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Editorial - The Return of the Party Watch

Editorial The Return of the Party Watch

What to wear to your end-of-year office festivities

My dear WorldTempus family, brace yourselves. It’s back. The year-end office Christmas party, an opportunity to cut loose and see a different side of your colleagues, but also an event rife with potential hazards. What if you end up stuck next to the guy who never stops talking about (and trying to sell you) his horrible homemade craft beer? What if you have a few too many glasses of bubbly and accidentally address your supervisor by the secret nickname you and your work bestie came up with? What if the office gossip overhears you complaining about the catering? What if you misread the dress code and turn up in a dinosaur costume while everyone else is in cute little cocktail outfits? What if you decide not to attend and are then stuck doing all the work the next morning while the others nurse their hangovers, play online Sudoku and make loud comments about “antisocial people with no team spirit”? It’s a social minefield, cherished readers. While we can’t really help you with the aforementioned office-party pitfalls, there is one thing we feel officially qualified to guide you on — how to pick the right watch for such occasions. Whatever faux pas you may commit at the annual corporate knees-up, horological errors of judgement will definitely not be one of them.

Rule #1 — Nothing too flashy or obviously expensive-looking

While this isn’t a concern on regular work days, office parties tend to be environments where sleeves get rolled up and hands get waved in the air (especially when the head of marketing’s teenage son who makes pocket money being a part-time DJ plays the gold standard of feel-good team anthems, Queen’s We Are The Champions). In other words, what you’re wearing on your wrist suddenly becomes about 50 times more visible than usual. A discreet Patek Philippe Calatrava or Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle might pass unobserved, but that full rose-gold (case and bracelet) chronograph with diamond-set bezel should probably stay at home. In general, avoid watches that might induce your boss to think he’s overpaying you or that you don’t need your job.

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Calatrava and Traditionnelle © Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin


Rule #2 — Clear and legible dials, please

Don’t be the person caught checking the time when everyone’s having a blast. We get it. There are babysitters to relieve, long commutes to get home, and (unless your office party is on a Friday) there’s still a ton of work to be crunched out tomorrow. You might get away with a discreet glance at your wrist at a regular work dinner, held in a well-lit restaurant, but light can be low and intermittent at office parties and extended squinting and reduced eye–watch distance is usually needed to discern the time. All things considered, you can either pull out your phone under the pretense of taking festive photos of your fellow revellers, or wear a watch with large, clear and bright dial markings. A pilot’s watch, like the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch, would work beautifully, or a dive watch such as the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe.

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Grande Montre d'Aviateur and Fifty Fathoms Bathyscape © IWC Schaffhausen and Blancpain

Rule #3 — Only the fittest survive

Writers and satirists far more gifted than I have already drawn analogies between the corporate world and the kill-or-be-killed jungle biome, so I won’t attempt to do so myself. What I shall do, however, is warn against bringing delicate horological creations to the notoriously strenuous environment known as the year-end office party. Ultra-thin flying tourbillons probably aren’t built for hours of disco dancing fueled by nervous energy and beer.

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Seamaster 300 © Omega

And the minute repeater should probably remain in the safe as well; imagine trying to hear the chime over the thumping basslines of Another One Bites the Dust. Very unwise, like wearing Christian Louboutins to Coachella. Wear something in steel or titanium, wear something built for high levels of activity, wear something like an Omega Seamaster 300 or a Chopard Alpine Eagle. At the end of the evening, you may find yourself on the very brink of survival, but at least you know your watch will still be in top form.

The Return of the Party Watch

Alpine Eagle © Chopard

Rule #4 — Strap in and buckle up

I don’t want to make it sound like office parties are nothing more than debauched, alcohol-drenched saturnalias, but if you’re going to be dancing, drinking and throwing your arms around colleagues you’ve barely spoken to all year and sentimentally declaring how much you appreciate them, let’s ensure that your watch stays safely and comfortably on your wrist throughout. A leather strap or regular metal bracelet can feel unpleasantly clammy after you’ve torn up the dancefloor a little too energetically to an ABBA extended DJ megamix (or maybe that same activity has caused your drink to repeatedly slosh over your wrist).

The Return of the Party Watch

Superocean Heritage © Breitling


A mesh bracelet is your best friend in this situation, like the one on the Breitling Superocean Heritage. For extra security, a NATO-style strap system, like you’ll see on the new DOXA Army, is literally designed for combat situations, and nothing less than full-scale office-party Armageddon will cause the watch’s unintended separation from your wrist.

The Return of the Party Watch

Army © Doxa

Rule #5 — Make the smart choice

You’re surrounded by co-workers but nowhere near your workstation, which can be a disorienting kind of situation. And the end of the year is fast approaching, an anxious time in terms of renewing accounts, meeting sales targets, and signing that one last business deal that’ll put you in prime position for promotion next year. You don’t want to miss any important messages because you’re too busy serenading your team members with your very best rendition of The Backstreet Boys’ classic I Want It That Way at the karaoke bar downtown, so how about a smartwatch set up to receive email notifications so you can continue killing it at work even as you massacre your colleagues’ eardrums?

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Summit 2+ © Montblanc

Additionally, the Hublot Big Bang e has a feature that helps you find your phone if you forget where you left your coat. With the Montblanc Summit 2+, you can even make calls without having your phone on you (something I’m sure we’ve all wished we could do in unfortunate times of phone loss or battery death whilst on a night out).

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Big Bang e © Hublot





Lecture 1 Comment(s)

24 December 2022
Stephane Tencer
Bel édito, plein d'humour et sympa pour les fêtes! Joyeuses fêtes

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