How to Build a Killer Timepiece Collection Part One: The Essentials

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It’s Monday morning and you have begun your ordinary albeit arduous excursion into the office. You’ve already maneuvered your way through most of the city’s bustling sub terrain successfully arriving at your last interchange before hitting the just as animated downtown Philly streets. The Route 11 trolley squeals its way up to its designated stop. You politely battle with the city’s fellow elite to board for your final trek and find yourself stationed next to an unbelievably attractive woman. She quickly notices that you are one of the better adorned gentlemen on the train and for whatever reason is compelled (or maybe even impelled) to ask the question “Do you know what time it is?”

Whether you have found yourself in this situation or not, doesn’t dilute the obvious: every "gentleman" should have a decent if not killer watch collection. So because SEEG wants you to be sensitive to your environment (in this case a beautiful woman who needs the time) we have decided to provide you with a few simple details you need to know to get your timepiece swag on point. Over the span of 3 articles we will help you with the essentials and the “how to” of choosing and taking care of this quintessential aspect of a gentleman’s presence.

The Essentials. First of all let's get one thing clear: in no form or fashion does owning a smartphone count as an actual timepiece. Who cares if your phone has an app that emulates a classic watch face; fumbling around in your coat or pant pocket trying to locate your Iphone never looked as cool as exposing a well made time apparatus and watching the questioner’s eyes bulge with admiration, forgetting what they originally asked, and belt out excitedly “Nice watch!”. So lose the corny watch app and begin your collection by making sure you acquire a timepiece for each of the following categories.

1) The Work Timepiece: This piece is very important; being that you will be at or in route to work for 40+ hours a week. This piece should reflect your own personal style, maintain the appropriate luster for the situation, and be rugged enough for that grueling trek to and from the office. Be it your first investment into the space; make sure the piece can work with most of the office wear you rock during the week. And make sure the piece is not overstated. You don't want the boss thinking he's paying you too much. A classic analog piece with a metal encasement and metal link band works nice in this environment and works well with most fabrics, colors and patterns. 

2) The Casual Timepiece: This piece is one that should work for all situations. It also gives you the opportunity to boast a little more of your personal steez. Leather bands are more suitable for these “casual” situations.  And color, detailed embellishments and bells and whistles serve to distinguish your watch aficionado status; even if you don’t know a darn thing about how to use them. With there being so many variables to what your personage might prefer*, remember that the watch should be part of the show not the show. So don’t get too gaudy with your choice. Everything doesn’t look good on everybody. Leave the knock off Jacob & Co. yellow diamond studded Tourbillion watch to the T-Pain wannabes.

3) The Sport Timepiece: No, this piece is not designed for you to get a more personalized view of how much time is left on the shot clock during your ‘Over 30’ basketball league game at LA Fitness. This category is mainly focused on the outdoorsman: hikers, mountain bikers, scuba divers, etc. But if you are not an outdoorsman and just wanna look like you are, well this category can work for you too. Due to the “sport” segment of the watch industry being one of the fastest growing, style and functionality have not been spared. These watches often sport compasses and even thermometers. In addition, they’ve started to incorporate some non-traditional materials like plastic, nylon and even rubber into the designs to counter the environment in which they are being used.

Obviously, your budget will make a huge difference in what you can and can’t pull off financially. But if you can’t afford the Rado Original Automatic Chronometer Skeleton watch (still working on it myself), you can still find some beautiful quality timepieces from companies like Hugo Boss, Emporio Armani, and Torgoen at price points starting between $200 and $500.

So no more excuses. You’ve been briefed. Now feel free to imagine how your response to the beautiful woman’s question could lead to even more…questions of course. Get your mind out of the gutter!

Stay tuned for Part 2: How to Choose a Quality Timepiece

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*The 'Casual Timepiece' can really perform as your universal piece. So if you are one who frequents charity and black tie events (or plans to) make sure to give consideration to these variables when purchasing your  watch of choice. Or maybe you just slap down the AmEx and purchase two casual/universal pieces. Big dog.

Inspired by my colleague, watch aficionado and all-around homie H. Luis Valles

Photography by Studio Trejo