In Fashion: Watching the Actual Clock

Posted at 5:00 AM Jul 24, 2009

By Kathleen Willcox

Can you recall those halcyon days when you didn't need to consult a device (aka your trusty Me!phone/Crackberry) outfitted with a computer that's bigger than the one used in Apollo 11 just to find out what time it was?

These strange, superannuated things known as "time pieces," or "watches," to the layperson, have gone the way of the 10-pound "portable" phone. It's time to bring them back, damn it! I'm sick of casting about my 12-gallon linen bag to figure out what friggin' time it is.

As luck would have it, there are several hot new watches on the market - and a burgeoning movement to bring this simple, fun and, yes, officially retro, accessory back.

My favorites:

Old School Meets New Cool:

This over-sized watch face (pictured above) with a slim, ladylike snake-skin strap is perfect for the on-the-go funster with downtown style and arty sensibilities. The face of the watch is dominated by psychedelic Dali-esque gold numbers, but the conservative, vaguely spinsterish strap brings it back to terra firma. $24 at Urban Outfitters.

Sex Pistols Meet Pez:

Fun, funky and Pepto-pink with a bubble-gum dash of danger, this Normal Watch is the apotheosis of the kind of Joan Jett and the Heartbreakers/The Donna's silliness/faux socio-political commentary (the watchface reads: "I WANT CANDY," the innocuous desire resting coolly on the barrel of a large black gun) that I seek out when strapping plastic things to my wrists. $19.99 on Amazon.

Swatches for the New Millenium:

Ah, Swatches. Those were the days. The Toy Watch Jelly Collection brings the fun back with a plasteramic face secured with a matching silicone strap. The faces are removable and interchangeable. Just think of the wacky color-combo possibilities! Create your own here. Warning: the creativity, at $175, doesn't come cheap.

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