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Why Even Cinderella Would Rate Style Above Performance When Shopping For A Watch Today

By Michael Hayles

It has often been argued that if Cinderella had possessed a reliable wristwatch, she would have known when her time at the ball was up and would have escaped the catastrophe that greeted her on the stroke of midnight.

However, despite this critical need to get as accurate an account of the time as possible, if you found her shopping for a watch at your local mall today, it's almost certain that the mechanical accuracy of the watch she was looking for would play second fiddle to its appearance.

The fact is (and this may well have been the case even in Cinderella's day) most people place style above performance when it comes down to that final buying decision. We all want to look good and the vast majority of shoppers tend to buy something that is at least in tune with the fashion trends of the day, even if they do not regard themselves as a slave to it.

There is a certain kudos attached to having a reputation for looking fashionable, but with fashions changing so quickly in accordance with the latest trends dictated by the fashion houses, there is now an even stronger case for developing an individual style that transcends and outlives these trends.

How this style is achieved and the extent to which it "works depends largely on the the taste and eye of the individual. My meandering among theatergoers and folk who frequent horse race meetings, has meant that I have been fortunate enough to know a good many stylish dressers - and I am married to one of the best. All important is the colour co-ordination and cut of the various layers of clothing, the correct match of footwear, hats and gloves, together with the right balance of jewellery and make-up, where this is appropriate. However, the pivotal factor common to all stylish dressers, is undoubtedly finding and wearing the right combination of attire - and more than ever this includes the timepiece we carry around with us.

With the advent of the quartz crystal watch, came an affordable reliability that moved the focus away from accuracy towards appearance and features. Those of us who still recall the days of the leather strapped, hand-wound wristwatch will find the task of choosing a suitable watch for a son or daughter a far more daunting task than was the case with our own parents. Take a look through any Sunday supplement or retail catalogue and you'll see what I mean.

Of course, this is the mark of progress and we should all embrace the freedom that an ever widening choice offers us. But it does increase the the time it takes to choose that all important gift and with it, the possibility of getting it wrong. We are all prone to seek out the watch we would once have liked to receive ourselves, but this can be a recipe for disaster when we are actually trying to make the right choice for a teenager obsessed with skateboarding and drum and bass.

Despite the fact that my love of watches has caused me to buy more than the average number over the years, I have come seriously unstuck from time to time when choosing a watch for someone else. So last Christmas, I cornered an acquaintance, who has been in the watch and clock business for more than 50 years, and asked him to draw up a list of what people ought to consider when choosing a watch for someone else (or themselves for that matter). The report that was hammered out from this can be found at the link below.

Copyright 2005 Michael Hayles

About The Author
Michael Hayles is a playwright and song lyricist with a passion for horse racing. A self-confessed spendaholic when 'in the money', he is considered something of a fanatic where watches are concerned.


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