This Father’s Day, let us extoll the hidden virtues of the Dad watch

Even the most unassuming of all watches deserves a good wrist

Dads have it rough. How and when exactly did they get associated with bad humour, categorical unstylishness and a profound lack of general appeal, we do not know. But we do know this: Underneath that thick layer of scorn, phrases such as Dad jokes, Dad shoes and Dad bods are actually terms of endearment. Like, we really hate them, because they’re so bad, but ultimately, a small part of our brain always finds them funny.

Countless memes have taken classic Dad jokes far and wide thanks to Facebook and Twitter, although social media has done nothing as yet to improve the quality of those jokes. Here’s an example.

Dad shoes however fared much better. They may have started out as a punchline, but these chunky oversized sneakers have recently been adapted into fashion, specifically street style which is so fabulously au courant these days. So hip in fact that millennials are all over them.

Look at what Spanish label Balenciaga has done with the Triple S sneaker. Love it or hate it, you’ll be hard pressed not to consider wearing a Dad shoe irrespective of parental status.

As for the Dad bod, all you need to look at is Steve Carell in Crazy Stupid Love.

This guy. In yellow. Obviously.

In fact, you can refer to Carell in that movie for everything: Dad shoes, Dad shirt, Dad slacks, Dad hair… and his Dad watch. A midsized, steel cased, no-idea-what-it-is kinda watch. But you see, that’s the thing about trusty Dad watches. They may be plain, simple, even boring but at the end of the day, they do the job and they do it well, and we love them forever no matter what.

Low-key and underrated even in rose gold, the Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer is the archetypal Dad watch

In other words, a Dad watch is the most practical and robust no-nonsense watch that you could wear 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and no one would bat an eyelid. Well, if we’re being brutally honest, no one’s even going to notice.

What’s sporty, robust and yet completely stealthy? The new Omega Seamaster Diver 300m

So what qualifies a watch as a Dad watch? Jokes aside, the operative word is generic. Nothing about it should stand out to the average horology-averse onlooker. Case size doesn’t matter so much, as long as it’s proportionate to the wrist because comfort is of utmost importance. You couldn’t wear it 24/7/365 otherwise.

The Breguet Marine Chronograph 5527 blends into any scenario

Like the Dad bod, Dad watches are also mostly round, possibly because it’s the least offensive case shape. Incidentally, Urban Dictionary defines Dad bod as a male body type best described as “softly round.” Coincidence?

An absolute classic, the Tissot Gentleman

Other than being a little thick around the middle, Dad watches often come with dials that are neutrally coloured in white, silver, and black, with the odd blue or brown – not by choice, unfortunately, but rather as a result of an irresistible discount.

A Dad watch par excellence, the Patek Philippe 5520P-001 Alarm Travel Time

Some dads don’t mind a quartz watch. Actually given how little most of them care about their accessories, most dads should just wear a quartz watch. Less expensive and better timekeeping overall – super practical.

Speaking of practical, who’s up for this Zenith El Primero Revival A386 that offers 50 years guarantee?

Should they ever go for mechanical, though, it’s important to pick one with a high quality automatic movement that’s intended for daily wear. Fact: a poorly made movement or timepiece means frequent visits to the service centre, which means more money poured down the drain. And that is something nobody wants, not just our dads.

Seiko Astron SSH021 is a great quartz option

On a two-circle Venn diagram, Dad watches – like Dad jokes, Dad bod and Dad shoes – take the strange spot where good and bad overlap. They’re neither overtly exciting nor particularly cool but they’re always there whenever you need them, just like Dad!

Dad watches aren’t exactly a thing right now but should the phrase ever make it to mainstream lexicon, remember that you heard it here first.

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