What to watch in watches

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 14, 2006

He jogged for miles beside your bike when you were learning to ride. He was a one-man cheering section at all your games. This Father’s Day, you want to thank Dad for all the special times you shared with a classic gift that he’ll use and enjoy for years. A quality timepiece really is the gift that keeps on giving.

Whether Dad is a serious collector, or a more utilitarian kind of guy, you can find a watch to suit his lifestyle and your budget. Today’s watchmakers are emphasizing sophistication, functionality and innovation that appeal to a broad spectrum of consumers. With a little planning, creativity and education, you can give a watch that will be treasured – and worn – for decades.

&uot;Your first step should be to consider how the watch will be used,&uot; advises Jim Skelton, ShopNBC’s resident watch expert and on-air host of the shopping network’s watch shows. &uot;Is the watch intended to enhance an existing collection? Or will the recipient be wearing it on a daily basis? Does he like a look that pushes the envelope? Or is he a more traditional guy?&uot;

Next educate yourself on what’s available. Designers are employing a variety of high-tech materials and modern enhancements to achieve some very updated looks. Ceramic, tungsten, titanium, rubber and polymers are all showing up in watch cases and bands.

The use of ceramic is particularly popular right now.

Ceramic provides a very highly polished modern look while offering the wearer a lightweight timepiece with a virtually scratch resistant surface. Many of these watches are great for active, on-the-go dads, because of their durability. Yet they are also available in a variety of very classic designs that can go from the ballgame to the board room.

The incorporation of high quality rubber in both watch strap and bracelet designs has also gained popularity. Rubber imparts a more casual, sporty style to the watch while providing flexibility, durability and comfort. The use of rubber is very apparent in the popularity of bold &uot;race car&uot; themes.

Other popular trends in this season’s watches include aviation designs, innovative enhancements to function, diamond enhancements and the use of rose tone gold.

The bottom line, says Skelton, is &uot;don’t get hung up on brand names. Experiment and explore. You don’t have to spend a fortune to find a good quality, attractive watch.&uot;

– Courtesy of ARA Content