If you want to go broke while looking foolish, subscribe to your typical men’s magazine and follow their watch advice. One headline will proclaim “this season is all about red!” Within six months, throw out that red faced watch and replace it with the fall “blackout” version. Oh, and while some of these selections are around 150 bones, others are roughly the price of a used Subaru.

Fortunately, there’s a better way to shop for watches, and that’s to look at fashion AND function.

THE IMPORTANCE OF LOOKING GOOD (AT THE WRIST)

You don’t want your left arm looking like a dollar store special. As Robert Louis Stevenson of “Treasure Island” fame once said, “everybody makes a living selling something.” First impressions matter, whether you’re a shop teacher or a CEO, your timepiece is one of the first things someone is likely to notice after meeting you.

It’s human nature to look for social cues that lead to small talk, but most of us can’t just wear the ball cap of our favorite team or the t-shirt from a memorable concert on a daily basis. But even if you’re buttoned down in business attire, the Smith & Wesson Pilot’s Watch is a great way to look like a million bucks while also giving those who love the outdoors a sign that you have common ground.

Not putting on a sport coat each day? Try pairing a classic one of these two Military Watch with a minimalist or stylized face with dress casual (you can always swap out the three available straps to keep a consistent look with your wardrobe for the day). Or, go bold and rock the bright orange Trooper, sure to stand out whether you’re coaching little league or spending a day out on the water.

The best part is, that unlike the watches designed to impress the Manhattan dwelling, brunch reservation set, Smith & Wesson has created a watch line that works well with what you’re wearing and, well, works. Bang your watch against the side of a canoe? No biggie. Get engine grease on the rubber strap? Grab a paper towel and wipe it down, good as new.

 

 

THE NEED FOR ANALOG (IN A DIGITAL WORLD)

 

While the world has debated the $1,000+ iPhone X, a new trend has quietly emerged. Flip phones are back. Really. It’s not a trend based on price. There are plenty of cheap-to-free smartphone flooding the market.

Rather than trying to hang onto dollars, it’s about hanging onto brain cells. Georgetown Computer Science professor Cal Newport literally wrote the book on avoiding distraction, and cautions us that smart phones make us less math genius, more mental meth addict.

“Once your brain has become accustomed to on-demand distraction, Nass discovered, it’s hard to shake the addiction even when you want to concentrate. To put this more concretely: If every moment of potential boredom in your life—say, having to wait five minutes in line or sit alone in a restaurant until a friend arrives—is relieved with a quick glance at your smartphone, then your brain has likely been rewired to a point where, like the “mental wrecks” in Nass’s research, it’s not ready for deep work—even if you regularly schedule time to practice this concentration.”
― Cal NewportDeep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

Of course, no one is saying that the solution is to return to the horse and buggy days, but there’s a strong case to be made for less tech on your person, more of the time.

If you think you’re distracted now, up that distraction level 5x by throwing in a smart watch that buzzes every time ESPN updates about a trade rumor. Distraction steals moments from every work and personal relationship that matters, and watches that beep and buzz are just one more thing to take our minds away from the people and tasks that matter.

If you’ve watched any WWII movies, there’s often a moment before the big mission where the squad syncs up their analog timepieces to ensure accurate battlefield maneuvers. Technology has a place in our lives. But that technology becomes a liability rather than a benefit when it starts frying out your brain.

Which means analog is still the best solution after all these years. It tells you how long you legally have left in the deer stand and when you have to be at your next meeting, without throwing a distraction your way that takes you out of the moment.

Stop pulling your phone out of your pocket every few minutes to check the time. Grab a Smith & Wesson Watch today. You’ll look good, stay focused and can trust your timepiece to handle anything you throw at it, board room to bass boat.