“I admit, my first watch was a Fossil….”
Lyrics from Kanye West’s “See Me Now,” and also one of the most harmful sentiments out there for men who want to dress stylishly on the cheap. A self-proclaimed fashion icon, Kanye is implying there’s something wrong with owning a Fossil brand watch, and while I wouldn’t go about claiming it’s the best brand out there, I have to disagree with the mentality. Sure, the high-end watches boast incredible designs at ridiculous prices, but a guy with good fashion sense can easily find some wrist wear to complement outfits and general style—without spending more than it takes to buy that first Fossil.
This is particularly true of late, as some more casual watch looks have taken over popular collections. Men simply seem to have more options now than even a few years ago, perhaps as watch designers look to sportier styles as a means of competing with the growing influence of “smart” watches in the market. But there are numerous ways in which the shift is manifesting itself.
One such way is the prevalence of colour in men’s watches. This is clearly apparent in Lyst’s seasonal collection of pieces, and it caters perfectly to the idea of matching a watch to an outfit. This isn’t to suggest that watch bands are coming in all the colours of the rainbow, but rather that through straps, different metals, and most interestingly watch faces, colour is becoming more important than brand recognition or flashy design. This is a great trend for guys who like to keep it on the frugal side.
Another way that men’s watches are trending a little less expensive is through the increasing popularity of material straps (as opposed to metallic bracelets). Sports Betting Dime pointed to leather as the biggest trend in men’s watches for 2015, and it’s certainly fair to suggest leather has a distinct advantage over metal for the time being. However, while often not as pricey, leather watches can still be quite expensive—the real steal is in the idea of material overall. Silicone and nylon bands, for instance, are very popular these days and often cost a fraction of their metallic counterparts.
Finally, there’s something to be said for watches trending on the smaller side these days. Smaller doesn’t always mean a lower price tag, but it is sometimes easier to find a more casual option that isn’t oversized. Also, large casual watches tend to look a bit like toys, whereas a smaller one can blend more effectively. And considering this, as well as the prevalence of colour and material straps, there are really a lot of popular options right now for affordable men’s watches.