20.07.2022 - Uncategorized

Why Do People Really Wear Watches?

Humans have always been interested in tracking time. The oldest time tracking methods date back to 3500 BCE when people in Egypt and Mesopotamia used Sundials to keep track of time using the sun. Over time our reasons for wearing watches have changed, as watches have come to serve different purposes – from signifying social status to tracking our health

We decided to put this theory to the test and ask the public why they wear a watch. These were the results:

Expert Insight: What Did You Think Of The Survey Results As A Luxury Watch Expert?

“I think the outcome of the survey is very interesting and quite telling of our society today. I expected the proportion of people wearing their watches purely for fashion purposes to be much higher, but it’s quite refreshing to see that the majority of people asked simply wear their watch for its actual purpose – to tell the time! This goes to show that whilst fashion does have a role to play in the decision to wear a watch, functionality is still the overarching important factor.”

– Nicholas Hickey, Managing Director, Luxe Watches

Almost Two Thirds Just Want To Know The Time

63.5% Of UK watch wearers just want to know when it’s time to go home from work. It makes sense that more people would choose functionality over fashion, but the ratio was never this skewed. Over time our work life has become a lot more fast-paced. We see this very clearly in the design of everything from buildings to smartphones. We think more about how functional something is over how it looks and watches are no different. 

Expert Insight: Why Do You Think The Majority Of People Just Care About Telling The Time?

“Telling the time is one of the most important things you can do in life! Our whole lives revolve around time, and so having the ability to glance at your wrist and check the time is extremely convenient and important!”
I think the majority of people saying they wear a watch to tell the time suggests that the functionality is the most important aspect,  and the exact choice of design, material or complications comes as a secondary factor that someone might make to suit their taste or personality.

– Nicholas Hickey, Managing Director, Luxe Watches

What Other Reasons Do People Wear Watches?

One In Seven Outfits Are Not Complete Without A Timepiece

When we look at the other reasons people wear watches, we find that fashion is the 2nd most popular choice. This makes perfect sense considering the difference accessories can make to any outfit. 

When we compared men and women in our survey, we found that 60% of men valued the fashion aspect of watches versus only 40% of women.

Expert Insight: Do You Think Watches Add Much To Outfits?

“I absolutely believe a watch adds a lot to an outfit. A person’s choice of watch says a lot about their personality; do they choose a refined, polished professional watch or a rough-and-ready, hardwearing sports watch?”
“Every watch has its own personality and tells its own story, so having the ability to choose a watch to finish off an outfit can allow someone to individually express themselves. A sports watch can be dressed up in many ways; adding a touch of class to a suit or adding some functionality to a sporting activity. Take the Rolex Daytona 116500LN for example, the watch definitely does not look out of place on the wrist of a successful businessman in the hustle and bustle of the city, but also could serve a purpose to a racing driver using the chronograph functionality to time their laps – the decision on how to use a watch is down to the wearer which I believe can add a beautiful accent to any outfit.”

– Nicholas Hickey, Managing Director, Luxe Watches

One in Nine People Choose Fitness Over Fashion

We were also glad to see that people still value fashion over fitness. There’s no denying that smart watches have taken the world by storm primarily due to their health and exercise features, but their main downside is still that they look like a tiny screen tapped to your wrist.

When we compared men and women in our survey, we found that 52% of men valued the fashion aspect of watches versus only 48% of women.

One In Ten Brush Their Teeth, Eat Breakfast and Put on A Watch

We found that around 10% just wear watches every day because it’s part of their everyday look. Some people (Including ourselves) don’t feel comfortable without a watch. Whether it ties their outfit together or because they love the look and feel of a watch on their wrist the outcome is the same. You step out into the world every day with a watch.

When we compared men and women in our survey, we found that 53% of men wore watches out of habit versus only 47% of women.

Only One In Fifty Wear Watches For Sentimental Value

We were very surprised to find that only 1.7% of people wear watches due to some sentimental connection to the watch. Are people losing their love for gifting watches or do people keep their sentimental watches safe somewhere to avoid damaging them? We’ll never know for sure, but all we know is that watches are still getting inherited and gifted every day to people that will cherish them forever.

When we compared men and women in our survey, we found that 53% of men wear watches for sentimental value versus only 47% of women.

One In One Hundred People Flex Their Watches

Many celebrities love showing off their jewel-encrusted watches online, but this is not an indication of the watch community as a whole. Watch owners and collectors wear watches because they love watches and not because they want to socially signal to others that they are wealthy. This is shown in the data as less than 2% of respondents chose this as the reason they wear a watch.

When we compared men and women in our survey, we found that 53% of men wear watches to signal social status versus only 47% of women.

Expert Insight: Do You Think People Use Watches To Signal Social Status? 

It’s a difficult question to answer – there’s no doubt that a watch can signal a person’s wealth. However, whether people decide to use a watch as a signal of wealth I’m unsure. The more someone earns, the wider their options become in the luxury watch market allowing them to express themselves with more exotic or complicated timepieces. I think generally speaking a watch is an accessory and is not used to signal social status, instead, a luxury watch is a beautiful feat of horology that serves a purpose to the wearer and provides them with a sense of achievement!

– Nicholas Hickey, Managing Director, Luxe Watches

Why Do You Wear A Watch? More Importantly, Does It Matter?

Whatever your reason is for wearing your timepiece every day, whether you want to take your outfit to the next level or you just want to tell the time, it does not make a huge difference. At the end of the day, this makes you a proud watch wearer and that’s what’s really important. 

Expert Insight: What Do Luxury Watches Represent To You?

To me, luxury watches represent technical excellence and beautiful craftsmanship. Every watch from £1 to 1M has the ability to tell the time, however with luxury swiss watches, you are purchasing a timepiece backed by years of research, refinement and technological improvements. A luxury watch can be representative of personal taste and achievement, made ever the more enjoyable by knowing you are getting some of the finest watchmaking in your timepiece that the world has to offer. 

– Nicholas Hickey, Managing Director, Luxe Watches


We surveyed 1000 randomly selected UK citizens using Google Surveys to ask them what their main reason for wearing a watch was.