A timepiece in yesterday’s Telegraph:
Gender classifications have become ‘redundant, restrictive and outdated’
Time could soon be up for gendered watches after a leading retailer declared it was abandoning the sale of men and ladies pieces.
Watchfinder & Co said it will now sell watches as small, medium or large as gender classifications had become “redundant, restrictive and outdated”. The firm is believed to be the first to ditch men’s and women’s sales categories from its website.
Celebrities are also banishing “obsolete” stereotypes with the likes of Jay-Z, Kanye West and Victoria Beckham regularly seen wearing watches originally labelled for the opposite sex.
Analysis found other manufacturers have made men’s watches smaller and women’s watches larger – but haven’t ditched gender stereotypes altogether.
The move follows a trend among celebrities for subverting stereotypes and wearing watches originally designed for the opposite sex.
While many rappers may traditionally have been associated with large, statement watches, West is now regularly spotted wearing a small – but very valuable – 22mm Cartier Crash.
Meanwhile, Jay-Z is known to favour a 27mm Jaeger Reverso Duo and Harry Styles often sports a 32mm Rolex Precision. All of these watches would traditionally be considered “women’s sizes”.
It appears that women are also increasingly moving towards larger watches.
Victoria Beckham is often seen wearing a 40mm Rolex Daytona, Rosie Huntington-Whitely a 40mm Patek Philippe Nautilus and Charlize Theron a huge – and incredibly thick – 44mm Rolex Deepsea divers watch, which can withstand depths of up to 12,800ft below sea level.
Analysis found that, despite a reluctance to completely ditch traditional gender classifications, many watch manufacturers are increasingly catering to this trend.
Rolex – perhaps the most iconic watch brand on the planet – has recently enlarged its 26mm “lady” Datejust to 28mm and taken its Ladies’ Pearlmaster up 10mm from 29mm to 39mm – a dimension which would traditionally have been considered a man’s size.
The trend works both ways with Tudor – owned by Rolex – recently launching a smaller 39mm version of its “men’s” Black Bay divers watch. Meanwhile, IWC launched a 36mm version of its classic Pilot watch.
Matt Bowling, co-founder of Watchfinder & Co said: “We feel that categorising a watch as either men’s or women’s is now both redundant, restrictive and outdated.
“Everyone should be able to choose whatever style they want, without being dictated as to whether it is suitable for their gender or not.
“With a large proportion of men’s watches getting smaller and women’s watches getting bigger, we feel that gender categories are now obsolete.”
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