Timely Update…

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…to Men’s Fashion

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again because it is really one of the few absolute rules that men should keep in mind when we try to put together our wardrobes. For men, in the West, functionally is fashionable. This is true even in the modern day, when, thankfully, technology and social developments means most of us don’t have to actually work in the fields or fight in wars. That’s because of male icons – the people society points to as symbols of the ideal man and subtly trains aspiring men to emulate – are still, largely, warriors, and technical professionals, and workers. They’re Tom Cruise in the most wearable leather jacket you’ve ever seen, or Hugh Laurie with a cane, blazer, and relaxed jeans, or Cesar Chavez.

This fashion function equation is why, for almost all of the twentieth century, wrist watches were an indispensable accessory of the well-dressed man. They were one of the few ways a man could keep to his schedule. This remained true up until the invention of the smartphone, creating a shift in the watch’s role as time keeper. Of course, Patek Philippe and Hublot would always have a market. Even fifty years ago they had already migrated from the world of functionality to the world of pure ornamentation and were freed up – as status symbols – to design watches for the sake of beauty. But, extravagance on that level is reserved for a small percentage of men. The majority of us want a watch which looks good without being built to look good, and which executes one, simple job so well that it gives them a breath of fresh air this crazy hectic world of parallel processing and cascading demands.

It’s really not an easy demand to meet. But, if any company is making a go at it, it’s Niall Timepieces. Their cool pursuit of minimalist aesthetics and precision Swiss engineering have earned them the title of America’s #1 Watch Manufacturer. By the way, I’m not the first writer to call them that, which really speaks to how evident their craftsmanship, customer service, and awareness of the times are.

I’ll take a little extra time to talk about that awareness because I think Niall plays off it in a really interesting- double-sided kind of way. For one, they don’t mind making a whole series of watches to commemorate a single event. Now, I don’t mean the kinds of events that other watch companies use as excuses to make limited edition timepieces – like the Queen’s fiftieth anniversary or something. I mean, well, they built a custom watch for the manager of the Kansas City Royals just because MLB banned his favorite Apple Watch from the dugout. I’m a pretty devout Mets fan, and even I think the thirty piece limited edition release – to commemorate each year between the Royals win in 1985 and 2015 – is a really nice touch. Because, you know, it shows that the people running Niall care about the things most of us care about – you know, like sports, and going all in, and looking your best no matter what the world throws at you.

I mean, of course, everything they built is engineered to laser-calibrated, sixty-five hour precision or whatever. It’s perfect machinery, I’m sure. I’m just not focusing on that because, honestly, at this point, it’s kind of a given that a good watch does that. But the other thing about being aware of the times, which really makes Niall stand out to me is their commitment to others. In a minute you’re going to finish reading this and go over to their website – www.niallluxury.com – and read all about all the charitable projects they’ve been a part of, and how they make sure that everything is made in America, by well paid, well cared for workers. I mean, any company who does that, in a time of such great inequality and labor exploitation, they’re really doing something, you know. They really have a function. They’re really pretty fashionable.