There is only one universe where complications are considered a positive attribute and that is fine watchmaking. In other areas of consumer spending, making things easier, quicker and less complicated is what you expect. Skeleton backs, tourbillons, minute repeaters, and chronograph are all terms that are touted with pride by the brands at the Geneva watch fair called SIHH. Brands like; Panarai, Cartier, Van Cleef and Arpels, IWC and Montblanc are among the elite group showing their latest achievements and they speak about watches with a unequaled passion. They should since one of these can set your bank account back by the tens of thousands. But in their defense, they are handed down from father to son.
The mechanical watch is one of the few accessories that men can flaunt. Women have their handbags and shoes and men have watches and cars. No longer just a keeper of time, a watch of this calibre symbolizes slowing down, noticing tiny details and appreciating the skill of generations of men who look through their jewelers loop for hours tinkering with miniscule metal parts. It is a symbol of wealth, and sophistication for the men who wear them. For women, watches are about the diamonds and how they look. Men want to know how they work.
I have the privilege of attending this elegant event on behalf of Travel and Leisure magazine. And I see some pretty fancy watches. Some in the $300,000 range. Here are some snippets of my trip which has taught me to slow down and take notice of small things in life and on wrists.