Watch Out

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Business Professionals are on time and in style

First impressions can be everything. Upon first entering Deutsch & Deutsch located in the La Plaza mall, patrons are filled with awe at the pristine jewelry and elegant design of the store. Perhaps the most eye-catching are the variety of timepieces from brands such as Gucci, Tag Heuer, and of course, Rolex surrounding one from all sides. The atmosphere is intentional and due to an attention to detail,  though the friendly staff are on hand to answer questions and ease away any intimidation. Aladar “Ito” Deutsch, a third generation owner, believes watches help contribute to how successful one can be.

The idea that watches are considered indicators of influence go back many years. Deutsch says he once read an article that stated the two most important things in a business meeting are your shoes and your watch. “It’s really funny because whenever you do go to meetings, when you’re talking to people, you always catch them looking at your watch,” he said. “And when you first walk into a room, you see them looking at your shoes. So, it’s true.”

For a young business professional entering the world of watches, aiming to make an impression, it may seem like an easy decision: get a watch.  Time keeping ensures you’re not late to important meetings, so a watch’s basic functions are keeping honest minutes, hours, seconds, and date. Years ago, the decision was complicated by the digital option. In today’s plugged-in world, the novelty one might be tempted to reach for is the smart watch.

“The difference between the smart watches and the mechanical watches are that they’ve got little computer chips in them that function off a battery whereas a mechanical watch, especially the handmade, fine watches, actually have gears that are doing the same things that digital watches do,” explained Deutsch. This craftsmanship is what contributes to the price differential, and what distinguishes really fine timepieces. “I can wear a $30 Timex or a $10,000 Rolex – they both do the same thing, but one is battery operated and made of plastic while the other is handmade out of fine metals and exotic materials,” he elaborated.

But the basic time-keeping function of the watch could be overshadowed by the many other apps running on their wrists. Could it be distracting for kids, college students, and even business people to constantly be notified of emails, texts and events?  Deutsch suggested that many people wear a mechanical watch in a professional setting and then switch to a sports watch or smart watch when they get home. He also believes that there is a certain basic level of functionality that all watches should adhere to and surpassing that level is then just extra measures for entertainment.  “Smart watches are fun, but it’s like driving a smart car vs. a Ferrari,” he says. According to Deutsch, you know the difference. “They both accomplish the same goal. But with the mechanical watches, you can feel the refinement there.”

So mechanical is the way to go – but the watch-selection decision could be more involved than that.  Deutsch says that a watch is appropriate in any situation, but the situation may alter the propriety of the particular watch. In the work environment, the material of the band which touches the wrist can be an important factor. There are three popular materials for watch bands: metal, rubber, and leather. “If there’s going to be a lot of water or sweat involved, a steel or rubber band is best, whereas a profession that requires sitting at a desk most of the day could really get away with any high end timepiece,” Deutsch explains. Since watches have slowly been growing in size, the most aesthetically important part is the dial (or face) of the watch. This is the place often looked at first.

It may not seem like it, but color of the metals matters too. Although yellow gold and white have previously been top sellers, rose gold is now in high demand. In fact, some companies have even started investing more in this color than traditional colors. Deutsch believes color coordination, once something women were known to do, is now becoming popular among men’s watches because it adds to a sleek and professional look.

“I get customers who want to wear watches that match their wedding band or a bracelet. So, if they’re wearing rose gold, everything is rose gold. People coordinate. You’re starting to see men do that,” he says.

The truth is, the technology and trends of today will ultimately become obsolete but sixty years from now, Deutsch sees watches retaining their value. The tradition of passing watches along to family members is important to Deutsch. “I’ve got my grandfather’s watch that he wore and he gave it to my dad and now my dad has given it to me. It’s a third generation and looks brand new. Nice watches will last you forever and you can always pass them down.”  Tag Heuer seems to have the right idea; they recently came out with the first ever luxury smart watch. When asked about how they justified the $1,500 asking price, they said that when the technology is outdated, they will replace the inside of the watch, making it mechanical.   

It may be tough to decide the appropriate age to start wearing an expensive watch because it can be broken or lost, but no matter what kind of watch, they will always be useful in school, daily life, and especially in a professional environment.  “When you put a nice watch on your wrist, there’s nothing better,” Deutsch says.