The Verge brought us a bit of stochastic terrorism in the form of a post about the merits of wearing a smartwatch and a mechanical watch. The author, Antonio G. Di Benedetto, who wears a Seiko and an Apple Watch, writes:

Once I combined these two devices by wearing them at the same time every day, I quickly learned how perfectly they complement each other. It starts out as simply as how I’m going to dress for the day. I often swap out which traditional watch I’m using every few days or even on a daily basis depending on my mood or what I’m wearing. Sometimes I want something that blends in with my outfit (which is usually black, some gray, and occasionally white), and sometimes I want my watch to be a statement piece that really pops from my monochromatic wardrobe. You can sort of do that with an Apple Watch on its own since there is a litany of strap options and watchfaces available, but it’s not the same as traditional watches that have wholly different shapes, sizes, textures, and materials from one to another. 

Honestly, god bless Antonio and his thinking. It’s this kind of self-reflection that will eventually make him realize wearing a smartwatch and a mechanical is like wearing briefs and boxers at the same time: both serve different purposes in terms of utility but wearing both at once is just dumb.

I’ll admit I was a lot like Antonio. For a few months, when the Apple Watch was first announced, I wore a mechanical and a 1st Gen Apple watch because I liked the notifications and some of the features. That said, I quickly realized that wearing the Apple Watch for any length of time outside of exercise was silly. A watch’s primary purpose is to tell time. An Apple Watch’s primary purpose is to annoy you. That is not to say that Apple hasn’t perfected the art of electronic annoyance. Absolutely not: I love my Apple Watch when I’m in the middle of a conference or hopping onto the treadmill. That said, the notifications are absolutely useless on a day-to-day basis, especially since I get them on my phone anyway. So in essence by wearing both you’re wearing a useful timekeeping tool on one wrist and the digital equivalent of a buzzing mosquito inside a closed tent on the other.

You wear watches to tell the world about yourself. You wear them to remember a loved one who gifted you, say, a Seiko. If you want to be a jerk about it you can wear them to show off. You wear them to check the time ostentatiously during meetings. You wear them so you can opine breathlessly on Hodinkee about how the 1975 Seiko Speed-Timer reminds you of your Uncle, the adventurer/alcoholic, who used to blow smoke rings in the shape of Mount Fuji. But the one thing you can’t do is wear one while also wearing an Apple Watch.

But John, you say, you’re wearing a Fitbit Charge 4 on your right wrist and a Ulysses Nardin on the other! You got me, Kojak. I started wearing the Fitbit when I realized I wasn’t getting enough exercise this winter and because it’s basically a bracelet, not a watch. It doesn’t bother me about anything except to remind me that I’m slowly getting fatter.

The Apple Watch is a mental investment. You need to want to be bothered. That’s why you don’t wear something that is the epitome of mechanical engineering while wearing something that is the epitome of digital miniaturization. It’s just dumb.

But if you want to double-wrist it, go with God. I’m not here to stop you. Just be aware that you look like a moron and your choices are bad.

ByJohn Biggs

John lives in Brooklyn and has loved watches since he got his first Swatch Irony automatic in 1998. He is the editor of WristWatchReview.

Leave a Reply