A Guy's Guide to Watches

A Guy's Guide to Watches

10 things to consider when buying that first watch

There comes a time in every guy’s life where it feels like something is missing on his wrist. After watching dad wear a watch for as long as you can remember, you have come to the realization where it’s time to start wearing one yourself. Whether you’re inheriting your great-grandfather’s classic timepiece or investing in a brand-new sport watch that has more features than you can count (oh, and it’s waterproof to 1,000 feet and can tell you the surf in Hawaii), here are 10 things to keep in mind when buying a watch.

1. Sport vs. lifestyle

This decision might be the most important of all. Think about how often you’ll be wearing your watch. Where will you be? Who will be around? Please never buy an expensive sport watch and wear it to a job interview, you’ll look ridiculous. My recommendation is to find a watch that can be dressed up or down and looks right in 90 percent of scenarios. This goes a little back to the leather vs. metal debate. Also, consider the style of the features. Are the hours presented as numbers or numerals? Numbers are generally less formal. Avoid crazy fonts or styles, you’re better off being conservative.

2. Color of watch face

This choice is critical. For you first watch, you’re best off getting a watch with a white face. Why? Easy. White goes with everything, it’s clean. You can’t go wrong. If you’re straying from white, a light tan or khaki is a decent substitute and will give a more classic presentation. Only buy a black-face watch if the band is black. Navy is probably the only other color you should consider, but it is much more fashion-forward. Stick with white for now and buy that one a few years down the line.

3. Band type

The key here is versatility. Your options here will be leather, metal, grosgrain (think sturdy fabric), metal and rubber. First, leather is a great option, it’s classic and timeless and can still be contemporary with the right watch face. The oils from your skin will naturally wear in the leather as you wear it, which adds character to the watch. Metal watches are also immensely popular and communicate power. They’re flashy, so if that’s what you’re looking for, go for it. Grosgrain should only be worn during summer; save this for a future purchase. Stay away from rubber. It’s cheap and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a watch where it looks good.

4. Band color

Another critical choice, although this one is a little more open to your preferences. If you're going with leather, brown and black are your options in most cases. Brown goes with nearly everything, while a black watch is a great second watch to complement that brown one. Gold, silver, black and rose gold are the most common colors you’ll find if you're buying a metal watch. Stick with gold for a more traditional look. Silver is more contemporary and generally matches with a bit more than a gold watch will. See previous note for comments on a black watch. Then there’s rose gold. It takes a special person to pull this off – it’s usually a color saved for women’s watches. Stick with gold or silver for you first one and go from there.

5. Special features

Right in line with 1., beware of investing in a watch that has features you will never use. Do you really care about what time it is in Dubai or phases of the moon? Water-resistance is definitely something to consider. Generally, you won’t need to know much beyond the time itself, the day of the week and the day of the month.

6. Number of hands

This consideration is fairly minor. Essentially the watch will either have a second hand or it won’t. The difference is subtle. A watch with hands only telling the hour and minute are considered more formal than one which includes a second hand. Unless you’re looking for an extremely formal watch, don’t worry about this too much, although it does bear consideration.

7. Brand

This is one topic that actually bothers me a decent amount. Sperry’s are great shoes. Ralph Lauren makes nice oxford shirts, polos, etc. Would you go to Microsoft to buy a microwave? Stick with brands that are dedicated to watches, they will almost always be higher quality. Don’t be that guy that strictly wears Vineyard Vines or Ralph Lauren, from his clothes down to watch. Keep Citizen, Bulova, Seiko and Skagen in mind.

8. Price

Far and away the most subjective point on this list. If you have 10 g’s to blow on a watch, go for it, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Truthfully, you can probably find a watch to meet your needs for as low as $40-50 if that’s your budget. I would stick within the range of $125-400. Anything less and you’re sacrificing some quality, any higher and you’re probably buying more watch than you need. Don’t hesitate about spending $200-300 on a watch you wear day in and day out. If you treat it right, it will last for years. When you think about it that way, $20-30 a year for a watch that easily lasts 10+ years doesn’t sound so bad.

9. Do you

Unlike some other parts of fashion and style where the rules are a little more rigid, your watch is just that – yours. This list is meant to give a good starting point for things you should at least be aware of when buying that first piece of ice to put on your wrist. If you really love that lime-green sport watch, do you and buy it. The key here is confidence. Rock it and wear it proudly.

10. Where to buy your watch

Think you’re ready to buy one now? Macy’s has an excellent collection hitting almost everything on this list. Don’t be afraid to shop around and take your time. I honestly went through every single watch on Macy’s website (3,500+ options) before I narrowed it to around 25 before slowly eliminating other options to the point where I found the one (shown above). Brown leather, gold metal, white face. Citizen is known for its quality and it’s an eco-drive so I’ll never need to replace the battery. It doesn’t tell me anything more than I need it to, and I can dress it up or down. Also check out Fossil, Kohl’s and brand-specific websites to check out your options.

PS: If you have an iPhone and like the idea of an Apple watch, do it. It screams class but might be a little too tech-oriented for some.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.prowatches.org/5-amazing-seiko-watches/

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.

It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Class Size May Matter, But Accountability Matters More

If students take the time to think, they will realize their own potential.

When it comes to the topic of education, decisions are often made, but not quite acted upon. On the left, we have advocates that look to fund the educational system in hope of bettering the kids’ futures. On the right, education is addressed with a degree of leniency, paired with more of an advocacy for occupational programs and trade schools.

One of the more frequently debated matters regarding education, more specifically K-12, is classroom size. For many schools, a lack of funding has caused many teachers to quit; consequentially, with less teachers, more students, inevitably, have to cram into the same classroom. The student-teacher ratio, in some schools, has gone beyond 30:1. In some cases, the overcrowding issue for a classroom is so profound that a student doesn’t have his or her own desk to sit in.

Due to this notice of classroom size increase, in correlation with declining academic performance, a considerable majority of education reformers believe that the classroom size increase is more of causation. The only issue with this argument, however, is that for a contributing factor to constitute causation, it must be the sole reason that another variable must occur. With correlation, however, there are multiple variables (more than two) that can occur within a specific time span. These variables could potentially influence one another’s behavior, but never fully dictate the outcome.

What the common argument fails to account for is accountability itself. Accountability is not something that is taught in the classroom, nor should it be. This is a crucial part to a child’s success, both in the classroom, and in real life. A perfect example of this is within a lecture hall. In a lecture hall, you could have upwards of more than 150 students in the same room, listening to and meticulously noting all of the essential details to a professor’s lecture. It is up to the student to learn the material with the tools they are given, not the teacher to hold their hand through the class.

The only responsibility of any teacher or instructor is to provide the appropriate materials and knowhow for the student to guide themselves. This prepares the student for more rigorous learning material and tasks, resulting in more favorable opportunities, both scholastic and occupational.

For the teacher to implement the right tools, however, requires that the student can and will hold themselves accountable for their success in the course. Such accountability falls back on the basis of good parenting. As education has shifted, the blame of failure for a student in a class also shifted.

The shift has taken place from the student losing their privileges and extracurricular activities, to the teacher potentially losing their job (which is especially daunting with the threat of new teachers not obtaining tenure). With the latter portion of the Millennial Generation, along with Generation Z, parents bearing excessive leniency and overall apathy have made for a widespread mindset that fails to take responsibility for itself.

It’s time for parents to be accountable for their kids, and for the kids to be accountable for their own success. A system is only as useful as those that utilize it.

Cover Image Credit: Tra Nguyen

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