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How to Wear Bejewelled Watches, Casually

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It could be said that there are two schools of thought regarding personal style, each with their own salient points. First, there’s the belief that fashion and style must adhere to certain rules and standards—that how you style yourself must always be “flattering”—depending on your particular physical attributes, career, age, the situation you find yourself in, and other criteria. Then, there’s the second way of approaching dressing, which states that a person can and should wear whatever they want as a means of self-expression, no matter how flattering (or unflattering) a look it might be.

The watch world itself is no stranger to these warring beliefs, with rules dictating what you can and can’t wear. Interestingly, one such rule—namely the wearing of formal, bejewelled timepieces—remains a constant point of debate, equally steeped in tradition and rebellion. A watch decked out in precious stones and luxurious metals finds its place in both the formal ballroom and the urban-inspired hip-hop video—but rarely in between.

While we appreciate the structure provided centuries-old rules, as well as love the freedom afforded by breaking all of them, we think there’s a lot to be gained by being somewhere in the middle. You will, in a sense, be getting the best of both worlds, and maximizing your (watch) wardrobe.

Here, a few tips for how you can save your fine pieces of horology from languishing in your collection by integrating them into your everyday life.

#1: Consider the Silhouette

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Is your style more about voluminous materials, embellishments, and details? Or does your sense of aesthetics lean more toward the minimal, the subdued, and the tailored? The bejewelled piece you consider, then, ideally adheres in some way to your wardrobe’s underlying themes. A structured, embellished sports piece—an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, for example— would pair very nicely with a more casual, minimalist outfit like jeans and a tee, while a feminine piece like the Breguet Secret De La Reine would make more sense with a crisp white button down and a voluminous tea-length skirt.

#2: Think About the Materials

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Always consider how your statement timepiece will play off your ensemble’s textures, colors, and (if applicable), prints: pavé and nacre might not lend themselves to a multitude of prints, and in the same way, rainbow gems would pop when worn against more subdued neutrals. Worn casually, however, this is the time to play with and mix your metals, so feel free to throw on some yellow gold jewels to contrast against a steel- and pink gold piece.

#3: Play With Scale

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While we’re all for “go big or go home,” we applaud a mastery of juxtaposing big, statement pieces with a simpler foundation, and in the reverse, intricate, delicate pieces piled on alongside oversize clothing. It’s always more visually interesting not to overwhelm the eye.

#4: Go With What’s Comfortable

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Truthfully, it boils down to a cliché: wear what makes you comfortable. Wear what makes you feel most confident, and wear what’s most beautiful to you. Who cares if you throw on a bejeweled Chopard Imperiale with a pair of your oldest jeans, sneaks, and a slouchy sweater if that’s what makes you feel your best? That feeling, at the end of the day, is all that matters.

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