I used to think there wasn’t a watch I wouldn’t wear. I mean for a week or so, like on a dare. There are tons of watches I wouldn’t buy or choose. There’s a narrower category: watches I couldn’t stand to have on my wrist. These are the watches I would never wear . . .
Stupid Watches: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921
I prefer to call this “the stupid crooked dial watch.” That is my entire objection. This watch doesn’t know which way is up.
“Oh but it’s so you can tell time with your hand on the steering wheel! So historic, so unique, so I really hope people will think I’m interesting!” Blah blah blah. That might have made sense for a dozen people a century ago. None of this matters anymore. If you want to be a pretend olde-timey bon vivant, get a crank-start daily driver and get back to me, or STFU.
Every modern car has a clock or two on the dashboard. Vacheron customers surely don’t have jalopies requiring two hands on the wheel at all times. This whole premise seems bogus. I don’t know in what magical placement this works anyway.
For normal back-of-wrist wear, the face is always pointing away. Unless maybe you put your hand right at 12 o’clock so an airbag can make you punch yourself in the face in a collision. I broke my teeth with my cockeyed watch, which also broke my wrist. Jolly good motoring! So dapper!
This is an R&D prototype that should be a novelty on a museum display somewhere. But suckers drool over it. I want a watch that can make me tell time, not make me feel drunk and stupid.
Crazy Watches: Cartier Crash
My objections are simple. I don’t like disorienting watches that make time telling harder than necessary. They infuriate me as much as unlikely backstories. The alleged inspiration for the Cartier Crash is morbid: pretend that some guy was immolated in a vehicular crash. Also pretend that his watch softened up and somehow took a psychedelic shape, dial and all.
This is another novelty watch for the bored rich who buy the morbid explanation and/or can’t get The Wizard of Oz wicked witch death scene out of their head. I’m melting! Of course, the Crash is perfect modern art; one can’t appreciate it on its own. It needs some lengthy explanation.
I have nothing against Cartier, but they are trading on their name here. If not for their haute horology rep, the Crash watch would be called out as tacky gimmick. Which it is. As a Cartier though, it’s “eccentric.”
Konstantin Chaykin Joker
I’m not easily creeped out, but this lazy/crazy-eyed Twilight Zone reject is pure nightmare fuel. It’s surely possessed by demons and cackles at you, urging murders and suicide, until the wearer goes insane and tries in vain to destroy it. It’s also terribly tasteless, gimmicky, hard to read and disturbingly ugly.
Did I say Joker? It turns out that there is an entire Wristmons collection of variations on this theme. Surely Wristmons is a portmanteau of wrist and demons. Luckily these are outrageously expensive and in the hands of mega-rich supervillains, so I won’t need to drown one in holy water.
Ugly Watches: OMEGA Ploprof 1200M
I’m pretty sure that Ploprof is a portmanteau for “professor of plop” where plop refers to excretion. Just kidding, it’s for plongeur professionnel, Francais for “(Invicta) Pro Diver.” The important thing: this OMEGA is a profoundly ugly watch that’s also hideously large.
Was there a contest to make a crown guard magnitudes less elegant than those on Panerai? I understand that, supposedly, divers are always bopping their watches on rocks and stuff. This is the same reason that rotating bezels are uni-directional. This in no way means I’ll be seen with a destro crown on some asymmetric trapezoidal hump. Capped off by being hung up on with a miniature phone handset.
There’s also a colored button on the right, looking like a remote bomb detonator from the movies. Presumably somebody found a shirt cuff big enough to hide the horror of the crown, so this was necessary to maintain the hunchback fugly factor.
Obviously is has a purpose, and that is . . . I’ll be right back . . . locking the bezel. Well, for some reason it’s a bidirectional bezel. So you have to push the button to move it.
Anyway, it makes the Ploprof look like a cigarette lighter. The helium escape valve, or HEV if you’re on friendly terms, opposite this button looks like a butane fill valve, completing the look. Where does the flame come out?
I’ll qualify this by saying that I’d wear the OMEGA Ploprof underwater. Why anyone would wear one out of water is a mystery for the ages.
I’d have announced my criteria beforehand, had I known what they were. It turns out that pretension, illegibility and very, very questionable aesthetics are the hallmarks. Despite some of these watches being whimsical or outrageous or whatever, they are all joyless to me.
This is why I couldn’t include a Panerai or some giant G-SHOCK. Those are comical, but in a way that has some joy to it. Well, Panerai probably takes themselves seriously, but they’re a joke to me. I could wear one as a goof. Same with any number of bottom rung abominations. They can be laughed off in a way that a five figure watch cannot.
With metaphysical certitude, someone reading will feel that I’ve attacked a watch that they love, love, love. Hey, it’s subjective. On a long enough timeline, every watch I love will get listed as unwearable by a commenter. I don’t care. This is a selfish hobby. It’s about me, not you! But go ahead, list the watches you would never voluntarily wear. More importantly, tell me why.