwatch has fallen from the position of being a staple wardrobe item for men everywhere. However, just because they aren’t vital for telling time anymore, it doesn’t mean that they’re useless.

Some of the wristwatches available today are a far cry, technologically speaking, from the simple models of yesteryear that your grandfather wore to tell the time. Precisely because wristwatches are no longer a practical, everyday necessity, wearing one can make a bold fashion statement and pair nicely with a men’s designer bracelet or your men’s fashion bracelets.

William Henry black Onyx bead bracelet with sterling silver skulls

Watches Back Then vs. Now

From the moment of their invention, the best and most interesting clocks and watches have always been on the forefront of technology. While the digital and smartwatches of today make something like a pocket watch look positively primitive, it’s important to keep in mind that, at their time, they were on the cutting edge of what was possible.

The first portable clocks were in the form of pocket watches, and they changed everything. Previously, the specific time of the day was only available from something like a delicate home clock, or perhaps the local church bells. It was impossible to coordinate events with someone who wasn’t in your immediate vicinity, let alone any kind of business. By shrinking them down and putting them in people’s pockets, suddenly all kinds of possibilities opened up.

Wristwatches were being made for a long time before they supplanted pocket watches, but they were intended for women to wear as jewelry. It was assumed that men wouldn’t want to keep a timepiece near their hand, due to the possibility of it getting dirty or damaged from engaging in handwork.

This all changed with the arrival of World War I. Soldiers during the war began using wristwatches, as this allowed them to easily and quickly check the time without the danger of having to tie up one of their hands to fumble around in their pocket for a watch.

In the middle of the century, as office and white-collar work became more and more common, watches became an essential men’s staple. While craning your neck to check a wall clock during a meeting may have been gauche or disruptive, one could glance at their wrist inconspicuously and tell the time.

The best watchmakers were able to merge their technology with fashion in an attractive way, elevating the simple and essential timepiece into a beautiful piece of cool men’s jewelry. Watches made during this time were complicated and delicate, being full of all sorts of gears and mechanisms and requiring winding or constant wear to keep moving.

The first quartz mechanism was introduced for commercial use in 1969, by Seiko. Orders of magnitude more accurate than a mechanical watch, they worked by counting the cycles of a signal created by the oscillations of a quartz crystal when an electric current was run through it.

By the 1980s, quartz movements were dominating the wristwatch market as they were cheaper and more accurate, and, with the advent of solid state and miniature electronics, the internal battery could power a host of extra functions, like stopwatches, countdown timers, twelve-month calendars, and calculators.

Mechanical watches by watchmakers, though no longer the only available or even the most accurate options, continued to be produced as higher-end luxury items for people who were interested in buying something with a lineage and old-world craftsmanship. Most any wristwatches that you would consider purchasing as luxury gifts for men are most likely mechanical watches, such as Rolex or Patek Philippe.

As clocks and timers began to cover just about every surface, from the microwave to the computer screens of office workers, and then—eventually—the now omnipresent smartphone, wristwatches began to fade from everyday wear. For most people, a watch isn’t an essential item of dress, but a fashion accessory purchased and worn as a conscious choice of style and presentation.

These days, though, watches have come miles and miles from where they started in technology. The rapid development of computer technology since the turn of the century and the new interconnectedness of devices like never before has given rise to wristwatches with all kinds of fascinating and exciting technology.

Smart watches that automatically sync with your phone and other devices are all the rage—and for good reason. Just like wristwatches let you check the time without causing a stir or drawing attention to yourself, smart watches give you the ability to check a text or a phone call with a simple glance down to your wrist, rather than having to drag out your phone and potentially disrupt whatever you’re engaged in at the moment.

Wristwatches with the Best Technology Features

If you’re looking for a watch with all the best technology packed into the case, then this guide should be right up your alley. Any of these watches will certainly have the features and components that you need, in a seamless merging of fashionable and futuristic.

  • The Apple Smartwatch

      • Essentially an iPad scaled down to be wearable, the Apple Smartwatch is a powerful and affordable device. With plenty of available and pre-programmed apps, this device will blend seamlessly with your existing Apple products, and it features Apple’s signature casual, yet elegant, styling.
  • Casio G-Shock Gravity Master

      • While not truly a smartwatch, as it lacks the capability to join with your phone, the Gravity Master is packed with a host of features that make it a great purchase for any fan of the outdoors.
      • Featuring Casio’s rugged styling and durability, this watch also comes with a GPS antenna, ideal for any hikers or explorers looking to get away for a while. It uses GPS and radio technology to pick up a signal to adjust to the correct time from anywhere on the planet, and, best of all, the watch’s face is a solar panel, letting you pack up and go without having to worry about battery life.
  • Samsung Galaxy Gear 5

      • Samsung’s entry into the smart watch market stands apart from Apple’s but gives the same functionality and convenience. When connected to your phone, this smartwatch allows you to send and answer phone calls, and receive and reply to text messages and emails using either voice commands or a full keyboard.
  • Seiko Astron

      • The Astron was the first production quartz watch, and today’s Astron is similarly no slouch when it comes to having the latest technology. With solar power and a GPS antenna, this titanium watch has a rugged yet timelessly classic design, making it at home out in the field and at the dinner table.

The Best High-End Jewelry That Best Complements Your Wristwatch

While a wristwatch makes a great piece of jewelry on its own, the addition of a few accent pieces can really set it off and make a statement like no other. Your watch should be the focal point of your accessories, and anything you wear should match it and not overpower it.

For example, if you are wearing a thin and small dress watch, a chunky leather cuff or big chain-link bracelet wouldn’t match well with it. Something like a simple braided leather cord would be best for that one.

Another thing to keep in mind is symmetry. Don’t stack all your bracelets on one arm and leave the other one bare; try to accessorize evenly so the same amount of visual weight is on both wrists. Another thing to keep in mind is to avoid matching. Any bracelet should set your watch off, not blend in with it at a distance. Check out the luxurious variety of men’s bracelets that William Henry carries to add personality to your wrist and wristwatch!

Explore our Instagram