As one who gave up partying decades ago, the idea of writing about a “party watch” confounds me. But let’s dismiss immediately any thoughts of it meaning Jeremy Corbyn’s wrist attire: he can always borrow our UK Editor’s Chairman Mao watch should he not have a lackey handy to tell him the time. Mrs May should be talking to Chopard or Piaget, while La Sturgeon would probably find an entry-level Swatch suitably populist. I think, though, that on this occasion, Editor Llewellyn means falling-on-your-face-after-a-dozen-Mojitos type of party rather than those of the political variety.
Merely hurling all over one’s wristwatch won’t necessarily kill it, though cleaning flecks of spew out of the crevices in, say, a Navitimer bezel or an engraved tachymeter might require deft use of a toothpick. I have yet to hear of a brand marketing its watches as “barf-proof,” but I suppose a vintage Ikepod, with its nearly seamless case, would be the ultimate choice if this is a recurring threat.
Having seen (in my youth – not of late, I hasten to add) too many people ruin their watches at parties, the events often involved swimming pools. Too many people behave as if they’re auditioning for American Pie 12, or whatever number they’re up to; such celebrators might consider not wearing watches at all. Either that, or something washable. I know of one friend who took a dip, not realising that he had failed to screw down the crown on his white-gold Day-Date. To this day, he still bitches about the cost of the repair.
There was, of course, a party watch genre of sorts as far back as the 1920s, with what were called “cocktail watches”. These, however, are no longer suitable because 1) they’re too small to be noticed and 2) they were not, as a rule, water-resistant. If retro appeals, the distaff party animal should look online for a Borel cocktail watch, which will break the ice because of its party trick: overlapping patterns that act like a quasi-kaleidoscope. The downside is that watching it while inebriated may result in a Technicolor yawn.
“Cocktail”, though, is too genteel to describe contemporary get-togethers, the sort where one encounters some G-lister falling out of her Kardashian-wannabee frock to ensure that photos of pixelated breasts can be splashed all over the pages of the Daily Mail with captions of the “Oo-err!” variety. Conversely, their escorts will be bent over double, shouting “Hughie!” at a pot plant.
Assuming the sheep-like behaviour of the TOWIE crowd, their choice of wristwear is pre-ordained by their status quo. The ladies might be wearing Chanel J12s or their partners’ Rolexes, or even their own. Such watches will stand up to abuse, while signalling that their wearers are bon-vivants able to afford serious timepieces. Although there are astonishingly few reported incidents of shattered ceramic cases, I would caution carousers not to fall wrist-first: that J12 might suffer from the impact.
As for the boys, the Hublot Big Bang has replaced the Rolex as the watch of choice for party animals who double-park their Lamborghinis, have names like “Chad” even though they’re English and went a bit too far with the teeth whitening and fake tan. Or even real, melanoma-inducing tans. Big Bangs generally cost less than Royal Oaks, and “Hublot” is easier to pronounce than “Audemars Piguet” but I have no doubt some will voice it literally, to rhyme with “Club Hot”.
My recommendation would be one with a carbon fibre case, or — if the trust fund allows — perhaps one of the colourful, sport celebrity-related Richard Milles, like the Bubba Watson. The whiff of colour increases the party spirit thanks to whimsy that’s simply not present with precious metals or all-black cases. Yellow-and-green or pure white on an £90k watch? What a wag!!!
Speaking of wags, those referred to in the uppercase are merrymakers without peer, especially when celebrating their gilded status at away-games with their husbands/partners/whatevers. Again, the Chanel J12 – in white, please – is a favourite, but any oversized watch encrusted with gems, if waterproof, will suffice.
For those of greater maturity – not necessarily in years but in comportment – parties are ideal occasions for showing off one’s dressier items. Naturally, the watch should suit the occasion, and an elegant ultra-slim is better suited to pre-concert drinks at Glyndebourne than a stag do in Glasgow. But, as the Michael Zager Band once sang: “Life’s a Party!” So wear whatever you like, whenever you like.