Watch out! Your smart phone might be dumbing down your image

In our dress for success seminars, I’m surprised how many people, especially young guys, don’t wear a wrist watch. They feel their smart phones make watches redundant.  As your corporate image consultants, we beg to differ! In the business world, a wrist watch tells people more than the time.

Are watches old-school?

If you think watches are old-school, you may be losing valuable image points. You may even be sabotaging your career and chances of promotion.

Canadian corporate image consultants give 3 career reasons to wear a watch

Three smart dress for success reasons to wear a watch:

#1 –  A watch adds some business appropriate bling
In a professional man’s wardrobe there are not too many opportunities to show some stylish bling. The classic and classy amount of jewelry that men should wear in business is a ring, cufflinks with French cuffs and maybe a tie bar or a tie tack. A nice watch completes the look. Anything more and you start to look like Tony Soprano or Eminem.

#2 –  A watch makes a classy statement
Your choice of watch makes a subtle statement about your taste, good or bad, so choose your watch carefully. It should be good quality and expensive or at least look expensive. Digital watches don’t make the grade. (See below for our watch buying tips and advice)

#3 – A watch signals you’re all business, man
It can help you to reach the top, whether you are a man or a woman. Wearing a watch subconsciously signals that you are timely and thus pay attention to details. To old-school clients, bosses and decision makers, the lack of a watch indicates a casual or cavalier attitude towards time… and money.

Watch buying Tips and Advice

Tip 1 – You don’t have to buy a Rolex
But you should avoid cheap looking watches. I’ve got a classic stainless steel dive watch (not a Rolex or a fake Rolex). I like a classy looking diver’s watch because it is waterproof, unlike my iPhone. I don’t have to worry about getting it wet, and it never needs recharging.

Tip 2 – Metal is good
The watch body can be gold, silver or stainless steel (or a reasonable facsimile, your choice). However, the band must be leather or metal. (Not a plastic band or a plastic looking digital watch – no matter how many advanced nuclear math equations it can perform. That’s what your smart phone is for.)

Tip 3 – Treat them as a piece of jewelry
Have a couple of watches for formal and casual occasions. I’ve got my rugged dive watch and a couple of dress watches, a slim silver one with a round face and a fine two-toned metal watch with a square face. Like clothing – chunky is more casual and finer gauge is more formal.

Tip 4 – You don’t have to use it to tell time
Even if you check your iPhone for the time, wear a wrist watch anyway. You’ll look and feel classier and decision-makers will notice.

Learn how to avoid other image and etiquette mistakes at one of our public Finishing School for Professionals seminars

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Posted by Terry Pithers – the Canadian corporate image consultant and smart iPhone user and watch wearer

About the author 

Terry Pithers

Canadian speaker, humorist and business etiquette expert. If you are interested in booking me for a presentation, keynote or workshop, contact me. Based in Calgary / Edmonton, Alberta in western Canada.

  1. I am 26, male and own four mechanical watches. Two are mid range swiss made. All are nice, and I enjoy wearing them. I dont understand the negative stigma of people in my age group wearing one, its considerd an old person thing according to the Internet. I really dont care what people think when they see me wearing one. I have read that watches dont impress women. That is false, I have has sevreal atractive women notice and give me complements on my watches.

  2. Thrilled to hear we’ve inspired you to wear your watch! Has it become a habit yet or are you inclined to want to sneak a peek at your I phone forgetting that you’re wearing the watch?

  3. Hi

    I just wanted to let you know that I actually implemented this recent blog tips and started wearing my watch again.

    I had not been wearing my watch for a good 4-5 years as like your blog stated, I was relying on my iPhone for the time. Now that I have had my watch cleaned and spiffed up, I feel more polished and professional. I can leave my phone in my purse out of the way and truly focus on the person(s) in front of me. Thank you for the tip!

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