First Date Watch: Which One?

All the women on match.com claim they want a man with integrity, stability and a sense of humor. Do they? The women in my search are 45-years-old and up. Clearly, in their previous love life, they opted for attraction factors that have nothing to do with The Big Three. Which makes selecting a watch for the first date a bit of a conundrum. With that in mind, I’ve got some tips for for a first date watch, starting with which watches to avoid like the proverbial plague . . .

Smart Watch on a First Date? Hell No! 

Cartier Apple Watch - not a good first date watch

The vast majority of this website’s readers are traditional watch wearers. The chances that they’d wear a smart watch as a first date watch – or ever – are lower than a snake’s abdomen. But it bears mentioning: a smart watch on a date fails at the first hurdle. No woman wants to play second fiddle to your online life. She wants your full attention.

Some people think that wearing a smart watch on your first date tells her (note: I’m using ye olde hetrosexual template for this article) that you’re an important person. Connected! These people are narcissistic idiots. You’re not one of them, right? So remember to switch off your phone when meeting up and let’s move on.

Gold Watch on a First Date – Dumb!

Lyndon Johnson Rolex President

You might think that wearing a watch that proclaims your financial security is a good idea; women want to know that their perspective partner isn’t a player or grifter. You and I know that plenty of men who wear gold, diamond-encrusted and gold diamond encrusted watches are in debt up to their eyeballs. Regardless, yes, some women will be impressed by a glinting gold Rolex.

These are not the kind of women with whom you want to have a relationship. Fun, maybe. Relationship? No. While it’s perfectly natural for a woman to want a financial secure male and five-star fun, and she will ask about your job with an eye to your net worth and earning potential, life is full of twists and turns. Any woman who puts money at the top of her list is a woman who’ll walk should the wolf knock at your door.

Cheap Watch – Nope!

Timex Easy Reader on wrist - too cheap to be a good first date watch

I respect our man Klosoff’s predilection for inexpensive watches. At its core, traditional watch wearing is about wristing a machine that tells the time. Any watch with an analogue face that isn’t horrifically ugly, wildly inaccurate or or shoddily constructed gets the TTAW seal of approval. Timex Easy Reader? Bring it on! Just don’t bring it to your first date. Sure, your potential partner probably isn’t going to notice your cheap watch. But they might.

I know: arguing against a cheap watch seems to contradict the above stricture against gold watches. Plenty of billionaires and highly influential people wear a watch that snobs would call a disposable timepiece. But a first date would know this leviathans’ status before they sat down to a tomahawk (or paleo somethingorother), and you don’t want to come off as a penny pincher. Unless you’re a big wheel or couldn’t give a damn, an obviously cheap watch sends a bad signal.

Sports/Dive Watch – Meh

Breitling in hand stop!

There’s financial fitness and fitness fitness. It would be a very special/old woman who’d want to be with a man who groans and stoops as he gets out of his chair. But the whole “I’m a sporty fit AF guy because I have a sporty/dive watch” idea is a bit, well, obvious. It’s like wearing athleisure clothes to prove you go to the gym.

Don’t get me wrong: you may be a sporty guy and live at the gym. But wearing a sporty/dive watch to prove you’re an action man puts too much emphasis on that aspect of your life. Not to put too fine a point on it, this genre of watch indicates that you care more about your image than your substance. It’s the horological equivalent of posting a profile pic with your shirt off.

Vintage First Date Watch – Maybe?

Glashutte Original Alfred Helwig Tourbillon 1920 Limited Edition caseback

Unless you’re using Redbar to find your soul mate, I doubt your first date will recognize your vintage watch for what it is. And that’s fine. Wearing a vintage watch on a date is relaxing, reassuring experience. It helps you put your life in a larger context, reminding you that you’re looking for long lasting quality (assuming your are). I’m all for it.

The danger: you rabbit on about your treasured timepiece. Yes, you want a woman who supports or at least tolerates your watch thing. But let’s face it: watches are far from fascinating for [most] females. Watch her eyes glaze over as you discuss the history of the Valjoux 7750. See how she forces herself to look interested as she examines the fiddly metal bits through a transparent caseback (even if the watch has a tourbillon). Just sayin’.

Dress Watch – The Right First Date Watch!

Rolex alternative - Bell & Ross BR V1-92

Some say the slim three-handed dress watch is an endangered species. That will come as a surprise to Patek Philippe. While their $25k “entry level” white gold Calatrava is beyond the average watch enthusiast’s means, you can afford a nice dress watch – a timepiece that tells your date you appreciate quintessence (“the most perfect or typical example of a quality or class”) in all things.

Even though I don’t condone oxycodone abuse, I fully admit I’m an oxymoron. The way I see it, the best first date watch calls attention to itself by not calling attention to itself. It’s the same philosophy some men apply to suits: wear one that makes an impression of quality and class then disappears from the observer’s consciousness, so they focus on you. Not your suit.

In short, the first date watch shouldn’t be about your watch. It should be a watch that doesn’t distract your date. Said the man who’s been divorced twice.

30 comments

  1. Always go cheap watch on a first date, that way you know if she’s materialistic or not. It’s funny how quick that crap comes out.

  2. There is cheap and then there is cheap. Casio World Timer? No. Timex Easy Reader on a James Bond Nato? That could work, if worn with the right outfit.

    1. Women are suckers for those colorful bands. They draw compliments like crazy. Battered Casio chrono or Easy Reader, if it’s on a striped band with a little pop to it, you’ll hear “nice watch” or something like that.

      I’d have to say hell no to digital anything. They are rarely pretty and the average person thinks digital is both cheap and unstylish. The more a small boy would like it, the more it should be avoided.

      1. Totally non-scientific observation; I’ve been laid more not wearing a watch post date than I have wearing one.

  3. If you have some inherited watch, or anything else unobjectionable with a story, that. The last first fate I ever had I wore a 90’s vintage cheap Mickey Mouse watch that probably falls into the dress watch category. In the “something old, something new” vein, I think you can get away with a cheap watch if nothing else on you is a corroborating witness to boring frugality.

    She said nothing at the time, but when it stopped working a month later, she offered to pay to have it fixed. She admitted that she’d noticed it on date one and liked that it signified fun and not taking one’s self too seriously. It was irreparable, so I got an exact replacement. She still complains that I don’t wear it enough.

  4. It depends what one is looking for, but steel sports in 40-42MM is fairly reliable.

    A lot depends on the woman. With some women a Rolex is an invitation to be robbed or taken advantage of, with other women a Rolex is a sign you have had your shots and won’t steal their stuff.

  5. Probably nothing with a second hand. Of those pictured, the one-hander would make for a conversation piece. I’d opt for a Seiko solar on an expensive strap and spend the savings on nicer shoes. Even thinking about this makes me happy I’m not thinking about this.

      1. Right. For the majority I’m guessing it’s a phone or smart watch, so then the guy’s not seen as too threatening if he’s part of the bigger herd of people, at least in the beginning. Not very interesting of course, but at least he’s not cuckoo for cocoa puffs…until he breaks out grandpa’s pocket watch to show off.

        1. I agree with RF: a smart watch on a date fails at the first hurdle.

          If I’m being honest, I have a very prejudicial reaction (not in a good way) when I see a man wearing an Apple watch. I just do. It’s a man bun for your wrist. Skinny jeans or capri pants. All the same to me.

          1. Wish I could say the same, but the other day I had a guy show me what his Apple watch could do. It’s pretty impressive the non time keeping options and apps, emails, texts, phone calls, EKG’s, “quality” of sleep (ie paralyzed v movement), measurement of distances walked, etc etc. Poo poo all we want, but I’ve got nothing that can do all that, not to mention all that in a small package and reasonable price. The fact that it sits on the wrist and supplants a timepiece again points to the fact that telling the time with a wrist device is becoming anachronistic.

          2. Funny, you say that. I’m on Day 2 (1-1/2, really) of testing a brand new smart watch for review.

            Yes… the tech is impressive. Very impressive. But, it’s also VERY INTRUSIVE. That’s not to mention PLANNED obsolescence with these things.

            Without getting ahead of myself (on my evaluation), I believe I can still confidently say that my regular watches are NOT anachronistic. Rather, they are an enduring and useful tech that will literally never be obsolete.

            It doesn’t supplant a timepiece. Hardly. Rather it’s a redundant object on my wrist. But, yes… the tech is cool.

          3. You wear the capri pants just in the house, though, right??? 😉

  6. Match.com? How old is this dude? Ok, ok nevermind. He literally said, “first date”.

    Here’s a secret from the future, aka the present that has passed by the old folk. We don’t go on “dates”. Girls in their 20’s (aka reproductively relevant) couldn’t give a F what kind of watches we wear. They care about the same sh*t girls always cared. Which was never watches.

      1. “What about girls that are intellectually relevant?” They in particular do not need a man for money, and therefore don’t need to be “chaste” or whatever.

        It amazes me and puts a proper check on stereotypes how prudish and worried about “values” a tatted-up multiple hair color hairstylist worried about a man to support her can be, and how DTF a boring looking accountant set on making partner can be.

    1. I’m having trouble believing that young women would be unconcerned about a suitor (or is it ‘male caller’ now?) wearing, say, a Dwight Schrute calculator watch.

      It would be nice to read the perspective of a member of the youngs here. I can’t help, as I’m in the over forty crowd. Whippersnappers, please inquire to the electronic mail address below.

      1. I have no personal interest in women in their 20s, but from a future of watches perspective am curious what, if any, watch helps close with them.

        I’m guessing it may be a newer, nicer level Apple watch. It indicates a certain class level without the trying too hard that a steel sport watch from a $5,000 – $10,000 brand may demonstrate, at least for a guy in his 20s.

        1. As my article pointed out, I think a smart watch is the exact wrong way to go. But I fully accept the fact that my analysis was colored by my age. Part of telling the truth is being willing to accept that everything you know is wrong.

    2. I’m gonna ask my son too. I’m assuming he does the quasi equivalent of dating or hanging out or whatever the hell they do keeping their 6 feet space separation, that’s an awfully obtrusive condom though.

    3. Oh, was curious, what was “the same sh*t that the [reproductively relevant] girls always cared about”?

      1. I’m thinking money and physical fitness. And as they get older, more the former than the latter. Don’t ask me how I know.

        1. Got a good laugh cause it fits perfectly…as they become less reproductive and less relevant, money is king!

  7. I wore my Casio Duro on a date about 10 years ago. With the cheap rubber strap it came on. Saw her looking at it more than once. Shit you not, a few dates later she told me she “thought it was ,like, a Rolex or something”! I mean, is a dive watch, with a similar bezel to the Sub, but it quite clearly says CASIO and… doesnt exactly look expensive!

    My current wife says my 3 black divers, a cheap Heimdallr take on Seiko’s older ‘Turtle’ (an amazing deal and high quality, by the way), my Orient Ray (also great!), and my old Duro (now my rough work beater!)… “all look the exact same! Why would you want three of them?!”

    The vast majority of women seem to be clueless about watches. As in, “What do you mean it doesn’t have a battery?!” lol… My advice for a 1st date watch: If it looks nice, but not gaudy, go ahead, she probably won’t think about it much anyways!

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