An everyday watch is very much a personal choice and what’s in your state of mind and can be any watch
Typically what comes to mind as an everyday watch for most people is some sort of stainless steel tool watch that is relatively inexpensive and can be used as a beater. Common examples include a Swatch, a Casio G-Shock, an Omega Speedmaster, a Tudor Black Bay 58, a Rolex Submariner or Explorer and even an Apple watch. The list goes on and on. These watches are iconic and they have evolved to become the representative models of their respective brands. They have earned the title of everyday watches no matter what the price because people over time have used them as effective tool watches not only in their everyday lives but in their special moments as well.
But what about the Rolex Daytona 6239 Paul Newman? The Patek Philippe 5270P salmon dial or the 5740g ? The A. Lange and Sohne Datograph? The answer is yes of course. Paul Newman wore his now auctioned off watch daily in his life especially racing at 200 mph. Even very expensive precious metal watches such as Patek Philippe perpetual calendar chronographs can and should be everyday wearers. That’s what they were designed for says Thierry Stern. “They should be worn everyday and if you damage them, send it in to Patek and we will fix them” he reassures us.
For me, an everyday watch is the one I feel most comfortable wearing washing the dishes, cutting bread, changing a fishing hook, diving down to the bottom of a pool, summer lunching on a terrasse or building a campfire for the kids. It’s whatever I feel like at that moment in time and space. If I feel like wearing my Patek Philippe white gold annual calendar putting away the dishes or building a backyard rink then that is my everyday watch. If I feel like going to a formal with my Patek Aquanaut or my 200$ Orient then that becomes my formal dress watch. And if I wear a 20$ Timex to my own wedding (which I did by the way because that’s all I could afford and still own), then so be it. That was my formal wedding watch which is appalling to some when they see the photographs but hey, it made for a great story and the watch became memorable and forever frozen for one special moment in my time. It doesn’t matter what watch one wears for an everyday watch as long as it is associated with those memories good or bad. Do we remember what watch we were wearing when witnessing the birth of our firstborn and changing their diapers? Yes we do vaguely. We may not remember the exact watch but we remember vaguely at that period of my life I do remember owning such and such a model. Watches for me chronologically delineate a period in my life, and I can remember what watches I was wearing at that moment. I may not still own the watch but I can draw a historic timeline and mark approximately what watch I owned at that particular time.
So the everyday watch is really undefined. It is highly personal and can be whatever one feels is appropriate at that point in time. John Mayer in now historic first Talking Watches sums it up best. He says “I can clean up dog poop in my Patek Philippe. It doesn’t matter.” Profound words from a great collector. Interpretation: Watches delineate or even bring meaning to whatever we do in life if not just for the sole purpose of keeping the time at that very moment. But also bring an emotional and temporal association to that moment in time. It is indeed a very powerful object that triggers events and memories. That’s why I (we) love watches.
The Watch Baron says he consumes watches like tea or chocolate. He does not store them in a safe and use them for investments. He consumes them, devours them, digests them, savours them like a consumable and his watches are visibly and obviously beaten up. His 5650g definitely bears many scratch marks and I can imagine that he has taken such a watch in the Scottish highlands hiking and rubbed up against some bush full of berries without even realizing. But he doesn’t care.
In summary, what is an everyday watch? It is whatever one’s heart desires and can be anything from a Timex on your wedding day to a six figure gold watch you may take hiking and you may even decide to plunge it in a brook along the way. Usually people do the opposite but there are no rules to this game and I often wear a valuable watch in rugged terrain during certain high-risk activities (for me hiking is considered high-risk)!!
As to the second question:
Does one really need an everyday watch?
My simple answer is absolutely YES!!
My everyday whatever it may be stabilizes me. It orients me to the most precious commodity in life besides health, time. It also gives me purpose and deadlines. When I’m in the operating room and it’s literally a s— show with massive transfusions galore, I often think of my watch (we cannot wear them intraoperatively anymore so I can’t look at it) and think of its beauty and how it makes me happy. I also think of how I will obtain the next one but that’s a different story.
In fact, the converse holds true as well. When I don’t wear a watch I feel destabilized. I feel disoriented to not only time but also to space. I just don’t feel right without something on my left wrist and feel empty and lost without one.
Sure my iPhone keeps the time and date very well and may even act as a perpetual calendar (until the battery dies or gets water infiltration). I think I may have even used its stopwatch and stop second function. Its chime functions aren’t so bad either but I have yet to see a minute repeater app!! But it cannot beat a good old fashioned analog watch. The watch will pacify, stabilize me and resets my mental functions which the iPhone won’t do (unless I get a call from my local AD).