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WorldTempus Newsletter
Editorial - Watches for tender hearts and macho men

Editorial Watches for tender hearts and macho men

Who is buying the watch as a Valentine’s Day gift?

The build-up towards Valentine’s Day is always a difficult time at WorldTempus. Not because we are all single and in search of love, but because we never know when to publish our selection of Valentine’s Day watches. Do we wait, like the well-prepared lover, to surprise you with the perfect selection on the day itself? Or should we offer a selection a few days before, to cater for the gentleman who, as the cliché goes, buys everything at the last minute? As a compromise, we are doing both, so we start the week with a selection of Valentine’s watches from Cloé Mugny. I will be back on the day itself with an unusual selection of men’s watches.

"Valentine’s Day is the day when you remember that Cupid was a lousy shot." Milton Berle

The Swiss watch industry is only too happy to play up to such stereotypes, with its communication around Valentine’s Day largely skewed towards ladies’ watches. I don’t recall seeing any promotion this year for a gent’s watch for Valentine’s Day. TAG Heuer should be lauded for bringing equality into its specially curated selection for men and women, but the approach raises a couple of important questions:

Who is buying the watch as a Valentine’s Day gift?
Is it the man in the relationship, the woman, or both? For me, Valentine’s Day has always comprised an element of surprise, whether it’s a single red rose whipped out from behind the back or a surprise romantic weekend away. Ah, finally, there’s the word: romantic! This requires either a little bit of planning and thought or complete spontaneity. If a man is buying a watch for his lover, is he really just looking for a smaller version of a man’s watch, as TAG Heuer is offering us? And if the woman is buying, is she, by the same token, just looking for a scaled-up version of what she has on her wrist? Of course not! I know my wife’s taste in watches and she knows mine. It would be as ridiculous of me to expect her to wear a ladies’ size of my diver’s watch as it would for her to expect me to wear a larger, more masculine version of what she has on her wrist. So why do watch brands think that we would? 

Elsewhere on the site today you can read an interview with Peter Stas, CEO of Frédérique Constant, who bemoans the Swiss watch industry’s attitude to smart watches, suggesting that it needs to be careful. Whether it’s about smart watches, e-commerce or Valentine’s Day, the reproach seems familiar: the industry is all too often caught playing catch up. But there is hope! Head over to Google and search for “Valentine’s Day watches”. Depending on your search preferences and the country in which you are using Google, on the first page of results, among the usual red-themed watches for ladies you will find an article touting Valentine’s Day watches for men. Unfortunately for watch brands it’s a news website and it’s three years out of date. By the end of this week, there should be at least one more topical article in these search results.