The Conversation: Readers Respond To Cara Barrett’s Inaugural Column

The Conversation: Readers Respond To Cara Barrett’s Inaugural Column

On Tuesday, we published Cara Barrett’s essay All Watches Should Be Unisex – And Here’s Why, the first installment of her monthly column. We published this piece in hopes of starting a conversation, and start one we did – with 400+ comments on the article and counting. Robust, healthy conversation is what makes this community so great.

Today, we’d like to highlight some of your thoughtful responses:

“It is often said ‘you can tell a lot about someone from the watch they wear’, it could also be said ‘you can tell a lot about someone by how they judge another based on their watch.’ On another note, if you look at the websites of NOMOS, Grand Seiko and Oris they seem to have eliminated gender categories.” – AndrewReedMiller

“As wristwatches were invented for women, one could argue that we’re all wearing women’s watches.” Its_Tricky

“It cuts the other way too. My dad, who has become interested in watches because of me, loves smaller watches. He’s a big burly dude with giant wrists, but smaller watches just feel more comfortable for him. He recently bought a vintage dress watch for himself which has become his favorite watch because of how thin and comfortable it is to wear. When he went to get a new strap for it, he was bummed because ‘it turns out it’s a woman’s watch.’ I tried to reassure him that it’s not a ‘woman’s’ watch, it’s just a watch and if he loves it, who cares, but those messages – that some watches are for some people and not others – are powerful. Had the watch been listed as a woman’s watch, I’m not sure he would have bought it.” – kclockha

Cartier

The Panthère de Cartier, worn by men and women when first introduced in 1983. You can read more here.

“…Some of my favorite talking watches were with Moki Martin and David Williams. These are men who had incredible, emotional stories tied to their watches, yet the watches themselves weren’t categorically on par with a mortgage. I agree that watches should be unisex. Because not only is a watch about craftsmanship, it is about the love someone put into making in. The love someone had wearing it. The stories that encapsulate the piece itself. THAT is what makes a watch worth wearing. That is what makes a watch worth talking about. That is what makes it a great investment.”JillianKnox 

“I worry that ‘gender neutral’ would devolve into masculine as default. A woman wearing a ‘man’s’ watch is seen as a sign of empowerment, serious watch collecting, good taste, or being ‘not like other girls’ (though I don’t think that’s what you’re saying Cara!). A man wearing a ‘woman’s’ watch is more likely to receive ridicule than praise…” – Stl

“…I am an active and busy mom of two littles that needs something that is bold and fun! Plus, (don’t shoot me for saying this) ‘women’s’ watches don’t hold their value like ‘men’s’ watches (typically). If I have the opportunity to buy something that is a pretty sound investment versus something that drops 50%, I’m going to to choose the sound investment. Next on my list is a Panerai Luminor 44mm. I’m sure I will get lots of comments on that as well.” Watchlady

Panerai

Why not, right?

“From a man with skinny wrists, thank you. Would love to see some more unisex sizes and labelling.” jarredgg

Many commenters pointed out that gender divisions in the watch world often function as de facto size divisions, so marketing watches by size would be an elegant solution to the problem Cara identifies. Others noted that the most popular watch in the world – the Apple Watch – is already gender neutral, and always has been. Perhaps a sign of things to come. 

Finally, aquanaut suggested that, in turn, Jack, Ben, or James should do A Week on the Wrist about a jewelry watch like the Bulgari Serpenti. To which we say, don’t threaten us with a good time. 😉

HODINKEE

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