When I was down London this weekend meeting up with some of my WatchCrunch besties I had the pleasure of popping into the Watchpro event and seeing some Enoksen watches in the metal and was really taken with their design and ethos.
Yesterday, on my train home, I got on their website to have a mooch around their other offerings and inexplicably fell for the Fly type B, which I didn't actually get see at Watchpro.
I truly can't explain why I love this watch so much, because previously if you had shown me anything similar my response would have been....
.... I'm usually an applied indices, sunburst dial, sword hands kinda person, but watches can continually suprise us, and so I find myself lusting for this one. At £350 it should be a done deal. The problem? It would be HUGE. 46mm excluding the crown, 49.7mm with the crown and a lug to lug of 55mm... It was.... upsetting news when I discovered it's dimensions....
I had to get to thinking about how I could make it work. Now if someone asks on here "Is this watch too big for my wrist?" I am absolutely the first person to be saying "Wear what you love!", but with my tiny sub-6 inch wrist there is a question of comfort and practicality when I'm trying to wear something so big I could eat my dinner off it. I basically need a bigger wrist and one way of doing that would be to wear the watch over clothing.
Yep... I can guess your reactions right now....
In the great iceberg of "How to wear a watch" wearing one over the cuff is pretty dark territory.
I have NEVER seen someone wearing a watch over clothing on here unless it's been for sports related reasons (G-Shock over your coat when you're out cycling) so I needed to look elsewhere for social proof that it was actually 'a thing'.
Google lead me straight to this guy....
.... Gianni Agnelli, a.k.a. the 'Rake of the Riviera' was the owner of Juventus football club, a billionaire industrialist, principal shareholder of Fiat and an Italian senator in his life time, and one of his quirks was wearing a watch over the cuff.
(Great article about this here, where I got my photos: https://revolutionwatch.com/gianni-agnelli-over-the-cuff/)
Although this is the first guy you come across when when you look up "Watch over sleeves" he wasn't the first to be wearing watches this way. While reading about Gianni I came across the writer and poet Jean Cocteau who apparently used to do the same.
He was an ambulance driver in the Red Cross during the Great War and is said to have worn his watch over his sleeve in homage to the soldiers returning from the trenches, though I can't find any pictures of him doing this.
After learning about Jean I started to look through old pictures from WW1 to see how watches were actually worn in the field. (It was actually quite moving looking through the photos)
There seemed to be a mixture of over and under cuff wearing. I imagine most over-the-cuff wearing was through necessity, such as pilots.
Reading about how watches were used in the first world war and how this changed the perception of wrist watches from a ladies accessory to a symbol of pride for men was fascinating, but there are much more knowledgeable people than I on this forum who are better qualified to cover the subject, so I shall leave that to them.
(If you have time to spare then I found this was a great and very detailed article on trench watches: https://www.vintagewatchstraps.com/trenchwatches.php)
So back to over-the-cuff watch wearing...
Apparently when soldiers returned from the war those who had developed the habit of wearing their watch over their cuff continued this on in civilian life, and it also had a practical use as it would keep the cuffs of your Sunday best shirt in good condition as the watch case would be rubbing against them if it was worn underneath. Again I can't find any pictures of men wearing watches over their cuffs in the post-war years, so not sure if this is true.
So there endeth the mini-history lesson. Please support me on patreon 😆
After all that I've decided to leave the Fly B watch for now and go with the more modest 39mm type A dial, probably in brown (which looks much nicer than in the pictures), but it was a lot of fun going down the research rabbit hole of watch wearing and I adore looking through old photographs.
Well done if you made it to the end of my ramblings, wear your watches in good health friends and let me know your thoughts and experiences on over-the-cuff wearing... I'm thinking 'alternative ways of watch wearing' should definitely be a WC challenge theme at some point 😁