“What fashion flourish is shared by Justin Bieber, Fidel Castro, Princess Diana and Drake?” Alex Williams asks at nytimes.com. “If you guessed ‘double-wristing,’ the totally gratuitous but weirdly enduring practice of wearing two wristwatches at once, you’re possibly guilty of the extraneous practice yourself.” Gratuitous? Extraneous? Fabulous I say! Guilty? Well yes . . .
Although it sounds like a disgusting sex act, I sometimes double wrist. Once you become accustomed to an Apple Watch’s convenience, fun and health benefits, it’s hard to not wear one. Just as it’s hard not to wear a cherished traditional watch. Doubling-up solves that [totally first world] problem.
Mr. Williams understands that dynamic, but wanders off into the dubious if historical two-time zone justification for double wristing.
Diego Maradona, the Argentine soccer luminary, reportedly wears two watches (often a big-ticket Rolex and Hublot) when traveling: he sets one to his native time zone, the other to local time.
It’s the same reason cited by Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf. During the Gulf War, he set a Rolex on his left wrist to Saudi Arabian time and the Seiko on his right to Washington time.
Likewise Fidel Castro, during his 1963 visit to the Soviet Union to meet Nikita S. Khrushchev, accessorized his fatigues with two Rolexes, which some observers believe were set to Havana and Moscow time.
That was then, this is now. Today we have GMT and digital watches, smart phones and smart watches. All of which can tell a celebrity the time on the island of Yap, should they stop yapping long enough to listen. Anyway, props to the well-heeled NYT writer for acknowledging double wristing’s dark side.
I’m not talking about issues of consent. I’m talking about celebs – especially ones who are still alive – who wear two watches on the same wrist. Two timepieces banging-up against each other? Now that is perverse. Not according to Mr. Williams: “No matter how elegant or wired the timepieces in question, it is a rebel move.”
Oh yeah, double wristing celebrities and watch nerds are rebels (it’s what made Hunter S. Thompson such a dangerous subversive). The style police will be along any moment now. Meanwhile, Mr. Williams reckons a [literal] arms race amongst watch-wearing celebrities is fueling the double wristing phenomena.
Some Generation Z celebrities are taking the plunge, too. Billie Eilish, the teenage troubadour, has flashed two gold watches on the same wrist, upping the stakes in the rebel rocker tradition of wrist candy forged by bracelet-loving music artists like Keith Richards and Lil Wayne.
In a sense, double-wristing speaks to the rising status of watches. Celebrity collectors like John Mayer, Ellen DeGeneres and LeBron James have made the five- or six-figure watch de rigueur on the red carpet, to the point where other celebrities feel the need to wear two statement watches to get noticed.
Rest assured that it’s only a matter of time before a celebrity shows up on the red carpet wearing not one million dollar Richard Mille watch, but two. After that, two on one wrist, one on the other. Two on each wrist? The mind boggles.
The watch industry celebrates. But even if 25 percent of watch wearers double-wrist, it won’t make up for the declining market for traditional watches. (Swiss watch sales could tick to lowest level since 1984) Last days of the Swiss empire? I’m doubly sure.