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Finding Luxury in the Details: Oversized Watches Set a New Trend in Fashion and Functionality

Oversized wrist watches are quickly emerging to the forefront of men’s and women’s fashions in the U.S. and abroad. Watch sales declined in 2008 and 2009, even in Europe, the hub of designer fashion. 2010, however, has revealed through the World Economic Reports, a shift –the U.S. and Asian economic markets are slowly but steadily recovering. The return of the wrist watch has ushered in new designs –the oversized wrist watch style that accommodates both men and women. The oversized style which is found in cuff watch straps, large timepiece faces and oversized digital displays offer a day to night look that is office, date and leisure appropriate. The oversized wrist watch trend offers recession-shy consumers with fashion and functionality, and an accessory that transforms wardrobes and replaces the now passé cell phone time keeping.
The 2010 consumer is far more sophisticated than of decades past. Fine design and a good advertising campaign no longer secure big sales. The new consumer has three categories that guide their shopping –environmental or eco friendly designs and initiatives, recession friendly prices, and functionality. In terms of business, many brands, especially premier designer and luxury brands, survive economic downswings due to accessory sales. To offer luxury and style in small details is valuable to consumers who may not want to purchase an entire ensemble in order to add variety to their wardrobe. Hermes and Louis Vuitton have their totes and handbags, Gucci and Prada their footwear, Michael Kors and Hugo Boss have their wrist watches –luxury accessories that can be worn to work or out long-lasting materials and styles are what consumers flock to when the “outfit” of their choice is just in the budget. Wrist watches specifically attract consumers because it is not a frivolous purchase –instead of a blingy accessory, an oversized wristwatch offers fashion and functionality. The movement toward functionality is humble, and affluent consumers feel comfort in a big purchase if the piece is timeless and useful beyond that of a conversation piece. For the consumer on a lower budget the oversized wrist watch is both a piece of jewelry and a necessary addition that adds a chic and professional air to the wardrobe. The fashion watch is justifiable, and consumers will go out of their budget to secure a timepiece that is reliable, empowering and striking.
With the job market being so competitive, it is not uncommon that the difference between a job and not when the qualifications are so similar is the presentation. Time keeping, date telling and reminders on the cell phone are unprofessional –almost sophomoric. A dynamic timepiece is a fantastic demonstration of professionalism and personal style.
For women the masculinity of an oversized wrist watch is empowering and stylish. Rachel Zoe, Nicole Richie, Hillary Duff, Gisele Bundchen, among many Hollywood Starlets are stepping out with cuff watch straps: fashion watches with oversized faces or large watch bands. This look makes the wrists and outfit comparatively more feminine. The contrast adds flare and functionality. Men also wear these styles with comfort as a thinner watch band may not be as masculine or striking as an oversized detail to the accessory.

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