TheChicGeek teams up with Thomas Sabo in this special OOTD to highlight their new mesh watch collection. Strong and stylish, this collection of watches feature stainless steel-coloured mesh bracelets and sunray finish dials with coordinated silver-coloured indices and hands.
The monotone colour palette and striped detailing inspired the rest of TheChicGeek's outfit while on his way to catch TheChicGeek Express. The clean lines and striking two-tone colourway are as timeless as black and white itself. It made TheChicGeek think if only everything in life was this clean cut?!
Left - TheChicGeek is wearing Thomas Sabo ‘Rebel Spirit’ Watch - £180
Find out more about the new Thomas Sabo collection here
Credits - Watch - Thomas Sabo, Cardigan - Pretty Green X John Smedley, T-Shirt - Sunspel, Trousers - Raf Simons X Fred Perry, Shoes - Sperry, Socks - adidas, Spectacles - Neubau, Fragrance - Azzaro Pure Chrome - Read TheChicGeek Fragrance Review here, After Shave Balm & Shaving Cream - Frederic Malle, Face Cream - Buly
Something occurred to me the other day with regards to the watch business. Much like the oil industry which continues to pump out millions of barrels of oil, despite the price falling, in order to fend off or weaken the burgeoning fracking industry, (it’s a lost cause, btw, but what other options are there?) the watch industry is doing much the same thing: pumping out large volumes of product at all different price levels trying to keep themselves desirable and relevant.
Left - Are luxury watches sinking for good?
The smartwatch was a catalyst, and while it hasn’t really dented the traditional watch market, it was already under threat from people using their phones to tell the time and the slightly old-fashioned, pompous and alienating approach many Swiss brands/makers have.
Global Blue’s latest data for the third quarter of 2016 show global spending on watches is down -32%. The UK aside, which is experiencing a blip due to the weakness of the pound, Global Blue’s latest year-to-date data shows that the W&J (Watches & Jewellery) category has been hardest hit by the global luxury spending slowdown.
The reasons they give are: Chinese are buying fewer watches due to the conspicuous consumption crackdown, higher import duties are a major deterrent, as is the dual effect of less attractive product and lack of price differentials. Plus the landscape is dramatically different now that global shoppers are deterred from visiting Europe due to the persistent perception of reduced safety and threat of terrorism.
Like all industries that experience rapid growth it will inevitably lose momentum and stall. They are trying to offer something special, but in volume, which is an oxymoron. They are also not very transparent at helping consumers know what they are buying and paying big bucks for.
They’ve opened huge flagships to showcase their brands in insulation, so as not to be contaminated by any others, but it’s not sustainable. Recently, Mike France, co-founder of internet watch retailer Christopher Ward, said, when talking about mono-brand watch stores, the “Regent Street model cannot be economically viable”. He said: “Ultimately they will die. Some of them will remain, but most of them will die. At the moment stores are flags for the brands; most of them lose a fortune.”
The volumes the industry are churning out are unsustainable too and has taken the 'luxury' halo off the industry. They are in a damned if they do and damned if they don’t situation.
Lots of consumers are turned off by the prices and are turning towards the ‘pre owned watches’ or 'second hand watches' market for something different or if they still want a status symbol-type brand at a price that they can afford and justify.
I’ve also heard branded/licensed watches in the mid-market are struggling and many brands and fashion companies which don’t specialise in this area are leaving the category all together.
Luxury watches are at a crossroads. Will we look back in a few years and find it funny that people used to wear lumps of mechanical metal on their wrists? Only time will tell.
The final warm days of autumn are the perfect excuse for TheChicGeek to get on his bike and fill his lungs full of fresh air. Wearing outdoor specialist, Merrell, 'Eagle' boots, TheChicGeek took flight onto his bike and onto a woodland trail.
A superior hiking boot with 80s styling, the Merrell 'Eagle' is great for walking, cycling and with even enough support for running. Here, TheChicGeek, has teamed them with a classic red and white Breton stripe top and cycle trousers with reflective details in a dark slate colour and gives a whole new meaning to 'Fashion Cycle'!
Credits - Merrell Heritage ‘Eagle’ Boots available at Schuh.co.uk Backpack - Manhattan Portage, Breton Top - Club De Mer from The Original Breton Shirt Co., Trousers - Spoke 'Bulletproofs', Watch - Mondaine
‘Minimal’ men’s watches have continued their rise in popularity over the last few years with many brands offering different styles at price points to suit nearly all budgets. Simplicity and design are the key to the male modernists who fill their Instagram accounts with Brutalist concrete and tiled floors.
It’s difficult to find a perfectly balanced minimal watch, some are either too simple or not elegant enough. I think two young Glaswegian guys, Pete Sunderland and Ross Baynham, who met while studying at Glasgow Caledonian University, have found the perfect solution.
Their company, Instrmnt, make the best minimal watches I’ve seen. They have just the right amount of design, detail and movement. They also have the feel of a good quality watch, that gets better the more you use it, at a price that, while not cheap, is definitely something we can all afford.
You get to assemble the watch yourself - perfect for all those watch geeks - see below. The calf leather straps are crafted in the valleys of the Bavarian Forest, Germany and Instrmnt has their own store located on Glasgow’s Parnie street in the city's Trongate area selling other niche labels alongside their watches.
Left & Below - Instrmnt - 01-C - £180
Left - Instrmnt has their own store located on Glasgow’s Parnie street in the city's Trongate area
Burns Jewellers offers TheChicGeek some advice on choosing the best watch for you
Watches are an accessory that can really finish off an outfit, and while wearing an expensive time-piece is a real power move, it is important to consider your lifestyle and which type of watch would be the most appropriate for you. If you are generally quite active you may not get much use out of a designer watch, for example, whereas those who like to socialise in the evenings would have no use for a sports watch.
To ensure you pick a watch that can be worn regularly and proudly, it is important to follow the advice offered by the experts. Reading over this ensures you will understand exactly what the many different types of watches offer throughout your buying journey.
What makes you tick?
There are several different types of methods and mechanisms to make a watch function:
An automatic calibre works using kinetic energy — regular movement from the wearer winds the mainspring, which allows the hands to keep moving. Automatics can be spotted by the second hand floating around the face of your watch, as opposed to ticking.
Quartz timepieces use ready-made calibres and are battery powered, which means they can last a lot longer and are more accurate, but are not as interesting. These are looked down upon by watch snobs, but are actually a far more reliable watch. The second hand ticks. While the battery does have a long life, it will eventually need to be replaced.
What is your style?
An age-old idiom is that ‘the least important thing a watch does is tell the time’, and high-end watch distributors would tend to agree with this. Watch expert Burns Jewellers identifies three distinctive styles of watches, and categorises them based on appearance and the materials used in the watch’s construction.
A dress watch is identified by its plain, thin case and its large hands. These formal watches usually feature a leather strap and have gold bezels, mineral glass, and perhaps even titanium casing. These watches are great for evening events or formal occasions — a classy and elegant option.
A designer watch is more lavish than a dress watch, and the wearer is usually looking to make a statement by wearing one. Designer watches cannot be described generally, as they are individual to that particular brand’s trademark styling. However, they usually feature a gold or other precious metal strap, with a vibrant-coloured face for maximum visual impact.
A sports watch is hard-wearing and usually water resistant, so is made from a combination of stainless steel, rubber, and scratch-proof glass. The face usually features thick, clear numbers and is usually fitted with a compass or another cool gadget.
Hopefully, by knowing exactly the type of watch you’re looking for, you’ll find choosing the perfect piece much easier and more enjoyable.
Simon Spiteri, Buyer, MRPORTER.COM
"The Gucci horse bit loafer is going to have a huge revivial, it’s such a classic. I especially like this version that harks back to a style not seen from Gucci since the 1960s. A great example of company looking to its archives for inspiration”.
Left - Gucci - Horsebit Leather Loafers - £455
“Thom Browne collections just get better and better, preppy with a modern twist, this cardigan is so versatile. The style suggests casual but the quality suggests luxury”.
Left - Thom Browne - Striped Merino Wool Cardigan - £720
"A bonafide classic, if you haven’t got a slim oxford button down shirt in your wardrobe you need one, it’s an indispensable component in any man’s wardrobe. Be sure to wear unbuttoned, with everything from denim to pressed trousers”.
Above - AMI - Slim-Fit Button-Down Collar Oxford Shirt - £110
"The rise of bracelets in menswear show no sign of abating. Made in the reservations around Santé-Fe, this bracelet harks back to traditional silver and turquoise craft of the Navajo and is a nice pop of a colour for the summer months ahead”.
Left - Peyote Bird - Pilar Lovato Sterling Silver Turquoise Heishi Bracelet - £215
"Every guy needs a fine watch, my view is that you don’t have to shout about it with an obvious model. Zenith invented the chronograph and it’s still the most precise on the market. It oozes quality and is to be worn with your bracelet of course”.
Left - Zenith - El Primero 36,000 VPH Stainless Steel & Alligator Watch - £5900
The mulled wine was flowing and the Christmas tunes were pumping as TheChicGeek hosted his Curious Night Out with Fossil on Oxford Street, last thursday.
Left - TheChicGeek checking out the new range of Fossil smartwatches and bracelets
Guests were treated to an exclusive ChicGeek discount, monogramming service on leather good and jewellery and luxury goodie bags. I got to chose a selection of gifts, suitable for the whole family, from Fossil's extensive range of watches, leather goods, jewellery and gifts.
Right - Where's ChicGeek?! Fellow blogger, Fashion Foie Gras, getting digitally papped
So, with Christmas wrapped up, all in one place, there's nothing left to do but wish you all a Happy Christmas and a Curious New Year!
Left - TheChicGeek 'geek-handling' Fossil's leather rucksacks
Below - Fossil Oxford Street, London
Don't forget to join TheChicGeek, tomorrow - Thursday 10th December - to discover Fossil's new Q smart collection of bracelets and watches.
Left - The curious pairing of TheChicGeek & Fashion Foie Gras. Join us this thursday night
A perfect example is the Q Founder - pictured right - a touchscreen digital watch in refined stainless steel that tracks steps and connects seamlessly to your phone.
Right - Fossil Q Founder is engineered with Intel Innovation® and powered by Android Wear™ — in addition to tracking your activity, receiving notifications, and inspiring weekly curiosity, you can also match your watch to your look in seconds with customizable watch face designs - £279
The first 25 guests through the door will receive a special exclusive 'curious' goodie bag and with live DJ, fun photobooth and festive refreshments, it's not to be missed!
With a special 10% discount and free engraving and embossing on the night, treat someone you love this festive season with the perfect gift from Fossil.
When: Thursday 10th December from 6pm - 9pm.
Where: Fossil, 330 Oxford Street, W1C 1JE
Don’t forget to RSVP! See you there!
#Sponsored by Fossil