Spotting someone wearing two watches at once on each wrist may pique your curiosity, and this is understandable. Was it a bold fashion statement or utterly impractical? Were there legitimate benefits to offset the obvious drawbacks? Let’s explore the pros and cons of this unconventional timekeeping practice from the perspectives of style, function, and practicality.
Where Did The Practice of Wearing Two Timepieces Come From?
The action of wearing two timepieces has seen periodic revivals as a fashion statement among watch enthusiasts and iconoclasts. Historically, this trick can be associated with high-ranking military officers indicating rank via their elaborate wristwatches. One watch serves as the primary timekeeper while the other complements in appearance or offers alternate functions. Prominent examples include wearing a Rolex Submariner along with an Apple Watch. Or pairing a classy Breguet with a sporty G-Shock. But is cramming two wristwatches onto one wrist advisable or absurd?
Wearing Two Watches at Once – Pros & Cons
Pro: Making a Bold Fashion Statement
For watch collectors who view timepieces as wearable art, doubling down on wrist real estate is one way to express their passion. Much like stacking multiple bracelets or necklaces in an ensemble, wearing two watches instantly becomes a conversation starter and signals freedom from conventions. It also allows the wearing of a stunning heirloom watch or limited edition along with a beater watch. This means for rough duty without having to swap them on and off regularly.
Con: Clunky and Uncomfortable Over Time
Just as a stacked charm bracelet can get heavy and restrictive with too many baubles, wearing two watches inevitably feels clunky and crowded on the same wrist. The constant contact between cases and bracelets may lead to scratches and dings over time. Even slimmer gear still becomes uncomfortable during typing or lifting motions. These require solid wrist flexibility and range. This makes checking the time quickly more of a chore with either watch potentially blocked by the other’s case or band.
Pro: Handy for Tracking Multiple Time Zones When Traveling
Frequent travelers can certainly benefit from wearing a second watch synced to a different time zone. This eliminates having to reset watch 1 or perform math conversions to reference hometown time against the current location’s hours. A GMT complication serves a similar purpose. However, wearing two set watches avoids having to decode a third-hand indicator or rotating bezel while jet lagged. This utility-driven dual-watch scenario is likely the most practical justification.
Con: Prohibitive Costs to Maintain Multiple Quality Timepieces
Quality wristwatches have become recognized as vital accessories. But their acquisition and proper maintenance do require significant financial investment. Most collectors limit themselves to pieces they can afford to service properly. Simultaneously upkeeping two watches year after year effectively doubles these costs between new straps and bracelets, case polishing, gasket replacements, and movement calibrations. While certainly a #FirstWorldProblem, regularly replacing batteries or recharging smartwatches also becomes a duplicative nuisance.
Putting Together a Cohesive Double Wristwatch Look
For those tempted to try wearing two watches at once, whether on the same wrist or one per wrist, there are ways to pull off this unconventional look with intentional style.
Straps and Bands
Matching the watch straps or metal bands is the most important place to start. Identical or entirely contrasting materials can work equally well depending on the vibe you wish to project. Just ensure both are sized to properly fit your wrist(s) to prevent an overly loose or uncomfortably tight double watch pairing. Leather, stainless steel, and nylon watch bands tend to pair well with everyday looks. Combining a metal bracelet and a rubber sports band makes for an eye-catching yet functional statement.
Watch Case Shapes and Sizes
Circular and square (quadrate) watch cases often complement one another since their contrasting silhouettes complement each other aesthetically. But even two round cases can work when varying sufficiently in diameter – e.g., a 42mm diver style alongside a smaller 36mm field watch. The same principle applies if wearing one slender dress watch and one rugged oversized chronograph. If unsure, stick to a larger case on the dominant hand and a smaller case on the non-dominant wrist.
Dial Colors and Complications
While matching dial colors and materials (e.g., two black dials) allows the watch cases themselves to take center stage, strongly contrasting faces can also make an intriguing style statement. Just ensure legibility isn’t sacrificed if choosing wildly bright colors in close proximity. It also helps if complications don’t mirror each other to avoid a sense of redundancy between wrists. For example, pair a multi-hand pilot chronograph with a clean, no-date dress watch rather than two busy GMT timepieces.
Trying One Watch Per Wrist
The above principles apply whether combining two timepieces on the same wrist or distributing one piece on each. Going split wrist simply spaces out the weight distribution and collision risks between bands. It also prevents having to angle one wrist drastically to sneak a peek at the second watch. Just be cognizant of lug-to-lug lengths not drastically overflowing smaller wrists when separating watch pairings from forearm to forearm.
Upon reflection, wearing two wristwatches simultaneously can indeed work beautifully for specific circumstances. But for maximum comfort and practicality, one quality timepiece properly sized and positioned allows checking the time unencumbered while providing personal style and collectible joy. However, should the urge strike to experiment with the double watch look, give it a whirl and see if it ticks your boxes both structurally and aesthetically. Just brace yourself for the barrage of inevitable questions and comments!