My general rule for guys is not all that different than for girls: at least one leather-band watch, one metal-link watch, and one silicone- or nylon-strapped watch (for sports/outdoors). Add on some fun watches for weekends, and you're basically covered.
Another way to think about it comes from my brother Derrick:
i find it funny that we both have a “two watch” recommendation — only, rather than band material, i separate mine by color palette. coincidentally, my “black/greys” watch (fossil; gift from a wonderful sister and brother-in-law) has a metal band, and my “browns” watch (ted baker; $60, giltman.com) has a leather band.
Like sister, like brother. In practice, not all that different. Use whichever philosophy you can more easily identify with.
But where to start when watch shopping? It depends on your style and your budget. I recommend starting at stores that you already shop at...they are more likely to have something close to your style. If your favorite stores don't carry watches, check out stores with similar aesthetics. Another good place to start are specialty watch retailers. For those on a budget (aka you don't want to go to a jeweler), I like Fossil and Nixon, although you may also want to check out industry standbys Swatch and Timex.
Some things to consider:
- Shape: Round and rectangle (both vertical and horizontal) are the most classic shapes.
- Numbers: Do you like roman numerals, 1, 2, 3s, or just plain markers? Are you good as estimating when only 12, 3, 6, and 9 are marked, or do you need every number? It differs for everyone. Digital or analog? It's a personal preference, although I do think analog watches look better for the office.
- Features: Do you use the chronograph or day/time features on your watch? Even if you don't use the chronograph, could you explain what it does if someone asks? "It looks cool" is not an impressive answer. Do you need your watch to be able to illuminate in the dark?
- Size: This is more often than not determined based on trial and error. Is the watch face and/or band too large for your wrist proportionally? Too small? Your watch should not be so large that the face covers your entire wrist from top to bottom (looking at it like you're reading your watch), but it shouldn't be too dainty, either.
- Color: Color can be bold or used as an accent (on hands and numbers). Generally, keep color minimal and tasteful for work watches. Go as crazy as you want for your weekends.
- Fit: I've never had this problem, but I imagine guys do--make sure the links on your watch don't pull out your arm hair. I don't know if this has more to do with the link style or the length of your arm hairs, but I do know that if it's not comfortable or too painful to wear, then you're probably not going to wear it (the exception being shoes). Don't waste your money.
Some work options I like for guys:
So there you go. The possibilities of casual and sport watches out there are endless, so I'll let you guys make your own choices with those, but these are some good places to start for work watches.
Any other guy watch advice from any guys or gals out there?