By Nick Caruso
It can be difficult for men to navigate the jewelry and accessories world because it’s easy to get bogged down by what different pieces say about the wearer. (For instance, Harrison Ford has an earring, but then again so does Bruce Jenner.) Necklaces tend to be received as ostentatious and can get quite Elvis-y pretty fast (undoing more than two buttons should be saved for the beach). Beyond a wedding ring, any finger adornment is sometimes too noticeable, and for that reason difficult to pull off – sometimes literally. (If you find your rings are suddenly too snug it might be a good idea to lower your salt intake, fella.) Some bracelets have made a preppy comeback, and European men rock braided wrist adornment with aplomb (and, notably, with suits). There’s always one safe haven for men, though, and it too lies between the forearm and palm.
The wristwatch – forever a bastion of men’s style – is at the very least a functional timepiece. But it can also be leveraged as a serious fashion statement, and if you’re lucky can be willed to your progeny as a family heirloom. For two decades Denmark-based Skagen has produced myriad examples of simply functional, extra stylish watches that are also attractive enough to warrant will revisions.
Skagen watches exhibit two qualities that immediately catch the eye. For one, they are slimmer than you can imagine. In a world of chunky, oversized, and heavy men’s watches, Skagen’s offerings are not only a breath of fresh air, but by comparison they’re nearly as light as a breath of air. When I wear my Skagen sometimes I find that I’ve forgotten I’m wearing anything at all (on my wrist, thank you). Slender profiles allow these watches to slide effortlessly under a shirt cuff, and the trim mass keeps your wrist from tiring, which can be a problem if you’ve ever had one of those Big Ben wannabes strapped to your arm. The second notable, brand-wide calling card is simplicity: you’ll be hard-pressed to find a cleaner, more straightforward clock face than any of the pieces in the collection. Even multi-function watches and chronographs somehow avoid the clutter I’ve come to expect from super-capable watches.
There are several items of note in the current and upcoming Skagen catalog, and since it’s the time of year when we start thinking about bestowing each other with fancy and special gifts, it’s time to introduce some top-shelf picks for the man on your list. (Being the man on your own list is perfectly acceptable too.) Arguably, the best part of the entire Skagen line is that, despite the high-quality construction, supreme comfort, unique styles, and handsome aesthetics, almost every one of these watches will cost about the same as an iPod.
Of special note this season are the special edition Skagen watches designed by famed Japanese designer Hiromichi Konno. His designs combine Japanese and Danish minimalist styles with an elegance of form that is quite striking to behold. My favorite pick of the line is the rounded square-shaped unisex model. Each Konno piece features a bright yellow second hand, highlighted so that the wearer will be easily captivated by the passage of time.
I’m a sucker for unique materials, and the Ultra Slim Ceramic models are quite stunning. The ceramic pieces are available in white or black, feature a date window, and are paired with leather straps. Of course I’m also partial to the sporty Titanium watches with brightly colored rubber bands. (An orange and silver combo for me like the top image in this post, please – it’s inspired by vintage tachometers.) Other models that feature day of the week indicator windows are just as fetching as the ones before. I’m hardly hyperbolizing when I say you can’t go wrong with these watches. There’s something in the Skagen catalog for every wrist. See for yourself at http://www.skagen.com.