Lee Ballentine

1. As a piece of jewelry. For a man in particular, the range of jewelry it is acceptable to wear is somewhat limited. A fine wristwatch is a handsome object, and can be used to demonstrate your taste and style.

2. As part of your resume. In some professions it is necessary to show success in a visible way. If you are a highly-paid consultant, the right watch can demonstrate to your clients that you are a person of gravitas. You might be tempted to think that a client would be unhappy knowing the fee she is paying you might be spent on an expensive accessory, suggesting someone more economical should be hired. Actually, the opposite is often true. The subliminal message of a fine watch is “you can have confidence in my professional opinions because you are paying a lot for them.”

3. As a statement that says “I do not consult a cellphone to determine the time as do college students and young professionals. Instead I believe time is important enough to justify a unique device to measure and manage it.”

4. As an investment. It may be possible to find, for instance, a fine used Patek Philipe wristwatch (perhaps a Calatrava) at an estate sale or at auction, and buy it for as little as $1,500, The same watch will change hands among collectors for $4,000 to $8,000 or more.

5. As an heirloom. I own several wristwatches that belonged to my father and grandfather, and I wear them from time to time to honor their memories.

6. To express or acknowledge a personal sentiment. A wristwatch can be a loving gift to or from your significant other. An appropriate inscription can be added to the back of the case upon purchase.

7. As a piece of history. A Rolex watch has been present at many of the most important events of the last 100+ years.

8. To refer to your profession. Someone in the yacht business might well wear a diving style watch, an athlete an event-timing watch, and an astronomer a watch that shows astronomical data like lunar phases. A physician might choose a watch with a sweep second hand to take the pulse of a someone when called upon to do so, say, when you are at the opera and have no medical equipment at hand.

9. As a prop, to suggest that time is short and an unproductive conversation should be cut short. A glance at your watch may be enough to suggest to someone of perception that “now is not a good time.”

10. As a test. To see whether the person you are dealing with is indeed a person of perception.

There are surely other good reasons . . . but oh my, look at the time!