There’s that famous Andy Warhol quote about his Cartier Tank watch. When asked why he never wound it, he replied that he wore a Tank not to tell the time but because it was simply the watch to wear. Well, what if you got rid of that question altogether and wore a watch for style that also ticked steadily along with minimal effort? Therein lies the beauty of quartz watches.
If you ask big time watch lovers, though, there’s a chance their favoured timepiece comes with complex mechanical movements and not with a battery. Because, there is a case to be made for the massive wonders of human ingenuity contained within teeny tiny parts in metal cases no larger than your wrist.
That got me thinking about how we choose what watches to buy and wear today. The fact is watches are no longer, strictly speaking, merely utilitarian. Yes, the timekeeping function holds up – they get even more ambitious every year, in fact. But what I adore is the idea of a watch as a style statement; a quest for sublime form over mere function.
And quartz watches are a space where you can really find that. When the priority isn’t awe-inspiring technicality, there’s lots of room to think about aesthetics and design (an equally complex consideration!). Plus, getting batteries replaced are a lot less work.
Here are some quartz watches that I’ve found truly beautiful.